Seeing Double – Russian Restaurant Only Hires Sets of Identical Twins as Staff

A restaurant owner in Moscow promises you will have such a great time in his establishment that you are going to see double, not because of the strong vodka, but because the staff is made up exclusively of identical twin brothers and sisters.

Aptly called Twin Stars, the Russian restaurant employs only twin bartenders and wait staff as a gimmick to attract more customers and prides itself on being the only such restaurant in the world. Alexei Khodorovsky, the owner of Twin Stars, says he was inspired by a 1960s movie where a girl finds herself in a parallel universe and discovers there’s another version of her – her twin. The idea seems fun and both the customers and the twin staff say they’ve enjoyed the experience thus far. “We worked as barmen before this summer in a different establishment. It was an internship for us,” Artyem, who works with his identical brother Roman at the bar, says. We really liked that internship. That’s why we decided this profession suits us and we came here to work.” Finding people like Artyem and Roman was a true challenge. Identical pairs with experience working in a restaurant were very hard to track down, but the effort was worthwhile because as Nika, another member of the unique staff, says “One pair (of twins) is already fun – when there are two, it’s even more fun.”

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No Talking Allowed During New York Restaurant’s Silent Dining Experience

Do you remember how you always had to be quiet at the dinner table when you were young but never understood why? Now that you’re all grown up, with children of your own, you probably wish you could have just one more of those quiet dinners. If quiet is what you seek, you’re in luck, as now you can enjoy a four-course meal in complete silence at the Eat restaurant in Greenpoint, Brooklyn where you have to be quiet and enjoy the food, whether you like it or not.

Nicholas Nauman, head chef and curator of the silent-dinner experience, got the idea for the event during a trip to India where he admired the Buddhist monks having their breakfast every morning without uttering a word. In a competing market where restaurant owners are coming up with the most unusual concepts to attract customers – such as dining in pitch-dark, the 28-year-old thought this idea would gain popularity. “It’s just an opportunity to enjoy food in a way you might not have otherwise,” he says. This way, he hopes to “reconfigure the relationship between a space and food” by forcing customers to focus on their plates rather than on the countless distractions that occur while sitting at the dinner table.

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Danish Restaurant Serves Dishes Made with Food Thrown Away by Supermarkets

A new Danish restaurant called “Rub og Stub” is offering patrons dishes cooked with ingredients supermarkets throw away, hoping to reduce food waste and raise money for charity.  According to Sophie Sales, the co-founder of the restaurant “Too much food is thrown away in Denmark, and we wanted to do something about it.” So far, the restaurant has been able to offer “everything from lamb chops and duck breast, to big bags of grapes and dairy products,” Sales explains, courtesy of two supermarket chains belonging to Coop Danmark – the country’s biggest grocery retailer.

The idea for Rub og Stub came from Denmark’s “freegans”, which are better known as dumpster divers. In an attempt to reduce food waste, these people look through trash and consume the edible morsels they find. The ingenious team thought that it would be very good to use this unconventional idea for their restaurant.The tendency to look for the freshest, most beautiful produce has a real impact on the way supermarkets do business, forcing vendors to throw out food that might not look flawless but is still safe to eat. According to Businessweek, in 2012 Americans threw out the equivalent of about $180 billion” worth of food — 8 percent more than in 2008, the last time the USDA calculated the total value of food loss from households, supermarkets, restaurants, and other food-service providers. As Sales and her team are very interested in “food, sustainability and modern consumer society,” this matter is of utmost importance to them.

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Solo Per Due – World’s Smallest Restaurant Only Seats Two People at a Time

If you’re searching for the most private restaurant dining experience possible, look no further than Solo Per Due, a small ristorante in Vacone, Italy, that only features one table and two chairs.

Aptly named “Solo Per Due”, Italian for “just for two”, the world’s smallest restaurant only accepts two people at a time. This unique feature makes the Italian restaurant a popular destination for tourists from all over the world, but especially for lovers. There are no queues, no turns and no waiting, but booking this place for a romantic dinner, especially on holidays like Valentine’s Day can be a real challenge. Only around 1,500 people get a chance to enjoy the unparalleled privacy Solo Per Due has to offer, and it’s this exclusivity that best explains the set price of €250 ($335) per person (not including wine and champagne). The idea behind this unique eatery is that guests enjoy true intimacy and get the full attention of the cooking and waiting staff, which guarantees an extra special dining experience.

