A new 10-seat bistro in Dallas is serving up intricate dining challenges. At Trials and Tribulations, every course is a time-tested, puzzle-centric, gourmet ultimatum. From the truffle fries that slowly descend into a vat of acid, to the 12-pound burger hidden inside of a cow’s carcass, everything on the menu is a moral test of foodie will and might.
“Every diner is my guest, but also my subject,” said chef Gary Satanface, who opened the restaurant this July. “When you test a person’s limits, it’s truly fascinating what they’ll do to save themselves. Human behavior is not random,” Gary said ominously.
Each course is a challenge that must be finished in the allotted time or you end up paying “full price”, chef Satanface emphasized. Some of the dishes are manageable – a bouquet of mozzarella sticks with a timer, a gingerbread mansion with a key trapped inside, the pizza-burrito (a pizza rolled into a burrito). The final course, however, is a little more sinister.
The “meal traps,” as they are referred to on the menu, include rescuing a Caesar salad from a pit of used medical syringes, while another requires diners to blackout, regain consciousness in a freezer, then retrieve a dessert before time expires, locking the diner in the freezer forever and ever.
“It’s all about playing with a diner’s senses,” said chef Gary while fumbling with a chainsaw, “Michelin guides love that sort of thing.”
Early reviews have suggested that Chef Satanface is linked to the now infamous Dallas murderer whose victims are being found all over the city in mysterious circumstances.
“It’s ridiculous,” exclaimed Chef Satanface in a guilty tone, ”You know, I’m just a guy doing inventive things. Nobody accuses Grant Achatz of being a genius, mastermind killer. Nobody thinks Massimo is a murderer because he makes parmesan foam. Give me a break.”
Police have investigated Trials and Tribulationsfor any potential evidence, but have come up empty. “He’s clean,” says Dallas police chief Renee Hall, “His alibies check out. We searched his restaurant, his home, everything. Still, any time I’m around him, I get this…feeling. I’ve been on the force a long time, and I’ve never met anybody quite like Gary.” Meanwhile, business at Trials and Tribulations is booming.
“My restaurant is a celebration of life, and a study of human will. Moreover, it is a peek into our souls. When I can look into a customer’s eyes and see their sobering realization that there are consequences for their choices, I know I’ve done my job,” said chef Satanface cryptically as two employees maneuvered a mysteriously large duffle bag in the background.
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