WASHINGTON • It is easier to get into the Spotted Pig, a restaurant that has won multiple James Beard Awards, than the Spotted Cheetah, a restaurant that incorporates Cheetos into all of its dishes, including desserts.
The snack food brand's pop-up restaurant, helmed by Food Network star Anne Burrell, has more than 1,000 people on the waiting list for the eatery, which opened on Tuesday and closes on Thursday, local time (Aug 18, Singapore time).
The news that so many people are desperate to pay up to US$22 (S$30) for menu items such as Cheetos-crusted chicken Milanese is both confusing and unsurprising, which makes it like every other crazy thing that has happened so far this year.
The restaurant, at 211 West Broadway in New York, announced its opening last week.
Within six hours, all of the 300 spots were gone, reported The Wall Street Journal. Burrell, who was tasked with creating the menu (was Food Network star Guy Fieri too busy?), stacked it with Cheetos-infused comfort food favourites, such as Flamin' Hot and White Cheddar Mac n' Cheetos, Purrfectly Fried Green Tomatoes and White Cheddar Cheetos and Cheetos Sweetos Apple Crepes.
The mac n'Cheetos has been one of the most popular dishes so far, says Ms Joan Cetera, senior director of public relations for PepsiCo, the company that owns Frito-Lay, which manufactures Cheetos.
The restaurant has Cheetos-print wallpaper and paintings of Chester, the Cheetos mascot. No word on whether or not they hand out wet wipes for the orange dust.
Tuesday night's opening party featured an orange carpet, and singer Mariah Carey and actress-producer La La Anthony were among the celebrities who attended.
And, in an odd turn of events, fire trucks showed up at the restaurant, prompting Twitter jokes about how the Cheetos were "Dangerously Cheesy" and "too Flamin' Hot".
"The fire trucks were not a promotional stunt," said Ms Cetera. "All we were told was that they were responding to a call they'd received."
As the waiting list has grown, Frito-Lay has been rushing to meet the demand: It added an additional 10 seats at the bar, Ms Cetera said, which means 40 people were taken off the waiting list.
And the pop-up could be extended: "At this time, the Cheetos team is seeing how the remaining two days of the pop-up opening go and then they'll evaluate how the programme could continue," wrote Ms Cetera in an e-mail.
You are still probably not going to get a chance to eat at the Cheetos restaurant. And that is a fact that some people might find hard to swallow.
But Cheetos lovers who do not live in New York can still get a taste of Burrell's creations. Cheetos released a downloadable cookbook that includes 11 recipes - including those mac n'Cheetos.