Tag Archives: restaurants

America’s Unusual Single-Item Restaurants

“What do you mean you only have baked potatoes?  Are you an Irish farmer?”

~New York Restaurant Patrons

hummus place

Since the turn of the century, the restaurant business in America has constantly evolved.  We don’t remember 1999 too well because alcohol and constant internet stimulation has pretty much decimated our ability to hold onto memories to a degree that would make people really sad and go, “Aww” if we were old instead of just young(ish) and irresponsible.  But, if memory serves (it doesn’t) back in 1999 people only ate at Taco Bells giving out Star Wars Episode 1:  The Phantom Menace action figures, and if you wanted to impress your date right out of her flannel shirt you’d take her to a nice French Bistro and try to tell yourself that the shear amounts of butter being used was enough to forgive the food for it’s French origins.

Since then, there’s been a foodie revolution in our country, which has brought us wonderful culinary delights as well as pretentious shit that makes us roll our eyes.  And one of these trends, for better or worse, is single-item eateries, restaurants that only serve one specific dish.  Sure, opening an eatery that only sells, say, overpriced baked potatoes might not be the most sound practice, but some places manage to find enough excitement in their ability to do one thing really well that they thrive.  Even if you can’t fathom how enough people could manage to support a place that solely exists to give you pudding.

But hey, if you’re in New York you might as well be doing something other than waiting in line at 4AM to get a fucking doughnut, so sure, we’ll help you out by telling you some of the more unique and unusual single-item restaurants out there.  Technically in America, but let’s be real, this concept totally spent the last 8 years radiating outwards from New York.

America’s Unusual Single-Item Restaurants

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The Five Spiciest Meals in America

“OH GOD IT BURNS GET IT OUT OF ME OH GOD JUST TAKE A KNIFE AND CUT IT OUT OF ME!”

~AffotD Food Critic John Goodman

 al gore breathing fire

If you do a quick Google search, you’ll find that many people outside of this country assume that Americans don’t like spicy food.  Ignoring the fact that American cuisine has been embracing spiciness with increasingly fanatical zeal for the past seven years or so, or that we are responsible for a little thing called Cajun food, cultures that embrace “flavorful” cuisine operate under the assumption that Americans were raised eating bland, lifeless food.  Of course, anyone who has ever stared in wide-eyed horror at the slew of fried foods state fairs have to offer knows that that America doesn’t have any problem doing insane, irresponsible things to our meals, and that line doesn’t stop at spiciness.

No, if America has one culinary trait that trumps all others, its our love of taking normal food and making it recklessly unhealthy or uncomfortable to eat.  There’s a reason why we had a show called Man vs. Food that literally consisted of, “Let’s take Adam Richman and make him eat impossible to eat things that restaurants actually sell to customers every day.”  So, yes, of course we love spicy food.  And not only does America like spicy food, we like stupidly spicy food.  Literally dozens of Americans will purchase chili peppers 10,000 times spicier than Tabasco sauce, and will film themselves eating them, because this is America goddamn it and besides, stomach lining grows back.  Right?

Naturally, AFFotD needed to put this myth of bland food to rest by showing you the spiciest dishes being served in America.  Some of you are going to immediately hunt down these dishes to eat them, and you will be so angry that you did that, and our staff will laugh so hard at your misery.  That’s only part of the reason why we’re doing this.  The rest is, you know, uh, spicy food is delicious and America does spicy right.

The Five Spiciest Meals in America

pepper on fire

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The History of Chicago-Style Pizza

“That’s not a pizza, it’s a damn casserole!  I feel strangely threatened when I see different versions of a food my city’s supposed to be known for!”

~New Yorkers

chicago style pizza

At its heart, pizza is just cheese, dough, and tomato sauce, topped with whatever additional ingredient you want.  Inherently, pizza exists to breed creativity and adaptivity.  In the hands of madmen and foreigners, this culinary freedom can be disastrous, but in the hands of true Americans, this can create an unhealthy, delicious American meal glorious enough to single-handedly keep additional-belt-hole-punchers in business.  One of the most glorious examples of this, of course, is the Chicago-style pizza.  Less of a pizza pie, and more of a pizza cake, Chicago’s deep dish pizza gives you as much fat, grease, and cheese as you’d expect to find from a city that’s primary gift to the realm of fine cooking involves hot dogs and roast beef dipped in its own juices.

So with a casual, “Get over it, yes, we get it, you guys are proud of your pizza, and you have good pizza places, but stop acting like you’ve done anything original to the style just because you use special tap water to make the crust” to our now-livid readers in New York, AFFotD is proud to present you with…

The History of Chicago-Style Pizza

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