restaurant concepts

Restaurant concepts to watch this December

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By Aaron Jourden

In the December 2017 edition of restaurant concepts to watch, we highlight three restaurant concepts that are making an impact on Canadian diners. Here’s a look at the characteristics and menu offerings that make these restaurants unique:

The Captain’s Boil

Instagram: 13,100 followers | Facebook: 12,072 likes | Twitter: 1,447 followers
Locations: 23 (Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec, Nova Scotia)

Concept characteristics:

  • Full-service, hands-on dining experience modeled after traditional Cajun seafood boils
  • Build-your-own boils consist of seafood plus flavours and spices that are mixed to order in a bag before being served
  • Guests eat with their hands and wear plastic gloves and bibs
  • Eco-friendly positioning includes biodegradable, BPA-free bags

Menu snapshot:

  • Seafood Options—crawfish, lobster, Dungeness crab, king crab legs, snow crab legs, shrimp, clams and mussels
  • Flavour Additions—Cajun, with cayenne pepper and paprika; Lemon Pepper, with lemon zest and black pepper; Garlic Sauce; and Captain’s Boil, a combination of all three sauces
  • Sides—Cajun or yam fries, calamari and a fried shrimp basket
  • Beverages—soft drinks, domestic and premium beers, soju and sake

Fife N Dekel

Instagram: N/A | Facebook: 1,776 likes | Twitter: 693 followers
Locations: 4 (Alberta)

Concept characteristics:

  • Zero-frills chain of clean restaurants with counter service and wooden tables for dine-in eating
  • Nostalgic diner positioned around pies, sandwiches, soups and salads
  • Weekly features and seasonal specialties on the menu
  • Friendly, attentive service is a calling card

Menu snapshot:

  • Auto Bahn Sandwich—with turkey, roast beef and ham
  • Good Morning Ham-Sammy Sandwich—with ham, egg, green pepper, onion and tomato on a bun
  • Pies—choices include strawberry rhubarb, banana cream, sour cream apple, pecan and caramel cream
  • Baked Goods—butter tarts, banana bread, cookies and brownies

Bao Down

Instagram: 9,122 followers | Facebook: 1,520 likes | Twitter: 526 followers
Locations: 4 (British Columbia, San Francisco)

Concept characteristics:

  • Filipino fusion restaurant specializing in bao tacos, sandwiches and Asian street food
  • Street-inspired decor with Buddha-themed murals painted by artist Taka Sudo
  • Locally sourced, seasonal and sustainable ingredients
  • Playful, energetic atmosphere

Menu snapshot:

  • 2 Worlds Collide! Bao—with crispy pork, braised pork belly, spring onion, chicharron, pickled carrots and daikon and hoisin glaze
  • Fili-chino Taco—with chicken tocino, Filipino salsa and tamarind hot sauce inside an organic corn tortilla
  • Ube Waffles and Chicken—adobo fried chicken, ube waffle, dark rum syrup and a sunny-side up egg
  • Housemade Gelato—with shortbread crumble, meringue and fresh berries

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