Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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The Bread Zeppelin

Truly unique dining experience
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So you've arrived at your hotel, excited to start your vacation. The weather couldn't be better, and you want to take your significant other to a good place tonight. But you call all the restaurants around that you know of, and with little success. You walk on to the deck over-looking the water, and you see an odd building about a half mile away. It has two stories and what appears to be a hellicopter-style landing pad on the roof. On this landing pad, there are large letters that spell out "The Bread Zeppelin". "Well" you think to your elf "I suppose it's worth calling". You ask the receptionist "Do you have any reservations available from 5 to 6:30?" and she responds "I'm sorry sir, there's a private function at our facility this evening, but if you'd like to order to go we do have a 5:00 available". A little let down, you reluctantly accept, thinking that bringing food back to the hotel wouldn't be so bad. The receptionist gives you a link, and tells you to order your meals at least a half hour before 5. As you and your significant other order online, you realize the peculiarity of having to make a reservation to order to go. But that thought soon fades.

It's now almost 5, and you head over to the restaurant. You walk in to the lounge on the first floor, and the receptionist tells you your meal should be ready shortly. You look around a little upstairs, and notice that all of the chairs and tables were designed around old baskets that look like they came from hot-air balloons. The receptionist comes up to tell you your meal is ready, and leads you to a spiral stair-case on the second floor. You say "Odd, I didn't think this place had a third floor" and the receptionist grins and says "It doesn't". She opens the door at the landing, and when you step out you don't believe your eyes.

Waiting for you is a hot air balloon. Inside there are two men, both well dressed. One is the operator while the other is a waiter/chef. You step in to the fairly large basket, and on a small table in the center you see your meals, already cooked. The operator pulls a few levers and in seconds you're airborne, hovering close above the ocean. While you eat the waiter/chef sits in the rear of the basket next to a small stove, a small shelf with baskets of bread, butter, and spices, a small refrigerator/freezer, and a mini-bar. The balloon is not equipped to actually make the meals, since that would take too much space and weight. However it is perfectly capable of warming or spicing food. In the refrigerator are 3 re-fills of both of your drinks if you need them. If you decide you'd rather a nice glass of wine, there are always a few bottles in the mini-bar.

After you've both finished eating, the waiter/chef pulls a desert tray out of the freezer, displaying more than 10 custard treats. You each pick one, thank the waiter/chef, and then you ask him "By the way, how much fuel does one of these things use?" and he replies "I'm not sure sir, but it doesn't cost the restaurant a thing since the fuel it uses is waste grease from the friolators in the restaurant's kitchen."

In about 15 minutes the balloon returns to the restaurant, and you land on the landing pad. As you and your significant other exit the balloon, you exclaim to operator and waiter/chef "This has been really mind blowing!". They both smirk and reply "Yeah, wait until you see the bill".

acurafan07, Dec 19 2007

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       Very cool, but I'd do it with a helium baloon and a cable or else how would you ever get back? Also it's got to be tough to talk over the jet heater and tough for the smell to not affect the food. It would be like eating behind a food oil diesel truck. They have a huge baloon ride in Niagra Falls, but I don't think there is food.   

       For your use, how about a giant helium baloon cable ferris wheel arrangement. The cable is a big moving loop passing thru two stations on the ground. Helium baloon suites are located at suitable intervals along the cable and the cable is moved to allow entrance, egress and a dining experience with a view.
MisterQED, Dec 19 2007
  

       Yeah you're right the helium would probably have to do.
acurafan07, Dec 19 2007
  

       I frequently think to my elf, but ot like that.
Noexit, Dec 19 2007
  

       //the fuel it uses is waste grease from the friolators in the restaurant's kitchen."// thai cops use them for their fuel needs too.   

       wish you had a drawing for this - you always have nice pictures to go with your car ideas. +
pyggy potamus, Dec 19 2007
  

       dinning?
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 19 2007
  

       My mistake.
acurafan07, Dec 19 2007
  

       Weather would be a factor as would lack of intimacy, but you could pull off a killer proposal with the help of folks on the ground. Or in the air, for that matter. Also, there's no sending the steak back if it's not done enough.   

       (sp: operator)
phoenix, Dec 20 2007
  

       Well there would be the small stove that could cook it more if it wasn't done enough.   

       [spelling corrected]
acurafan07, Dec 20 2007
  

       That sounds really nice.   

       Hot air balloons have always seemed more interesting then they really are to ride in. It's a sleepy sport, silently drifting around. What do you do with your hands?   

       This way, you have something to do, and the silence will be good for the conversation.   

       [+]   

       Would you have multiple balloons, for a semi-social lighter-then-air gathering? Or zepplins for large group lunches? Deaf and dumb waiters for sensitive financial discussions?
mylodon, Dec 20 2007
  

       With my cable loop idea, I think there would be a way to run emergency supplies up the cable if you can get by the spots where the balloons are attached. My first guess is to hang a tractor feed belt below the cable and then have cable runners that have gear-gear interfaces on each side of the belt for support and traction. The only problem is if the belt twists, the car would derail and fall.
MisterQED, Dec 20 2007
  

       I'd pay extra and tip well if it were a Hullaballoon! +
csea, Dec 20 2007
  

       Lovely - I only wish I'd thought of the title first. [+]
zen_tom, Dec 20 2007
  
      
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