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Furor over Fuhrer Food
August 21, 2006 8:38 AM   Subscribe

Furor over Fuhrer Food But it's not the only Hitler-themed restaurant. Taipei had the Prison restaurant with Concentration Camp murals, and Korea had the infamous 1939 Hitler Bar.

Not that the U.S. was spared. Colorado had a Mao-themed eatery.
posted by FeldBum (69 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
I'm not offended.

So, who wants to go to Benito's for pizza?
posted by jonmc at 8:42 AM on August 21, 2006


Is their menu Kosher?
posted by justkevin at 8:43 AM on August 21, 2006


In Philly, we have a place called "Pol Pot's Melting Pot". It's a vegetarian fondue place.
posted by Mister_A at 8:48 AM on August 21, 2006


and if you want Pol Pot noodles, the broth comes from boiled skulls
posted by matteo at 8:59 AM on August 21, 2006


As long as they don't dictate what you can eat.
posted by parmanparman at 9:04 AM on August 21, 2006


Mussolini's House Of Pasta: We're Fascist About Freshness!
posted by jonmc at 9:06 AM on August 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


No soup for YOU!
posted by owhydididoit at 9:07 AM on August 21, 2006


The YTMND Carry In, Carry Out Karaoke Bar: There's not even doom music on our jukebox.
posted by Smart Dalek at 9:12 AM on August 21, 2006


Idi Amin's "Come on In!" Family Restaurant: Excellent Food, Healthy for Life, VC, DSO, MC, All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Sea, Cuisine of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular
posted by brain_drain at 9:16 AM on August 21, 2006


From the article: “We are not promoting Hitler. But we want to tell people we are different in the way he was different.”

Well, I guess it's a total success then.

Also, you know who was different? That's right. Hitler.



Oh, wait.

Crap.
posted by GuyZero at 9:18 AM on August 21, 2006


In a military heavy district on the outskirts of Beijing, I went to a Mao themed Hunan restaurant devoid of any intentional irony whatsoever. There was cultural revolution kitch everywhere, and even a Confucian Mao shrine, one of the most bizzare things I saw in China. I've still got the Mao pin the Red Guard uniformed waitress gave me. The only patrons in the place besides our table were in uniform. It was pretty creepy. We were given a tour of the place, complete with signed prints of Mao's poetry. Being newly arrived in China at the time, it shocked me to see the Cult of Mao alive and well, at least among Hunanese restauranteurs.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 9:23 AM on August 21, 2006


Idi Amin's "Come on In!" Family Restaurant:

How about a Manson Family Restaurant? The signature dish would be Political Piggy Glazed Pork Chops served with Garden Salad Tossed Helter Skelter.
posted by jonmc at 9:23 AM on August 21, 2006


Knowing that Hitler was a vegetarian, I'm equipped to Godwinize every PETA type I meet.
posted by pax digita at 9:24 AM on August 21, 2006


Now over in Jersey there's a place called "Donner's Cafe", with suspicious sounding dishes, including:
Ladyfingers
Blood pudding
Shoulder steak
Blanc mange
Real human head on a stick
Tofu
posted by Mister_A at 9:29 AM on August 21, 2006


Knowing that Hitler was a vegetarian

He wasn't.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:32 AM on August 21, 2006


You'll find our diet-conscious menu under "Gauleiter"…
(Eat a full meal with Fuhrer calories!)
Try dining al fresco on our Berschtes-garden patio
We make our hamburgers out of… well, Hamburgers…
And for our friends of the * ahem * Hebrew persuasion, well just wait until you get a taste of our blintzkriegs!
(Arrive faster than lightning or you don't pay!)
posted by Mike D at 9:40 AM on August 21, 2006


You know who else wasn't a vegetarian?
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:43 AM on August 21, 2006


Knowing that Hitler was a vegetarian, I'm equipped to Godwinize every PETA type I meet.

... the joke here being not just your interesting use of the word "knowing," but the fact that discussions are Godwinized, not people. If anything, you're Godwinizing yourself.

posted by soyjoy at 10:00 AM on August 21, 2006


Chinese country-style cooking with red memories.

Mao loved to say, "Wei renmin fuwu!" - so here we say the same, "Serve the people!"

