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April 17, 2014

Lori Brothers: Play with names — not with your food

NEW CASTLE — Do you remember being told, “don’t play with your food” when you were a child?

Or maybe you’ve said this to your own children or grandchildren. I’ve heard stories about kids slipping food under the table to the dog or stuffing Brussels sprouts into their pockets to get out of the pain of eating them.

I know adults who still push the food around on their plate to make it look like they ate some of it, when they’ve had no intention of eating.

But if we put the idea of playing with food into a new light, there is a lot of creative play on words that have produced interesting restaurant names.

Please note that 25 percent of all the retail establishments in the U.S. are for eating or drinking. There are more than 650,000 restaurants in the U.S. Statistics estimate that Americans eat almost 30 percent of their meals away from home each year.

With the food industry booming, it’s a tall order for restaurant owners to get creative to call us to their tables. For example, Quaker Steak & Lube, is a play on Quaker State Motor Oil, originally from western Pennsylvania (Sharon). A full list of creative restaurant names can be found at   

Here is the list of my favorite amusing restaurant names broken down into categories. 

GENERAL:

Ally Gators Restaurant, Kissimmee, Fla.

Counter Culture, Portland, Ore., and Santa Fe, N.M. (sandwich shops serving ethnic food)

Custards Last Stand, Boulder Dam, Nev. (founded in 1946, it serves soft ice cream)

Pizzadelic, Montreal, Quebec

Sub Contractor, Pompano Beach, Fla.

Too Good Eggs, Margate, Fla.

BRAND & TRADE

NAME PUNS


Barnum and Bagel (chain)

First Federal Frank & Crust, St. Louis, Mo.

Snacks Fifth Avenue (chain)

COFFEE HOUSES

Brew Ha Ha, Phoenix, Ariz.

Common Grounds, Syracuse, N.Y.

Espresso Yourself, Juneau, Alaska

Spill the Beans Espresso Cafe, Sheboygan, Wisc.

HOT DOGS:

Bob’s Barkers, Syracuse, N.Y.

Franks A Lot, East Dundee, Ill.

Franks for the Memories, Mundelein, Ill.

Frank n Stein (chain)

Tail o the Pup, Los Angeles area, Calif.

Wiener Take All, Buffalo Grove, Ill.

The Wieners Circle, Chicago, Ill.

ASIAN:

Once Upon a Thai, Chicago, Ill.

Thai Foon, San Diego, Calif., and Newton, New South Wales, Australia

Thai Tanic, Sydney, Australia

Wok n Roll (chain)

Food Trivia and Facts states that the most popular day to eat out in the U.S. is Saturday. Second is Friday, third is Sunday. Monday is the slowest day for restaurants.

I remind you, keep an eye on your calories and fat content if you go out to eat, then have some fun — but please don’t play with your food.

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