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Chinese Get Their Feet Wet at Chongqing’s Unique River Restaurant

Aptly named the River Cafe, one restaurant in Chongqing, southern China, has come up with an ingenious way of attracting clients. Taking advantage of a nearby stream, the owners have set up dozens of tables straight on the water, offering patrons a cool escape from the unbearable heat.

With summer temperatures reaching over 40 degrees Celsius, the Chinese are always looking for new and enjoyable ways to cool off. The River Cafe, in Chongqing, is inviting locals and tourists to take off their shoes and grab a seat in the waters of a cooling stream. Since it’s too hot to serve their delicious food inside or in the sun, the managers of this popular venue have decided to set up most of the tables straight on the water, under the shade of trees. The pop-up restaurant now has more tables in the stream than it has on land, which can seat up to 300 people at a time. The water doesn’t look very clean, and you can see plastic bottles floating through the plastic tables, but it beats facing the scorching sun or going to overcrowded swimming pools like the famous Dead Sea of China.

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Dick’s Last Resort Restaurant – Would You Like Insults with That?

Dick’s Last Resort is an American restaurant chain renowned for its obnoxious waiting staff. Patrons can expect to be insulted, made fun of and put in uncomfortable situations, all in the name of fun, of course.

If you like greasy southern grub Dick’s Last Resort is the perfect eatery for you. They specialize in juicy steaks, ribs, burgers and fried chicken, all served in extra-large portions sure to satisfy the biggest appetite. But that’s not why so many people across America come here. They come to be abused by the surly, obnoxious staff. The first ever Dick’s Last Resort restaurant opened as a fine dining establishment, 28 years ago. There were too many of those around and the venture turned out to be a failure which led to bankruptcy. Determined to make it in the restaurant business, owner Steve Schiff gave it another shot, only this time he decided to “go sloppy”. The classy decor was replaced by a wacky one, and the uber-friendly staff became obnoxious and abusive with patrons. Believe it or not, the bizarre concept proved a winner, and today Dick’s Last Resort is a successful restaurant chain with 13 different locations across the United States.

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Japanese Cafeteria Offers Curious Eaters a Taste of Prison Food

In Japan, you don’t actually have to get thrown in jail to get a taste of prison food. The Prison cafeteria, in Abashiri, Hokkaido, specializes solely in food actually served inside Japanese prisons.

I’ve often wondered what jail food tastes like, but I was never curious enough to commit a crime and find out. Luckily, for like-minded Japanese, there is a place where they can sample prison-quality meals without having to give up their freedom. The Prison Cafeteria, at the Abashirishi Prison Museum, serves the same food that the genuine inmates of Abashirishi prison eat for lunch each day. As you can imagine, it’s pretty cheap, but the guys at RocketNews24, who visited the place and tried some of the courses on the menu say it’s also pretty tasty. I’ve heard some awful things about prison food, but it seems Japanese inmates have it pretty good. To be fair though, having to constantly keep an eye out for someone trying to shank you at lunch time, is just not worth trying this decent food in actual prison.

Prison-Cafeteria

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The Exchange Bar & Grill Where Prices Fluctuate Like Stocks

You don’t have to be an experienced stock trader to make a killing at the Exchange Bar & Grill in New York City, where prices of food and drink fluctuate according to the law of supply and demand.

