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You Could Already Be a Winner

Chainshirt So, the latest food-based reality show will center on personal chefs. All well and good but I’m still stuck on the tentatively named United Plates of America, a reality show competition focused on chain restaurant concepts.

Sadly, the window of opportunity for the chain I dreamt up in the late ‘90s: Totally Grubbin’ has long passed (a glass half-full blogger would call themselves a pioneer for having 11-year-old posts to refer to; I would use a different word to describe writing barely read nonsense online for over a decade). Now that it’s almost the 2010s I can't imagine there is a swath of America left that would be interested in anything tribal and Xtreme. For the modern consumer I might suggest an Ed Hardy theme restaurant.

Here are a few other concepts ripe for going national.

F.I.Y: fry-it-yourself fun where all tables are equipped with a built-in fryolator Korean barbecue-style. The restaurant provides the raw material and you simply batter and dip away. Does it get any fresher? There will be vegetable tempura for the dainty, fried chicken for the a la minute set, butter balls and Oreos for carnies and 10-patty cheeseburgers for the This is Why You're Fat crowd. Perhaps there will be a menu of batters to choose from. Ranch dip would most certainly be involved.

We must not let the Asians have all the fun. Sure, they’ve already taken the prison and hospital themes, not to mention a mayonnaise restaurant. And you thought eating from a toilet bowl was depraved? Please. Mixologists cover your ears, our bar will be called Douchebag, and yes, all drinks will be served in one. Who cares if the insult has been declared over or that just as with belted sanitary napkins, no one actually knows what a douchebag is anymore. Enemas? Now, that’s a concept for only a select few. I used to know people who would do wine enemas in public restrooms. The idea was to get drunker faster. I am sure there is a target audience for this somewhere in the US and I would love to be the one to introduce the idea on network television.

Gulp! If Rolling Stone can brand dining so can Yelp! and with a $500 million Google deal anything’s possible. Why not cut out the middle man and offer free food directly to Yelpers while providing handheld devices for instant reviews? Each week a different restaurant could have their fare featured in the cafe.

In a Nutshell will only serve allergens: peanuts, shellfish, gluten-rich foods. I see peanut-sauced shrimp over wheat pasta being a big seller.

In reality, I would like to see an American-style indoor hawker center like Food Republic in Singapore. I've always imagined that if I were an kooky rich person like Michael Jackson I would build my Neverland of chefs flown from all over SE Asia to pretty much accommodate me and guests of my choosing (who might just include a grown Macaulay Culkin). If I were really rich and eccentric I would devote my resources into creating a Stargate-type device that could transport me anywhere on the globe for a meal and then return me safely to my apartment. But minus any aliens or ethnically ambiguous people (him too).

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