Forget science. Forget art. Humanity's final and finest intellectual victory over our origins is fast food. Early humans spent their entire lives questing to eat. Now we grab greasy meat chunks in minutes so that we can dump every precious second of our lives back into our jobs without wasting it on irresponsible luxuries like relaxing with a meal. Of course, if you're still looking for luxury in those four minutes that you're cramming a sandwich into your ravenous eat-hole, then don't worry. The world has you covered.
#7. The $120 Kobe-Philly Cheesesteak
The Philly cheesesteak happened when Philadelphia pretended to invent slicing meat. Then they drowned it in cheese. It's gorgeous, but it treats the meat the same way a recycling plant treats paper: slicing it up, mashing it into a paste, and feeding it into a pulping machine to knock out lower-quality chunks.
The Kobe-Philly cheesesteak sounds like William Gibson wrote a cookbook in which a multinational cyberchef gene-splices American cattle to pre-combine the cheese and meat in their own flesh. Which would still be less of a waste of modern technology than Barclay Prime's Kobe-Philly cheesesteak, because they charge $120 to use Kobe Wagyu beef.
While you're desecrating things, don't forget to use the champagne to belch the national anthem.
Kobe Wagyu beef is beautiful. The cows are bred, fed, and treated so that they deposit fat between their muscle fibers, which sounds like the beginning to a really bad sci-fi horror written by PETA. It's the closest thing humans have to energon -- the most refined version of what makes us work. But if you're going to slice Kobe Wagyu beef into strips and stuff them into cheese and bread, then you might as well slice the Mona Lisa into strips to prop up the table you're eating it on.
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True butchery of the original meat.
Philly cheesesteaks are great, but the only way to make one worth 120 dollars would be if it came with 20 more of them.
#6. The World's Most Expensive Hot Dog -- $169
Hot dogs are the closest we've come as a species to saving our planet. Forget guilt trips and urgent climate data; just connect our gluttony and laziness to efficiency, and we'll eat the asshole of every animal on Earth in the name of recycling. Hot dogs have made meat processing one of the most efficient industries in the world.
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"You want to WHAT my WHAT?"
The secret to this success is garnish. Tokyo Dog's "Junni Ban" turns Wagyu Beef into a sausage -- so gather up those strips of the Mona Lisa and shred them down into splinter-ridden toilet paper -- then drown it in foie gras, truffles, and caviar. Because hey, why the hell not?
Not so much a hot dog as a thermonuclear attack on a pound
They piled up everything expensive they could find, like a demolition derby in a classic car museum. If somebody had told Tokyo Dog that uranium was expensive, then you'd need to wear a hazmat suit to even hold the dog. They claim that it's the result of careful work, but they also claim that a hot dog is worth $169 and waiting a full fortnight before receiving your order, so they clearly don't even know what words even mean.
#5. A $214 Grilled Cheese
Serendipity 3 serves the "Quintessential Grilled Cheese" sandwich for $214. French bread is infused with champagne, spread with white truffle butter, filled with Caciocavallo Podolico cheese, and then actually coated in a thin layer of gold. Because at this point, humans have just stopped giving a shit about pretty much everything. We're very close to crossing a line where we just say "fuck it" and eat our actual paychecks.
Making a grilled cheese sandwich even more depressing, because it's worth more than you.
This isn't even taking food to the next level. They're just gold-plating regular things. It's like hiring the New York Philharmonic to play background music at the DMV. You're wasting a colossal amount of money on a tedious little chore, and every single person involved, from the server to the chef to the maniacally laughing restaurant owner, now knows you're an asshole.
They say that some of the money goes to charity. You know what would be better? ALL of the money going to charity without some of it first being spent on becoming a symbol of ironic mockery for everyone in need.
#4. The Thousand-Dollar Pizza
Pizza is the ultimate fast food. It acts as its own plate and cutlery, and holds the food in place with edible glue. It couldn't be faster if it was aerodynamically fired at you, and its perfectly circular shape means that might one day be possible. It's so fast that you can be standing in your own kitchen, in front of bags of your own freshly-bought groceries, and it would still feel faster to command someone to bring you pizza from miles away.
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Modern life doesn't give us enough chances to command.
Nino's Restaurant in New York offers the Bellisima pizza. It costs 1,000 actual real dollars, with the bulk of the money going toward the six different kinds of caviar in the topping. But putting six different kinds of caviar on the same pizza is like hiring six concert pianists to play in the same Ibiza nightclub toilet. Even if you can tell them apart when they're all crammed together (which you can't), you're still distracted by all the awfully organic fluids and gooeyness all around them.
An offer you can quite easily refuse.
It's the final proof that these rich assholes really are just pouring money into a blender and trying to taste it. Even the most avid caviar aficionado wouldn't ruin them by mixing them together or putting them under cheese like this. In fact, that person is the last human who ever would. This is proof of caviar being used as some kind of obscenity-shaker; something the appallingly rich wiggle over their food like some sort of asshole-based salt.