Mao's Kitchen, Venice, CA.
posted by dontoine at 10:06 AM on August 21, 2006


Meh, the People's Republik in Cambridge, Mass. has been around for years.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 10:06 AM on August 21, 2006


I was just about to link to Mao's Kitchen, which is a fine restaurant indeed.
posted by the_bone at 10:12 AM on August 21, 2006


brain_drain writes "Idi Amin's 'Come on In!' Family Restaurant"

Good food, good people (and vice-versa)!
posted by clevershark at 10:16 AM on August 21, 2006


University of Colorado's very own Alferd Packer Grill
posted by hortense at 10:19 AM on August 21, 2006


A huge portrait of a stern-looking Füehrer greets visitors at the door.

Not to be a grammar Nazi, but it should be either Fuehrer or Führer.
posted by MikeKD at 10:27 AM on August 21, 2006


“We are not promoting Hitler. But we want to tell people we are different in the way he was different.”

So...the restaurant is responsible for the genocide of millions of innocent people...?! What...?
posted by tastybrains at 10:35 AM on August 21, 2006


Speaking of Taipei, we used to have the Hitler cafe up in Danshui. Here's a picture I took of it. It's gone now.
posted by Poagao at 10:35 AM on August 21, 2006


Another Mao place in Glasgow. It offers fusion cuisine amidst ironic pictures of the great leader.

It is rubbish though [and its a flash site].

Can we see how many eateries called Mao there are in the world? He seems quite popular on the dictator-themed restaurant scale.
posted by ClanvidHorse at 10:47 AM on August 21, 2006


Hey Poagao, have you seen any pictures of Jacky Wu's concentration camp restaurant online? I could swear I saw some in the Taipei Times, but now I can't find them.
posted by jiawen at 10:53 AM on August 21, 2006


i hope the authorities inspect their ovens very carefully ...
posted by pyramid termite at 10:59 AM on August 21, 2006


The wikipedia link above has a great "see also" -- Reductio_ad_Hitlerum
posted by undule at 11:01 AM on August 21, 2006


No, I haven't seen Jacky Wu's restaurant. I don't generally go looking for this kind of thing. I just happened to walk by the Hitler Cafe one day and took that picture.
posted by Poagao at 11:06 AM on August 21, 2006


Thank you very much, XQUZYPHYR, and thank you very little, John Toland.

And....soyjoy....acknowledged. (hangs head in shame)
posted by pax digita at 11:06 AM on August 21, 2006


“This place is not about wars or crimes, but where people come to relax and enjoy a meal”

Food, volksgemeinschaft and fun!
posted by kosem at 11:17 AM on August 21, 2006


a nice chianti, anyone?
posted by nickyskye at 11:18 AM on August 21, 2006


I wonder if the proprietors would be so sanguine about a restaurant that played with a "War of 1857" (Sepoy Mutiny) or "Amritsar Massacre" theme.

(hey look, my menu is also a diorama of people getting machinegunned by the British! Cool!)

I suspect not.
posted by aramaic at 11:19 AM on August 21, 2006


That idea is about as tasteful as opening a Jeffrey Dahmer-themed restaurant... I don't think anyone would argue that he was not, you know, "different".
posted by clevershark at 11:20 AM on August 21, 2006


I hear they're planning to expand with new eateries planned for Czechoslovakia, Poland, Belgium, France... it's all part of their new advertizing blitz.
posted by clevershark at 11:22 AM on August 21, 2006


Reductio ad Hitlerum ad absurdum.
posted by Iridic at 11:31 AM on August 21, 2006


“We are not promoting Hitler. But we want to tell people we are different in the way he was different.”

Hitler's Cross - the only restaurant in Mumbai to take over half of Europe, wage war with the US, and kill 6 million Jews.
posted by Afroblanco at 11:35 AM on August 21, 2006


Reservations required for einsatzgruppen of six or more.
posted by kosem at 11:40 AM on August 21, 2006


(hey look, my menu is also a diorama of people getting machinegunned by the British! Cool!)

I suspect not.


Well said. I think that restaurant name and theme is an outrage and totally unacceptable Literally disgusting and I can't imagine who'd find it appetising.

In Bombay they also have a community of powerful and influential Parsis (of the Zoroastrian faith), the Field Marshall of India, Sam Manekshaw, is Parsi, for example. The Parsi death ritual is to let vultures eat the corpse. I can only imagine if some restaurant made fun of that in some nasty way.

Once, an elderly Indian gentleman told me proudly that India was the one country that never persecuted the Jews.

