I’ve been watching a lot of Bob’s Burgers. A lot. Netflix recently added more episodes and I’ve been cycling through seasons one to three like it’s my job. Maybe even more dedication than my job. (Shh, don’t tell.) But what I keep coming back to is: “God damn it, it’s a fucking cartoon. Why can’t I drive over to the shore and walk into Bob’s Burgers!?”
As disappointed as I was, I wanted to start exploring what fictional restaurants DO exist. The one I know about for sure is Monk’s Cafe from Seinfeld. While it’s no Monk’s Cafe in Philly (an amazing Belgian restaurant with the most ridiculous craft beer list and amazing mussels), it’s an actual restaurant in New York called Tom’s Restaurant, serving up Greek-American fare on the Columbia University campus. (It’s also the subject of Suzanne Varga’s song “Tom’s Diner.”
(That should be stuck in your head for about a week.)
But that’s old news, right? So what else can we dig up?
Krusty Burger and Moe’s Tavern, famed eateries from The Simpsons can be found at Universal Studios Orlando as part of their Springfield USA attraction. They actually have an entire Fast Food Blvd that includes Cletus’ Chicken Shack and a Bumblebee Man’s Taco Truck as well as a photo opp with the Lard Lad’s Donuts boy.
As if making all of your Simpsons dreams come true WASN’T enough, they also have a complete Diagon Alley for all of your Harry Potter wishes. I’m not going to lie, I desperately want to go to this. I’ll stick to covering the restaurants, but holy shit, the whole thing sounds amazing. I definitely want to go to Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour and try the Butter Beer Ice Cream. But the main attraction there is the Leaky Cauldron which has lots of awesome English fare including Bangers & Mash, Fish & Chips, Lamb & Guinness Stew and several other things involving ampersands. What I would most definitely order though, is the Ploughman’s Lunch (bread, cheese and a Scotch egg) and their two signature beers, Dragon Scales and Wizard’s Brew as well as the Pumpkin Juice and Butter Beer. I’d definitely have to pee afterward … but still, I want to go to there!
While we’re on the topic of Amusement park restaurants: Disney… obvi. In Disneyland Paris, there’s a cute little Chez Remy from Ratatouille, that places you in a setting that makes you feel about the size of a rat. At the Magic Kingdom, in Orlando, the Be Our Guest restaurant gives you the illusion that you’re being fed right from the Beast’s (Beauty and the Beast) kitchen. At Disney’s Hollywood Studio’s there is a Pizza Planet. You know? From Toy Story (and practically every other Disney-Pixar film). This … THIS … is exciting. Yeah, there’s pizza. That’s fairly important here. But what I’m more excited about is the arcade that includes several claw machines. Just imagine all of those little toys crammed in there, eagerly awaiting their fate to ascend to their new homes.
Just as a side note, there’s also a restaurant at the Magic Kingdom called the Coral Reef. It’s supposed to evoke feelings of the Little Mermaid and Finding Nemo. I just want to note, it’s a seafood restaurant. What the fuck, Disney? That’s morbid, yo.
Can we move on from amusement parks? Please? Okay.
When Arrested Development came to Netflix for the new (fourth) season, they did a fun promotional event where the Bluth Frozen Banana Stand traveled about London and various U.S. cities. I really wish I had made it to one of these. They were even having surprise visits from various cast members throughout the tour.
Perhaps the most exciting (and current) news from all of this, is the future opening of the Krusty Krab, the famed employer of Spongebob Squarepants in Palenstine. You can check out construction progress on their Facebook page if you love the sponge so much you want to plan a visit. To all of our Palestinian readers, stop by when it opens and let us know how the Krabby Patty is!
Other restaurants I wish were real? Jack Rabbit Slims from Pulp Fiction. Los Pollos Hermanos from Breaking Bad. (Though, there IS a Foursquare check-in for it.) The Korova Milk Bar from A Clockwork Orange. (This actually used to exist, but has been gone for close to a decade.) Mooby’s from Clerks, etc. I’ve always wanted an Egg-a-Mooby Muffin. And Mr. Smiley’s from American Beauty … but mostly because I love Kevin Spacey so god damned much.
The best I can do for you guys, rather than buying you all plane tickets to Paris, Orlando and Palestine, is give you these recipes. Enjoy some Bluth Frozen Bananas and Los Pollos Hermanos Fried Chicken Sandwiches … compliments of yours truly.
- Chocolate chips (it’s good to go with quality chocolate for this, I get the Ghirardelli)
- Crushed peanuts, mini M&Ms, coconut, etc.
- Blue food coloring (for the “those are blue too” version)
- Plastic Wrap
- Skewers, short if you can find them
- A freezer
Peel. Cut your bananas in halves and stick a skewer in the flat end. Wrap each one in plastic wrap and then put them in a freezer bag.
Seal and freeze for several hours, or preferably, overnight.
After bananas are frozen, get ready to dunk them in shit. Melt your chocolate in a double boiler. (If you don’t have one, make one. Put a pan of water on the stove top with a smaller pan inside of it. Put the chocolate in the smaller pan.) Stir a lot.
Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Put your toppings in wide-mouthed bowls.
For the “Those Are Blue Too” version, mix a few drops of food coloring into the coconut.
When the chocolate is nice and melty, unwrap your bananas and dunk them. Let the extra chocolate drain off the tip, then either roll in your toppings or place directly on the wax paper without toppings.
Put in the fridge to dry the chocolate. Once they are dry, rewrap them in plastic wrap and keep them in the freezer till you’re ready to mister banana-grabber one.
They’ll make YOUR banana stand.
Southwest Chicken and Biscuit Sandwich
(makes 4 sandwiches)
(Recipe from Bacon and Legs)
For the biscuits
- 1/2 can refrigerated biscuit dough
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
For the chicken
- 4 chicken cutlets, pounded thin
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp sriracha
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp seasoned salt
- 1/2 tsp Mexican oregano
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- oil for frying
For the sandwich
- 4 slices colby jack cheese
- 4 slices of bacon, cooked up and cut in half
- 8 avocado slices
First, biscuit time. Pop that can. Shove 2 tbsp of shredded cheddar and a sprinkle of peppers on a biscuit, then work it into the dough. Shape it back to how it was, maybe a little flatter. Repeat.
Cook according to package.
Second, chicken time. In one bowl, mix your buttermilk, egg and sriracha. In another, mix your flour and seasonings. Dip it in the wet, then dip it in the dry. Dip it in the wet, then dip it in the dry. (Yes, I’m asking you to double-bread them.)
Preheat your oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Fry each cutlet for about 4-5 minutes on each side, or until cooked through and breading is brown and crispy. Set on paper towels to drain the oil.
Third, construction time. Slice your biscuits in half. Biscuit, chicken, cheese, bacon, avocado, biscuit.
A chicken and biscuit sandwich so good, it’ll blow your face off.
Fontina Turner, a food blogger and graphic designer from Philadelphia, makes classy-as-fuck comfort food and consumes an unhealthy amount of cheeses and craft beers. She can be found in the kitchen, at the bar, on Twitter or trying to make H. Jon Benjamin love her. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.