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Amusing menu gaffes - what's yours? [moved from Boston board]

The website for the new Andover restaurant, Serene, is rife with typos and misspellings, such as Shrimp Gramanier, and other errors, e.g. the risotto is SERVED with arborio rice! Many ethnic restaurant menus reflect their owners' imperfect command of English, often to charming/amusing effect. The menu for the excellent The Pongal, a new Indian restaurant in Billerica, contains the following: "...special plates served with day of the potato preparation...". I envision a 1950's horror movie with a monster in a rubber spud suit - Mr. Potato Head Runs Amok. The owners have other Pongals in India; googling led me to a review in an Indian newspaper, which said that a particular dish "goes down your gullet effortlessly". Can't help it, I picture the place settings including a feeding tube laid out next to the other cutlery.

What's your favorite menu chuckle?

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  1. You can find a ton of gaffes in any of the menus in chinese restaurants. My favorite was the 'chicken paws' I saw on the dim sum menu/flyer I found on my car from the New Shanghai restaurant. I'm Chinese so I can laugh, right?

    1. The "goes down your gullet effortlessly" reminds me of one of my favourite English expressions- "slips down a treat" to describe fabulous food or drink. I was in a Chinese restaurant in Paris where they had attempted to translate the menu badly into English and they offered " Chinese stir fried with vegetable". I always wondered who the unlucky person would be.

      1 Reply
      1. re: deshuitres

        a place here had a sign... "stir fried vegetarian with tofu" sadly someone told them what it meant and they fixed the sign. such a shame, always made me smile.

      2. At a Mothers Day lunch I saw "Mother's Milk and Cookies." I can only assume...

        10 Replies
          1. re: almansa

            ok but the disturbing thing is that there's a chef in NYC who has been serving cheese made from his wife's breast milk...

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              very disturbing. what some won't do for shock value. but of course all "outré" and pushing-the-envelope self-described extreme foodies will laud it.

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                why is that disturbing? if you think about it, having the milk from some other animal ought to be weirder than having human milk.....

                1. re: thew

                  ha ha, thew. somehow i knew who might defend this.

                  1. re: alkapal

                    Actually I seem to recall a short story (forgot the title, but I remeber it was one of the ones in "Dangerous Visions" (or maybe "Again Dangerous Visions") about an earth where this was the norm.

                    1. re: alkapal

                      visions of big warehouse like structures full of buxom women chewing high calcium foods and taking drugs to optimize output..... now thats disturbing.

                        1. re: thew

                          all this reminds me of the specialty Aux Mandarins at 1, rue de Berri in Paris: "chef's kidney - les rognons du chef".

                          1. re: Parigi

                            Parigi: was he a heavy drinker? that might be intriguing...

              2. Oh dear, my all time favorite at a restaurant in Mallorca Spain many years ago:

                The menu was in Spanish and English. They had really intended to say "BBQ Rabbit", or "Rabbit Grilled over a Wood Fire."

                Instead, the English language menu said: "Rabbi on hot wood." Shades of the Spanish inquisition, shiver...

                1 Reply
                1. re: StriperGuy

                  That's priceless! Oh, and that reminds me - the section of The Pongal menu which describes the tandoori breads is entitled "Bread from Clay" , calling to mind the biblical loaves and fishes miracle!

                2. "Free Delivery: $1" or something along those lines - used to be on the menu for Pu Pu Hot Pot.

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: jgg13

                    I went to a Chinese spot in Toronto years ago that offered a "Poo-Poo" platter. My friends and I thought that was hilarious.

                    1. re: KevinB

                      Correct me if I'm wrong, but a pu-pu platter is the actual name for a type of mixed appetizer plate :-). I laughed the first time I saw it in DC, too.

                      1. re: vorpal

                        Pūpū is a Hawai'ian word. Loosely, it just means "finger food." The pupu platter has become a fairly standardized Americanized Chinese dish (egg roll, chicken wing, crab rangoon, fried shrimp, etc.), but pupus in Hawai'i are much more diverse. And they're delicious!

                        1. re: alanbarnes

                          and the Hawaiians adopted it from the "Paniolos" or Hawaiian Cowboys who were originally mostly Spaniards (espanols). I was really shocked one day when driving thru a heavily latino part of LA to see a "Pupuceria", sort of a tapas bar.

                          1. re: KaimukiMan

                            So pupus come from pupusas? That's a very cool theory.

                            But some sources claim that it was originally used to refer to relishes served with kava kava. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pu_pu_pl...) That doesn't sound very paniolo. Pipikaula, sure. But banana relish? Not so much.

                            Another theory is that it's a loan word from Cantonese, although that seems less plausible.

                            We need an etymologist here!

                            1. re: alanbarnes

                              converging cultures... always interesting. Perhaps the spanish picked it up during half a millennium of exploring the pacific.

                              1. re: KaimukiMan

                                good point, and the Portugese and Dutch.

                                it is fascinating when cultures mesh and what they take away.

                  2. I went to a retirement party once where the caterer's menu proudly announced its use of "mescaline greens." And this was in a law enforcement field, no less!

                    And our nearest steak place has an item, intended to make you feel nostalgic ... "Yesterday's Meatloaf." It always leaves me wondering whether they make it from uneaten steak bits off people's plates? Enough to make me want to stay away altogether.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: fieryredhead

                      Chefs and restaurant employees who spell "mescaline" for mesclun on promotional materials are indicating to the rest of the world exactly where their heads are at...

                      1. re: fieryredhead

                        i keep trying the mescaline salad, but my tolerance must be way up. no kick at all

                      2. Two of my favorites. There is a liquor store in Chinatown that had a note on their emergency exit that read" Door unrock when building occupan"

                        Another place downtown had a sign in the window reading "lunch special free for small coke" I always wanted to walk in with a small Coke and ask to exchange my Coke for a lunch special.

                        1. I was at a restaurant in California that was serving " Suckling Chicken".

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: csammy

                            Stop genetically-modified food now! ;)

                          2. Once at Chef Chang's in Brookline having Peking Duck (just having returned from Beijing and remembering the multi-course meal I'd had of the duck there) I asked the waiter if they had the liver. The reply was "No! Takeout only!". I tried repeatedly, pointing at my side, the duck, etc. to no avail, just "takeout only!" haha.

                            Just in case... "the liver"....de liver.....

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Zatan

                              My favorite was in Edinburgh. We saw a restaurant boasting American cuisine, and when we checked the menu in the window we were delighted to see "Whack of Ribs".


                            2. "Steaming dough pockets with vegetables and fungus" which I am guessing was supposed to say "Steamed dumplings with vegetables and mushrooms." I think I owe my business to that one.

                              Another cute one on Crete at a small souvlaki stand, which had a menu with Greek, English, and German:

                              patates / fried potatoes / Kartoffeln. Frieden (=potatoes. peace.).


                              5 Replies
                              1. re: linguafood

                                FYI - in Chinese cooking, fungus isn't the same as mushrooms - we actually use fungus and call it such (e.g. black fungus or wood ear fungus).

                                1. re: akq

                                  Ok, but I am more than doubtful that the German cook of this hotel was *really* using fungus, and not mushrooms. Thanks for the input, tho.

                                  1. re: linguafood

                                    Hmm. Sorry - I assumed it was a Chinese place. No idea whether Germans use fungus, but you're probably right!

                                    1. re: linguafood

                                      Do keep in mind that in Italian you say fungi for mushrooms...

                                      1. re: StriperGuy

                                        Yes, in Italian you say funghi. In English, however, you say mushrooms.

                                2. An Indian place opened in my neighbourhood a while back and while their delivery menu was riddled with errors, my favourite was the 'Green Peepers' that were in one of the dishes. Keep your curtains closed when you order that one...

                                  1. My two Chinese menu favorites (and I've seen them multiple times because I'm sure one company prints menus for many different restaurants): Beef cubs over white rice, and sauteed crap with ginger and scallion. Cubes, for sure, but crab? carp? Could go either way, I guess.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: small h

                                      A very famous Shanghai-style restaurant in NY offers an extensive variety of fish dishes. For many years their menu had a full page of Buffalo Carp dishes. Problem is, "carp" was misspelled every last time. The problem has since been corrected but every time I'm in there I think back to the many ways one can prepare buffalo crap.

                                      Btw, their carp dishes all taste great.

                                    2. Not on a menu but on a box of imported pudding mix: the translation instructed to "...boil the mass until it congeals…" Doesn't that sound just delish?