Interesting book, Burnt Bread and Chutney: Growing Up Between Cultures--A Memoir of an Indian Jewish Girl.
posted by nickyskye at 11:44 AM on August 21, 2006


That's a good book, nickyskye. The Jews of India are not too well known, but their history and traditions are fascinating.

This restaurant and things like it are funny to me (in a slackjawed way) because the idea of Hilter qua abstraction is, to me, itself an abstraction. I'm afraid that this type of decontextualized nonsense will ultimately be the case in places where Hitler never was, and very definitely should never be just a curious and distant bad guy.
posted by kosem at 11:51 AM on August 21, 2006


Now over in Jersey there's a place called "Donner's Cafe", with suspicious sounding dishes.

Dirty basserds stole my idear!

[Calling out reservations] "Donner, party was ate?"
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:02 PM on August 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


decontextualized nonsense

Yeah, but the restaurant owner is banking on the shock appeal. The context is people know it's wrong. India was, in my experience, the one place on the planet where people's culture and faith were generally respected, even when there were deep differences. This is not to say there have not been awful conflicts about faiths in India. But blatant, materialistic mud slinging, like using Hitler for a restaurant name, is something I never saw in India and I think it's sad.

I can only imagine they wanted to name the restaurant Swastika and somebody said no, that's not pc and then somebody got the idiot idea of making a sort of Producers twist and turning it into a Hitler theme. Who knows? However it was thought up, it's just not a decent idea by any means.
posted by nickyskye at 12:05 PM on August 21, 2006


Arbeit machst French Frei
posted by zorro astor at 12:38 PM on August 21, 2006


French Frei

That's naughty, zorro astor (cool name :)
posted by nickyskye at 12:49 PM on August 21, 2006


Yeah, the wurst idea in a while...
posted by pax digita at 12:54 PM on August 21, 2006


nickyskye writes "I can only imagine they wanted to name the restaurant Swastika and somebody said no, that's not pc"

I doubt it. Swastikas are a common graph in the Far East, particularly on temples.
posted by clevershark at 12:58 PM on August 21, 2006


something tells me the president of iran is behind this.
posted by bernard@knowmore at 1:07 PM on August 21, 2006


That's what I meant. That swastikas are acceptable images in the East but not politically correct in the West. So maybe the restaurant owner decided to make it totally not pc as some kind of misguided joke?
posted by nickyskye at 1:11 PM on August 21, 2006


There was a restaurant in Oakland next to the freeway--I think it had previously been a 24 hour coffee shop--and the new owners reopened it as "Sophie's Choice", meaning, I guess, that the menu was chosen by a chef named Sophie. I'm pretty sure they had no idea about the William Styron novel, or the movie, in which the Polish woman Sophie is forced by the nazis to choose which of her two children would be shot. Pie, anyone?
posted by tula at 1:12 PM on August 21, 2006


BTW, they used to have porn videos in the restrooms at Mao. That turned out to be even more offensive that dining under a giant portrait of Mao, so they phased that out.
posted by kozad at 1:37 PM on August 21, 2006


How can a story like this not have photos? Surely somebody out there has some.
posted by well_balanced at 1:52 PM on August 21, 2006


In Shenzhen, Guangdong, China, there's a Cultural Revolution themed restaurant, serving all the great dishes to come out of poverty and class struggle, like assorted gruels and boiled leafy vegetables. Given that the people of the mainland really hate what happened during the cultural revolution, it's sort of surprising that they're not offended by waiters dressed like red guard.
posted by taschenrechner at 3:00 PM on August 21, 2006


brain_drain writes "Idi Amin's 'Come on In!' Family Restaurant"

clevershark adds "Good food, good people (and vice-versa)!"


Must be around the corner from "Emperor Bokassa's Friendly Eatery", I presume.
posted by Skeptic at 3:13 PM on August 21, 2006


ClanvidHorse said 'Another Mao place in Glasgow.'

And there's Stavka here too. It has a Russian theme. The club/bar area on the ground floor is Soviet-themed and there's an imperially-themed restaurant, too. Which is in the cellar. Unbelievable.

The pizzas are named after Soviet leaders. I'd recommend the Kruschev - cherry tomatos, rocket and parmesan (obviously, what else would be on a Kruschev pizza?!)
posted by jack_mo at 4:38 PM on August 21, 2006


Skeptic writes "Must be around the corner from 'Emperor Bokassa's Friendly Eatery', I presume."

