The Making of a Restaurant

Friday, December 21, 2001

Jish found a story about the Blindekuh Restaurant in Zurich, Switzerland, where the dining room is completely dark. "Part attention-grabber, part disability rights platform, the mission of Blindekuh (Swiss German for 'blind man's bluff') is to show people just how much they take for granted their sense of sight, and what it might be like to do without it."

The bathrooms, however, are lighted. The story says this is a concession to the patrons, but it seems more of a concession to the janitorial staff.

I love it, especially how it elegantly nullifies the hobgoblin of presentation. If nobody can see their plates, nobody can see whether they've been plated well. I'll have to check this out if I pass through Zurich on my February trip.

We could start the world's first sensory-deprivation restaurant, a place where a person's focus is on nothing but how good their food tastes. No sight, no noise, no smell or touch but that of the food. How would it work? Perhaps we lay patrons in a float tank. Then we train our wait staff to move in silence and have them reach into the tanks and scoop food directly into the patrons' mouths. Does this make any sense at all?

Tuesday, December 18, 2001

I know you've been itching to talk back to us about all these crazy ideas, and now, thanks to the geniuses at DotComments, you can. If you read a post here that strikes an inspiration in your head -- or even if it drives you to strike a two-by-four on our head -- you may express yourself in the comments link beneath that post.

So go on now, speak up!

Monday, December 17, 2001

Mighty Bob, our resident librarian-in-training, read the following post on his librarian listserv and forwarded it to us as a YACMI suggestion:

"my favorite pub is right down the street from my apartment -- delaneys. they have this thing called 'The Mission.' you get this card with the 20+ beers they have on tap (and the stuff they have in the bottle) written out. i think there are 36 or so beers total. if you drink all of them (not in one sitting, of course), then you get a free t-shirt (which, oddly enough, one could buy for $15). i was definitely up for the challenge of the mission, and got to sample a lot of interesting things. zima included."

Foreseeing a long haul toward the acquisition of a liquor license, perhaps we could apply The Mission in a different manner. Take, for example, side dishes. We could make a name for ouselves by offering an impossibly large number of side dishes -- say, 75. Upon consumption of each different side dish, a customer would get that item crossed off her tally card. Anyone who holds a card showing 75 crosses would not only get a free t-shirt, but would get her face on our wall, thus earning the admiration of millions.

Of course, it wouldn't be a real mission without a real struggle. Among the collection of small dish delicacies, we'd have to throw in a few Zima-style zingers. Brussel sprouts come to mind. Anchovies. And the crowning acheivement: a big, steaming bowl of rocky mountain oysters. No ketchup allowed.
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