The way it works is quite simple. According to the Exchange website, “The prices for your favorite drinks fluctuate depending on supply and demand. Watch a while when no one is ordering your favorite drink and snag it when the cost falls to unbelievable lows – or use your leverage to jack up the price of any cocktail, drink or shot for the whole bar.” Unlike the real stock market, insider trading isn’t illegal. You are welcome to make use of the tactic to catch the ‘market crash’, when every drink in the bar hits rock bottom. At times like this, beers are sold for as low as $2 to $4. Exchange can seat up to 60 people and atmosphere is like a nice lounge with dim lighting, HD screens and leather couches. The ‘ticker tape’ flashes the fluctuating menu prices in red lettering according to an algorithm, the secret to which even Steven Yee, an operating partner at Exchange, claims he doesn’t know. “The algorithm was created by the person who wrote the software, and the guy won’t even share it with me.” Yee also says that the ticker is just a fun feature, and that they are more about good food, fantastic staff, a bar and a great atmosphere.

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The Stinking Rose – San Francisco’s Garlic-Centered Restaurant

If your idea of a perfect meal is garlic, garlic and more garlic, The Stinking Rose restaurant should definitely be on your itinerary the next time you’re in San Francisco. Their motto – “we season our garlic with food” – says about everything you need to know about this place.

Located in the Italian North Beach district of San Francisco, The Stinking Rose is probably not the best place to go on a first date, at least not if you plan on getting to first base. The garlic-centered restaurant prides itself on serving over 3,000 pounds of the pungent seasoning every month, so you can expect almost every dish served here to be literally covered in it. It does have a few garlic-free foods on its Vampire Fare menu, for “those finding the herb’s folklore and aroma more appealing than its taste”, but if you’re not a fan of the culinary treat, there’s really no point in visiting. On the other hand, if you are a garlic enthusiast, all you have to do is “follow your nose” and it will lead you to the door of The Stinking Rose restaurant, on Columbus Avenue. As soon as you walk in, you’re greeted by the unmistakable smell of garlic and a gallery of garlic-inspired memorabilia covering the ceiling and walls of this unique establishment. Colorful garlic characters, a mechanical miniature garlic factory and the world’s longest garlic braid featuring 2,635 bulbs of garlic are just some of the whimsical decorations you can expect to find inside The Stinking Rose.

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Fangweng – China’s Cliff-Hanging Restaurant

Trekking in the mountains generally means having to survive on packaged food; but not if you’re in China. There’s a particular mountain in the Hubei Province, 12 km north of the city of Yichang, where you can actually experience fine-dining on the side of a cliff. Located in the Happy Valley of Xiling Gorge, the Fangweng hanging restaurant offers a breathtaking view of its natural surroundings to adventurers brave enough to set foot in it.

The dull brick building that acts as an entrance to the Fangweng Restaurant simply doesn’t do the place justice, and it’s only after you pass through it that you can give yourself a pat on the back for discovering such a unique venue to experience Chinese cuisine while admiring the natural beauty of Xiling Gorge. Unless you’re afraid of heights, in which case the 30-meter-long narrow concrete bridge hanging on the side of a vertical cliff overlooking the Yangtze River might just be your worse nightmare. Luckily, there’s a metal railing you can grab on to while you crawl your way to the actual restaurant. The bridge leads to a dining hall carved into the cliff-side, where most of the tables are set. Warmly lit by traditional lamps hanging from the ceiling and decorated with Chinese furnishings, the cave itself is a sight to behold, but the main attractions of Fangwen are the two concrete platforms extending away from the cliff, from where diners can see all the wonders of Happy Valley or watch bungee jumpers as they leap off a nearby bridge.

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Bon Appetit! London Public Toilet Gets Converted into a Gourmet Snack Bar

If you enjoy eating in the bathroom, you have to check out the Attendant Cafe, in London. Formerly a 19th century public restroom, the underground venue has recently been converted into a gourmet sandwich shop, but retains many of its original decors, including the urinals…

Rising property prices in London are becoming a big problem for would-be homeowners and businesses looking for commercial spaces. But for the few people who can see beyond the smelly history of the city’s abandoned public toilets, converting them into quirky restaurants and bars is proving to be a very cost-effective alternative. One such bold entrepreneur is Peter Tomlinson, who invested most of his savings into turning a 19th century men’s restroom on Foley Street into the Attendant snack bar. Don’t worry, it smells a lot better than it sounds, but patrons looking to enjoy a gourmet sandwich and a hot cup of coffee in this place might be a bit put off by some of the decor elements. For example, the old porcelain urinals have been re-purposed as table tops, so you’re basically enjoying your meals in the exact same place where Londoners used to…well, I wouldn’t want to spoil your appetite.