                                      1. I have a treasured menu I stole from a restaurant in Turkey decades ago. A featured entree: "Beef things." I have no idea. Didn't have the nerve to order it.

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: Caroline1

                                          Reminds me of an entree at a resort in the Dominican Republic. The menu says "beef plate". I took a chance my first night and it turned out to be skirt steak and it was perfect! I noticed no one ever ordered it except me and my SO.

                                          1. re: pellegrino31

                                            Beef plate is actually the technical term for the larger cut of meat that skirt steak comes from... but your average diner wouldn't know that!

                                            Thai Beer in Los Angeles used to advertise deep-fried vegetarians... and the sign at Cocary Hot Pot said "Picture may vary from the real".

                                            1. re: pellegrino31

                                              Skirt steak is very popular in the Caribbean. We had some fantastic ones in Vieques recently.

                                            2. The Brighton Beach neighborhood of Brooklyn is heavily populated with Russian immigrants and most of the residents there speak in their native tongue. In addition to that, most of the store signage there is foreign to me, because it is all in Russian. On one particular day I happened to stop in to a store and decided to browse their selection of packaged fish fillets. I was thrilled to see that the labels were in English. Hooray!
                                              Upon closer inspection, I noticed the label read 'God Fish' all in caps. 'Oh, they must mean Cod fish', I said to myself. But as I sifted through the other packages, I noticed they all said that. Tilapia, flounder, tilefish -- ALL God fish. No cod anywhere. I walked out of there and said to myself, 'I'm not ready for this yet'.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Cheese Boy

                                                Hahaha! Reminds me of some of the stores in Toronto Chinatown. One day I was walking through, and everything wrapped in plastic with a printed label was idenified as "Vietnamese Herbs". I bought some nice ground Vietnamese herbs from the meat counter to go with my Vietnamese herbs from the produce section to make some delicious dumplings :-).

                                              2. There's an Iranian takeaway place near me that's very good, but their menu is packed full of amusing typos. Would you prefer the "Baby Aborigine" (I'm guessing aubergine?) or the "Whore Okra" (whole, I hope!) Thankfully the food justifies the comedy value!

                                                1. There's a Mediterranean restaurant in Burbank which has Homos on the menu. You can get anything delivered in Los Angeles!

                                                  1. At Bond 45 in NYC during Valentines Day week, the boyfriend and I laughed over the "Broccoli Rape" being served alongside the chicken.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: Azizeh Barjesteh

                                                      That, actually, is not a typo. But it would explain why that vegetable is usually referred to as broccoli rabe. Same thing for canola oil. It's made out of rapeseed but most marketers wouldn't be putting that in big letters on their packages.

                                                    2. We regularly receive a Chinese take-out menu where all the vegetarian dishes have either chicken or shrimp an an ingredient.

                                                      1. The one that sticks in my mind was probably not actually a gaffe, but nonetheless...

                                                        It was at the long-defunct Peasant Stock in Cambridge, MA, the menu one night offered "Roast Puerto Rican Kid."

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: BobB

                                                          Roast Puerto Rican young goat. A young goat is known as a kid.

                                                          1. re: yakitat jack

                                                            Uhhh...yes. I know that. It's just the way it was phrased struck me as funny. You may disagree if you like.

                                                        2. Lots of typos found on Chinatown menus including pork dumpings and boiled bumplings. The latter always makes me think of warts or something, perhaps due to the "bump".

                                                          1. In the late 70s, a Portuguese bakery in Somerville, MA had a sign one day inside that I will never forget. I felt compelled to ask for the manager and point out that he might want to correct a sign that said,

                                                            "Fresh jewess rye from our hot ovens"

                                                            with an "ish".

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: fussycouple

                                                              Tigers Deli take out menu in NJ menu used to offer Corned "Beak" sandwiches - think they mustve gotten spell checked into that. Id peruse the menu trying to decide what to order and somehow that always put me off ever ordering the corned beef....

                                                            2. not from a menu, but i've seen lots of creative spellings in the restaurants I've worked in (usually from native english speakers). my favorite thing ever listed on the 86 board:

                                                              cremon glaze

                                                              took me a minute of staring at it and sounding it out in my head to figure out what the heck they meant.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: nc213

                                                                Now that's funny! Someone was obviously hooked on phonics.

                                                                1. re: nc213

                                                                  You can have that for dessert after your:

                                                                  Flamin' Yon

                                                                2. in india on a dessert menu

                                                                  "american ice cream swedishs"

                                                                  took me a 1/2 hour to figure they meant sweet dishes.

                                                                  not a gaffe, but there used to be a chinese place that offered "hot intestines and things"

                                                                  i always wondered what the things could be, if the least nasty one the could mention were the hot intestines.....

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: thew

                                                                    Hard enough to get up the courage to order tripe or chitterlings, but when it is called "hot intestines and things" gulp.

                                                                  2. My favourite example is not from a menu. I once saw a poster advertising a charity dinner. At the very bottom of the poster, it said:

                                                                    "For rickets, call..."

                                                                    No way was I going to call! Although it presents a very sad irony.. Maybe I have a sick sense of humour...

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: miss_bennet

                                                                      i saw a hotel/restaurant in varanasi with a sign that read " a fine place to die" I neither ate nor stayed there

                                                                    2. I saw a Conflict of Duck on a hotel menu - had visions of some massive duck fight with feathers flying.

                                                                      1. At a small restaurant for lunch last week, there was an item on the menu "Vegetarian Wrap with Chicken"

                                                                        I thought of that this week when the Top Chef winner was tofu cooked in rendered beef fat.....

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: Squint

                                                                          i've seen a lot of restaurants do that. typically the "chicken" [or pork, or shrimp] they're talking about is a vegetarian substitute or meat analog, but they really should specify.

                                                                        2. In college, the Chinese restaurant just around the corner from campus had a menu that read "We Delivery!!!!"

                                                                          I was also at a Chinese restaurant in Rome where they had dishes like "lo mein with meat." Never said what kind of meat, but one of my friends was brave enough to order a dish "with meat," and it certainly didn't look like any meat I had ever eaten...

                                                                          1. "basket full of whole deep fried orcas"

                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                              1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                Wow, that must be some big basket!

                                                                                1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                  I can't for the life of me figure out what the Orcas are actually supposed to be...

                                                                                  1. I live in Costa Rica and nearly every menu I encounter offers Chicken Gordon Blue and one even offered a Hamburger with a slice of Fried Hand on top. I love the comment about the Italian restaurant describing the Risotto served with arborio rice. Here, the Costa Ricans often do serve a side of fries with a side of rice on the same plate...pura vida..

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: chefmurray57

                                                                                      Every restaurant in Bali had Chicken Gordon Blue on it as well. My husband and I always giggled when we saw it.

                                                                                    2. We have a family joke about how we have to find the mistake in every new Chinese menu we see. It is kid of funny, but not surprising. Seeing as I read posts and e-mails from people who should have learned better, but did not, why should I be surprised that someone who is not American born does not pick up on an error.

                                                                                      1. Not a foreign language translation gaffe, but definitely a gaffe:

                                                                                        Kosher Hot Dog with Cheese.

                                                                                        8 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: RGC1982

                                                                                          along the same lines: vegan honey cake

                                                                                          1. re: RGC1982

                                                                                            Not a gaffe at all. The hot dog itself was produced in a manner that rendered it qualified to be certified as kosher. When people see the term "kosher hot dog" it signifies certain things pertaining to its contents, size, shape, flavor, and other standards, things that cannot be changed by what it is served with. Which is why it is a sought-after product.
                                                                                            Then the purveyor chose to serve it with cheese. This act certainly makes the finished dish not kosher, but it doesn't change the fact that the hot dog was produced as a kosher product.

                                                                                              1. re: rubymydear

                                                                                                Your link was hilarious! Eating Trafe for Chanukah!

                                                                                                Actually, I did understand, Leonardo, the intent of the menu item description. Of course they were just trying to sell the perceived higher quality of a kosher hot dog because this was not a kosher restaurant. It was just really funny because we chose to eat there with some conservative Jewish friends who keep kosher at home, but are more liberal when eating out. They laughed over the "kosher hot dog with cheese" for a good twenty minutes. It just seemed funny.

                                                                                                1. re: eclecticsynergy

                                                                                                  That's a classic - it's from Balducci's in NYC, from 2007. Went absolutely viral at the time.

