Thursday, July 10, 2014

Give Me A Side of Toast With That Toast



Through the years I’ve come up with lots of ideas for new restaurants.  I’m sure I’m not the only one.  (In fact, I’m positive I’m not the only one, because if nobody else besides me ever came up with ideas for new restaurants, and I’ve never opened up a restaurant, we’d literally have NO restaurants. And how sad would that be?)

As I mentioned in a previous blog post (click here for said post) I come up with lots of million-dollar ideas, but am just too lazy and unmotivated to actually execute them.  My restaurant ideas are no exception.  For example, a good 20 years ago I came up with an idea for a vegetarian fast food chain restaurant called Very Veggie.  As a vegetarian who’s just too lazy and unmotivated to cook (are you noticing a pattern here?) I thought it would be horribly convenient to roll into a drive through where I can say, “Give me a tofu burger on a whole wheat bun—hold the kale,” without getting nasty looks.  But two decades after the original idea occurred to me, I have not lifted one pinky to get my Very Veggie idea off the ground. (And that includes both my own pinkies and those belonging to others.)

The Very Veggie idea is so 1994, though, that I’m completely over it.  Now it’s time to move on to some other great restaurant ideas that could potentially make me a fortune, but I’ll never actually do anything about.  Recently, my wife and I had brunch at The Good Egg, an Arizona chain restaurant that specializes in breakfast items, specifically—as you’ve probably guessed—eggs.  They have many other items on their menu and, in fact, neither my wife nor I ordered eggs on this particular visit, but eggs are their main area of eggspertise.  Ha, ha!  (Don’t worry, I’ll turn myself in to the pun police as soon as I’m done writing this.)

As we ate our meal it occurred to me that there are chain restaurants devoted to most of the major breakfast foods.  In addition to The Good Egg, there’s IHOP for pancakes and Waffle House for waffles.  But as I pondered this phenomenon, I suddenly realized that there is no chain restaurant devoted to toast.  This is a market that must be tapped!

I would call this restaurant America’s Toast Wanted, and at this glorious eatery you would be able to get toast of any kind with any spread upon it that you could imagine. If a customer tells their waiter, “I’d like two pieces of wheat toast with cream cheese and a side of rye toast with margarine,” the waiter would not blink; he would simply take the order and deliver it promptly to the kitchen, where the chef would place the requested breads in some of the 300 toasters lining the walls.

You want a toasted sesame bagel with peanut butter on it?  We got it covered.  Pumpernickel toast with a schmear of orange marmalade?  Not a problem.  Cinnamon Toast Crunch?  Ah-ha!  You almost got us with that one, by trying to order cereal instead of toast.  Fortunately for you, it also occurred to me that there are no chain restaurants specifically devoted to cereals, so that’s on my radar, too.  It would be called Cereal Killers (have to credit my wife for that one) and at this establishment you could get every commercially available cereal known to man, as well as one known only to chimps.  (Don’t ask.)  You can also pour upon your cereal any milk that you desire—cow’s milk, goat’s milk, soy milk, rice milk, coconut milk.  If it exists in milk form we will have it in our kitchen. 

I’m sure by now everyone’s stomachs are rumbling as they consider the endless possibilities that toast and cereal restaurants have to offer.  Unfortunately, as I hope I’ve made crystal clear by now, I won’t be breaking ground on either of these restaurants any time soon.  So, if you want a slice of dinkelbrot toast with herb-lemon zest butter, or a bowl of Count Chocula with hemp milk, you’ll have to make it yourself.

Bon appetit!