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Looking for SECRET MENUS

j
Jessie K Jun 21, 2006 11:00 AM

I know that In-and-Out Burger has a secret menu, as does Jamba Juice, Starbucks, and possibly Trader Vics. Does anyone know if there are other national/regional chains to offer under-the-table deliciousness? Thank you!

  1. p
    pinstripeprincess Jun 21, 2006 12:19 PM

    pray-tell, what is this secret starbucks menu?

    Link: http://tongueandcheek.ca

    15 Replies
    1. re: pinstripeprincess
      j
      Jessie K Jun 21, 2006 12:27 PM

      To be honest, I'm not sure what's on Starbucks secret menu. But I've heard about its existence from several sources. Unfortunately (or rather, fortunately), I don't live anywhere near a Starbucks so I can't go check it out for myself. If you get to one, ask the manager what's on it! I'd like to know!

      1. re: Jessie K
        m
        macca Jun 21, 2006 12:36 PM

        FOr what it's worth- found this link..... I've only been to Starbucks once, and didn't care for the coffee, but some may find it helpful.

        Link: http://www.concurringopinions.com/arc...

        1. re: Jessie K
          s
          sku Jun 21, 2006 01:09 PM

          "Unfortunately (or rather, fortunately), I don't live anywhere near a Starbucks so I can't go check it out for myself."

          So are you in Outer Mongolia or Antarctica?

          1. re: sku
            j
            Jessie K Jun 21, 2006 01:53 PM

            Ha! No, not Antarctica or Mongolia. Just Lexington, Virginia. Which sometimes feels it might as well be in the hinterlands of nowhere. But we do have two home grown coffee shops in town that are quite good, and I never have to say those words "venti" or "grande."

            1. re: Jessie K
              d
              DT Jun 22, 2006 12:58 AM

              My "local" Starbucks is 15 miles away. However, there are about 3 Dunkin Donuts in a 10 mile radius.

              Don't drink coffee so I could care less.

              1. re: DT
                d
                Davina Jun 23, 2006 11:02 AM

                A shame. I miss Dunkin' Donuts now that I don't travel for business anymore. IMO they have the best coffee around. No DD in So Cal.

              2. re: Jessie K
                Das Ubergeek Jun 24, 2006 02:57 AM

                I don't seem to be able to reply to Davina... but there aren't any DDs in SoCal... yet. That will change as the three brands (31 Flavors, Togo's and Dunkin Donuts') open co-branded locations.

              3. re: sku
                j
                JMF Jun 22, 2006 10:42 AM

                They are practically everywhere. A miracle when they aren't. I was most disgusted by the branch in The Forbidden City in Beijing, China.

                1. re: sku
                  t
                  torta basilica Jun 22, 2006 06:51 PM

                  LOL - my 24 year old neice's friend was stalking a guy who said he worked at Starbucks in our town. We came up with 8 within a 3 mile radius! They never did find him...

                  1. re: torta basilica
                    j
                    JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester) Jun 23, 2006 12:02 AM

                    There is a certain corner in Gilbert, AZ where there are no less than THREE Starbucks locations. There's a standalone at the north end, one inside the Barnes & Noble in the middle of the complex, and a third inside Super Target at the south end at least a quarter mile from the standalone.

                    Have they gone for four anywhere?

                    Link: http://thecosmicjester.blogspot.com

                    1. re: JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester)
                      r
                      Ruth Lafler Jun 23, 2006 03:12 PM

                      I dunno. But they come pretty close on some blocks in downtown San Francisco -- they bought out a local chain and kept all of the locations, so there are places where they have stand-alone Starbucks right across the street or right around the corner from each other. Just for fun, I once tried to figure out if there was a way to walk from the bus terminal to my office without passing a Starbucks (especially difficult because there was one right next to the closest entrance to my building). It was a circuitous route, to say the least! I don't actually have to walk past a Starbucks to get to my new office, but it's less than a block from the terminal. However, there are three Starbucks within 50 yards of the new office (one next door, one kitty corner and one halfway down the next block). The coffee shop actually in our building is a Tully's (vbg).

                      I once suggested that a Starbucks could be a unit of measurement in urban areas, as in: "How far is the restaurant?" "Not far, only four Starbucks."

                      1. re: Ruth Lafler
                        e
                        ES Jun 23, 2006 03:37 PM

                        Check out the link attached for the Starbucks Center of Gravity in NYC. Pretty funny.

                        Link: http://beigerecords.com/cory/Things_I...

