Trend Report: Grease Densposted on 4/4/13
The culinary world is churning with excitement over the latest craze to sweep the nation: grease dens. In the last few months several of these establishments have cropped up to meet the rising public demand for table-free dining. Creating this groundbreaking new environment for food consumption has turned the restaurant industry upside down, or more accurately, reclined on its generous backside.
The first grease den was opened by Beauregard St. Grimes, an entrepreneurial visionary from Louisiana who found himself at a loss when searching for hospitality options that accommodated his need for both unbridled food consumption and casual leisure. A light bulb went off in St. Grimes’ head one night when he found himself splayed out on his king size bed enjoying a bountiful feast of fried chicken, but was unable to reach the roll of paper towels on his nightstand, a whopping four feet away. “I wish these damned sheets was made of paper towels!” he bemoaned to no one in particular as he shook his grease-coated fist at the ceiling.
That very week St. Grimes took his mountain of cash, earned in the lucrative field of La-Z-Boy franchise ownership, and set about building his dream restaurant. A windowless cellar with a back alley entrance located off Bourbon Street in New Orleans provided the perfect setting for St. Grimes’ idyllic enclave. Padded platforms were installed and equipped with mattress sized rolls of Bounty paper towels. Utensils were strictly forbidden in this laid-back dining atmosphere, so guests simply have to use their hands to consume the fried foods that are brought to their “table” in six gallon plastic buckets. St. Grimes’ christened this revolutionary establishment “Greasetopia”.
Greasetopia became an overnight success and inspired many other restauranteurs to open their own grease dens in major cities all across the United States. This model for optimizing the experience of dining out has been able to transcend cultural and class boundaries. Impoverished downtown Detroit has seen an economic boon in the recently opened “Ate Pile” that serves deep-fried Twinkies on one-ply papertowel beds. More upscale endeavors, such as the trendy “ABSORB” in New York City’s bougie SoHo neighborhood, have also capitalized on the grease den phenomenon. Celebrities like Shia LaBeouf and James Franco frequent this hotspot to enjoy steaming buckets of Foie Gras while lounging on Tempurpedic mattresses covered in copious amounts of velvety-soft sheets made from 100% recycled paper towels.
These grease dens have become very popular for date nights, as they offer a dimly lit and relaxed setting in which couples can enjoy each others’ company. Such an intimate, sexually-charged environment can prove challenging for restaurant staff who have had to intervene when romantic rendezvous become a little too… amorous. Meanwhile, some grease den proprietors are welcoming such business and have begun renting out their curtained off paper towel beds by the hour and the night. Some patrons decide to take up residence in these oily lairs, happy to relinquish daylight and their careers, not unlike Lindsay Lohan’s extended stay at the Chateau Marmont.
Suffice to say, the grease den-izens of this country are not going anywhere any time soon.
Further Reading: Pandora’s Lunchbox: How Processed Food Took Over the American Meal