There once was a time–so I’m told–when the only feast at strip clubs was for the eyes. And when food eventually popped up it was in the form of a lunchtime buffet: the greasy fried things, limp hot dogs, and meatballs of questionable provenance sitting for hours in a hot dish left visitors with a flaccid appetite. But that’s changing, as strip club owners have realized that all that ogling can build up quite a hunger. And why deprive these “dance aficionados” a good meal.
As a result high-quality, titillating grub has emerged in various strip clubs around the country. Sure, some eaters might have a hard time taking any restaurant seriously when it’s served a few feet away from where women named “Roxy” and “Cherry” are gyrating against a chrome pole. But a few strip clubs have added some edibley enhanced menus that could rival restaurants where people (normally) keep their clothes on. So, here, without further ado, is the highly subjective list of the top five strip club restaurants in the United States.
Just to get you in the mood, click here for a striptease soundtrack for your reading enjoyment–if you’ve never seen someone remove their clothes to this song then you haven’t been, uh, eating at enough strip clubs yet.
[Flickr photo by PinkMoose]
•Robert’s Restaurant at Scores, New York City
“Where else can you have a hot topless woman literally feed you a great piece of steak?” said Scores manager Edward Norwick when he was explaining why having a great in-house restaurant is an excitable experience in more ways than one. Welcome to Scores, where topless women from three elevated pole-studded posts writhe and chef Will Savarese cooks up hearty man-food for the big-spending clientele at Robert’s Restaurant, located inside the club (with views of the rest of all the action). Savarese, who has manned the stove at acclaimed restaurants Le Cirque, Aureole, and Le Cote Basque, is masterful with brick-thick cuts of juicy steak as well as creamy truffle-oil risotto, miso-glazed Chilean bass, and tender Moroccan-spiced lamb chops.
•Alluvia at the Cheetah, Atlanta
Sure, some randy Atlantans are lured to this strip club for reasons other than eating (food), but get a whiff of chef Bill Toro’s dishes and another part of your body might soon be rumbling. Think pan-seared duck with caramelized garlic risotto, pastrami-crusted tuna and lobster dumplings doused in a Vietnamese pho broth, and, of course, what’s stripclub grub without a juicy 16-ounce filet mignon–all in a white-table-cloth atmosphere. Reserve the chef’s table for some special attention and eye-popping sightlines of the main stage.
Skip the evening buffet of finger foods and go directly to the restaurant at this Philadelphia riverfront strip club, which takes itself seriously enough to lure the Zagat folks in for a rating (at least we assume they stopped by to dine). Dishes like lobster ravioli sprinkled with a Cognac-cream sauce, steamed little neck clams, and–fittingly enough–a melt-in the-mouth 12-ounce strip steak will dazzle even the most impotent taste buds. And if that doesn’t do it, the gooey, decadent warm lava chocolate cake is the happiest of endings.
•Casa Diablo, Portland OR.
It’s not as demonic as you might think at this Portland, OR club/restaurant where Girls Gone Wild and PETA have collided to make one of the coolest strip club dining experiences in the country. The club’s motto, “The meat’s on stage, not on the plate,” should be a clue as to what you’re getting into here. As the tattoo-clad ladies gyrate in their sexy pleather getups, guests munch on things like veggie burgers, “meatball” sandwiches, and tofu nachos. That’s right, no animals were harmed in the making of libido-laden experience. The fare here isn’t going to win any Michelin stars (and let’s face, it vegan cuisine never will), but Casa Diablo wins points for having the courage to eschew the meat = masculinity formula.
•Sam’s Hofbrau, Los Angeles, CA.
As with the case of Casa Diablo, not every restaurant–or, strip club restaurant, for this matter–needs to serve highly stylized, elevated cuisine to get the attention of flesh-loving foodies. Enter Sam’s Hofbrau. Located near downtown Los Angeles, Sam’s, as the name suggests, serves up a hearty bite of mitteleuropa to go along with the dancing Heidis. But it’s not all Teutonic all the time. After all, this is southern California, so guests can indulge in a carne asada burrito or variations on the theme of taco while ogling the dancers. Wash it all down with one (or two) of the 24 beers available, but leave your lederhosen at the door.