                      2. re: JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester)
                        p
                        piccola Jun 23, 2006 03:30 PM

                        There's a corner on Robson St. in Vancouver, BC, where there is a Starbuck on each side of the street. They are literally facing each other. Oddly, each one is packed.

                      3. re: torta basilica
                        GroovinGourmet Jun 25, 2006 02:16 AM

                        We were in Vancouver and there are two Starbuck's cattycorner at
                        an intersection on Robson St, the main drag. I guess some people
                        need a cup of coffee for enough of a boost so they can cross the street
                        to get a cup of coffee.

                        1. re: torta basilica
                          Divamac Jul 8, 2006 06:33 AM

                          In San Diego, there is an intersection with 3 as well, one standalone, one inside an Albertson's (actually in the same shopping center as the standalone) and one in a Barnes & Noble. There are a few intersections with 2 Starbucks that I know of, too.

                  2. i
                    ipse dixit Jun 21, 2006 12:48 PM

                    The Cheesecake Factory has a secret menu.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: ipse dixit
                      l
                      Loren3 Jun 21, 2006 01:23 PM

                      Judging from the invectives against the Cheesecake Factory a few posts down, I'd say the secret menu may not be an improvement over the real one!

                      1. re: Loren3
                        r
                        rworange Jun 21, 2006 03:29 PM

                        I was hoping the secret menu was where Cheesecake Factory keeps the edible food.

                        Anyway, the big secret menu is that you can pretty much get any combo of anything at any fastfood joint as long as they have it on the menu.

                        Just be sure to ask nice and don't ask during the lunch rush. It helps not to ask at the drive-in window but at the counter.

                        There are exceptions. Since McDonald's is so uptight about those breakfast hours ... don't think of ordering a McMuffin at 10:01 am ... it is not possible to get a fried egg on a burger or a burger on an Egg Mcmuffin. Ditto for any other place with a similar policy.

                        Extra patties or cheese ... very easy ... just ask and negotiate a price. Anything else, depends how nice you are and how bored the staff is.

                        Or do what this guy does ... dream up your own new combo. Mostly it involves adding fries to a sandwich ... never thought of putting fries in a fajita before ... a burger yes, but not a fajita.

                        At first my favorite in this list was the surf & turf which is a burger with a filet o' fish on top.

                        However, I'm taken with the description of the twice baked potato from Wendy's. You scoop out the baked potato, dump fries on top, cut up fries and potato and mix together with the sour cream ... refill potato shell and then you are. I'm pretty confident that this doesn't qualify as a recipe that belongs on the Home Cooking board.

                        The bottom line though, it's still fast food.

                        Finding the secret menu at real restaurants, those dishes that were once on the menu or the stuff the regulars know about ... that's a little more interesting, isn't it?

                        Although those combined franchise restaurants like pizza hut/KFC have possibilites like pizza topped with chicken tenders. Then again, as someone said on NAF ... ewwwww.

                        Link: http://www.fastfoodfever.com/cuisine....

                        1. re: rworange
                          m
                          MSPD Jun 22, 2006 10:23 AM

                          That's great stuff. The Surf & Turf is hilarious. Thanks for that.

                          1. re: rworange
                            m
                            Mary V. Jun 23, 2006 01:00 PM

                            "Since McDonald's is so uptight about those breakfast hours ... don't think of ordering a McMuffin at 10:01 am ... it is not possible to get a fried egg on a burger or a burger on an Egg Mcmuffin."

                            I suppose.... if you were really longing for that specific combo.... you could get there at 9:55 am, order your fried egg or Egg Mcmuffin, then order your burger as the clock struck ten. Combine as desired. :-)

                        2. re: ipse dixit
                          j
                          Jessie K Jun 21, 2006 01:46 PM

                          Any idea what's on it? Have you ever tried it?

                          1. re: Jessie K
                            m
                            macca Jun 22, 2006 06:30 AM

                            I know someone who works at Cheesecake Factory. I saw her last night, and asked her about a "secert" menu. She said there was no secret menu.

                        3. t
                          tracyk Jun 21, 2006 11:17 PM

                          What is on the jamba juice secret menu??

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: tracyk
                            r
                            rworange Jun 21, 2006 11:39 PM

                            Here you go

                            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamba_Juice#Secret_Menu

                            HOWEVER, one person recieved a reply that there really is nothing official and drinks may vary by store. Ask the employees if there are any off-menu drinks.

                            Link: http://dsandler.org/wp/archives/2005/...