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China’s MMO Video Game-Inspired Restaurants

Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) video games are very popular in China. Combine that with the country’s culture of fakes and copycats and you get lots of unofficial merchandise and even venues  inspired by popular virtual reality universes. One such place was the World of Warcraft-themed restaurant on Chaoyang Road, in Beijing.

Opened in 2008, by a businessman who just happened to also be a huge fan of Blizzard’s fantasy universe, the unique World of Warcraft restaurant was designed entirely around the MMO and its original opening cinematic. Created as a “comfortable gathering place for fellow gamers”, this place had Warcraft-inspired decorations, dishes named after locations in the game and plasma screens showing live footage from the MMO world. The large banner above the entrance featured the game’s logo, an Alliance mage and a Horde warrior, as well as the crests of the two playable races. This would have probably been enough to attract the millions of Chinese fans who live and breathe World of Warcraft, but the entrepreneur really went all out trying to make the restaurant itself appeal to die-hard gamers.

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Mine Shaft Restaurant Takes Dining to a New Low

Ina bid to turn the idea of pop-up restaurants on its head, an award-winning Finish chef has opened a unique eaterie in an old mine shaft, 80 meters underground. Obviously, it’s called a “pop-down” restaurant.

“‘Pop-down’ is such a unique idea that I just had to do it,” chef Timo Linnamaki said on Monday, before his first clients descended to the bottom of the mine shaft in the town of Lohja, Finland.  “It’s great working down here because you are totally cut off from the world, so nothing distracts from the cooking.” The idea of preparing food so far below ground was all part of being close to the earth, but the talented cook admits this is by far the weirdest place he has ever prepared his dishes and that it would be very difficult to find something on par. The 115-year-old mine chosen as the location for this unique pop-down restaurant goes down to a depth of 380 meters where limestone is still mined, for the chemical industry. But that didn’t seem to scare off customers, as the 64-seat restaurant is already fully booked until September 29, when the crazy underground cooking experiment ends.

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Tang Du Zoology – Dining in China’s Indoor Natural Habitat

There are plenty of cool places to eat at in China, but one of the most amazing has to be the Tang Dousheng State Park, also known as Tang Du Zoology. This unique venue spreads over 1,600 square feet and features over 1,500 exotic plants and various animals.

I don’t know about you but I haven’t yet had the chance to dine in a place larger than three NFL football fields, so the Tang Dousheng State Park in Taiyuan, an industrial city about 400km from Beijing, sounds pretty special to me. But it’s not just the size that makes this place stand out from other food joints in China. Inaugurated in 2005, Tang Du Zoology was meant to be an indoor “natural habitat” full of exotic plants, rugged rockery and rare animals, where people could experience fine Chinese cuisine in a wild-like environment. Usually you have to go outside for a breath of fresh air, but in Taiyuan, you have to step inside this amazing restaurant to let your lungs know what they’ve been missing out on. The place also serves wide range of Chinese food styles (Guangdong, Shandong, Sichuan, Anhui) but the food is not the first reason to dine at Tang Dousheng State Park.

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Guolizhuang – Beijing’ Famous Penis Restaurant

They couldn’t pay me enough to try a bite of cooked animal genitalia, but there are people who would spend hundreds of dollars on delicacies like cooked yak penis or sheep gonads. These are the kind of foods that have made the Guolizhuang Restaurant so popular in China’s capital city.

According to a well-known saying, “Chinese eat anything with four legs, except tables. And everything that flies, except airplanes,” and the food served at the Guolizhuang Restaurant, in Beijing is proof of that. This bizarre establishment opened its gates in 2006, offering all kinds of dishes with animal genitalia as the main ingredient. Many Chinese believe animal penises increase male potency and do wonders for women’s skin, so word about the culinary wonders served at the restaurant on Dongsishitiao Street spread quickly, and the owners were happy to expand their business. There are now several franchises throughout Beijing and one in Atlanta’s Chinatown.

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