‘Merica,a new restaurant at 320 East Sixth Street in the East Village, celebrates (and spoofs) the good ol’ U.S. of A. in ways you have never seen. The space opens October 15 and is owned and operated by Zach Neil and Radouane Eljaouhari, the team that brought New York such spectacles as Beetle House, a bar themed around Tim Burton, and Stay Classy, a Will Ferrel-themed bar.
The restaurant’s decor includes stereotypically American pieces like huge guns, huge flags, and huge portions of unhealthy food favorites. The menu of course includes burgers inspired by each presidential candidate. Hillary Clinton’s version, “The 100 Calorie Lie” is a triple cheeseburger featuring bacon and a layer of mac and cheese, advertised as being just 100 calories (get it?). Then there is the “T-Rump Mexican Burger.” This treat has American and Mexican pepper jack cheese separated with a “wall” of grilled mushrooms, peppers, and onions, all on a patty made with beef from the butt of the cow. The bar at ‘Merica will just serve wine and beer for now.
In addition to serving up kitschy food and decor, the restaurant will also host weekly debate nights on Thursdays where customers can battle it out over a variety of topics from the silly to the serious. The debate losers will be punished with a food-related penalty, like paying for the winner’s dinner. ‘Merica is also planning a “Chuck Norris week” where patrons who wear camo will get a discount and Chuck Norris movies will play on screens around the restaurant.
Having tongue planted firmly in cheek and with an eye on the change in political discourse over the past few decades, two veteran restauranteurs have decided to have some fun while offering comfort food in the East Village. The opening of‘Merica is set for October 15, with the marketing gimmick something that can result in a chuckle or some anger, depending on the person.
The restaurant, located at 320 East 6th Street, is the brainchild of Radouane Eljaouhari and Zach Neil. It seeks to skewer both sides of the political aisle as it fills the stomach of its patrons. Much of the food that will dot its menu is likely to be considered unhealthy by any breathing nutritionist. Of course, many state fairs across the country come up with popular new concoctions every year that are considered death on a plate.
Part of the appeal of eating at ‘Merica will be the opportunity to see much of what stereotypical America looks like in the minds of its most self-patriotic people. Antique guns and some assault weapons, both presumably unloaded, will be scattered about with standard sports memorabilia and tributes to icons like John Wayne and Chuck Norris.
The two current presidential candidates, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, will have their own signature foods on the menu, each a jab at their past actions. The T-Rump Mexican burger, in tribute to the candidate’s controversial immigration proposals will use beef coming from the rump of a cow. On top will be pepperjack cheese and a collection of onions, peppers and grilled mushrooms that effectively build a wall of offerings.
Clinton’s penchant for skirting the truth is the basis for the 100 Calorie Lie triple bacon cheeseburger. The untruth in this case is that the burger comes anywhere near 100 calories, especially when it’s topped by macaroni and cheese.
Thursdays should be interesting since the restaurant plans to have a weekly debate night between patrons. Also, when tributes to Norris are held, diners wearing camouflage will be able to get a discount for food while his movies are shown.