The meaningless looking critter hid off to the right side of this massive fish tank behind the bar. But after my hostess took time to point out a cowfish in the flesh in The Cowfish Sushi – Burger Bar, I knew I was about to be served a dining experience I’d been dying to have without yet knowing it.
The idea of fusing burgers and sushi was enough to tell me the owners were pretty irreverent. But to be sure I knew I was in for pleasantly unusual experience, a Japanese Nihonga rendering of fat Elvis munching on a burger lurked over my plate.
From off the menu, I could have ordered burgers, sushi, and, get this, “burgushi” – a fusion of the two experiences. I settled for the Mediterranean Lamb Burger. But if that’s The Cowfish’s idea of settling then – Wow!! What flavors!! The ground lamb, the fried Feta, the tomato, the cukes, the capers, the tzatziki sauce. All these ingredients united on my palette to confidently proclaim, “The Cowfish gets it! Finally, a proper lamb burger in Charlotte, N.C.!”
If that wasn’t enough, my server was ready with the perfect beer on tap to calm my excited taste buds, A Kirin Light. Like I’d expect from any server, mine knew the menu. Even better, he intuitively understood that he was the face for my Cowfish experience played the part well. He even took one of my off-the-wall suggestions to the chef and came back to report that he liked the idea.
So next holiday season if you see a venison burger coming from the kitchen with a single cherry tomato at the center of the bun, you’ll have me to thank for the seasonal delight known as the “The Rudolph.” If not, I’m glad the staff allowed me play along with the edgy ambiance set for me from the moment I entered.
My lasting impression of The Cowfish is that every thing, from interior design, to menu, to atmosphere, to service attitude, was designed around serving me a good meal, irreverently well-done. Their food was great. But that’s the expectation. I’d have never expected my food to be to satirical, but that’s what The Cowfish Delivered and I loved every minute of it.
A few years back a guy named Steve built a company called Apple by anticipating products that people needed before they knew it themselves. Hopefully other start-ups will learn from The Cowfish Sushi – Burger Bar that they don’t have to be Apple to pull this off for their customers.
Really all it takes is asking: “What will my customers/clients want from me?” Ask this before even thinking of grabbing a domain, let alone building your website. Think big and scale down your ideas only if costs require you to do so. If industry standards don’t fit, don’t settle for the same old mold! Go “Cowfish” and break it!
I can’t guarantee you success for doing this. (Hell, I’m still a start up, fighting for my own success.) I’m no oracle, but I promise that if you succeed at creatively placing my good experience over your bottom line, I’ll appreciate it you for the investment. Hell, I might even buy from you.