If you snooze, you lose. That’s because chefs are making a small number of some of their most desirable dishes. Diners have to plan ahead and come in at the right time to score them. Here are seven limited-edition restaurant dishes that won’t be around for long.
Off-Menu Burger at Rich Table, San Francisco, California
Available only at the bar, this secret burger is an epic proposition. Featuring two dry-aged beef patties, it’s topped with soft Tomme d’Auvergne cheese that melts like butter in your mouth, a round of Early Girl tomato, tartar sauce, and bacon jam – plus a mound of housemade potato chips dusted with umami powder on the side. Only a dozen are served each night, so go early or prepare to leave disappointed. Make a reservation at Rich Table.
Sloppy Mapo at Hazel, Washington, D.C.
Offered only on Sundays at the bar in a limited number, this play on a Sloppy Joe started out as a snack for the kitchen crew. The spicy-savory sando turned out to be such a hit that chef Rob Rubba decided to start offering it to guests. It’s simple – a sprawl of Szechuan mapo lamb sauce and a few pickles are packed into a made-from-scratch English muffin – and it’s simply delicious. Make a reservation at Hazel.
Crispy Fish Sandwich at Waypoint, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Chef Michael Scelfo created this limited-edition sandwich as a hat tip to McDonald’s signature Filet-O-Fish. A slab of tempura-fried cod receives a flurry of cheddar snow before being topped with bacon, malt aioli, and lettuce pickles. Served on a celery root Parker House roll, it arrives with a pile of shoestring fries and more aioli for dipping. Make a reservation at Waypoint.
Lobster Roll at BOCADO, Atlanta, Georgia
Chef Adam Waller only makes 20 of these in-demand rolls for dinner service on Saturdays. Each one comes with a cup of tomato bisque. The cool combos usually run out by 8PM, so make sure to time your reservation accordingly. Make a reservation at BOCADO.
Banh Mi Burger at Aviary, Portland, Oregon
There are just five of these burgers available during happy hour. Inspired by the classic Vietnamese sandwich, chef Sarah Pliner seasons a beef patty with lemongrass, kaffir lime, fish sauce, and garlic. She piles it high with white cheddar, pickled carrots, jalapeños, fresh cilantro, Kewpie mayo, hoisin, and a deep-fried egg. Make a reservation at Aviary.
Lobster Rolls at Waterbar, San Francisco, California
Every Friday, executive chef Parke Ulrich makes 30 lobster rolls. He keeps it traditional by simply dressing Maine lobster with melted butter and salt. There’s a heap of Old Bay- dusted potato chips on the side for good measure. Make a reservation at Waterbar.
Squid Ink Pizza at Bibiana, Washington, D.C.
A mere six of these jet-black pizzas are served at lunch. The dough gets its ominous hue from a squirt of squid ink. It’s topped with a slather of Romesco sauce, arugula, and ringlets of crispy calamari. Make a reservation at Bibiana.
Have you been ordering any limited-edition restaurant dishes? Let us know what and where here or over on Facebook, G+, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter. And, remember to snap + share your #dishpics with us on Instagram for a chance to win in our weekly giveaway.
Nevin Martell is a Washington, D.C.-based food and travel writer and the author of several books, including Freak Show Without A Tent: Swimming with Piranhas, Getting Stoned in Fiji and Other Family Vacations. Find him on Twitter @nevinmartell and Instagram @nevinmartell.
Photo credits: Kassie Borreson (Rich Table); Andrea Merrill (Waypoint).