I can imagine it now -- "Bring a friend for dinner!"
posted by clevershark at 6:41 PM on August 21, 2006


Or how about the mock-cartoon eatery: "Eat at Joe Stalin's". Today's special -- there's food!
posted by clevershark at 6:45 PM on August 21, 2006


Taschenrechner, are you serious? What is the appeal of terrible food in a terrible setting? At least the restaurant I went to had good Hunan food.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 7:24 PM on August 21, 2006


Jeez, the rest of the world is so interesting. In Providence, all we have is Cuban Revolution.
posted by jwest at 7:28 PM on August 21, 2006


aramaic : "I wonder if the proprietors would be so sanguine about a restaurant that played with a 'War of 1857' (Sepoy Mutiny) or 'Amritsar Massacre' theme.

...

I suspect not."


Obviously not. No one is pretending otherwise. That's not exactly an insight.

"Bob wants to turn down thermostat because he prefers the cold. Alice wants to turn thermostat up because she prefers the heat."
"I wonder if Bob would want to turn down the thermostat so much if he prefered the heat? I suspect not."

So, yes, people who don't find things offensive because they don't personally or culturally relate to them are likely to find things offensive that they personally or culturally relate to.
posted by Bugbread at 9:50 PM on August 21, 2006


The irony, of course, is that Bombay has the largest Jewish population in India (unless you count those folks in Mizoram and Manipur).

For the record, really wish they'd shut the restaurant down and fast; I'm still okay with an ostalgie themed restaurant, or even, a British-colonial-style restaurant, but a Nazi-themed restaurant is just too awkward to exist.

aramaic: I don't know if this counts, but there is a popular Indian-American/Canadian blog called Sepia Mutiny.

nickyskye: You probably know this, but still bears to point out:- the "good" (Asian) swastika is an inversion of the Nazi one.
posted by the cydonian at 2:34 AM on August 22, 2006


nickyskye: You probably know this, but still bears to point out:- the "good" (Asian) swastika is an inversion of the Nazi one.

I always point that out - it's just too bad I didn't get a chance to explain it to the person (or people, I guess) who keyed one on my car.
posted by FeldBum at 12:06 PM on August 22, 2006


Bugbread: That the proprietors are possibly ignorant does not absolve them of that ignorance (although I doubt they are actually ignorant).

Would I be blameless if I opened a Rape of Nanking restaurant? After all, the concept of a raped-to-death-baby-shake doesn't offend me, since nobody from my culture was involved. Right? I mean, it's just the filthy chinese that suffered, and besides it's all in good fun! Good times had by all, please feel free to stop by and get your picture taken with the giant cutout of General Iwane Matsui!

No, I wouldn't be blameless. We're not talking about knock-knock jokes. I'd be a nasty fucker, just like the proprietors of this restaurant. Unlike humor, being a nasty fucker transcends cultural boundries.
posted by aramaic at 4:25 PM on August 22, 2006


On my trip to Taiwan, I found this:

posted by disillusioned at 6:21 PM on August 22, 2006


aramaic : "Bugbread: That the proprietors are possibly ignorant does not absolve them of that ignorance (although I doubt they are actually ignorant)."

No, it doesn't, and I didn't mean to imply that it did. It's just that you phrased your comment as if it were somehow an insightful comment, while it's not. Murder, for example, is bad, but saying "Pol Pot would probably feel a little different about murder if he were the one getting murdered" is true, but it's so obvious that it's awkward.
posted by Bugbread at 3:14 AM on August 23, 2006


Why don't I phrase it differently then: "do unto others as you would have done unto you"

...is that sufficiently non-insightful? Because it's exactly the point I was making. Of course Pol Pot would (probably) feel differently about murder were he the one dying -- that's the fricking point!
posted by aramaic at 6:03 AM on August 23, 2006


"Do unto others..." works for me.
posted by Bugbread at 7:21 AM on August 23, 2006


This is freaking me out! I went to The Jail in Taipei 7 years ago and I'm normally very sensitive to Nazi references ( Married to a German) Either it has changed since or I didn't notice, which is freaking me out as I was sober!
I took lots of photos and NONE of the Nazi references are there, I've checked.
I'm wondering did it start out as a "normal" Jail thing and then metamorphose?
posted by Wilder at 3:08 PM on August 28, 2006


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