Restaurant Weak: More Than Half of the Dining Out Promotion’s Participants Are Serving Chicken and Salmon

Did you order the chicken, or the salmon?
Did you order the chicken, or the salmon? Photo: GPTMC

The old cliche about Restaurant Week menus being nothing more than uninspired platings of chicken, or salmon (and in some instances, a token vegetarian option) may not be too far from the truth. After poring over all of the participating restaurants’ menus posted on the Center City District’s Restaurant Week website, Grub Street has determined that more than half of the 130 restaurants taking part in the twice-annual dining out promotion are serving chicken dishes. We counted 68 in all. And almost just as many are also serving salmon. Our count for salmon was 63. Keep reading to see what other dishes are most likely to turn up on menus.

The classy crustacean appears on 22 menus, six of which are lobster bisque.

Beef Short Ribs:
The next most ubiquitous dish we found was beef short ribs, which appear on 19 menus.

Despite being downgraded from trendy to passe, the root veggie appears on 15 menus.

It’s fitting that duck, another menu item that was trending hard last year, is in a tie with beets.

Hanger/Steak Frites/Skirt/Etc.:
Butcher’s steaks are always a big Restaurant Week hit. We counted 14 menus where they appeared.

Scallops, which also seem to be inescapable during restaurant weeks, turn up on just 14 menus.

Truffles, or Anything Truffled:
Surprisingly dishes with truffles, and/or “truffled” also come up 14 times.

Creme Brulee:
With 14 restaurants serving it, creme brulee is Restaurant Week’s most common dessert.

Pork Belly:
Since it seems like every restaurant ‘round these parts is required to have a pork belly option (or at least have it top something else) during the rest of the year, we were genuinely surprised to learn that only 13 restaurants have it on for Restaurant Week.

Though currently trending as hard as duck and beets in years past, we only found shank dishes on 10 menus.

Lacking the wow factor of a braised lamb or pork shank, boring balls of meat also appear on 10 menus.

Salted Caramel:
Just four restaurants are ponying up salted caramel in one form or another for dessert, which has us thinking that the trendy, salty sweet is headed toward Korean taco territory.

Foie Gras: The fact that only four restaurants are incorporating foie gras into their Restaurant Week offerings speaks volumes about how restaurateurs and chefs approach to drawing up their menus.

And yet, we’re stunned that four restaurants are doing escargot.

Restaurant Weak: More Than Half of the Dining Out Promotion’s Participants