NEW YORK – For the love of Cheetos! This week, a three-day pop-up restaurant called The Spotted Cheetah, opened (and closed) in Manhattan, writes USA Today, with diners paying between $8 and $22 for creations like Cheetos meatballs, Cheetos crusted fried pickles, Cheetos tacos, Mac n' Cheetos, and for dessert, Cheetos cheesecake.
"I worked hard to incorporate Cheetos into every dish and not just say, 'Oh here's a dish with a sprinkle of Cheetos on top,'" said celebrity chef Anne Burrell, who developed the menu for The Spotted Cheetah. "I really tried to think about the flavor of each Cheeto and what would pair really well with it."
Frito-Lay said the pop-up, which opened August 15-17, was the result of marketing after executives noticed Cheetos fans posting their own recipes incorporating the crunchy treat on social media.
"So, we thought it was a great trend to try to capitalize on and bring to life an idea, a concept like this really that spoke to how you could use Cheetos in such a variety of different ways," Ryan Matiyow, a marketing manager for Frito-Lay, told the news source, adding that 300 reservations available for the eatery's three nights sold out within six hours.
The menu featured dishes like:
- Cheetos Crusted Fried Pickles + Creamy Ranch
- Cheetos Grilled Cheese + Tomato Soup
- Flamin’ Hot and White Cheddar Mac n’ Cheetos
- Cheetos Sweetos Sweet and Salty Cookies
- White Cheddar Cheetos and Cheetos Sweetos Apple Crepes
Melissa Abbott, a vice president of the Hartman Group, told USA Today that the Cheetos restaurant is partly a reaction to the emphasis on health in today's food culture: "All of the salad and juice bars and all that ... At some point, you have to balance the scales a little bit and have some fun."
For those who didn’t get a chance to dine at the pop-up restaurant, The Spotted Cheetah Digital Cookbook is available for free online.