4 Restaurants Where You'll Never, Ever, Get a Table

These are absolutely the hottest, trendiest eateries in America today — and nyah, nyah, nyah, you can't get in

4 Restaurants Where You'll Never, Ever, Get a Table
Wikimedia Commons/Guillaume Paumier

Me San Francisco, Calif.

Chef Thane Pompadoo is something special, a glorious creature not like the others.

"Some chefs have 'whims'," says the heartbreakingly handsome dreamboat. "I have divine inspiration. I mean that literally. God tells me what to cook, and he's great on the details. Just the other day, for instance, He said 'Why don't you dust those sand crabs with seaweed pollen?' 'Er, God,' I replied, 'There's no such thing as seaweed pollen.' There ensued the most tremendous racket, with a blinding flash of light. 'There is now,' he said proudly, pouring a heap of iodine-rich powder into my hand. 'Show-off,' I said with a smile, punching him familiarly on the shoulder. But I have to tell you, Michael Bauer positively swooned when he popped one of those polleny little critters into his mouth."

The Adonis-like head-turner pauses to look at himself in the mirror, then continues, "Of course, I could have figured out something just as good on my own, since, well, I am Thane Pompadoo."

Applicants for a seat at Me — those seats being plushly upholstered wingchairs silkscreened with portraits of Pompadoo made up as various famed culinary figures from the past — must write a 2,000-word essay explaining why they think they deserve to sample Pompadoo's ethereal specialties. Oh, and they must be really hot-looking. "I mean, why would you want to sit in a room with ugg-os?" asks the enchantingly chiseled hunk.


Tough Guy Spike's Chicago, Ill.

The sign on the front door sets the tone: "No Collarless Shirts, No Gang Tattoos, No So-Called Gluten Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, Diverticulitis, or Other Sissy Affectations." This relentlessly funky dive on the wrong side of the tracks — the side that's slipping into the Chicago River — offers little in the way of amenities. There are no chairs, just a chipped Formica counter stenciled with the legend "Do Not Lean." The utensils are cardboard, washed and reused until they're little more than pulp. The "bathrooms" are a row of old paint cans behind the dumpster out the back door.

Yet the small number of customers who successfully gain admittance — the ever-changing process might involve winning a leg-wrestling match with the proprietor's 150-pound Bouvier de Flandres, Fifi, and doing the foxtrot in hockey skates on a floor sloshed with lobster bisque — can't say enough about such specialties as the three-and-a-half-pound Choker, a patty of raw coarse-ground beef tongue slathered in peanut butter and blue cheese dressing concealed inside a loaf of Wonder Bread; or the spaghetti-with-white-clam-sauce spring rolls with pineapple aioli; the spicy catfish oatmeal with smoked snail eggs; or the ranch dressing milkshakes with Baco-bits and pickled chard. This is real food — or about as real as food gets at a place like this.


AUTHOR'S NOTE: I regret to inform any readers who are offended by my description of various aspects of these restaurants — or who have spent hours searching for them on Google, perhaps in the hopes of actually being able to sample seaweed pollen created to order by God or maybe leg-wrestle a Bouvier de Flandres — that the foregoing is a work of satire, meant to poke fun at certain trends in contemporary dining.   


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tepluken's picture

I would probably avoid these places. they are for weirdos, and the leisure class

seafoodexpert's picture

As a critic, freelance writer, son of a college English professor, all-out food fanatic and unforgiveable prankster, I loved this piece. Loved how it started semi-believable, and built from there. As I was reading, I thought after the first restaurant, "Well, I used to live in Manhattan. That's plausible." Second one, I was leery, third, "I smell bullshit!" Fourth was the coup de grace. You had me going there. Yes I agree with other poster, wish you had not ended with the disclaimer. With no fair warning of intent, I'm sure there would have been far more comments from gullible people about your fictitious places, and yes, hilarity would have ensued. God and seaweed pollen. Brilliant. I talked with a chef customer the other day who wanted to do a small appetizer of a mini bourbon-marinated lobster tail encased in a fresh mint paste as a take on a dish to complement the Kentucky Derby's mint julep. Whatever, Chef. Just sign the invoice, sir.

reneehg's picture

Just saw the post where Anonymous Googled to see how goodlooking Thane was and I fell out laughing out loud. Too funny.

reneehg's picture

You had me reading with my eyebrows up, but you got me. Very clever.


This is confusing because it's not true but it's also not funny like humor usually is.


Sorry but you ruin the whole thing by putting the disclaimer in about it "being a satire". Isnt the whole point of "the satire" that it is lost on the readers who dont get it? That's like " The Onion" proclaiming itself on the masthead. Lost all your cool.

666katwoman's picture

Chunkie's Corner sounded cool...


Really, are people that dumb that they didn't get the joke? [sigh]

rbilleaud's picture

Alright, you had me going there right up til the end. Truth is, with some of the weird s*** out there, it wouldn't surprise me at all to see something like this actually come about. Exclusivity makes people do crazy stuff.

drie313's picture



Clever. I sat here the whole time saying to myself, "No way. There's just no way. Please tell me this is a joke."

BILL PULK's picture


jucic13's picture

I just assume you didn't actually want to go out and do research on restaurants too difficult for you to get into without the month wait list.
Well, as long as you still have a job. Kudos.


Was this supposed to get us to care?



How stupidly pretentious!! Come on....people need to eat, true. But to stand subservient, hoping to taste some liver thingie?? Eat properly, enjoy it and stop being so full of both yourself and where you eat! For crying out loud!

snugglesaurus's picture

I was about to go batsht crazy about the last one. So called Tough Guy wasn't gonna be so tough after I unleased my gluten free muscles on him. :)

dc0wb0y's picture

I didn't read the article. You probably ask why. Well, if I can't get in, why read about them!!!


Why can't I read any of the 302 comments? Major fail.


There is no better way to ensure that NO ONE will return to your site than to have auto-starting videos hidden at the bottom of the page. This isn't MySpace and only pathetic websites still do it in 2011.

Welcome to my Hosts file. Along with all the other worthless annoying sites that I don't want to even ACCIDENTALLY visit via a link.


I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that that was funny.


What an incredible writeup! I bought it hook, line and sinker until I read the disclaimer. I actually googled Thane Pompadoo to see how good-looking he is!!

The author really has the pulse of the times - so many ridiculous 'concepts' have come out in fine dining recently that this story is all to believable.

Bravo, for having the self awareness to mock the more ridiculous aspects of your own business and the writing talent to execute the satire so well!


Well...this just wasn't a very good article was it?


And you wonder why some of the so called 99% are unemployed.


Is this crap supposed to be funny?
In any case, Yahoo apparently doesn't get it either, because they put it on their front page as a real article.


I got your point and I couldn't agree more.

Nightmary32's picture

So glad to see that those restaurants were a spoof...had be going for a few !!!

bubbles's picture

Thank God for the followup. I was thinking "who the heck would want to eat at any of theses places?". Thanks for the laugh.




Is this article funny?



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