If I were to tell you that I went to a gentleman’s club for a “taste of heaven,” chances are your assumptions would be further down the gutter than Pennywise the Dancing Clown. However, despite the coincidence of being graced by the gyrating presence of the anthropology student Heaven to the dulcet tones of Buckcherry, the enlightenment that came upon me at the Breast in Town Go-Go Bar did not come from the stage but from a plate.
While the kitchen staff at Breast in Town would like you to believe that their chicken fettuccine Alfredo is nothing special, hidden in their humility is that little extra between ordinary and extraordinary. The chicken was cooked to juicy perfection, accentuated by the hypnotic aroma of sweet, creamy Alfredo sauce atop steamy pasta cooked to prime tenderness. Though the leering men sitting aside me may have been stretching their dollar bills for the stretching girls before them, I must say that there is no better way to spend $4 at Breast in Town than on this culinary classic in waiting.
I know some people don’t quite understand the appeal of eating at a strip club. To be sure, the gravity- and sometimes morality-defying acts performed onstage and tacky neon lighting is not what you’d call appetizing. But once you get over the grinding that surrounds your meal, you might just find that these shameless establishments host an underground dining scene that would put classier joints to shame.
For me, it all began at The G-Spot, a club on the fringe of the D.C. suburbs that lures you in with the promise of cheap booze and beautiful women while inexplicably hiding the national treasure that is their Wild West Wings. Drenched in mango-infused Tabasco sauce and tossed in their house blend of crushed peppers, it was love at first bite. There wasn’t a thing a woman could have done to me in that club that would have given me the pleasure I experienced from that particular presentation of poultry.
Those wings opened the doors of perception in my mind. What other tasty treats had I been ignoring in favor of tasty teats? Soon enough, I was enjoying eggs Benedict and crispy Belgian waffles at Mount Olympuss and scarfing down the perfect 12 oz. rib-eye at Fantassy Island. I even indulged in a damn fine bowl of shōyu ramen at Pork Chop XXX-Press, all of which were located within a convenient 3-mile radius of Tampa.
However, for those looking for the last word in gentlemen’s club cuisine, look no further than Nevada’s Areola 51, a place that prides itself on giving as many hearty meals as hard-ons. From their unconventional vegetarian medley, mixed sparsely with walnuts and edamame in a spicy vinaigrette dressing, to their braised lamb gyro with a house-made sour tzatziki sauce to their flaky six-cheese baked empanada, Areola 51 doesn’t just raise the bar of erotic eateries, it launches the bar into outer space, perhaps on the rocket-shaped pole their delightful dancers spin around every night. Areola 51 even serves clam sandwiches that taste so good, you won’t feel gross ordering them.
I know everyone has their sacred eating grounds. Some people won’t eat hot dogs outside of a ball game. Some people won’t eat pizza on the west coast. But if you can get over the sleaze and the stigma, hit up your local titty bar for a night your taste buds will never forget. Just make sure to tip those hardworking ladies you’re ignoring.