On our first night in Daytona Beach, we stopped for what was for us a late dinner at Steve's Famous Diner along the beach. I had never heard of it before, not that there are not many famous people, places and things I have never heard about. Ever since I have been wondering about such questions as: Just how famous is Steve's Famous Diner? What is it famous for? (Could it be for the saltiness of the food?) How long has it been famous? Did it become famous before or after the restaurant was named?
On another vacation earlier this year in Gatlinburg, Tenn., a town that could be famous for the number of pancake houses on the major streets, we stopped at one where the sign proudly proclaimed their "famous pancakes." I had never heard of them either. The pancakes didn't taste any better to me than those served by Bob Evans, so I have no idea how these particular pancakes won fame.
Putting Google to work I find, farther down the Florida coast, Fireman Derek's World Famous Pies in Miami. Ever hear of them? Me neither. The Soup Cafe in South Orange, N.J., boasts "the world's most famous soups." Never heard of them. There seem to be a number of establishments that serve "famous chicken," "famous pizza" and so forth. Is fame, real or imagined, really the best way to sell food to hungry people? I liked Steve's Famous Diner for its location, decor and menu choices, even if the food itself was too salty. Its being famous did not impress me at all.
That which is truly famous does not need to advertise the fact. You never hear any references to "famous Lady Gaga" or "famous Brad Pitt" or "famous Hillary Clinton." Nor does KFC need to boast about "famous chicken" or Bob Evans about "famous pancakes." Fame is something that when you've got it, there's no need to brag about it.