This morning I saw the opportunity for potential greatness. I drove by one of my favorite restaurants, Blanc Burgers and Bottles, and saw a gaggle of protestors out front. In my best Navin Johnson voice I shouted, “These people hate deliciousness.” I could not make out their signs, so I swung back around. It turns out that they were protesting the Bank of America next door. Now that is a cause I can get behind. Protesting delicious burgers and a huge selection of non-alcoholic sodas should be on no one’s agenda.
You see, I love me a good protest. Today we will even cover some people who protest one thing or another. Some I agree with, others I don’t. Regardless of your opinion, you will find that Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, and Wisconsin are not the only places people are fired up right now. Even restaurants are feeling the effects.
Let’s start in California, where lawmakers are trying to ban shark fin soup. Those of you who read my post on Mako Shark know of my affection for eating them. I would hate to see the fins going to waste. It turns out that some people are catching these sharks solely for their fins. My go to source for ethical seafood consumption, Seafood Watch, says that this is good legislation. I will defer to them. (Los Altos, CA)
The Hacienda Mexican Restaurant thought it had a pretty catchy slogan. “We are like a cult, but with better Kool Aid.” They might want to read up on their history a bit. The Kool Aid reference dates back to the Jonestown Massacre where hundreds of followers of Jim Jones died after drinking cyanide laced Kool Aid. I try not to consider myself easily offended. I also think that it is poor taste and poor marketing to compare your food to a historical human tragedy. (Indiana)
The fervor over enhanced screening methods in airports has subsided for the most part. At one restaurant it is in full force. The owner has banned all TSA agents from eating at his restaurant. He has the right to refuse service and is using it on the people who make flying so fun. I personally would just make them wait an hour, force them to show ID at every trip the server makes to the table, and insist that they take off their shoes to be patted down at the host stand. (Seattle, WA)
In a soon to inspire protests story, a restaurant in London has begun serving ice cream made with human breast milk. It is served by a waitress in a Lady Gaga outfit. I can’t make this stuff up. You should really read the story. (London)
Finally, lawmakers in Washington State are trying to limit the number of animals that can be claimed as service animals. Apparently monkeys, full sized horses, and lizards have already been registered as service animals. Unless they are Curious George, Mr Ed, and the gecko from the Geico commercials, I am in agreement with this legislation. (Olympia, WA)
While I didn’t get to break the local story of deliciousness being protested, a very cool restaurant story did happen in my town last night. A man was in the KFC drive thru ordering chicken. When he got home he found that instead of chicken he was given the restaurants deposit bag. He promptly returned it and got his chicken. Somehow I see a write-up for “improper cash handling procedures” in an employee’s future. (Overland Park, KS)
Drive thru windows are a great way to tackle the late night munchies. A less advisable way is to break into the restaurant you work at and make yourself a meal. This is particularly true if you are too drunk to turn off the alarm. This might receive more than a write-up. (St Cloud, MN)
That employee probably faces less trouble though than the owners of Maki Maki. They were recently sentenced to prison time for tax evasion. $2.1 million worth of tax evasion to be exact. (Rancho Mirage, CA)
A friend of mine recently posted a story on his Facebook page about a fight a Chuck E Cheese. He found it unique. I then informed him of the absurd number of police reports that come from Chuck E Cheese. This week a Michigan location contracted with the Sherriff’s office to provide security. It is a place where a kid can be a kid and adults can act like lunatics. (Kochville Township, MI)
Bob Evan’s does not have animatronic singing animals, but one does have entertainment. An 85 year old crooner names Bob Foos has been entertaining guests for years. While some would consider the entertainer old, at Bob Evan’s he still qualifies for the kids menu. (you see the joke is that only really old people eat at Bob Evan’s) (Newark, OH)
Finally, with all the hype about IPads and texting replacing servers someone finally came up with a plan for the back of the house. A robot chef is cooking up the meals at one Shanghai restaurant. I am sure it is quite efficient, but probably lacks the ability to berate servers for ordering the wrong food. (Shanghai , China)
That is all for this week. That also means that I can note one other important fact. This was a violence free week of Weird Restaurant Stories! For only the second time in the history of this series we have a whole week of stories without anyone getting stabbed, shot, or robbed. Kudos to all of you for practicing safe weirdness this week. Let’s see if we can go for two weeks in a row.