We’re starting a new series here at the Tinder Box: The Storytelling All Stars – a periodic look at companies that strengthen their brands and sales through storytelling.  We’ll start where the best stories often do – at the dinner table.

America Eats Tavern markets the story of food - not the food itself

America Eats Tavern is the latest creation of ThinkFoodGroup and famed Spanish chef Jose Andres.

The popular new D.C. restaurant earns its All Star status as soon as you view the menu. It’s anything but typical.

There is no attempt to describe how dishes are prepared.  Instead, it gives the fascinating history of how each dish earned its place at the American dinner table – often over the course of centuries.

The “Hangtown Fry” isn’t just steak and oysters.  It’s the celebratory meal for 49ers who struck it rich in a mining town better known for public hangings than for gold strikes.

The Blackberry Waffles aren’t merely fruit and batter.  They are inspired by those whipped up at Monticello 230 years ago by Thomas Jefferson’s slave, James Hemings.

Native American warriors.  Jewish bakers.  Portuguese slave-traders.  A New Orleans Speakeasy.  All of their culinary contributions to American history are chronicled on the America Eats menu.

Here’s the lesson for communicators: America Eats is the only restaurant I’ve encountered that markets the story of its product rather than the product itself.  Take it from this customer: It worked. I found myself ordering the story of my lunch as much as the lunch itself.

Visiting America Eats prompted me to reconsider the stories behind some of Campfire’s clients. What’s the untold history behind their company, their leadership and their product? Could that story help them better connect with potential customers?  It’s not often a restaurant offers stories that are as great as the food, but that’s what makes America Eats a Storytelling All Star.