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Tuesday, February 11, 2014




Mrs. C and I went to Friendly’s today, after a visit to the doctor.   I ordered a BLT.  It wasn’t just a BLT though, it was:

“Perfectly grilled applewood smoked bacon merged with crisp iceberg lettuce, fresh ripe red tomato, all on delicious, perfectly toasted sourdough bread with just the right amount of mayo.”

I would have described the BLT as:                  

“Bacon, lettuce and tomato on toast, with mayo if you want.”

I don’t think I would be a very good menu writer, and yet:

Why is bacon today always “Applewood smoked bacon?” What is so friggin special about applewood? 

If I order a sandwich with lettuce, I sort of just expect it to be crisp.

“Oh I’m sorry sir did you order crisp lettuce?  We charge extra for crisp, most of our customers prefer limp lettuce.”

Most tomatoes are red, aren’t they? Because when I order something with tomatoes I don’t believe I need to request, “red, not green” do I?  And really, if the tomato is not fresh please just tell me you are all out of tomatoes.

I have to question the perfectly toasted bread thing.  What is perfect?  Can I have it my way?  Lightly toasted, or toasted golden brown or burnt to a crisp if I want…I’ll tell you what is perfectly toasted!

What the hell is the just right amount of mayo?  Can I decide, or is there a mayo standard?  How about putting a blob of mayo on the side and I’ll decide what is the perfect amount.

Apparently bullshit sells.

This always pisses me off at a restaurant; al dente pasta!  I like my pasta soft and limp (don’t even go there Scott P.) Is there some rule that pasta has to be al dente? I think people order pasta al dente just because it sounds sophisticated and worldly.  I don’t care, I’m old.  When I order my pasta I ask, “And boil the crap outa it, I like it limp and mushy.”

Cheese used to be Swiss or American.  I always just like Velveeta.  I know it is not really cheese, but is a “cheese like product.”  Cheese today seems to suddenly always be Asiago Cheese.  Sometimes they even call it “The” Asiago cheese like it is something everyone demands but is so difficult to find.  Did they just invent Asiago cheese?

I love this one, “Were running some specials today.”  Today’s restaurant special is yesterday’s crap that didn’t sell out.

Descriptions and names are what push the product at a restaurant.

I love Chilean sea bass.  I’m not so sure I would order the “Patagonian Toothfish.”

Chilean Sea Bass/Patagonian Toothfish...same thing!

I’ll take mine without the head please.


  1. Ha! Funny post.

    I think "truth in advertising" is a total myth. Applewood smoked? Yeah, right. It's probably just whatever their wholesale distributor sent them that week. Same with the lettuce and tomatoes. Now, about that limp, I'll let that one slide. ;)

    I think the only ones more deceiving with their descriptions are Realtors who write up the ads for their lisitngs: "has tons of character" means "it's a dump", "a few updates still needed" means "no indoor plumbing", etc.


  2. Your BLT sounded good. I could go for one of those.

  3. A bit like all that pretentious nonsense on wine bottle labels.

  4. laughing. but i'd like some applewood smoked bacon, please...

  5. Must be a connoisseur of bacon to know when to use Applewood smoked bacon, Hickory smoked, or Maple. :)

    I like a cross between hickory and maple flavored bacon for my BLTs.

    This was fun, because I too expect my lettuce to be crisp and my tomato to be red. Thanks for the laughs!

  6. My daughter owns a restaurant with a similar menu. She does leave out all the adjectives.
    If only people knew the back story. She scored a felled apple tree, which she stored in our barn. When they run low on the apple wood slabs she serves one of her fancy schmancy concoctions on she runs down, fires up the ShopSmith and takes home a new pile of apple wood slabs.

  7. Just what is Applewood?
    Does it matter if it's Winesap or Granny Smith?
    What if all you have is apricot wood?

  8. I grew up on Friendly's. I liked the Friendly Frank. We don't have Friendly's in The Sticks. We have Steak 'n Shake. Open 24 hours, always greasy.

  9. We don't seem to have Friendly's down here in Arizona either but a brand new Culver's (from Wisconsin) just opened a couple of miles from me and it's been mobbed every time I go in or by it. I don't think they use Applewood smoked bacon but they do toast the buns for their Butterburgers just a little! :D

  10. it's the corner diner for me, not so much Queenie. all this fancy who-ha really does nothing for me particularly, as you say, since it demands that i have it their way. ick

  11. Hah - too funny!

    After reading the cheese paragraph, I'm wondering if you prefer Tang to orange juice, though.

  12. Those menu descriptions sound like something Elaine wrote for products in the J. Peterman catalog. Like the urban sombrero, or the Himalayan walking shoes.

  13. B.S. with a plethora of unnecessary adjectives. Yup. You think menus are bad, how about the descriptions of artwork in a gallery catalog. They are so deep in doo doo that it's hilarious. Still, descriptive words have an effect on our decisions as you so accurately illustrated in the Chilean Sea Bass/Patagonian Toothfish.

  14. I'd like to find the person who writes those descriptions and make him eat his menus.
    Most tomatoes are red? Well, in the past, the recent past, yes. Way back in the mists of time, tomatoes came in other colours too and those heritage/heirloom varieties are making a comeback. There's yellow grape, black russian, a variety striped in green and darker green that I can't remember if it is tiger or zebra.
    Iceberg lettuce is awful tasteless stuff, only ever used for the crunch and because it is cheap. There are so many better varieties.

  15. I think you would make a great menu writer, especially with these descriptions. Maybe in the clarification of bacon Applewood sounds a lot classier than just regular bacon. Hey maybe this a way of saying one was raised with class the other raised in the ghetto. At least that is what I think of when I hear farm raised and organic. :)

    The only way I like a green tomato is fried. :)


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