                                                                                                  1. re: eclecticsynergy

                                                                                                    Balducci's in NYC? is this for real? even I know better.

                                                                                                2. I got one on a set of chopsticks: "Eat your Nice Chinese Food with chkostiks. How to use: Place first chopstick between middle finger and tnurb." I can't remember the rest, but every one was cracking up!

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: penguiino101

                                                                                                    No wonder I was holding my chopsticks wrong all these years.

                                                                                                  2. The one that still cracks me up, and I'm not sure why it was on the all-you-can eat menu:
                                                                                                    "Fat people are harder to kidnap"

                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                      ok, that's hiLArious! veggo, where did you see it?

                                                                                                      1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                        On the other hand, there's the slogan of a chain of fitness centers in Hong Kong: "Because when they come, they'll eat the fat ones first!"

                                                                                                        1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                          AYCE=big appetites=higher weight= more difficult to pick up and carry off?

                                                                                                        2. Allright... Not a Typo and actual Product at the Caribbean section in our local Publix : 'Cock Flavored Soup' ....... Guess it might be my mind in the gutter.....

                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: chefschickie

                                                                                                            I bought several of these and are saving them for...I don't know, a bachelorette party?

                                                                                                            1. re: Michelly

                                                                                                              it's the steeping that's so damned painful

                                                                                                              1. re: thew

                                                                                                                It's the skinning that gets to me. And getting rid of the bone.

                                                                                                                1. re: Paulustrious

                                                                                                                  once steeped and skinned, i assure you, the bone will be gone

                                                                                                            2. re: chefschickie

                                                                                                              I got some once as a joke. Made for a decent enough quick snack.

                                                                                                              1. re: chefschickie

                                                                                                                Yes - my mother thought "Cock Soup" was hilarious so she bought me a packet (she's 70)
                                                                                                                I keep it dsplayed in my kictchen!

                                                                                                              2. At our local Japanese restuarant:

                                                                                                                Pork Berry in Sweat Sauce

                                                                                                                oh yum!

                                                                                                                1. I used to work in a small cajun restaurant with an amazing chef. Unfortunately he was no typist and always relied too much on spell check. Thus we had "mussels with Boston logger" and "shrimp and grits in a white whine sauce." He was such a nice guy that I couldn't bring myself to tell him that his menu was just chock full of typos. Besides, everyone thought he was trying to be cute.

                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: whs

                                                                                                                      He managed not to mangle "mussels." I think that I would have corrected that one just because it is just a gross picture.

                                                                                                                      1. re: whs

                                                                                                                        Locally, in Baltimore, steamed blue crabs are a must during the summer
                                                                                                                        and sometime during the summer a sign will go "STEAMED FEMALES
                                                                                                                        $20.00"...never fails to give me a chuckle

                                                                                                                        1. re: Hue

                                                                                                                          Hey Hue,
                                                                                                                          I'm from Baltimore, too, Hon. I always get a chuckle out of "steamed females." I grew up crabbing on the Magothy River and was taught to throw the females back.

                                                                                                                    2. Dinner menus on Disney Cruise Line get posted in the morning at the Animator's Palate since it doesn't serve breakfast or lunch. On one morning of my Panama Canal cruise in 2005, I took a peek at the menu and saw that one of the soup/salad offerings that evening was "Essence of Leeches, Passion Fruit, Guava".
                                                                                                                      Someone caught the typo in time to run off new menus to hand out at dinner. However, there had been a full print run of the error menu and our server was able to smuggle out a "leeches" menu for our group to have as a keepsake.

                                                                                                                      1. Shrimp Dumpings, at a Chinese place (Gourmet Garden) in Ann Arbor, MI.

                                                                                                                        1. This was posted recently in another thread. Absolutely hilarious -- I don't think I've seen as many mistakes as in this menu. And it gets kind adult as you approach the bottom.


                                                                                                                          And then there is engrish.com that portrays English mistakes in predominantly Japanese ads and products. Here is the menu section:


                                                                                                                          1. I feel terrible for laughing at a lot of these...

                                                                                                                            The most puzzling and funny one that I remember was at a Korean restaurant upstate many years ago. They had some sort of beef dish with "steamed bracorie." (it wasn't a very authentic korean place). It took me most of my meal to realize they were serving it with broccoli.

                                                                                                                            It's very common in various ethnic restaurants. The ones that I end up remembering are the ones that completely stump me. Bracorie.

                                                                                                                            1. Many years ago in a London restaurant known for its game dishes, my uncle inquired of the Spanish waiter, "What is in the Gamekeeper's Pie?", and the answer was "Why, gamekeeper, of course."

                                                                                                                              We managed not to laugh, and my uncle ordered it anyway.

                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: cassis

                                                                                                                                Oh my, you haven't seen anything yet.
                                                                                                                                Try living in Tokyo.

                                                                                                                                At my local convenience store they sell "Homo Sausages", made of fish mind you.
                                                                                                                                My all time favorite is below:
                                                                                                                                "burning condition cock skewer" yummy

                                                                                                                                1. re: lost squirrel

                                                                                                                                  hahaha, I also like the "two of them" part, very normal maybe put more speaking language.....

                                                                                                                              2. My favorites remain "Foot to Go" and that comforting favorite "Lamp Stew." Yummm.

                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                1. re: Sarah

                                                                                                                                  Yep, this reinforces the fact that Chinese translation is all about pronunciation. I was at a Chinese eatery once and I asked the server for pepper and received paper. At first I thought that was odd, but I then realized why. It's amazing and at times unfortunate, how so much can be lost in translation with something as simple as misspellings. (Sadly, we get a laugh at their expense).

                                                                                                                                2. Once I had "Shredded Prok"

                                                                                                                                  and I think it indeed was Prok...

                                                                                                                                  1. My favorite Thai restaurant serves a bean "threat" noodle dish!

                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                    1. You can get similar results when an English-speaking chef serves a dish with a foreign name. A seafood restaurant here in town frequently offers poke (the Hawai'ian marinated fish dish--pronounced POH-keh) as a special. But to distinguish the dish from the weed that southerners make into poke salad, or to make pronunciation clearer, or for whatever reason, the menu always lists it as "poki."

                                                                                                                                      Which wouldn't be funny if poki wasn't another ancient Hawai'ian food. Dog meat, to be specific.

                                                                                                                                      1. And, who can forget the restaurant menu that listed "Asparagus with Holland Days Sauce"? I was tempted to ask if I could get it with Holland Nights Sauce instead.

                                                                                                                                        1. I thought this subject was pretty much exhausted. Then I was browsling local online restaurant menus this morning looking for inspiration to either drive or cook. In the "sides" menu of Cafe Istanbul in downtown Dallas, they translate "Siyah Zeytin" (Turkish for black olives) as "Calamity Olives." Gee, and I thought Turkish-Greek relations were improving! No idea whether it's the same on the in-house menu. But that's the way it is here: http://www.cafe-istanbul.net/menu.htm

                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                            not a restaurant but a local nail bar has a sign on the door which says ' dogs have no permission'. Makes me chuckle.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                              Bit late to post this, but you know what it's like with a resurrected thread.

                                                                                                                                              I think that was the translation of Kalamata, rather than just black

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Paulustrious

                                                                                                                                                hmmm... You resurect late, I respond late. A month later, I finally read this. No. Not "Kalamata." The menu is written in Turkish, and it clearly states "black olives" in Turkish (Siyah Zeytin), then seriously mistranslates it. You're right in that they probably intended "Kalamata," but the problem is that Kalamata olives are grown specifically and exclusive in Kalamata, Greece. Grow the same olive somewhere else and it's just a black olive. Or whatever else they want to call it, but Kalamata olives are grown in Kalamata. Similar to the way the French feel about Champagne. '-)

                                                                                                                                            2. This is hilarious! For years my husband and I have laughed about the "Garlkick sauce" on a menu in our once favorite Chinese restaurant. To this day, we say Garlkick sauce. Can't help it.

                                                                                                                                              1. From my Daughter NO jazz fest botter water $1.00, also sweat ham.

                                                                                                                                                1. This isn't about a menu error but a pronunciation error. We were out with a fairly large group for dinner and my friend ordered succotash. She pronounced it sue-kohe-tashie. Everybody got a laugh out of that. Of course, this is the same individual that thought czar was pronounced ceasar.

