What do Dallas restaurant-goers do when news spreads that U.S. military forces have killed Osama bin Laden, the man behind the most heinous attack on American soil? They don't embark on drinking binges. That's too pedestrian.
No, they make plans to gorge themselves on fine-dining fare, giving in to far more expensive excesses.
One of the restaurants experiencing a surge in reservation requests is Abacus. Chef-owner Kent Rathbun tells City of Ate that the restaurant's management has been trying to find the best way to approach the issue.
"I have had several people tell me they were coming in specifically to celebrate bin Laden's killing and capture," Rathbun says. "It has spurred a lot of discussion in-house. Some have suggested creating special dishes or a special menu for the evening. It's all a little morbid."
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A similar debate is raging on SideDish, where the food blog's commenters, disgusted with and approving of this trend, have been so vocal that Nancy Nichols had to step in.
This fever hasn't taken hold of all of Dallas' upscale restaurants. Stephan Pyles hasn't noticed an increase in reservations, the hostess there said. And in the end, Rathbun decided that no new items would be available to honor the death of bin Laden.
"If people want to celebrate," he said, "I'll help them celebrate. But I'm not going to capitalize on it any further."
But plenty of other restaurants around the country have been unable to resist.