Here in the good old USA, restaurants are trying their darnedest best to attract the attention of potential customers. And what they’ve found is that it’s easier to get more customers, along with more media attention and viral Internet marketing, through sex in advertising and marketing. It’s the idea that made Hooters famous all over the globe, and many restaurants have joined featuring sexy waitresses to attract more customers. And since women like to go to restaurants too, there’s even a for-women (and for gay men too) version that features sexy men as food servers.
But in the USA, it’s not always about sex. When it comes to American ingenuity, there are no limits. You can see that for yourself when you dine in any one of these wacky dining establishments all over the country.
1. Rattlesnake Saloon. This restaurant in Tuscumbia, Alabama has an Old West theme, and their offerings have names like Cowboy Buttons (golden deep fried whole mushrooms), Snake Eyes and Tails (fried sliced jalapeno peppers and fried green beans), Skink Rings (a large pile of crispy golden onion rings), and Bronco Bits (tangy breaded and fried pickle slices). They all come with what the place calls dippin’ sauce.
What’s so special about it is its locale—it calls itself as “the watering hole under the rock” and that just about describes its outdoor seating arrangement under a cliff overhang. And sometimes they even have live bands that take advantage of the place’s special acoustics.
And it’s a real saloon too. There’s a hitching post you can use if you come on a horse!
2. The Catacombs. Now from the open air setting of the Rattlesnake Saloon, let’s get inside somewhere more forbidding and just way more claustrophobic. You can be excused if you’re afraid of feeling like you’ve been buried underground, because you really are. The Catacombs can be found several stories beneath the Bube’s Brewery in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
And you know what’s worse—there’s even paranormal activity! You can take a ghost tour of the facilities, and then after your experience with the ghostly spirits you can calm your nerves with the spirits in a bottle. You’ve got local brews and fine wines here to pair up with great delicacies.
3. Aquarium Restaurant. If being underground isn’t your thing, what about being under the sea? That’s possible with the Aquarium Restaurant, which offers an under the sea theme with its huge floor-to-ceiling aquarium curving all along the walls.
It’s a great setup for seafood, and here you can enjoy your calamari, fish and chips, and grilled mahi mahi.
4. Post Office Pies. This pizzeria doesn’t just have a post office theme. It really is inside a historic post office. In this case, it’s the former Avondale post office in Alabama. Forget about the crazy “postal jokes” because their pizza has actually been listed among the best in the country.
Unfortunately, you can also forget about how “neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night” will keep the couriers from delivering their pizza to your doorstep. What’s really creasy about the place is that they don’t deliver at all!
5. Harvey Washbangers. Ever felt like munching on some comfort food when you’re waiting for your clothes to dry in the Laundromat? Now this restaurant knows about that urge to eat, because they actually connected a high tech Laundromat to the Washbanger’s bar and restaurant. Now if you spill gravy on a nice shirt, you have to facilities to take care of the problem right away.
The place is famous for its truly filling fare, as it offers jalapeño cream cheese burger and coconut pecan pie. It’s right next to Texas A&M University, and of course it’s a favorite hangout of the students.
6. The Airplane Restaurant. For almost 2 decades now, traveling through the air has been one of the most unsatisfying situations you can ever experience. You don’t get much legroom, the flight attendants are as humorless as Secret Service agents, the food is overpriced and yet tasteless.
But you don’t get these problems with the Airplane Restaurant in Colorado Springs. You get to enter a 1953 Boeing KC-97 tanker that’s strictly grounded, and inside the renovated space offers a lot more legroom than your usual airline seats fit for little kids only. Inside, the aviation theme includes lots of pictures and memorabilia of aviation history.
7. M. Wells Dinette. Do you ever wish to feel like a school kid again? Then you can dine here in this restaurant that’s in the Museum of Modern Art PS1 in New York. It’s in a building that used to be a red brick schoolhouse, and as a tribute to its history the restaurant uses a classroom motif. You get to use desks and plastic chairs, and you get notebooks to doodle on while you wait for your order. The specials are posted on the green chalkboards, and the food is served in tin cafeteria trays. It’s always recess time here!
There’s more to theme restaurants in the US than just breasts. Try any one of the places, and enjoy the limitless sense of wackiness that’s part of the American DNA.