The Museum of Hoaxes
hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive
 
Mencken's fake history of the bathtub, 1917
Female thieves hide money in their bras, 1950
The Cottingley Fairies, 1917
Monkeys pick cotton, a 19th-century urban legend
Rare planetary alignment decreases gravity, 1976
September Morn, the painting that shocked the censor, 1913
The worms inside your face
The Society for Indecency to Naked Animals, 1959
Dog wins art contest, 1974
Jennifer Love Hewitt's Disappearing Breasts
Restaurant That Serves TV Dinners
Status: Real
Daniel Folk writes in with this question: I was watching TV not too long ago and saw a little advertisement about a restaurant in New York that only has TV dinners (Swanson, Lean Cuisine, etc...) on their menu. Supposedly it is a real upscale restaurant and these TV dinners are outrageously priced ($40 - $50). I tried to do a quick Google search for this restaurant but with no success. Have you heard about this restaurant and do you know the name of it?

I've never heard of such a thing (nor has my wife, who's a devoted viewer of the Food TV channel), and I couldn't find anything in a Google search either. Honestly, it sounds like an urban legend. After all, why would someone want to go to a restaurant and pay $40 for a frozen TV dinner? But on the other hand, there are restaurants out there with weird gimmicks (such as that restaurant where meals are served in total darkness), so I wouldn't say that it's definitely not real. Anyone heard of such a place?

Update: Maegan found a restaurant called Ike, located on Second Avenue in the East Village, that serves Swanson's TV dinners, at twice the price you'd pay for them in the store ($6, though not $40-$50). So I've changed the status on this to 'Real'. (It should also be noted that the restaurant doesn't only serve TV dinners.)
Categories: Food
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jan 12, 2006
Comments (14)
If Daniel Folk saw a little advertisement for this place himself, as he claims, where does he get the information about "Supposedly it is a real upscale restaurant and these TV dinners are outrageously priced ($40 - $50)"?
I don't think that would have been included in the ad. If he got it from someone else, where did THEY get the information? This sounds like it could have been a fake ad on SNL or MAD-TV or something like that. Or a mis-interpretation of a real ad.
Posted by Matt  on  Thu Jan 12, 2006  at  03:18 PM
This reminds me of the Unwrapped segment I recently saw about $100 Philly Cheese Steak in NY (I think). And people order it. Idiots.
Posted by Joe  in  Portland, OR  on  Thu Jan 12, 2006  at  04:08 PM
IN ORLANDO AT MGM THERE IS A RESTAURANT THAT IS THEMED LIKE A 50'S MOM'S KITCHEN, AND THE FOOD (ALTHOUGH RESTARAUNT QUALITY) IS SERVED IN TV DINNER TYPE FOIL TRAYS... AND "MOM" MAKES SURE YOU ATE IT ALL BEFORE SHE OFFERS DESSERT!
Posted by BRENDA  in  FLORIDA  on  Thu Jan 12, 2006  at  04:19 PM
I think I heard of this TV dinner restaurant (maybe on the radio?), but I don't remember any details. I guess it's for people nostalgic for Mom's cooking (if their Moms served TV dinners) who don't want to prepare their own food-- not even to the extent of sticking a frozen dinner in the oven.
Posted by Big Gary on cloud eight  in  Dallas, Texas  on  Thu Jan 12, 2006  at  06:36 PM
Man, if one of these doesn't really exist, I'm more than willing to open one and sell Hungry Man dinners for $75.
Posted by Chowhound  in  SoCal  on  Thu Jan 12, 2006  at  06:48 PM
They have a place like this in Charlotte. They don't serve you commercial brand dinners, rather it is their own "themed" dinners served in a stainless steel trai.
Posted by zeropanic  in  Charlotte, NC  on  Thu Jan 12, 2006  at  08:03 PM
ooo, just like prison LOL
Posted by Chuck  in  Rhode Island  on  Thu Jan 12, 2006  at  09:20 PM
I think Chuck is onto something here. Open up a theme restaurant called The Slammer and serve prison food from a cafeteria-type line. Patrons would sit on the bolted-down seats that they used in real jails.

I've had prison food once (don't ask); the bacon was literally more fat than meat. I think it was USDA Okey-dokey grade. The profit on stuff like that would be enormous.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Fri Jan 13, 2006  at  03:44 AM
Maybe they made the food up special for us (as visitors) but the prison food I had wasn't too bad. Just bland.
Posted by Tru  in  Other Words  on  Fri Jan 13, 2006  at  10:00 AM
There was a segment on the food network a couple of years ago about a restaurant that did just this very thing. Only they didn't serve "Lean Cuisine" or any of the trendy meals, they served good old fashioned TV dinners, they also had simple mac and cheese, as well as other easy to fix comfort foods from our child hood. From what I remember though the prices weren't that high, I think they were close to double what you would pay for them in the store. It was a pretty cool concept.
cool smirk
Posted by samriklown  on  Fri Jan 13, 2006  at  10:33 AM
At the zoo in Columbus Ohio, there's a big food court building, and they have a couple of restaurants in there. There's this one restaurant..I forget what it's called, but it's the very first restaurant. It's based on companies that make TV Dinners..and I think they base the food they make off their TV dinner dishes. I could be wrong, though. Maybe they just make normal food.

Well, whatever they do, the food isn't $40-$50. More like..$4-$5.
Posted by Sakano  in  Ohio  on  Fri Jan 13, 2006  at  11:53 AM
Ah ha! I looked it up. The site just says Stouffer's/Lean Cuisine, but I could have sworn the restaurant's full name was Stouffer's/Lean Cuisine's American Diner. Don't take my word for it, though.
Posted by Sakano  in  Ohio  on  Fri Jan 13, 2006  at  12:12 PM
I found this:
http://www.amys.com/news/030801_cool_ideas.php
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Fri Jan 13, 2006  at  12:22 PM
I have heard of restaurants that were exposed for serving food (at over-inflated prices) that was originally a frozen food product, but passed off as a dish prepared by the chef. I heard this by word of mouth, but from a relatively reliable source who had seen it on a British TV show.
Posted by Pixie  on  Fri Jan 13, 2006  at  01:18 PM
Commenting is no longer available for this post.
All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.