You've seen the heartwarming tale of a sewer rat who achieves his dream of becoming a world-renowned chef. Sure he's making transcendent French cuisine, but that's still a rat. I know what you're thinking, "but, c'mon, there's a scene where they sanitize themselves in the dishwasher." And while extremely hysterical, THERE'S STILL A RAT RUNNING THE KITCHEN. Watch the movie again. The health inspector is actually the hero of the movie. It's a lot like watching an Ebola patient wash his hands and then whip you up a beef wellington. Too risky.
If you don't remember this scene, Kyle sends his French toast back because it has powdered sugar on it, when he specifically asks for no powdered sugar. Side note: Asking for no powdered sugar on a breakfast dish that is basically a dessert, is insanity. The server (played by Horatio Sanz) offers to fix this oversight and proceeds to take the dish back to the kitchen and lick the powdered sugar off before placing the slices of white bread in his underpants, WITHIN PLAIN VIEW OF HIS CUSTOMERS!
That's horrifying in its own right but, when he returns the pants-baked treat to Kyle, Kyle takes a bite and praises the dish, meaning Kyle doesn't catch a whiff of the obese server's undercarriage, which speaks to the quality of the food. This scene is solely responsible for my phobia of sending things back to the kitchen.
Fun fact: Krusty Burger first appeared in the 1991 episode "3 Men and a Comic Book." Yes, it does have a standalone restaurant in Universal Studios thus qualifying the "fictional" portion of the title of this article and the stand-alone restaurant is surprisingly good, thus qualifying the "we'd never eat at" portion of the article. But if you take away the real restaurant's success and go off of its merits on the show, the burger-joint is a complete train wreck. In one episode, it gets voted "the unhealthiest restaurant in the world." In another episode, Krusty vows to spit on every fiftieth burger after losing $44 million during a promotion for the Olympics. The menu items read like a fad dude's wet dream: "Deep-Fried Krusty Burger," "Bacon Balls," Filly-Fudge Steak," "The Clogger," and "The Ribwich." They sound good, but I am not playing Russian roulette with my health. Trying to keep it tight for beach season.
Think about a theme restaurant that has lived up to its hype. I'll give you some time....ok, how many did you come up with. 0, that's what I thought. The menu was littered with puns a class of 4th graders could have made and Steve Buscemi as the bug-eyed waiter would've been more than off-putting. The cherry on top is a dance-off featuring John Travolta and Uma Thurman in the middle of the restaurant that is uncomfortable to watch. If I wanted to watch white people dance poorly, I'd go to a Dave Matthews concert.
Imagine this: You walk in, order a drink. Nobody speaks your language, so you already feel out of place. You sit down anyway because the band's pretty good. You're drinking having a good time with your buddies, getting a bit tipsy. One hour in, and you whisper to your pal about the band, "Is this just a really fucking long song, or do they not know how to play anything else? It's the equivalent of going to a pub in a dimly-lit alley in Kurdistan only to hear the instrumental version of "Don't Stop Believing" for 5 hours. Hard pass.
If the first impression of a restaurant is the name, then the Chokey Chicken is a no-go for me. Let's look past the fact that they hid this double-entendre right under our nose when we watched this show as a kid, but if a restaurant is named after an epithet for masturbation, I don't want to imagine what they're doing in the kitchen. I have an idea: be less subtle. Why not call it the Hand Job Bistro, or the Jerk-Off Diner?
One of my main criteria in choosing where I want to spend my money: there has to be more patrons than dead hobos. Paddy's misses the mark on this. While it would be fun to see what shenanigans the owners, Dennis, Charlie, Frank, and Mac, are getting into on a daily basis, you know they'd be too self-involved with some morose get-rich/get-famous scheme to pour you a proper Jack and Coke.
Appetizers that have been microwaved. Servers that are taking their job either way too serious or not serious enough. You don't go to Chotchkie's for the kitschy shit on the wall. You go because there's no better option and you've given up on your sad excuse of a life. You're better than that. Have some self-respect and go somewhere else.
Sure, Arrested Development is flush with quality dining options. Who wouldn't want a famous Bluth's dipped banana while strolling the boardwalk, cornballs, or chicken fingers with CLUB SAUCE?! However, it's Skip Church's Bistro that makes this list exclusively due to their infamous Skip's scramble. Yes it is delicious, but it's also the main contributor to Maggie Lizer's client's supposed rapid weight gain.
The description reads: "Too many choices. Menu too big to swallow? Let Skip serve you up a scram that has something from every dish on the menu. It will knock you into next week." It's overpriced and nobody wants a week long food coma. Heed Ron Howard's warning, "Don't order the Skip's Scramble."
No. Just no. When your restaurant is equal parts To Catch a Predator and Buffalo Wild Wings, you look elsewhere for your dining needs. Half-priced apps are not worth having to introduce yourself as a sexual predator to every house in your new neighborhood.