Gigantic Menus by MR
January 9, 2008, 5:07 am
Filed under: Restaurants

Restaurant lingo — “start you off”, “leave room for dessert”, etc. Also, Italian places with “appetizers” AND “antipasti”, etc. But one point I wanted to get down before I forgot was…

Gigantic menus. I was at Acadiana the other night where the entire menu was one side of one page. That’s it. Everything you needed, right there. Beautiful. I noticed because I’m so used to the alternative. Another good example is Rays the Steaks. One side, just meat. On the other hand, you go to a place like the f-ing Cheesecake Factory and they give you a leather-bound binder with 20 or 30 laminated pages with lots of pictures and 27 different categories of meals that all have really stupid names. And then you get down to Friday’s or Chili’s and forget about it. There they have pop-up books with animatronics that fold out and dance around to tell you about your food options. So if you are lucky enough to have been given the wine list at a big-menu venue, then there you are juggling binders trying not to knock over everyone’s glasses and somehow fit them both between you and the table since they are impossible to hold and flip through. My message to anyone opening a restaurant: do a few things very well. Just like your resume, fit the menu to one side of one page. Keep it simple.


Not to mention the ones at Matchbox that are made of wood so if you
wanted to bend them to help fit them into your area at the table…
forget about it. The whole thing is bound with OAK, weighs five
pounds and can’t be bent.

Just give me a one-sided, laminated sheet. I promise I won’t hold it
against the classiness of your restaurant.


yup, great observation about the menus. i was at a restaurant the other day and the menu was a mini-clipboard with 2 small pages you could read and flip through in about 30 seconds. genius. and another favorite menu style is the one that is on a chalkboard or painted in a central location of the restaurant (like at Buca di Beppo) that you can see from your table.


Amen. I noticed they now have advertisements for products in the
Chessecake Factory menu. WTF? I already decided to spend my money
here, do you really need to sell me sh-t while I decide what to eat??

Don’t forget to include a special section on Mexican restaurants. They
have over 20 items at Mexican joints, but only 5 ingredients are ever
used: beans, rice, beef or chicken and vegetables. With those limited
ingredients, they are able to make chulupas, burritos, enchiladas,
quesadillas, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.


let me be on the R&D team at taco bell and see what i can come up with. “guys! guys! i’ve got it…this time, we’re going to take the flour tortilla filled with ground beef, lettuce, beans, cheese, sour cream and tomatoes, and we’re going to only fold ONE side of the tortilla and then put some grill marks on it! We can call it the “Cheesy, fiesta, chimichanga, gordita, puta, con queso supreme!” This is gonna be big!”


Italian restaurants do the same thing…

Chicken Parmesean
All ravioli’s

It’s all just a noodle in one shape or another with your choice of
chicken or beef, marinated in tomato sauce. Not to mention that I
can make it at home, that’s like going to a restaurant for a bowl of

Rip off.



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