Interesting Restaurant Concepts 2012

I searched the web for some of the most interesting and successful restaurant concepts that are making headlines today. Here are my top 5:


Del Frisco’s Grille: Bringing the gourmet steak concept to the casual dining arena, Del Frisco Restaurant Group is one of the hottest concepts at the moment. The Del Frisco Grille has a smaller restaurant footprint and an expanded menu, compared to Del Frisco Double Eagle Steak House, its big sister. Despite this, the new concept is helping the Del Frisco Restaurant Group make traction towards its goal to become a publicly traded company.

Among the more intriguing items on the menu: the knife and fork Caesar, pimento cheese fritters, and a lamb burger with tzatziki sauce. For 19.00 you can also get a 6 oz. filet of mignon or Bay of Fundy salmon.


Coolhaus: An ice cream truck that is the brainchild of Natasha Case and Freya Estrella and one of the hottest concepts today. Interesting ice cream flavors such as white chocolate and olive oil, or spicy pineapple and cilantro are among the 66 interesting flavors that are offered. Pair any of these tasty ice cream flavors with one of the 16 different cookie flavors on the current menu.

Luckily we have 2 trailers here in Austin. They can be purchased at the Hyde Park Grocery. My favorite flavor is the hotcake cookie with Brown Butter Candied Bacon Ice Cream.

Check them out!! They might be bringing a trailer to a city near you.


ShopHouse: A new concept from the Chipotle empire, ShopHouse starts your dining experience the same way they do at Chipotle, but this time the choices are Asian-influenced. Start with a choice of salad, brown rice, jasmine rice, or chilled rice noodles. Next select your protein: grilled chicken satay, grilled steak laab, pork and chicken meatballs, or organic tofu. You get the idea, but you can finish with your choice of 4 different vegetable accompaniments, 3 sauces, and 6 different toppings (including green papaya slaw, herb salad, toasted rice, or chopped peanuts).

 If this concept works, look to see it become a franchise!


Stacked: Food Well Built: Based in California, this 3 restaurant chain is making head way into the casual realm and has already won a MUFSO award for hottest concept for 2012. Their innovative ordering and paying system is what makes them so unique. Once you are seated at your table, you place your entirely custom order on an IPad, which is sent directly to the kitchen. You can also swipe your card right at the table, so you can pay whenever you want.

And the menu is highly customizable! While you can choose from a menu, each section has a “STACKED” section which allows you to completely customize your salad, sandwich, burger, pizza, or mac n’cheese. Lots of flexibility makes for truly individual dining experience.


Umami Burger:  A cool new restaurant concept in California that centers on the taste of Umami, the savory component of food, opened earlier this year and already has 4 units in the California market. A simple burger menu that showcases a “Umami Master Sauce” and tasty desserts from a partnership with L.A. Creamery, Mocha Kiss Coffee, and CakeMonkey Bakery.  Just looking at the burger menu makes me hungry!

Have fun checking out the websites,


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