Okay, we all get asked about our favorite--or sometime the most unusual places in the country to eat. You know, the kind of places you usually won't find back home (in an overseas) location. So here is my list of the strange, sometimes wacky, and I also had to list a couple of fine restaurants as well (just because). I have no commercial interest in any of these--and people can add their comments--good and bad on what they think of them--or add some more restaurants of their own to this list. P.S. I'm going to do this in three posts so that they are easier to read.
Dick’s Last Resort
(San Diego, CA; Chicago, IL; Boston, MA; San Antonio, TX; Dallas, TX; Baltimore, MD; Myrtle Beach, SC; Las Vegas, NV; and Gatlinburg, TN)
The idea here is to see who can be ruder—you or your waiter/waitress (but its all in fun—and a blast as you can tell by the fact that there used to be only one of these—in San Diego—but now there are nine of them)
Lucky Cheng’s (New York, NY) (food served by drag queens)
Palms Thai (Hollywood, CA) (Thai with a Thai Elvis impersonator)
Safe House (Milwaukee, WI); a spy headquarters—but the problem is that the location is also secret (although it is rumored to be in the alley labeled International Exporters Ltd)
The Magic Castle (Hollywood, CA)—dinner plus a variety of great shows from professional magicians (usually 5 shows a night—included in the price of dinner). Only open to other professional magicians or those who are staying at The Magic Castle hotel located next door
Alinea (Chicago, IL);—molecular gastronomy. For those who are familiar with Casa Mia in Bristol, UK—then you know how places use some pretty unusual freezing and heating apparatus nowadays. This is probably the restaurant with the best food of any restaurant on this list.
Bors Hede Inne (Carnation, WA)—think of eating in an English Inn during the time of Queen Elizabeth (Elizabeth I, that is,not the current Elizabeth II). Oh, and they don’t allow witchcraft (such as the use of cell phones or cameras).
Ninja NY (New York, NY)—be served by ninjas in an underground Japanese castle
B.E.D (Miami, FL)—B.E.D. stands for beverage, entertainment, and dining—which is what you get while lying in bed in this establishment
Mars 2112 (Times Square area, New York, NY)—be served by costumed aliens while eating in this reconstruction of a Martian crater. Designed mostly to be a kid-friendly tourist attraction;—and it works.
[ Edit: grammar correction ]
Casa Bonita (Lakewood, CO; near Denver)—eat in an outdoor restaurant with Acapulco type cliff divers and beautiful lush grounds. One of the best places to eat in Colorado.
Supperclub (San Francisco, CA; Los Angeles, CA)—it’s a restaurant, it’s a club, it’s a place with avant-garde shops and usual lighting and where everyone eats on plush white beds while being attended to by white-robe clad servers
Forbes Island (also known as Gilligan’s Island by the locals). (San Francisco, CA)—go to Pier 39 and get the boat for the 3 minute ride over to this man-made island, which consists of the underground restaurant and the 55 foot tall working lighthouse. You’ll be greeted by The Captain who will take you over, then by Gilligan who will tie up your boat, then Maryann who will take your order. Then, while the Professor is cooking your food, Thurston Howell will get your bread and serve the appetizer. Then Mrs. Howell will give you a tour of the lighthouse after dinner.
The Cave (Richland, Missouri)—eat in a very large (real) cave. It has waterfalls and even fish ponds, but because it is a real cave, it is fairly cool—so dress accordingly.
The Varsity (all over Atlanta, GA)—best hot dogs in the USA—period (and they have good burgers also). And surprisingly, cheap as can be, too;--all served by car hops while you stay in your car.
Heart Attack Grill (Phoenix, AZ; Dallas, TX)—gigantic burgers served by female servers in hospital candy striper outfits (puts a whole new spin on overeating)
Tonga Room (San Francisco, CA)—located in the basement of the Fairmont Hotel, this is what a Tiki Room should look like—and other than Dick’s in Honolulu, Hawaii—is the best place to get tropical cocktails in a regular restaurant.
La Caille (Sandy, UT near Salt Lake City)—most beautiful and interesting French-themed restaurant in the USA. This place has great food and is a wonderful place at both Christmas time and mid-summer. Go to enjoy the food and drink, to enjoy the llamas and peacocks, or to enjoy the free golf practice holes while waiting to be seated, Admire the 16th century look achieved by a place built in the 1980s. Drive up the mile long tree-lined driveway shining off the snow by its thousands of miniature lights. Then enjoy the men in their leather chaps and lady servers in their Victorian dresses serving just exquisite food. Quite simply, this is my favorite restaurant in the USA.
Okay, that's my list. What are your favorite and or wackiest place(s) to go?
P.S. Failed to mention Ginger at Forbes Island--but then, I didn't see her while there.
If you are ever in Savannah, Georgia, stop at one of the restaurants in the old former warehouses down by the waterfront. The architecture is beautiful (especially in the evening) and they have the most amazing pecan pie!
Louisville, Kentucky. Lynn's Paradise Cafe.
Lynn's Paradise Café is a quirky independent restaurant with a national reputation built on great food, wacky décor, and wild events.
Renowned chef Bobby Flay challenged the owner Lynn to a breakfast cook-off competition and she clobbered him.