The restaurant occupies the former C.K.'s Coffee Shop/Johnny Rockets building next to the mall. The owners did a great job, both inside and out, of creating a more upscale atmosphere while still maintaining the building's old-school diner charm.
It had been just over a year since my one and only trip to the restaurant's original location. I'd enjoyed the food on that visit, but l hadn't been back since life rarely gives me any reason to venture out to the Poplar and Kirby area where it is located. Where the original location had a tiny dining area and is primarily geared towards carry-out business the far-more-spacious new location offers table service for people dining in. Everyone on the serving staff that I encountered was extremely friendly and I liked seeing the restaurant adapt its service to what works best for the individual location instead of copying the order-at-the-counter system somewhere it doesn't make sense the way Central BBQ did with its Summer Avenue location.
In looking over my post about the original location I saw that I'd written, "my wife and I both agreed that ribs with beans and the twice-baked potato salad would be the perfect order for future visits." I figured I am probably a pretty trustworthy judge of what I like, so I followed my own advise and got a half-slab of dry rub ribs with baked beans and twice-baked potato salad.
In my post about the other location I called the bacon, sour cream and chive-loaded potato salad some of the absolute best in town and it still impressed me at the Perkins locations. The beans were also great; loaded with pulled pork and swimming in an excellent sauce.
The ribs had a good texture and dry rub. Of the two sauces available at the table I definitely preferred the "hot" to the mild. It didn't pack much heat but it did add a nice subtle spice element that the mild was missing.
Pulling another quote directly from my post about the other One & Only location, after my visit there I wrote that, "my ribs didn’t have any smoke flavor and they lacked the tell-tale pink coloring that indicates when ribs have absorbed plenty of smoke. I’m sure that is due to location in a large shopping center in a fairly affluent area. They are probably forced to rely entirely on a gas grille since their neighbors would have a meltdown if they enveloped the outside of their store in a glorious pork-scented charcoal haze like the one you frequently see outside of places like Cozy Corner on North Parkway. "
That exact comment also applies to the Perkins location. While the dry rub and the hot barbecue sauce both imparted excellent flavors onto the ribs the only smoke flavor they had was of the distinct liquid smoke variety. At first it seems pretty brazen to open a place selling gas-oven ribs around the corner from the smoke-spewing flagship Corky's on Poplar Avenue. Especially when Corky's offers the Corky's Ale specifically brewed by Abita to go with its ribs. But One & Only is easier to get in and out of than Corky's and it has enough positives in its favor to make it a worthwhile, and ultra-convenient, stop for hungry mall patrons. Don't think of it as competition for Corky's. Think of One & Only as competition for the Chili's that sits across Perkins from it and the food court inside the mall. By that measure it is clearly a winning choice.