                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JenBoes

                                                                                                                                                    To be fair, caesar/czar/kaiser are etymologically related words. ;)

                                                                                                                                                  2. At a seafood restaurant in Portugal - "Fresh Giant Crap". (Referring to a lovely stuffed crab dish...) I really wish I had taken the menu...

                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Mothership

                                                                                                                                                      there was a palce in NYC chinatown that sold various carp dishes, all labled as crap

                                                                                                                                                    2. Saint John, New Brunswick, not really renown as a city of adventurous diners recently had a new sushi restaurant open. Of course since raw fish is quite adventurous the owners appeared to decide to ease the public by only using cooked fish in their rolls.

                                                                                                                                                      However the publicity in their window proudly announced "SUSHI ! - ALL COCKED MENU"

                                                                                                                                                      1. Not really a menu gaffe, but there's a mostly Asian grocery near me that regularly advertises "Old Chickens" for sale.

                                                                                                                                                        1. Not A menu gaffe..but I always find this humorous

                                                                                                                                                          An Asian Room Service Lesson

                                                                                                                                                          Be Warned , you will find yourself talking "funny" for a while after reading this

                                                                                                                                                          This is a telephone exchange(actual?) between a hotel guest and room-service at a hotel in Asia…

                                                                                                                                                          Room Service(RS): "Morny. Ruin sorbees"

                                                                                                                                                          Guest(G): "Sorry, I thought I dialed room service"

                                                                                                                                                          RS; "Rye..Ruin sorbees..morny! Djewish to odor sunteen?"

                                                                                                                                                          G: "Uh..yes …I'd like some bacon and eggs"

                                                                                                                                                          RS: " Ow July Den?"

                                                                                                                                                          G: "What?"

                                                                                                                                                          RS: "Ow July Den?….pry, boy, pooch?"

                                                                                                                                                          G: "Oh..the eggs! How do I like them?"
                                                                                                                                                          "Sorry..scrambled please"

                                                                                                                                                          RS: "Ow July dee bayhcem….crease?"

                                                                                                                                                          G: "Crisp will be fine"

                                                                                                                                                          RS: "Kokay. An San Tos?"

                                                                                                                                                          G: "What?"

                                                                                                                                                          RS: "San tos. July san Tos?"

                                                                                                                                                          G: "I don't think so!"

                                                                                                                                                          RS: "No? Judo one toes?"

                                                                                                                                                          G: " I feel real bad about this, but I don't know what 'judo one toes' means."

                                                                                                                                                          RS: "Toes! Toes!…why djew Don Juan toes?
                                                                                                                                                          "Ow bow singlish mopping we bother?"

                                                                                                                                                          G: English Muffin!!!! I've got it! You were saying 'Toast".. Yes, an English muffin will be fine."

                                                                                                                                                          RS: "We bother?"

                                                                                                                                                          G: "No… just put the bother on the side."

                                                                                                                                                          RS: "Wad?"

                                                                                                                                                          G: "I mean butter….just put the butter on the side."

                                                                                                                                                          RS: "Copy?"

                                                                                                                                                          G: "Sorry"

                                                                                                                                                          RS: "Copy?…Tea?…mill?…"

                                                                                                                                                          G: "Yes. Coffee please, and that’s all."

                                                                                                                                                          RS: "One Minnie. Ass ruin torino fee, strangle ache, crease bachem Tossy singlish mopping we bother honey sigh, and copy……rye?"

                                                                                                                                                          G: "Whatever you say"

                                                                                                                                                          RS: "Tendjewberrymud"

                                                                                                                                                          G: " You're welcome"

                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Hue

                                                                                                                                                            This reads more like someone mocking someone else's accent. It would be just as easy for me to mock some of the accents I've heard in New Jersey, Louisiana and Texas.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: dump123456789

                                                                                                                                                              I agree, I've been sent this a lot of times as an email and it strikes me as patronizing and unfunny (to be charitable). "Guest" should perhaps try to understand that room service person has at least a grasp of guest's language. Best not to make fun of someone speaking English with an accent, it means they know at least one more language than you do (if you're a unilingual English-speaker of course).

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                I always thought of this as two people trying to communicate, with the author having a hard time understanding the person on the other line, never did see it as condescending or patronizing, but I guess I can see why some people think so. Made me laugh out loud long and hard when I first read it, and didn't realize that people would see it as a negative.
                                                                                                                                                                But at my house we still use some of the terms, like "Ow bow singlish mopping we bother?" We mean nobody any disrespect, we don't live that way.

                                                                                                                                                          2. Recently spotted an item that included some Duck Conflict. Not sure it was a real typo, or an intended pun since the cook was the uber hipster chef Nantha Kumar, recently awarded an honorable mention for the "Best Montreal Weirdo" in our city weekly.

                                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: emerilcantcook

                                                                                                                                                              So were the ducks conflicted or fighting? That's a great one.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Catskillgirl

                                                                                                                                                                I took a better look at the menu yesterday. Actually it writes:

                                                                                                                                                                Conflict of Duck Penang

                                                                                                                                                                Even more poetic.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: emerilcantcook

                                                                                                                                                                  I posted earlier on this thread that I saw a Conflict of Duck on an English hotel menu. I couldn't stop laughing that evening.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                                                    "I always said I wouldn't eat duck, but this sounds so good..."

                                                                                                                                                            2. Years ago, a sweet little Japanese restaurant whose dessert menu featured fly ice cream. It was only on our second or third visit that one of us screwed up his courage and ordered it. Turned out to be ice cream balls dipped in tempura batter and deep fried.

                                                                                                                                                              1. Long ago in Laos there was a road sign in front of a place that said, "Snake Bar"

                                                                                                                                                                In the scientific literature we refer to cows produced for both meat and milk as, "Dual purpose females".

                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                                                                  Saw a road sign in Turkey that said "Cook Yourself Eat Yourself".
                                                                                                                                                                  It was a do-it-yourself BBQ.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Leonardo

                                                                                                                                                                    Sweet. This reminds me another one:

                                                                                                                                                                    There is also Cihichen [sic] Translate, one of the most amazing menu gaffes that was created in Turkinglish language. For those (many) of you who don't speak Turkish, I owe an explanation: the word "cevirme" is a homograph that both means to rotate and to translate. Here is the famous sign...


                                                                                                                                                                2. Not a menu gaffe, but similar incident in Westchester Co., NY.

                                                                                                                                                                  A few years ago, a new restaurant openned in the fall of the year. In early Dec., the local paper was featuring ads for New Years' Eve in their Friday entertainment section. This restaurants ad featured their choice of entrees for that night, all in a large, bold type. One of the choices was Breast of Duck. However in the ad, the "u" in duck got changed to an "i".

                                                                                                                                                                  The owners & the newspaper were really embarrased; however the phones won't stop ringing with reservations. The next week, the restaurant had a similar size ad in the same paper. The only copy in the ad was: "It's Breast of Duck".

                                                                                                                                                                  1. The cafeteria at work advertised "Leak Soup."

                                                                                                                                                                    1. Last night we ate at a place that had a Chocolate mouse cake. Tail not included.

                                                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: danhole

                                                                                                                                                                        Oh, but the tail is the best part! Good one.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: danhole

                                                                                                                                                                          I recently ordered a dish of "noodles with miced pork" at one of my favorite NY Chinatown joints. Always wondered what those mice were doing to my pork to make it taste so good...

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Emmmily

                                                                                                                                                                            I hope it's not what civets do to kopi luwak.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: dump123456789

                                                                                                                                                                              Well, I can't help noticing that some pork dishes in Chinatown (like the pork belly at New Yeah! Shanghai Deluxe) come with a sprinkling of "forbidden" (black) rice grains. At least I HOPE they're rice grains.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                                                                                                                I'm just picturing them there with little tiny cleavers mincing it themselves...

                                                                                                                                                                        2. I'm not sure if this is a typo or not, but the menu at a restaurant we frequent said "Under sane management since 1984". If it's a typo, then I guess the same management has been in place since 1984. If not, the old management might have finally gotten their meds dialed in correctly back in '84. I pointed it out to a waitress, she just rolled her eyes and said "They're lying".

                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LabRat

                                                                                                                                                                            I had to read your post 7 times before finally seeing what you saw! It's funny how your eyes will sometimes make corrections - seeing what "should" be there, not what really is there. I'm sure the waitress was right!

                                                                                                                                                                          2. A few Chinese restaurants (mostly Sichuan or northern style) in Boston feature shrimp or pork with "stumble eggs." I love it. MrLit and I now exclusively refer to scrambled eggs this way. (Makes sense, I suppose. You're just walkling along with an armful of eggs, and... oops!)

