It is easier to get into the Spotted Pig, a restaurant that has won multiple James Beard Awards, than the Spotted Cheetah, a restaurant that incorporates Cheetos into all its dishes, including the desserts. The snack food brand’s pop-up restaurant, helmed by Food Network star Anne Burrell, has more than 1,000 people on its wait-list. The eatery opened Tuesday and closes on Thursday.
The news that so many people are desperate to pay up to $22 for menu items like Cheetos-crusted chicken Milanese — a dish that sounds like the brainchild of an incredibly capable stoner — is both confusing and unsurprising, which makes it like every other crazy thing that’s happened so far in 2017.
The restaurant, at 211 West Broadway in New York, announced its opening last week. Within six hours, all of the 300 spots were gone, reported the Wall Street Journal. Burrell, who was tasked with creating the menu (was Guy Fieri too busy?), stacked it with Cheetos-infused comfort food favorites, like “Flamin’ Hot and White Cheddar Mac n’ Cheetos,” “Purrfectly Fried Green Tomatoes” and “White Cheddar Cheetos and Cheetos Sweetos Apple Crepes.” The mac’n’Cheetos has been among the most popular dishes so far, says Joan Cetera, senior director of public relations for PepsiCo, which owns Cheetos manufacturer Frito-Lay.
The restaurant has Cheeto-print wallpaper and paintings of Chester, the Cheetos mascot. No word on whether they hand out wet naps for the orange dust.
Tuesday night’s opening party featured an orange carpet, and Mariah Carey and La La Anthony were among the celebrities who attended. And, in an odd turn of events, firetrucks showed up at the restaurant, prompting Twitter jokes about how the Cheetos were “Dangerously Cheesy” and “too Flamin’ Hot.” “The firetrucks were not a promotional stunt,” said Cetera. “All we were told was that they were responding to a call they’d received.”
As the wait-list has grown, Frito-Lay has been rushing to meet the demand: It added an additional 10 seats at the bar, Cetera told The Post, which means 40 people were taken off the wait-list. And it hints that the pop-up could be extended: “At this time, the Cheetos team is seeing how the remaining two days of the pop-up opening go and then they’ll evaluate how the program could continue,” wrote Cetera in an email.
Still: You’re probably not going to get a chance to eat at the Cheetos restaurant. And that’s a fact that some people might find hard to swallow.
But Cheetos lovers who don’t live in New York can still get a taste of Burrell’s creations. Cheetos released a downloadable cookbook that includes 11 recipes — including those mac’n’Cheetos.
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