Many of my fondest memories have been enjoying unique restaurant experiences. America is a melting pot. Our melting of cultures into a society all our own is on a particularly vivid display when we look around the country for one-of-a-kind dining experiences. It’s when “eating” is more than just about sustenance.
From the decor to the presentation to the service, those who prefer spending their time and money at a restaurant that tantalizes the senses and ambience that takes the breath away will find these options bucket-list worthy:
- Casa Bonita ~ Denver, Colorado. This restaurant has a distinctive Mexican theme but with a Disneyland-like twist. You’ll be dining in the company of a 30-foot waterfall, strolling mariachi bands, fire jugglers, magicians and cave divers. It will be an evening out you won’t soon forget.
- The Safe House ~ Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Here, you’ll enter the spy thriller world of James Bond. You’ll need a password to get in, but don’t panic if you don’t have it. You may also waddle like a penguin to gain admittance. You’ll dine on such culinary fare as the Cuban Missile Crisis and Agent Provocateur Steak Sandwich.
- Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant & Butik ~ Sister Bay, Wisconsin. Rumor has it the food here comprises authentic Swedish delights cooked up by the Swedish family who owns it. If the food doesn’t convince you, the goats on the grass-covered roof will. I’ve never dined underneath grazing animals before, but I can’t wait.
- Heart Attack Grill ~ Las Vegas, Nevada. This restaurant lives up to its name. With menu choices such as Bypass Burgers and Flatliner Fries, you can literally pick a killer meal. I’m planning on a nurse wheeling me to my car after I finish the iconic 8,000-calorie Quadruple Bypass burger.
- Bors Hede Inne ~ Carnation, Washington. If you’re looking for an evening of immersion in décor, ambience and cuisine from the Middle Ages, this is the place for you. Dining here means you’re going totally medieval, including foregoing your cellphone and camera for the evening. No Middle Ages selfies here!
- Forbes Island ~ San Francisco Bay, California. Get your sea legs in shape for dining at this floating island in Sea Lion Harbor. I’m looking forward to dining on American seafood while enjoying views of Alcatraz and the sunbathing sea lions in the harbor. I may even have a few drinks at the underwater bar.
Dining out in America can be anything but boring! Take advantage of the many strange places to grab a bite around the country and let me know where you went and what you thought! Cent’anni!
Brandon Vallorani is a practiced entrepreneur and accomplished CEO, author of The Wolves and the Mandolin (ForbesBooks; 2017), and third generation Italian-American.
Founder of a media conglomerate recognized on the Inc. 5000 for five consecutive years, Brandon sold to a colleague in the business, and has more recently shifted focus to his other entrepreneurial endeavors.
Vallorani graduated from West Virginia University with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Graphic Design, and began his career in the non-profit sector. He quickly rose through the ranks to become Executive Vice President in a few short years, simultaneously earning his Master of Business Administration from Thomas More College.
He lives in Metro-Atlanta, with his wife with whom he shares seven children, a son-in-law, and a grandson. In his free time, Brandon enjoys playing in casinos around the country, his three dogs, and learning Italian.