                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: litchick

                                                                                                                                                                              My term for scrambled eggs is "gegs".

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                                                                conversation at a restaurant for breakfast,
                                                                                                                                                                                three of us, one an exchange student:

                                                                                                                                                                                me: "Rick, what are you going to order?"
                                                                                                                                                                                Rick: "What is scramble mind?"
                                                                                                                                                                                me: "what? where is it on the menu?"
                                                                                                                                                                                Rick: "no, jim says i'm scramble mind"
                                                                                                                                                                                Jim: "I said you were scatter brained"

                                                                                                                                                                                we all had a good laugh

                                                                                                                                                                            2. "Hacked chicken in assorted flavor" "honey baby ribs"

                                                                                                                                                                              1. One of my favorite Chinese restaurants used to have a yummy dish called Snow White and the Sever Dwarves. Luckily there were no severed heads in the dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: queencru

                                                                                                                                                                                  Seen on a Thai menu in Chicago:

                                                                                                                                                                                  listed under appetizers - "Poo Thong"

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: caliking

                                                                                                                                                                                    And, of course, there is the old Chinese menu favorite:

                                                                                                                                                                                    Triple Clown

                                                                                                                                                                                    I just wonder if they considered the creepiness factor before employing those clowns.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: caliking

                                                                                                                                                                                      "Seen on a Thai menu in Chicago: listed under appetizers - "Poo Thong""

                                                                                                                                                                                      I think Poo = Crab in Thai... but still pretty funny for English speakers.

                                                                                                                                                                                      I often wonder what non-Spanish speakers think when a reviewer of a Mexican resto waxes poetic about the lovely dish of mole on the menu :-).

                                                                                                                                                                                      Our favourite menu gaffe was at a cavernouse Chinese restaurant in Mississauga (west of Toronto) that we frequented for cart-service dimsum. Once we perused the dinner menu for fun and discovered that they had well over a dozen dishes of tenderlion, prepared many different ways. Always thought the king of beasts would be a little tough, but apparently not here :-). We've referred to it as tenderlion ever since.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: carbocat

                                                                                                                                                                                          I'd think they migh have gotten one that broke out of the zoo and was lost, but to make these kind of menu mistakes someone in the kitchen probaby had a few to many, and as everyone know if you'd had a few to many its really hard to wok a strayed lion.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: caliking

                                                                                                                                                                                          That's as bad as the poopoo platter.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. There's a new Japanese place here offerring an entree whose ingredients include "cold duck wheat noodles". I discounted the cheap sparkling wine right away, positing that chilled cooked duck was part of the dish. Several minutes later I realized it's "cold buckwheat noodles". The bento box luncheon special means "choose any one..." but says "choke any one". I'm still trying to figure out "Negi-Hamachi Yellowtail, seditions" and "calm soup"....

                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                                                                          One would need calm soup after the seditious fish! Love the duck wheat noodles as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. I've got one from a wine dinner I attended the other night. On the menu, it said the third course consisted of ricotta gnocci with braised duck, bee pollen, an assortment of other ingredients and "BEE BOMB." I and the other seven inquisitive souls at my table went poking through the dish in search of the intriguing "BEE BOMB." It turned out to be a mispelling for "bee balm."

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. a local mexican place has a pork shop plate on their drive-thru menu

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Years ago, the Subic Bay Officers' Club in the Phillipines had a Wednesday night special featuring ROAST BEEP for pibe pibty-pibe ($5.55).

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. There's a small burger stand in my neighboor hood. They have so many mistakes it's just laughable. The two that stand out in my mind right now are "Chilly" and "Chilly Cheese Fries". Why would I want cold fries?

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. In Beijing.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  resto owner used a free on line website to translate his restaurant name into english to be more western friendly for the olympics. So he had a new sign that said the english name of his restaurant: "Translate server error"

                                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Hot Chocolate

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Is that an urban myth? I've heard this several times, yet have not seen a photo. Curious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. I just got back from 5 weeks in Cairo, and I had some good chuckles over skewered English on some menus. Here are some examples that made me laugh:
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tomatoes with old cheese
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Veal warp by paper
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Fried viagra (also available grilled with hot sauce, though presumably hot sauce is optional with viagra)
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Friskies fajita sandwich
                                                                                                                                                                                                    and last, but not least:
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Chicken Sawerma Fart meal

                                                                                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                      LOL at these! Classic. Thank you! The Friskies fajita sandwich still has me stymied.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Catskillgirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                        yeah, i'm thinkin' about friskies fajitas, too!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                        A very late response- they actually mean the viagra sandwiches. They're shrimp something sandwiches, and it has been explained to me that shrimp is considered an aphrodisiac by Egyptians. I find it absolutely hilarious to hear an extremely modest, veiled woman order a viagra sandwich.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Another funny Egypt one: there's a fast food chain called Gad, but half the items on their menu are spelled 'God.' So you can order God's Favorite Dishes, God's French Fries, and, the absolute best, God's Viagra Sandwiches.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: cbrunelle

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yes, we love Gad, and usually say that "Gad is great!" Do you read Arabic? I don't think I ever saw a menu in English at Gad. It's Egyptian fast food at its best -- fuul, tameya, and schwerma.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. I saw a really cute sign outside a restaurant in Barcelona: "English is espoken here."

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Jetgirly

                                                                                                                                                                                                          In Calgary in the "yellow pages" about 3 years ago advertising one of the best restaurants. It had "Valley Parking" I love that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. We had lunch at a Thai restaurant recently with "pud thai" on the menu.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. A very good and authentic Greek restaurant I have been to offers "Leg of Lamp". I recommend it with the lemon potatoes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: SamuelAt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                "Leg of Lamp" was featured in the movie A Christmas Story...

