Pizza Luce, Nick & Eddie, and more: The most popular dishes at your favorite restaurants
When you go out to eat, do you ever stare at the menu for minutes on end, waffling over what to order? Do you ever wonder if the restaurant's regulars know something you don't? Here's a handy guide to what customers order most at some of the Twin Cities' most popular eateries, plus recommendations from the chefs. Check out more of our Eat This posts here.
Photo: PizzaLuce.com Here's what's hot at Pizza Luce
NICK AND EDDIE
Most popular: At the Loring Park mainstay, customers spread their favorites pretty evenly, says chef Derik Moran, but one of the most popular orders is the Mississippi Greens salad. "It's a blend of micro herbs and frilled lettuces that I get from a local farmer," he says. It's a mix of 23 varieties, "all in micro form, so it's really dainty, really pretty, lots of color." The salad ($7) is served with a buttermilk vinaigrette, roasted beets, house-made bacon, and local goat cheese. As far as entrees, the mac and cheese is a hot seller. It's baked and rich, with lobster, house-made andouille sausage, cheddar, and Gruyere ($15).
Chef's choice: "I'd have to pick the scallop dish," Moran says. "It's pan-seared dayboat scallops with a pearl barley risotto, with local shell peas, ramps, and avocado [$19]."
TANPOPO NOODLE SHOP
Most popular: The cozy and much-praised Lowertown noodle shop serves two dishes that run neck-and-neck as the most ordered, says owner Koshiki Yonemura. "One is a noodle dish called nabeyaki udon [$11.95]. That's been in first place for a long time." The dish is wheat noodles and a rich broth, served in a traditional clay bowl with all the toppings: shrimp tempura, chicken breast, fish cakes, shiitake mushrooms, Japanese omelet, and wakame (seaweed). The other customer favorite, especially in summer, is a teishoku meal (like a bento box but on a tray) called Tonkatsu, which is panko-breaded pork cutlets served with rice, miso soup, salad, and pickles ($13.75).
Chef's choice: "I like those two dishes very much myself," Yonemura says, but she is also partial to another teishoku meal, the agedashi tofu. The tofu is deep-fried and served in dashi, a traditional Japanese stock, with bonito flakes, green onion, and grated fresh ginger ($11.95).
Most popular: The local pizza chain's top-seller in June was--surprisingly--a vegetarian pizza, the Athena ($16.69 for a medium), says marketing director Corey Sax, though "it's pretty close between that and the Classic [with sausage and pepperoni]." The Athena comes with fresh spinach, tomatoes, feta cheese, calamata olives, artichoke hearts, red onions, toasted garlic, and mozzarella cheese, with a white bianca sauce.
Chef's choice: "My favorite is the garlic mashed potato pizza," Sax says. It's made on a whole wheat crust with baby red potatoes mashed with garlic butter, and complemented by diced tomatoes, green onions, and feta cheese ($14.19).
Most popular: If you guessed that the most popular menu item at a place called Brit's Pub would be fish and chips, you're right. "It's far and away our most popular dish," says general manager Shane Higgins. Brit's cod is fried with a batter made with Summit beer and served with fries (two pieces of fish for $13.95). Oh, and if you guessed the best-selling beverage is Guinness, you're right again.
Chef's favorite: "We do a curry called chicken tikka masala [$13.95], and it's just really, really popular," says Higgins. Curry is now "almost a national dish" in Britain, he says. "We've had a lot of Brits who come in here and say it's the best pub curry they've ever had. And I tend to agree with them."