It it's not broken, don't fix it -- and if the shop specialty is drawing a following, there's no need for more munchies just to fill a menu. From sweets to sandwiches, there are a plethora of places that feature one distinctive dish or snack to satisfy diners with specific cravings.
Popping up in every part of town -- and available online nationwide -- the New York-based Baked by Melissa shops only sell mini-cupcakes (all under 45 calories) in flavors like peanut butter and jelly, mint chocolate chip, cinnamon, cookie dough, and its signature (shop symbol) tie-dye. Every month, the sweetery serves a cupcake of the month, which in the past has included coffee caramel, cotton candy, and upside-down cheesecake. (Starting at three cupcakes for $3, 6 for $5.50, 100 for $70; multiple locations)
Corny? No. Cheesy? Yes. Sarita's Macaroni & Cheese -- better known as S'MAC -- is all about regular, multigrain, or gluten-free elbow macaroni in several varieties of cheese (like Swiss, cheddar, brie, goat, and pepper jack -- or with vegan coconut milk base) and a long list of tasty toppings: garlic, figs, salsa, jalapenos, bacon, tuna, scallions, and more. Can't decide on one type? For $16, S'MAC's Sampler includes All-American, 4 Cheese, Cheeseburger, La Mancha, Cajun, Napoletana, Alpine, and Parisienne. (Starting at Nosh: $6.75; Major Munch: $10.25; Mongo: $17.50; Partay!: $44. 345 East 12th Street and 157 East 33rd Street)
Another creative caterer in the cheese category, La Maison du Croque Monsieur, is crafting crave-worthy croques (the fancy French word for "ham and cheese.") But don't be intimidated by the less-familiar language or namesake (ham-less options are in abundance). The croques share names with men, i.e.: Mr. Eduardo, Mr. Rupert, and Mr. James (a smoked salmon & boursin herb goat cheese sandwich, on the breakfast menu). With six selections of chess to choose -- Gruyere, Chimay, tickler cheddar, French raclette, Comte, and Gouda -- to outfit Mr. Henry (the classic croque, which includes jambon de Paris and béchamel), the only thing sweeter than the reasonable prices are the sugary selections. (Starting at $5.75; 17 East 13th Street)
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