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. admittingly i did not read all the posts in this thread, so if this is a duplicate I appologize!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                My friends and I make a game out of this when we try a new place. we all open the menu at the same time, and the person who finds a grammatical or typographical error first doesnt have to chip in on the tab!! also, i dont think we have ever not been able to find something!!!LOL.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Braised short ribs served with over roasted vegetables...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. OMG, I'm sick from laughing! I work in a restaurant with a charming server from China who tells customers we have "prima ribba". She said when she travelled back to China with her American husband his favorite part of the trip was reading all the badly translated signs. I was puzzled recently when she kept saying that everyone needed to correct the wine menus (what exactly was wrong?). Then I realized she meant they needed to be gathered up and returned to the host station!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. I'm afraid I am responsible for my most memorable menu gaffe. As an American chef just beginning my job at a country house hotel in Scotland I put an Alsatian onion tart on the menu - meaning of course an onion tart made in the style of the Alsace region of France. What I didn't know at the time was that in Scotland an Alsatian is a German Shepherd! And we all know how the Brits are about their pets; the UK had a Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals before it had a similar organization protecting children.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It took me ages to figure out why that damned tart wasn't selling!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. For some chuckles to relieve Thanksgiving stress, here are some beauties, collected by Richard Lederer, that appeared last spring in the Mensa Bulletin:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        WHORES DOVER AND SOUP:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Gritty Balloons inSoup
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Barely Soup
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Limpid Red Beet Soup with Cheesy Dumplings in the Form of a Finger
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Fisherman's Crap Soup
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Soap of the Day
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Flesh Soup
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Salad, a Firm's Own Make
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Groin Salad
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Buff Steak
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Gut Casserole
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Warm Little Dogs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Calf Pluck
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Pork with Fresh Garbage
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Boiled Sheep
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Special Big Leg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Meat Dumping
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Beef Rashers Beaten Up in the Country People's Fashion
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Tortilla with Chili, Cheese, Sour Cream and Glaucoma
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Dreaded Veal Cutlets
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sir Loin Steak
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sour Pig's Fore Shank
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Live Wurst
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Amiable and Sour Pork
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Lightly Flowered Breast of Chicken
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Bosom of Chicken
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Frayed Chicken
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Utmost Chicken with Smashed Pot
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sweat from the Turkey
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Foul Breast
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Utmost of Chicken Fried in Bother
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hen Fried with Butler
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Goose Barnacles
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Roaasted Duck Let Loose
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Muscles in Sailor's Sauce
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Dead Shrimp on Warm Vegetables
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sea Blubber in a Spicy Sauce
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Drunken Prawns in Spit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Shrimp in a Casket
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        MISCELLANEOUS OR UNIDENTIFIABLE;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Muffled Frog Rumps
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Pasta Fungus
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Spaghetti Fongoole
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Slugs in Spit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Bird Bowels
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Withered Peper Paste Sauce
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Toes with Butter and Jam
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Cold Shredded Children
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Fried Hormones
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Fried Convoluted Watch
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Anti Pasta
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Baked Zit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Spleen Omelet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Children Sandwich
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Eight Treasurers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Buttered Saucepans
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Mixed Boils to Pick
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Full Coarse Meal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Priest Fainted Eggplant Dish
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Backed Beans
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Mushed Potatoes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Potato Cheeps
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Fried Rice from Hell
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Raped Carrots
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        French Fried Ships
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Mad Apples
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Fire Pudding with Hard Sauce
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Honey Do
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Straqwberry Crap
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Rice Kooky
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Lady's Finger
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Chocolate Sand Cookies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Pie Tongue
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Tart of the House
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Pustache Ice Cream
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Chocolate Mouse Tort
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Finest Moldy Cheese
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        White Whine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Fried Milk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Turkey Coffee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Special Cocktails for Women with Nuts
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Flesh Juice
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Lemon Jews
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Garlic Coffee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        PHRASES AND ADS:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "Mr. Zheng and his fellow workers like to meet you and entertain you with their hostility and unique cooking techniques."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "As for the tripe served here, you will be singing its praises to your grandchildren on your deathbed."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "Our wines leave you nothing to hope for."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "You will be able to eat all you wish until you are fed up!"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "Our establishment serves tea in a bag like mother."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "Guests are advised that all fruits served here have been washed in water passed by the management."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "You are invited to visit our restaurant where you can eat the Middle East Foods in a European ambulance."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "Teppan Yaki -- Before your cooked right eyes."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Well I will only quibble about two of them:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Goose Barnacles are a VERY pricey Spanish delicacy:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And Priest Fainted Eggplant Dish is a literal translation of a classic Italian dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: StriperGuy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Actually, "The Priest Fainted" is Imam Bayaldi (or Bayildi), a Turkish dish that translates to "the imam fainted." Supposedly he fainted because his wife's eggplant dish tasted so good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rockycat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hah, funny maybe I made up the Italian part. Turkish sounds more like it...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: StriperGuy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                i think you may be thinking of strozzapretti-- literally, "priest stranglers"--an italian pasta?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hmmmm, that's a good one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I thought it had to do with a priest fainting though. Even asked an Italian friend and they said no fainting priest dishes that they knew of...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: StriperGuy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    imams faint.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    priests get strangled.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    for some other funny italian stuff, watch conan and mario in this cooking demo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6qCC1...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: StriperGuy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      There is always strozzapreti, "choke the priest" (spinach and ricotta dumplings).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Those are malfatti, no? Of course, any misshapen pasta could be called malfatti. Strozzapetri is just a pasta shape AFAIK, not necessarily spinach and ricotta dumplings.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: rockycat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I always heard it was due to the insane amount of garlic used in that dish...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Fried milk is not a drink or a mistake, but rather a dessert in which a block of custard is coated and deep fried.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: dump123456789

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Agree, I almost flagged that one myself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  my dad would joke about "horse doovers." ;-).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. Not really a menu gaffe per se, but the DriectTV guide description for an episode of Rick Bayless' "Mexico: One Plate at a Time" indicated that he would be making "Crap Salpicon".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. A common error in the Sichuan restaurants we dine at is to translate beef tendon as "beef tender." I can only imagine puzzled diners expecting a tenderloin and instead getting a plate full of what can be described as gristle!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: shaogo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      especially when you consider that, at least in the US a "chicken tender"" is a kind of breaded chiken nugget.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      One of my faviorties was a NYC midtown Chinese resturaunt called "Hsin Yu" just off Dag Plaza (long since closed) I never actually ate there (given that fact that it's ultimate closing seems to have been by the Heath Deaperment, that may not be a bad thing) but I did once pick up one of thier menus and I remember two funny mispellings. The minor one was "Lobster and style" (I'm assuming they meant "any") the Major one was something called "Three Muskiest with vegetables" (may they meant "fragrant"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I asl remember some resuturant somewhre whose menu proudly boasted "we serve people like you as good food"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm also suprised that no-one mentioned the Chinese alcoholic drink Pingba Jaojui with its slogan "High smell with good smell, sweet be after drunk, with long smell" or the plese that offer Scoth whiskey "made from Scotland's finest grapes"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        your post has more typos than the menus you're talking about :P lol

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. i've been enjoying the engrish.com site recently.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      anyhow, there is a local pizza chain that has "proscuitto" on it's painted overhead hanging menu, and it drives me nuts so that every time i'm there i tell them that it is spelled wrong. i tell them, "that spells "pro-squeet-o". then they look at me, and they have an expression like a very unconcerned bovine just waiting for the salt lick to be put out in the barn. oh...never mind.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      oh heck, just give me the mescaline salad, please.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        OMG, I HATE, hate, hate it when "Italian" restos can't spell prosciutto right. How effing hard can it be, people?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          couple more
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          (once again with Chinese) there are a couple of dishes wich describe parts of the dish as "old". Usally they mean "old fashioned or in the "old", classic style (Old Shanghai rice cakes might be a good example of that (that dish itself took some courace to get around to trying since being a westerner I'm used to imagining rice cakes as being dry hoceky puck like things you eat when you trying to seriosly cut calories and had difficuly imaginging them as something that would make a nice stir fry dish (FTI of anyone who hasnt eaten them, the rice cakes in question are more like very thick rice nooodles (you also see them lised as new years cake and they're analagous to Korean rice cakes and Phillipine putto) and are in fact addictively delicious (Old Shaghai Style usally means stir fried with shredded pork and preserved cabbage) However there are two that don't fit this model I've bumped into. One place serves sometihng called "chicken stewed with the old ginger" which I think means with ordinary ginger as opposed to the young white kind that some duck recipes rely on. Its not half bad though I have discovered best left as an "eat in" dish only (this has nothing to do with mess, its just that they tend to chop the chicken up with a cleaver into bit sized peices if you do takeout (to it it in the container) and so you end up fishing hundereds of razor sharp bone fragments out of you mouth) the sconed is a place in Midtown Manhattan that severs what they call "old duck soup" the part that makes me giggle with this is that I think they mean it in the sense of "used" I really do think they make the stock by taking all of the bones and scraps lefover from the Peking ducks people ordered as well as the shredded duck dishes and tossing them in the stock kettle. The only thing I wonder about is whether there also tossing in the leftovers of the duck that people are actually leaving on thier plates (i.e. the gnawed bones)(I know I migh do something like that at home, but I suspect you cant do that in a public resturaunt) Great soup BTW.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          and to conclud a sigh I saw once in a resturant that amde me ownder if we were going to be doing improv theatre, "please wait to be the seat"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Maybe not quite a gaffe, but a new restaurant here has an interesting section on their menu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "Himalayan Seafood"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        gives one pause doesn't it. (think geography people, geography)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        oh the food there is really good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ps: as with most of these, the intent is not to ridicule anyone, just to get a chuckle out of what happens when they don't quite get the message across in the menu.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I'll never forget seeing this on a roadside sandwich board in Baltimore when I first moved there:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Why not give your Mother Crabs this Mother's Day??

