White WDM Couple Opening Hip Hop-Themed Cafe Serving Chicken and Waffles

Me So Hungry/Facebook

Update, 7/20: In a Facebook post Wednesday, Me So Hungry announced it has changed its name to Eggs & Jam. “We have officially renamed our new restaurant to Eggs & Jam,” the post reads. “We apologize for offending anyone with our previously announced restaurant name. Our intent was to create buzz and interest tied to a popular ‘90s song. However, it is clear we did not understand how it would be perceived, and how it could offend people in our community.”

Original post: A new hip hop-themed breakfast cafe set to open next month in West Des Moines is facing questions over whether its name, Me So Hungry, is insensitive to Asians and if its theme is racist considering the establishment will be operated by a white couple, Sarah Cattoor and Ryan Greening.

Me So Hungry will be one of several food service businesses of the same name across the country. The name can be traced back to a song by Too Large Crew parodying 2 Live Crew’s “Me So Horny,” a reference to a quote from a Vietnamese prostitute in Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket.

The cafe will have a ‘90s hip hop theme and feature a menu with items including chicken and waffles, a meal that’s been used in racist stereotypes of African Americans.

“It’s going to be a really fun place and all the music will be family friendly,” Cattoor told the Des Moines Register.

On the cafe’s Facebook page, amid some positive comments expressing excitement about the new restaurant, are others questioning the owners’ judgement. “THERE ARE SO MANY LEVELS OF RACISM HERE!!!” one commenter wrote. “The monopoly on hip hop by white folks, the pidgin English name, and just antiblackness in general?!?!!??!!” Another said, “[Let me know] if you don’t recognize the problem.”

As Cattoor and Greening prepare to open Me So Hungry, their company, Butterface LLC, is facing a wrongful death lawsuit for overserving a customer at The Keg Stand, a West Des Moines bar they own, who drove the wrong way down Interstate 80 and killed two police officers and a prisoner they were transporting in a head-on crash. (Butterface is a slang term for a woman with an attractive body but an ugly face.)

Reached for comment by Facebook to respond to the criticism about Me So Hungry, Cattoor asked for an email address and sent a copy of the cafe’s menu (PDF) with the comment, “Here is our full menu. Thank you.”

There is no miso soup on the menu.

Gavin Aronsen
Gavin Aronsen is an editor and reporter for and founding member of the Iowa Informer. He previously worked as a city reporter for the Ames Tribune, research assistant to investigative journalist Wayne Barrett at the Village Voice, and in various roles at Mother Jones, where his work contributed to a National Magazine Award nomination for the magazine's digital media coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Email: garonsen [at] iowainformer [dot] com.