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Just bring me a menu
by David High
Not long ago I ventured into a fairly nice brewpub/restaurant up in Colorado Springs and, not having done this for a while, I was taken aback by the menus I was presented with.
I’m not referring to the number of options on a menu, but the number of menus put in front of me. I was inundated. There was the regular menu, the seasonal menu, the chef’s recommendations menu, the specials menu, and the drink menu. Plus a dessert menu that came later.
I’m surprised the waiter didn’t have a hernia just bringing them to the table. There was more reading material to go through than I had in my English Lit class in college. I spent more time reading than eating.
Americans are obsessed with having an excessive variety of choices. You can get confused in one of these brewpubs just by looking at the different kinds of beers they have on tap. All I really wanted was a high-end cheeseburger for say under $10 to $15, and a Coors.
After navigating through the menus I finally found what I was looking for and began to read about my selection. It was a complicated read, and it seemed as though the owner was charging $1 for every unwieldy word no one outside of culinary school would understand.
It was written in what seemed like a foreign language with words like: Free-range, truffles, fromage, foie gras (goose or duck liver – pronounced “fwah-grah”) and Himalayan rock salt.
Restaurants can’t just simply say “cheeseburger” with a short description of additions, like grilled onions, mushrooms and such. They have to get cute and overly descriptive.
So I decided to have a little fun. I decided to go along with them and use the menu’s own language when placing my order. But if you do this you have to do it right: No fair reading directly from the menu. Instead you must memorize as best you can (and maybe adlib as needed) the words on the menu about the item you’ve chosen and then look the waiter square in the eye as you say:
“I’ll have the succulent, fresh ground, Argentinean free-range government inspected all beef, twelve-ounce, charbroiled ground sirloin patty, served on your own award-winning, freshly baked and lightly toasted sesame seed bun, topped with a generous slice of gorgonzola cheese made from pure grade A premium milk.
“And to drink, please bring me a non-brew pub Coors in a finely crafted, cylindrical, frosted, drinking vessel of moderate capacity.
The meal was good, but the server was a little testy.