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: aussiewonder

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Please tell me it was a bit of a joke, please ;-).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Not quite a menu but one of the Chinese butchers I frequent has a freezer full of partridges all labeled "Patrick." Funny, but understandable. The green grocer across the street, however, has trumpet mushrooms labeled as "Fresh Prince."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Patrick is cute. The mushrooms are prince mushrooms (huangzi gu) in Chinese so Fresh Prince is understandable and amusing. (I was once asked by the produce guy in our supermarket for the English name of Swiss chard. He apparently thought I said "chart" - probably because chard is not a terribly common word - and Swiss chart it is labeled to this day.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That is a fascinating coincidence. We thought it very unlikely these grocers had enough familiarity with pop culture to be referencing Will Smith but simply couldn't figure out how they went from trumpet mushroom to Fresh Prince!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm still stuck on Patrick, would appear to be a transcribed mishearing of partridge. It kills me!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Not the menu, but the sign outside a chinese restaurant that had just opened (in a former, remodeled gas station): We services cocktails.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I always imagined a martini on the lift

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: weezycom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Just noticed one on a menu today. While trying to place an order to 88 reach house. I noiced that while most of the versions of New Years rice cake were indeed listed as "new Years rice cake" the version with the shredded pork (which was in a sepereate area on the menu has is miswritten "New York Rice Cake".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. My all-time favorite, seen on a sandwich board listing specials outside an upper west side diner:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Monte Crisco Sandwich

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mmmmm! Too bad about the trans-fat ban, there goes their biggest seller!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. When I'm having a bad day, I re-read this post and everything in the world is much brighter again.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sign on the side of the building of my favorite pizza place, years ago in CT: Parking for costumes only. Come in and have a cool wine or beer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Guess they couldn't spare the refrigeration.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Reminds me of a place in Somerville, MA called DiTuccis. I'm not sure if it's still there, but the sign in front used to read,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      . . DiTuccis . .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Parking in rear

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It always cracked me up, but you have to know a little Yiddish (Yiddish tuchis = the sittable part of one's anatomy) to get the joke.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: BobB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yes, I knew that and it's very funny.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This particular thread just cracks me up over and over.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. The other evening, I was at an Ethiopian restaurant that listed 'bad weiser' as one of its beer selections. I enjoyed that one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: haggisdragon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It doesn't strike me as a misnomer '-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: haggisdragon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think they got it exactly right :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Delicious Stakes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hunger Steak

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Served with Wild Lice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Juicy balls with milky cream

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Boneless T-Bone Steak

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Holland days sauce – this was on a special board so we told the manager it was spelt wrong and it was one word. He changed it to Hollandays sauce

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Fresh locally grown Raspberries (It was February in Portland)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          In a Thai restaurant
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          “Spiciness: on a scale of 1 to 1”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          In Chinese Restaurants
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Your choice of chicken, beef, or dork.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Tea Smoking Duck

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          In a Mexican Restaurant
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Try one of our bloody mary’s a perfect cure for your hamover.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And over Thanksgiving weekend in Washington DC on a menu board “Tuna Tar-Tar.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: RetiredChef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The first Chinese one is even funnier if you know the actual, by the dictionary definition of "dork". Guess they aren't kidding when they say the chinese use EVERY part of the animal!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Fu Yao, Toronto. This is a supermarket rather than a restaurant. It sells frozen Cow's Penis.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It - or at least "bull's pizzle" as more accurately/quaintly named on menus in Taiwan - is served in soup among other ways. Have eaten it once, not terribly tasty, texture about what you would imagine (or probably don't want to).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You slay me, dear Alka! Fo' shiz.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. In Thailand I have seen "roast crap" on several menus in different restaurants. Gets more confusing than that: sometimes I got crab. Other times I got carp. (Never got crap.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Years ago in a café near the Louvre in Paris, the menu boasted "roach beef sandwich".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              In one of my fave Chinese restos in Paris, one of the specialties is said to be "the chef's kidney". Same thing in the French menu: "les rognons du chef".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              None of your Chinese menu finds can compare with the machine-translated menus in mainland China. In China, fried noodle somehow has been translated as "f**k noodle" on the menu of thousands of restaurants; now it has become a standard translation. AM NOT KIDDING.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This is a real treasure:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Parigi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I've seen Fu Kan fried rice written often as..... well you can guess. The last time I tried I tried to order it (from a waiter unfamialr with their meu) I felt like I was doing a bad Jack Nicolson impression!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Speaking of impressions It's been mentioned ealier but I've always wondered just what is in "fried rice from hell". Is it very spicy, or did some Chinese resturanteur just really love Richard Lewis?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Parigi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Did you notice that the Chinese script for the ginger dip looked remarkably like f**k ?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Paulustrious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've seen "Main Curse" on a few Thai menus.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "Barbecue Speculation", "Explosion Belly", "It seems Honey", "Coke Fried Beef".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "His Wife Juice"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And my favorite: http://www.engrish.com/2009/11/we-got...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "Calzone Funghi Ham: Derived from Italian, trousers, topped with ham and like a dumping."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Parigi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My favorite of all time was at a Hunanese Restaurant in Suzhou (just West of Shanghai). The glossy menu complete with Chinese and English names had one dish called: "Chicken with stir fried f**kness" (naturally, this was mougu, and therefore "fungus". They have since changed the menu.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sganarelle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hilarious. (And your nom de guerre is excellent.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. How can I forget the seafood restaurant - and a very good one - in Milbrae (SF bay area) called Fook Yuen?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Parigi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      we have one in HNL as well... on a previous post someone said translation means something like beautiful garden (or something like that) and it was culturally insensitive to ridicule the name.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Seems to me that there was some cultural blindness to naming it that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      After all, I would not name a water-front restaurant in Pusan the Ship's Pal, which would approximate closely what the restaurant in Milbrae did. Or maybe I should and put a patent on the name. (no... ship's pal does not come close to "beautiful garden" in Korean)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          i think this is absolutely hysterical. calamari will always = carla marie for me now-- thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            oh..im so dense, thank you soup, even after looking at the pic I never made the translation to calamari. yep, carla marie it is from this day hence, enunciated clearly when ordering.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. At one of those quick turn and burns that serve rice bowls in the Taiwan night markets:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Chicken Bowel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jecolicious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The scary part - in a Taiwan street market, that might not have been a typo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: BobB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Just the contrary: the non-typo case in a Tawanese street market would probably mean some delicious treat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Every so often in France, I see a bad English menu translation that says "Salad with corn, tomato, lawyer, carrot."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            avocat = avocado OR lawyer in French. Whoops.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And this one may not really be a mistake, but my husband and I were recently at a restaurant in France and we didn't know the word "biche" which was the special of the day. The waitress, who spoke a little English, must have looked in a dictionary because she told us, very tentatively, that it was "doooooww."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We were so confused, and all three started doing pantomimes, or asking questions like, "Is it in a forest?" "Is it big?" She made antlers and then we figured out it was some sort of venison. And THEN it all made sense.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but in English, do we really differentiate between a doe and a deer on a menu? I've never seen "doe."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: anakalia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              i've seen "venison."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              come to think of it, i don't know if my nephew ever shoots a doe -- only bucks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Spouse prefers bringing down smaller does. There's more testosterone-laden glory in taking down a large buck but for eating, the Spouse believes the meat of young does is more tender and makes for a better meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: rockycat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  makes sense. i'm going to ask my nephew next time i see him. (and he does have a wall of glory, and this time of year they get santa hats).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    would it be off subject to get a picture of that?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: rockycat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It's only recently that bagging female deer was legal in most northeastern states in the U.S. It used to be legal only to bag stags. But the population exploded so badly now they are all fair game as they say.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: anakalia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I had a similar experience... the waiter told us it was "la femme" of the deer. Ha-ha! I've never seen a menu in the U.S. differentiate between male and female venision, but the French are on a loftier food plane altogether....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  By the way, I agree with the spouse of Rockycat below. The doe is better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: visciole

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I know I'm going to be crucified for even asking it, but how about faun? is that better still?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Speaing of funny mistransations someone I met in Chinatown (while waiting for one of my food orders told me a great one) apprently a friend of his (whose knowledge of Chinese cusine was not all that deep got a job at a more "ethnic" and "high end" (read "more that basic American") Chinese resturant transalting thier menu into English. One of the dishes on the menu was XO prawns (prawns with XO sauce) unfamilar with XO saucem he proceeded to translate it as "Prawns with Hugs and Kisses"!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      at least in florida, specifically, it is prohibited to take spotted fawn deer or swimming deer http://myfwc.com/docs/RecreationActiv...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      """Identifying Does and Fawns"" http://www.huntingpa.com/Aging%20deer...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yes, in most areas taking a fawn is illegal. A faun, however, is another story altogether.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: rockycat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A very distinctive difference, I might add, if you could find a faun to start with...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            In an odd reverse (in that the typo makes the dish sound better, not worse) a lot of Chinatown menus I've seen write Dungeness (as in crab) as "Dungless" I want to say "I sure as hell HOPE so, I don't want to eat crab with dung."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. I almost split a gut sitting here in the LAS airport waiting for my much delayed aircraft...my only contributions (from memory) come from a) Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, Canada's Siniktarvik Hotel..Chocolate Mouse (which given the state of the place MAY not be a misprint) and b) the "goat droppings" listed in the English version of a Reims France menu. I posted this previously and was advised it was a very fine product indeed!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: foodiesnorth