                          2. Notorious EMDB Jun 25, 2006 01:59 AM

                            Not so much a secret menu as an "old" menu, but at most Bertucci's you can still order the pizzas and pastas that they sold before the chain was acquired by Chili's parent company and "upscaled" a bit. I.e., the bbq chicken pizza, the Nolio pizza (prosciutto, caramelized onions, lemon cream sauce), and the gemelli with the mushrooms, chicken, and lemon cream sauce I can never remember the name of but which they always make if I describe it for them-- charged at the chicken, broccoli & ziti prices.

                            Oh dear, did I just out myself as a Bertucci's junkie?

                            1. LaLa Jun 25, 2006 04:34 AM

                              A group of us girls go to the same Mexican Rest. 3 or 4 times a week ...we ordered off menu so much that when they did new menus all the stuff we would order is now there!

                              1. SIMIHOUND Jun 25, 2006 09:05 PM

                                What is the secret menu at In n Out. All I ever knew about was a burger wrapped in lettuce which gets very messy. I dotn know what they call it now.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: SIMIHOUND
                                  k
                                  Kuisine Jun 25, 2006 10:48 PM

                                  In n' Out burger wrapped in lettuce instead of a bun is a Protein Burger.

                                  I like the well-done fries.

                                  Try here for more options:

                                  http://www.tiburon-belvedere.com/cgi/...

                                  Kathy/Kuisine (formerly KathySK)

                                2. s
                                  spazticmuffin Jul 4, 2006 07:36 PM

                                  Hey, I was just looking around on the web, 'cause my friend told me I could order a pink gumibear and other stuff from Jamba Juice, and I was like "COOL!!!" So I looked around and found out that there was a lot of other chains that did that too. And I know that there were some people who were talking abut the In-N-Out burger "Secret Menu" so I found the link that came straight from the chan itself:

                                  http://www.in-n-out.com/secretmenu.asp

                                  And I found the wikipedia thing, too, for Jamba Juice, so yeah.

                                  1. Wiley Jul 5, 2006 10:06 AM

                                    Go to www.recipesecrets.net ....lots to choose from

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Wiley
                                      d
                                      Diana Jul 8, 2006 05:45 AM

                                      not secret recipes, secret menus.

                                      1. re: Diana
                                        krissywats Jul 8, 2006 06:00 AM

                                        I was confused by this at first, too, since someone just sent me the 'secret recipes' for many restaurants and I've never heard of a 'secret menu'.....so basically it sounds like the 'secret menu' is asking for exactly what you want? I mean, a burger wrapped in lettuce isn't exactly like pulling foie gras out of the back and offering it only if you ask for it.

                                    2. p
                                      Phoo D Jul 8, 2006 05:51 PM

                                      Much more interesting - well to me at least - are the secret menus at many Chinese or other Asian restaurants. Often dishes will be listed on the Chinese menu that are not on the English menu. Or signs written in Chinese (or other language) alerting native speakers to dishes that most Americans wouldn't be interested in. I sometimes will say "I can't read Chinese, what are the specials?" Or "Do you have any seafood specials?"

                                      My local tiny Cantonese back-of-the-stripmall place does have an item on the menu called "Chinese Vegetables" and just by asking what vegetables are available, I have had dishes like long beans, baby bok choi, bitter melon, on choi, yu choi, gai lan, even gray squash prepared Chinese style.

                                      Another of my current favorites, Asia Cafe in San Diego, is a Laotian place that can serve a much wider range of dishes than are on its menu, but you have to ask.

                                      I don't know if I would call all of these secret menus, but we should remember that even non-chain restaurants can offer all sorts of delights that don't make it onto the menu you are handed.

                                      ed

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Phoo D
                                        e
                                        Erik M Jul 9, 2006 04:31 AM

                                        I created a website for Thai language menus in the Chicagoland area. These are menus which exist solely for the various restaurants' Thai-speaking and Thai-reading clientele. These menus generally include a number of dishes which are not included on the respective English language menus. For example, in the case of Sticky Rice restaurant, there are 170 items on the English language menu and 210 on the Thai language menu.

                                        The translations provided are my own:

                                        http://www.silapaahaan.com/

                                        E.M.

                                      2. t
                                        TOgirl Jul 9, 2006 04:14 AM

                                        http://img.slate.com/id/2133754/

                                        Short cappuccino - same amount of espresso as the tall size but less milk/foam. Costs less and according to the author, the baristas all in the know...

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