Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Menu Atrocities


rlibkind
 Share

Recommended Posts

The menu listed "diver fresh" shrimp, mussels and clams on its menu. Mildly amusing if in error, perhaps an error of ignorance, but just as likely intentionally misleading.

What examples of silly, obtuse, inflated, misleading or just plain wrong menu descriptions have you chortled or chuckled (but hopefully not choked) over lately?

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

Link to comment
Share on other sites

silly, obtuse, inflated, misleading or just plain wrong menu descriptions

similar thread on this topic ...

another thread in the same vein is here....

Mel, thanks for the links. These other discussions are related in spirit, though this topic appears to be highlighting actual menu abuse with English as the original language.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My favorite failed attempt to bloviate was a menu in an Italian restaurant several years ago. I'm sure you're all familiar with Pasta Puttanesca ("whore's pasta"). This place apparently came up with what they thought was a seafood version and called it Puttanesca de la Mer -- yup, Hookers of the Sea.

As any mermaid you happen to see . . .

Chad

Chad Ward

An Edge in the Kitchen

William Morrow Cookbooks

www.chadwrites.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My favorite failed attempt to bloviate was a menu in an Italian restaurant several years ago. I'm sure you're all familiar with Pasta Puttanesca ("whore's pasta"). This place apparently came up with what they thought was a seafood version and called it Puttanesca de la Mer -- yup, Hookers of the Sea.

Actually, I'd say that the real atrocity there is combining French with Italian: it ought to be puttanesca di mare.

Puttanesca doesn't mean "whore". It's an adjective; the noun is "puttana". And it's totally normal to use just the adjective to describe a dish: you might talk about a bolognese, or when it comes to steak, a Fiorentina. So there's no problem with a puttanesca di mare.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I always loved it when the diner, describing the Mixed Broiled Seafood Platter, referred to the little silver foil (shaped like a shell) thing of crabmeat stuffing, was listed in with the ingredients as "stuffed with crabmeat".

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Honest, I once asked a waitress "What's the Soup du Jour" and she answered, "Oh, that's just the soup of the day."

Unrelated, a friend one asked what the difference was in size between the medium pizza and the large, and was told that the large had 8 slices, and the medium only had 6.

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Honest, I once asked a waitress "What's the Soup du Jour" and she answered, "Oh, that's just the soup of the day."

i think everyone has this story. it's one of my favorite go-to jokes in any restaurant situation. kind of like 'why the long face?' it's just ALWAYS FUNNY.

my favorite menu verbiage error was reported to me by my mom and sister, who were visiting spain. on the menu was a dish listed as being served 'in the juice of yourself.'

ok that probably should go in the bad english thread. but i still love it. and say it all the time.

mmmmm ugh.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In a similar vein I read a menu recently which described the scallops as "fresh dived"...for goodness sakes!

What, like "just back from a dip in the pool?" :wink:

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of the best I ever found was on the menu of a restaurant I visited some years ago in the State of Maryland . One of their dishes was described as follows:

Finest Fresh River Trout Fillets, gently sauteed in breadcrumbs to a golden brown, with fresh garden peas simmered in butter, light and crisp French-fried potatoes, and a lemon wedge

There was even a photograph to whet the appetite for the dismal anticlimax of the reality. The "fresh trout fillets" were actually two firmly frozen rectangles of some unidentifiable fish that rattled when they hit the skillet; the fresh peas came out of a freezer bag; the butter had so little fat content that it would be illegal to call it by that name in France, Holland or England; and the soggy chips were made out of potatoes which had been boiled, mashed and reconstituted in some factory before being fried in oil that was far too old. With the exception of the lemon wedge, which was fine, this dish, like the menu on which it was listed was simply a bad joke.

Oh yes…. with regard to the earlier reference to "day boat scallops"….that can actually be a quite reasonable term, used primarily on the off-shore islands and inlets of the Carolinas and Georgia where such boats sail for no longer than 18 hours before returning to shore with their catch. If those scallops are then shipped directly to restaurants they are about as fresh as you will find anywhere. Alas, many are frozen and by the time they reach our table have been away from the sea for far longer than we would like to think.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Has nobody commented on the sign "Please Wait For Hostess to be Seated".

Then, you can sit down.

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I swear I will find the original of this and scan and post it...

When I was in college, the "upscale" restaurant at the Ramada said in its newspaper ad

"Gourmet and semi-gourmet cuisine"

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the large had 8 slices, and the medium only had 6.

This is the punchline to a joke I once read: "Good thing because I couldn't have eaten 8!"

I've seen it attributed to Yogi Berra though that could be an urban myth.

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...