Remember the Seinfeld episode where Elaine makes fun of punny business names?
HAL: I threw my back out about 15 years ago. Ever since I have been very careful. I only buy furniture in the ergonomics store.
ELAINE: Oh those places have the stupidest names. Like, “Back In”, or “Good Vertibrations“.
HAL: Not this one. It’s called the “Lumbar Yard”.
Makes me laugh every time. I love puns like that. You see them often on one of my favorite TV indulgences, Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Here are a few more memorable names:
Syracuse hosts two: “Pastabilities” and “Funk N Waffles.” Then in Long Beach, California, you can eat at “Schooner or Later.” But you’ll have to go to Las Vegas to hit “Crepe Expectations” and “Nacho Daddy.” Grand Junction, Colorado is where you’ll find the “Garden of Eat’n” restaurant.
Then there’re mafia themes like “The Codfather” in Reno, “Baguetteaboutit” in Durham (you have to read that in your best Mafioso accent), and “The Great Impasta” in Maine.
The list goes on.
Strangely, they remind me of church.
EVERY church function growing up included a meal in the fellowship hall with some Jello-and-mystery-fruit-and-marshmallow dish. There was the salad that had walnuts in it. (Who would do such a thing?! Salads are lettuce!) And I’m convinced some dear soul would empty the fridge and bake the primordial soup into some disgusting soufflé. (You can serve anything with enough peppers and onions.)
And yet it remains true: There is some mysterious connection between food and fellowship. They go together. They break down barriers.
Charles Morris said, “Sharing a meal has been a sign of friendship in almost every culture since the beginning of time. And it was certainly true in Jesus’ day. And I think it’s true in our day as well.”
Here’s where these two threads come together.
I was thinking about Guy’s “Triple D” when Charles had, as his series, “At the Table,” on Haven Today. These studies have been about food in the Bible and the ever-present connection to fellowship. (So THAT’s where the Southern Baptists got it!)
In fact, Haven has compiled the best recipes submitted by Haven listeners, and combined them with encouraging devotionals. There are recipes for appetizers, main dishes, soups, salads, and deserts. They’re presented with detailed descriptions and often presented with a corresponding devotional or Scripture verse. You can read more about it here.
Since food and fellowship are inexorably connected in the Bible, I’ve come to wonder if Jesus was a foodie. Is that sacrilegious to say?
Just think about it. The first public miracle Jesus performed was at a wedding feast. His last act with his disciples on earth was a meal we continue to celebrate today. And in between were dozens of teaching moments and encounters which involved food and eating (like 5,000 times in one case). Then, once in heaven, we anticipate attending the great Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Revelation 6:9).
Charles is right. Food and eating are woven together through scripture. It’s a part of who we are.
So, at the risk of taking away from all the great insights Janet and Charles Morris shared recently on Haven Today, I’m going to assume that even in Biblical times, there were crazy restaurant names with punny titles. For instance, there could have been fooderies like:
- Abra Ham on Rye (NOT kosher)
- The Peas Makers (they’re blessed you know)
- The Twelve DishApples
- Lamb & Tations
- Kingdom of Leaven (nothing rises to the occasion)
- Sihk and you shall fined (Turban is required or else you pay a penalty)
- Whaling and Gnashing of Teeth (An all blubber menu)
No one has unearthed an Aramaic sign with one of those names on it, but wouldn’t it be great if they did!!