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A guest of our Dallas restaurant called to say that what draws her to Lawry’s The Prime Rib, time and again, is her craving for our Yorkshire pudding…parents of a new college freshman shared with us a letter from their son, in which he recounted a dream he had about tucking into a baked potato at Lawry’s in Beverly Hills…and a long-time guest of the Five Crowns was so inspired by his love of our creamed spinach that he wrote a poem about it! More often than not, people tell me they visit our restaurants just to eat our “sides,” and they’re downright passionate about their affection for the accompaniments served with our entrées.
Although at first glance, they may seem like a simple, rather modest part of the meal, our side dishes are of signal importance to our business. They are our signature recipes, as vital to our fame and success as prime rib or any of our other entrées.
…people tell me they visit our restaurants just to eat our “sides,” and they’re downright passionate about their affection for the accompaniments served with our entrées.
Creamed spinach, baked potatoes, and Yorkshire pudding debuted on our menu back in 1938, when the original Lawry’s The Prime Rib opened in Beverly Hills. At the time, the combination wasn’t the ubiquitous accompaniment to prime rib that it is today. In fact, most of our guests had never tasted a meal quite like it.
the side dishes that helped launch Lawry’s are still drawing rave reviews
Although Yorkshire pudding had, in England, long been the traditional side dish for beef, many Americans had not encountered it before. And even for English visitors, Lawry’s Yorkshires (then and today) came as a pleasant surprise.
Both our recipe and cooking method (the puddings are prepared virtually to order from our oven to your table) are designed to result in a uniquely crisp, light, yet hearty Yorkshire that English guests tell us is a welcome change from the heavy, soggy version they get in their home country.
The flavors of our side dishes went together so well, and so perfectly complimented prime rib, that in a very short time, other restaurants began copying Lawry’s, and a classic American meal was born.
honest, forthrightly, and uniquely delicious
Today, the side dishes that helped launch Lawry’s are still drawing rave reviews. We continue to take them very seriously. Our creamed spinach is still exactingly cooked according to its original 1938 recipe. Our baked potatoes, magnificent Idaho russets, the best in the world, are still prepared by our servers at tableside to order.
Originally, on my dad’s strict instructions, we served them only with butter and chives. He was convinced that adding anything else would ruin the flavor. Thirty years ago, I daringly added crisp, crumbled bacon to the “fixings” we offered.
And about 15 years ago, after much-heated debate and with my son’s strong encouragement, we bowed to popular demand and made sour cream available to guests who want it on their potatoes.
Our creamed spinach is still exactingly cooked according to its original 1938 recipe.
Over the years, we’ve added new side dishes, but only after a lot of thought, testing, and tasting. For example, the Tam O’Shanter Inn is famous for the unique cole slaw we added to its menu. Like the dishes themselves, our criteria for the sides we serve is deceptively simple: They have to be honest, forthrightly, and uniquely delicious. After all, we want you to like them so much that you come back for more.
From the desk of Richard N. Frank