We all watched ‘Breaking Bad’, right? If not, what were you doing with your spare time last year (besides getting outside and living a healthy non-Netflix-funding lifestyle)? For those of us the show did ensnare with its suspenseful plot-lines and darkly comic characters, one question continued to linger in the back of our minds (and don’t deny it); just how good did the Los Pollos Hermanos chicken taste?
After visiting a tasty pop-up ‘Breaking Bad’ restaurant in east London’s Sebright Arms, our curious mind was finally satisfied, with copious amounts of finger lickin’ chicken worthy of Gus’ approval. This got us to wondering: what other fictional restaurants from TV and film would make great pop-ups?
Krusty Burger – ‘The Simpsons’
Founded by Springfield’s infamous, sometime alcoholic clown, Krusty Burger was known for its experimental side, with the fast food chain using an array of different meats and chemicals to make its burgers as addictive as possible (wait a minute, doesn’t that sound like a fast food chain from reality?). Anyhow, regardless of its shady food sourcing, an ethical pop-up parody of Krusty’s famous eatery would be sure to go down a storm with Simpsons fans everywhere, especially with potential dishes like the Whatchamachicken and the Mother Nature Burger.
The Bluth’s Frozen Banana Stand – ‘Arrested Development’
There’s always money in the banana stand, or so George Bluth Snr used to insist. Following the brief appearance of frozen banana stands in London last year to promote the Netflix assisted return of ‘Arrested Development’, we think the Bluth’s best seller should make a seasonal return to the capital. A frozen banana on a hot summer day sounds like the perfect healthy treat (until you dip it in molten chocolate, that is).
Freddy’s BBQ Joint – ‘House Of Cards’
When Frank Underwood from ‘House of Cards’ needs some time to himself , it’s a safe bet that you’ll find the carnivorous politician at Freddy’s BBQ joint; a fictional restaurant owned by Frank’s longtime friend Freddy Hayes, where the specialty is ribs. Considering the second season seemingly sees the rib shack getting its own line of sauces, we’re holding out hope that a pop-up for the politically corrupt could soon be on its way.
Good Burger – ‘Good Burger’
For those who grew up on a staple diet of ’90s Nickelodeon, comic duo Kenan and Kel ruled supreme (and with intro music written and performed by Coolio, it’s not hard to understand why). Following their success on TV, a narratively appalling but nonetheless hilarious film ‘Good Burger’ was made. The film developed a cult following and revolved around a special burger sauce that could. Not. Be. Beaten. Combine that with Kel’s beloved orange soda and you’re onto a winner.
Pizza Planet – ‘Toy Story’
Pizza Planet was the family restaurant shaped like Saturn in ‘Toy Story’ and has made cameos in nearly every Pixar film to date. Home to a race of rubber aliens who worshipped ‘the claw’, everything the fictional fast food chain produced was galactic in proportion, from the ‘Super Nova Burger’, to the diabetics’ nightmare, the ‘Mega Gulp Cup’. We’d like to see the claw make an appearance in the capital this year.
Big Kahuna Burger – ‘Pulp Fiction’
Tarantino fans have long lusted over this fictional chain of Hawaiian themed fast-food restaurants first referenced in the unforgettable ‘hamburgers’ scene from ‘Pulp Fiction’. With Samuel L Jackson’s Jules uttering the fateful words ‘this is a tasty burger’ just before reciting Ezequiel 25:17, any pop-up surely has the ultimate seal of approval it needs to pull in the crowds.
Los Pollos Hermanos – ‘Breaking Bad’
Yes we know it’s already happened but it needs to happen again and with spin-off ‘Better Call Saul’ scheduled for a late 2014 release, we’ll decide when we’re done with Gus Fring’s delicious brand of chicken. With a devout following of fans sure to devour any offering from the New Mexico-based crime drama, the decision on more Los Pollos Hermanos pop-ups for London is simple: yeah, bitch!
The Max – ‘Saved By the Bell’
A local hangout for the students of Bayside High, The Max was a fast food restaurant owned by a magician of the same name. The Max was the place to be for the school’s social elite, home to jocks Bayside Tigers and the ’90s equivalent of Regina George, Kelly Kapowski. Unlike most TV restaurants, The Max wasn’t just a set but a fully functioning burger joint that served extras real fast food while the show was being filmed. A pop-up burger joint with added magicians sounds like a combination no-one would be able to refuse. We’re looking at you, Dynamo.
Satriale’s Meat Market – ‘The Sopranos’
As well as being one of the most feared gangsters in New Jersey, Tony Soprano and the rest of the DiMio family would regularly be found at Satriale’s, chowing down on the store’s great variety of (we’re guessing illegally) imported Italian meats and deli-style pastrami sandwiches. With the interior decorated with portraits of bygone jazz musicians and actors from the ’40s, Satriale’s provided the best low-key hangout spot for TV’s most beloved Mafiosos. We’d welcome a ‘Sopranos’ themed pop-up in London, provided it was complete with deli food and an intimidating atmosphere. Hey, if it’s good enough for the mob, it’s good enough for us.
Tony’s – ‘Lady and the Tramp’
Chances are the name doesn’t ring a bell, however, the back of Tony’s italian restaurant played host to one of the most romantic animated scenes in film history in doggy rom-com ‘Lady and the Tramp’. With ample servings of spaghetti and meatballs to share with your loved one and accordion equipped chefs to add ambiance, Tony’s is ripe for a pop-up and with London’s first cat café opening earlier this month, could a canine equivalent be on the way? Hari Sethi
Have we missed something out? Let us know your suggestions below.