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Tourist Traps

Welcome to Hot Links, our brand new food column dedicated to showcasing the overlooked culinary wonders of YouTube. Here are seven of the best low-budget restaurant commercials shot in tourist traps around the USA. Crack a cold one and enjoy.

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Welcome to our brand new food column, Hot Links, where VICE employee Dan Meyer explores the neglected culinary stars of YouTube. Each week, Dan will present a selection of videos highlighting specific food themes, from amateur cooking to local restaurant commercials, elderly drinking buddies, kitchen disasters, and the infinite supply of odd YouTube wonders in the food category. We encourage you to fall into this culinary video k-hole, and include your own comments and contributions below. 


Here are my top seven selections for local restaurant advertisements. Watching these clips should mentally transport you to a run-down motel room in somewhere, USA, where the TV’s blaring with low-budget tourist trap commercials on a loop. Get familiar with the theme, crack a cold one, and watch these hot links.

Creed's Seafood & Steaks—King Of Prussia, Pennsylvania 

Restaurant owner Jim Creed loves wine, and is proud to be the boss at the longest independently owned fine dining restaurant in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania—since 1982. Every time I am in the suburbs of Philly driving around the parking lots of a shopping mall, I find myself wondering, where could I possibly find a nice steak, in a lively setting, prepared by a real chef? Luckily, Creed's is the answer.

3 Sisters Cafe—Indianapolis, Indiana

After a few quick camera shots of pre-packaged tea and granola, Moira and her husband, Alex, explain that not everyone "gets" their style of food—a cuisine focused on “whole foods,”—which is how "God intended you to eat.” Alex puts it best in his own words: “some people don’t get it, and then they don’t eat here again.”

Nunzios Pizza—Cleveland, Ohio

A dead ringer for Uncle Fester, Nunzio cooks "old world" style pizza in a brand new convection oven.

Larry's on the Lake—Camdenton, Missouri

I’m not sure what it means, but at Larry’s on the Lake, “everyone’s a Larry.” This is the spot where “a boatload of people do great things.” You can pull in on your boat, make your own Bloody Mary at the make-your-own Bloody Mary bar, and hit the dance floor with a hula-hoop. Party animal Larry describes the wonders of his establishment shortly before launching into promoting nearby Ozark spots Paradise, Captain Ron's Bulldogs, Bare Bottoms, and the Halfway Inn. Sounds like a great area.


Schooner's Coastal Kitchen—Monterey, California

Allow restaurant manager Brandon to explain the dining concept. Executive chef James Waller believes that “there’s not a lot of adultering of the food.” I’m curious about what’s really going on behind the drink bar, and would love to hear a food review from the two female dining companions who seem to be enjoying their silent meal.

O'Kelly's Restaurant—Fargo, North Dakota

Mike “Clevy” shows you around his restaurant in Fargo, North Dakota, where the staff is “crazy.” I love the slideshow effect, and I hope that the next time you find yourself in Fargo, the "crazy" staff will help you enjoy sushi time and “care-okie.”

Mignon's Steak’s & Seafood—Biloxi, Mississippi

After a long night of gambling and heavy drinking in Biloxi, Mississippi, Mignon’s is the hot spot if you’re in the mood to order a big bottle of wine and a grilled steak that one customer claims “is the best steak I’ve ever put in my mouth.” Mignon’s Steak’s & Seafood patrons Anna and Sue steal the show with their brief dining review, "I love steak," and, "I love lobster." If you decide to visit, I hope that you order the eggplant Napolean and love it as much as the customer in the tropical blouse.