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We Went To The Cheetos Restaurant And Here's Everything That Happened

Flamin' Hot Cheetos tacos? Don't mind if I do.

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A few weeks ago, Cheetos announced that they'd be opening a pop-up restaurant in NYC on August 15–17 — and people went crazy. As a Cheetos lover, I knew I had to check it out.

Pop-up restaurants are nothing new in the food marketing world, but as someone with a strong nostalgic connection to Hot Cheetos (read: They were one of my absolute faves as a kid), I felt like I couldn't pass this up.
fritolay.com

Pop-up restaurants are nothing new in the food marketing world, but as someone with a strong nostalgic connection to Hot Cheetos (read: They were one of my absolute faves as a kid), I felt like I couldn't pass this up.

So I recruited the help of my coworker Clark, a fellow devoted Cheetos fan, and we set off for The Spotted Cheetah.

Michelle No / BuzzFeed

Pulling up to the Tribeca space, it definitely had an ~exclusive~ vibe. Like, it even had bouncers?

Michelle No / BuzzFeed

The inside was even more elaborate — almost every single aspect of the interior decor was Cheeto-fied. Even the servers.

Michelle No / BuzzFeed

Food Network celebrity chef Anne Burrell was the brains behind the menu and made an appearance to kick off the event.

Michelle No / BuzzFeed

BUT HOW WAS THE FOOD, YOU ASK?! 😛

Michelle No / BuzzFeed

First up were the Cheetos Meatballs:

These were juicy, tender, and topped with a tangy herb sauce. Frankly, I couldn't really taste the Cheetos flavor — the Cheetos dust on top kind of dissolved into the ricotta sauce. But Cheetos-less breading never stopped me from liking meatballs before.
Clark McCaskill / BuzzFeed

These were juicy, tender, and topped with a tangy herb sauce. Frankly, I couldn't really taste the Cheetos flavor — the Cheetos dust on top kind of dissolved into the ricotta sauce. But Cheetos-less breading never stopped me from liking meatballs before.

The Flamin' Hot and White Cheddar Mac 'n' Cheese was next:

Michelle No / BuzzFeed

TBH, some of this food sounded so gimmicky and optimized for Instagram promotion that I almost wanted to not like it. But this mac 'n' cheese — and honestly, most of the rest of the menu — was so deliciously carby that I couldn't help but ignore my lactose sensitivity and skepticism and happily eat through it. This dish was chewy and gooey, AND I could actually taste the "flamin' hot" spice. 9/10.

The Cheetos Grilled Cheese with tomato soup was made with bacon (yeah, I need to start doing this) and tasty, but the sandwich hardly had any crunch.

Maybe the chips had been sitting in the sandwich too long and had melded with the bread?
Michelle No / BuzzFeed

Maybe the chips had been sitting in the sandwich too long and had melded with the bread?

The fried green tomatoes weren't green, but they were EXTRA crispy:

The Cheetos flavor was mild if not nonexistent here, but this was one of the crunchiest, crispiest foods I've ever had.

The Flamin' Hot Limon Cheetos Tacos were probably my fave, though:

Clark McCaskill / BuzzFeed, Michelle No / BuzzFeed

They had a generous helping of Hot Cheetos and tasted like my middle school years growing up in Southern California. The tortilla shell was kind of dry, but the savory, crunchy, and spicy filling was really all my taste buds registered. 😻

At this point in the meal Clark and I were both dying, but whatever, dessert duty called.

TBS

The shortbread cookies with caramel dipping sauce were aight. They had a nice chew, but were a lil' too crumbly:

The caramel sauce was too stiff and the cookies broke apart in the sauce every time we tried to dip them.
Michelle No / BuzzFeed

The caramel sauce was too stiff and the cookies broke apart in the sauce every time we tried to dip them.

The White Cheddar Cheetos and Sweetos apple crepes were delicate and rich from their cheesy filling, but nothing mind-blowing.

Lol, the French/any non-American would probably hate me for saying this, but these "crepes" were pretty dece! They were moderately sweet, had a light, cream cheese-y filling, and were topped with glazed apple slices. Bone app the teeth!
Michelle No / BuzzFeed

Lol, the French/any non-American would probably hate me for saying this, but these "crepes" were pretty dece! They were moderately sweet, had a light, cream cheese-y filling, and were topped with glazed apple slices. Bone app the teeth!

Although there's apparently a wait list to get in for now, a Cheetos rep told us that ~all hope is not lost.~

9Now

"Depending on how everyone receives the food in the next three days," they told BuzzFeed Food that they may consider either extending the pop-up or trying it a second time sometime in the future.

If you're in NYC, the pop-up runs through Thursday — and dishes range from $8 to $22. You can find the full menu and more info here.

Oh, and pro tip: Even if you never make it out to the restaurant, Cheetos is offering a free downloadable cookbook filled with all the recipes featured at the pop-up.

You can download it here.
thespottedcheetah.com

You can download it here.

Win-win.

@nusr_ett / Via Twitter: @nusr_ett
  1. A Cheetos restaurant: yay or nay?

    Correct
    Incorrect
    I NEED TO GO THERE.
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Pssh. Lame marketing stunt.
    Correct
    Incorrect
    I'll pass fam, thx.
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A Cheetos restaurant: yay or nay?
  1.  
    vote votes
    I NEED TO GO THERE.
  2.  
    vote votes
    Pssh. Lame marketing stunt.
  3.  
    vote votes
    I'll pass fam, thx.

**Disclaimer: Food and drinks were provided free of charge, but we were under no obligation to review them positively.

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