Saturday, May 4, 2013


I’ve had mighty tasty meals in joints with names like…

Black Cat, Chicken Shak, Donut Diner, Forks, Eats, Grubbs, Mammy’s, Punk’s Place, Hook’s, Hoar House, Skeeters, Sloppy Joe’s, Terminal cafĂ© , Bearded Clam, Knife & Fork, Three-Spot Grill, Chat n Chew, Whistling Pig.

   And not-so-tasty meals in tight-ass tablecloth joints with names like Le Bon Repas, Bon Appetit,
Le Belle Cuisine, Auberge du Soleil, Legends, Par Excellence, Paradise, Parthenon, Penthouse, Pinnacle, Primo’s, Top of the World and House of Good Food.        

   So what’s in a name? Does a nifty moniker guarantee success or insure flopdom?

  • Would Cary Grant have made it big as Archibald Leach? Roy Rogers as Leonard Slye? Ice-T as Tracy Morrow, Francis Gumm as Judy Garland? Muddy Waters as McKinley Morgenfield? I don’t tink toe Buckwheat.
  • I mean how much 7-Up was sold before they nixed the original name, Lithiated Lemon? Trader Vic’s was first called Hinky Dinks.
  • Couldn’t give a piece of Pantagonian toothfish away til they renamed it Chilean Sea Bass.
  • Rose’ wine was dead as Nehru suits before they called it blush.
  • Order snow crab and you might get toad crab, just as good but not such a euphonious appellation.
  • Lake trout ain’t trout and has never been near a lake, it’s silver hake from the ocean. Orange roughy useta be call slime head.
  • How many hifulters could actually fork a mouthful of pig thymus glands into their mouth if some clever cook hadn’t re-named it sweetbreads?
  • Order marsh rabbit in Baltimore and you’re gonna get muskrat.
  • I ordered spotted dick in Europe just to hear myself say it and I always picked Drop-Your-Drawers-and-Run chili at a local cook-off.
  • How many shirts would you wear with Ralph Lifshitz logo’d on the front?

Lifshitz is Ralphee Lauren’s real name.