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "goat droppings may me a mistranslation of "crottin" (the cheese); that literally means "turd"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Actually it was "droppings of goat" listed on the menu my SO reminds me and yes I found out later it was a form of cheese...lol

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: foodiesnorth

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Well, Crottin means "dropping", and crottins the cheese are goat milk so you can see where they might have gotten the idea.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            What a fun topic.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I just saw a sign in an asian produce place out here in the stix for "Poburrano Peppers"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: foodiesnorth

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I just saw a menu listing a rabbit dish that contained "rabbi mousse"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: nsenada

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yikes. Sounds like a milchig/fleischig mix - traferama!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: small h

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              They really need to clarify this - a non-dairy foam would probably be OK...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: nsenada

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A little off topic, but one congregational contract I was asked to read over clearly discussed the "Rabbit's" salary and terms of employment. I conjured up some very interesting images and no small amount of poorly stifled giggles.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. i can't recall if this has been mentioned, but it's a winner: http://www.rahoi.com/2006/03/may-i-ta...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            i want some cowboy leg beautiful pole with retchup, please. oh, and a side of domestic life beef immerses cabbage.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            for my nourishing dessert, i think i'll have the doublle-boiled forest frog -- or the rock sugar braises the papaya; it's so hard to choose.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            before we go, i'd like to order a take-out of pizza Lthick mordacity.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            the site has lots of fun posts. look here for some funny food (and other) products: http://www.rahoi.com/2006/01/now-with...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            15 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Rock sugar braised papaya trumps boiled forest frog anyday.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                no, it's "rock sugar braises the papaya" -- a superior dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                as to the frog, i still love the monty python skit about crunchy frog (which i may have mentioned upthread). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dy6uLf...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                (only the finest baby frogs....) http://orangecow.org/pythonet/sketche...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hard to image a rock sugar braising anything, but I would consume the outcome, no sweat. I like the rock sugar soaks rye version, had that?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm not getting (and maybe not suppose to) the pizza Lthick mordacity. Biting, sharp or sarcastic pizza? Come to think of it, we have quite a bit of that here in NYC.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I guess that's why it's amusing menu gaffes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This whole tangent just has me playing "Rockpapersugar" in my head but which one wins??

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Mmm....crunchy frog, heap good! One of the best MPs: rivaled only by the bicycle trip through North Cornwall - "...and my Crunchie bar was only moderately impaired" "Does your lovely daughter like Tizer, then?" and the Science Fiction Sketch - extraterrestrial blancmanges and a Scotsman duking it out at Wimbledon. Inspired madness.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Chinese menu gaffes result largely from someone sitting down with a Chinese-English dictionary and little or no knowledge of English, just picking an English word that seems to fit. Some of them are wilder than others - rock sugar braises papaya is crystal sugar-simmered papaya in the original. And the frog, you really don't want to know about (frog "plaster" better "mist"aka eggs)...sometimes not really frog, soaked basil seeds that are much like them.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Double-cooked frog eggs in coconut juice, heap good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Just to be a prig about this, the website guy should try translating things into Chinese with the aid of an English-Chinese dictionary and see what he comes up with.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          another set of classics I found from an old menu in dresden

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Limpid red beet soup with cheesy dumplings in shape of finger.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Roast duck let loose.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Rashers beaten up in country people style

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Note an uncle of mine said he saw something similar to the last one on a menu in the former USSR in the 1950's, except there it was a Chicken Cultlet "Beaten up, in the manner of a peasant"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Nice...the last has a whiff of Mad magazine parody!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              >>>>Chicken Cultlet "Beaten up, in the manner of a peasant"<<<

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              golly gee, jumpingmonk, you made me guffaw with that one!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "oh yes, madam, we beat the cutlets just like we beat the peasants! " hahahahaha.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                from a translated chinese cookbook, whose transaltor appears to have either made a typo or gotten a very bad transaltion dictonary (I hope!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                "First, wash and rape the sweet potato.........."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  O groan. The cookbook translator must have confused English and French. Râper means to shred.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Parigi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    it's so much nicer when the sweet potato consents

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Re "frog plaster"- Come to think of it, not eggs, sperm!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Damn editing duplication!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              gives new meaning to the phrase "i got plastered last night."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. Not from a menu, but a largish supermarket in Chinatown last week: all the fresh ducks' feet were labeled "romiane lettuce."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Meann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Chinese supermarket in Toronto had the following sign near a certain yellow seed on the cob we know and love: CORNS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Our local Sri Lankan place has a Sunday buffet. But instead of writing "All You Can Eat" the menu reads, "Eat As Much As You Can."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Years ago, after a meal in a Mission St. Mexican restaurant in San Francisco, I realized I'd left my umbrella at my table. I came back to the restaurant later in the day, and asked if I could have my umbrella. "Si." And then the server went back into the kitchen. Minutes later, no umbrella, so I asked again, "Where's my umbrella?" The answer this time was, "Si, it's cooking."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: comestible

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "Eat As Much As You Can."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Reminds me of THE classic. Wine list for a restaurant in Switzerland: "our wines leave you nothing to hope for."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Parigi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ha, good one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Better nothing to hope for than nothing to live for.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: comestible

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Miss Piggy- "Never eat more than you can lift."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: eclecticsynergy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Or B. Kliban, Never Eat Anything Bigger Than Your Head.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: BobB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I love adore and worship Kliban, who is also the best cat cartoonist of all time. "Frequently mistaken for a meatloaf."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yup. My favorite of his was one that hung on the bulletin board at my desk years ago when I was a technical writer,as it was so apropos, and it's even food-related. It showed four drawings of figs, and the captions under them read, Fig. 1, Fig 2, Fig. 3...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: BobB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Lovely. Shame he's gone. (Cat one - cat staring into corner. What's cat thinking? Thought bubble above head showing the corner.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hahaha, I think of that one all the time with my cats! My other faves are the boneless chicken ranch and morning face.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. At a restaurant in Phuket - "fried crap"

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                This thread has become so long. I have actually mentioned the crap issue in Thailand earlier. Your question is a good one. Sometimes it's carp (once in Changmai); other times crab (once in Hua Hin). Never was it crap.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                You just have to take your chances...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Parigi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The "Door to the Women's Room" is the most expensive dish. Must be some restroom.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "Takes on the Young Surface": age discrimination on the menu?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Leonardo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'd be willing to bet "Door to the Women's Room" is supposed to be some sort of aphrodisiac or male performance enhancer. Hence the cost, and the name.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: BobB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Don't think so - "Door..." says lu rou mian, noodles with a particular style of meat sauce. Not as far as I know a noodle version of Viagra - just a totally off-the-wall translation. "Takes on the young surface" is danzi mian, basket noodles (noodles that are warmed up in boiling water in a metal basket scoop and topped with various things. Another kooky one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh, well. Maybe if it were translated as "Little blue pill".... ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: BobB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          But then you might have to eat it in twin bathtubs holding hands while looking at a sunset. What is up with that?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Not the menu, but posted on the door of a restaurant in Kendall, Miami...


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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Paulustrious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                As a Crohn's Disease patient I find that sign just plain effin' hilarious.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Been there, done that - unfortunately.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: rockycat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  from the appetizer section of a middle eastern menu which evidently forgot an "m"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "fresh garlic humus"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  (for those who don't garden, humus is the decayed organic part of soil (the stuff the plants actually use to grow)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  on a realted note I cant recally HOW many times I've seen "Hunan" (in Chinese) Typo it't way to "Human". My favortie is the place that wrote across its menu "Our chef's are acclaimed experts at preparing and cooking human." Maybe that place that said "We serve people like you as good food" wasn't kidding................ Now I'm a bit worried that the pork in my meals is the "long" kind.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ah, "to serve man."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "the cycle of going from dust to dessert."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A Chinese restaurant in PA near my husband went to college was called Lung Fung...he was never tempted to stop in.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh yes that, Bonus fact (from a foodie point of view) in the orginal Damon Knight story, the Kanamit (the aliens) rather than being the bulbous headed aliens of the TV show, resembled humanoid pigs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. last week in a restaurant in Israel we saw on the menu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  'fried calamari on a bed of oven roasted aborigine'. The Hebrew was a bed of eggplant so we guessed they meant aubergine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Years ago at a spicy-chicken fast food shack in Hyde Park south of downtown Chicago, Harold's had an infamous sign: NO | dogs eating bicycles -- the last three words ran underneath each other as if a column all of which were intended to be prefaced by the word "no". But it all somehow came out as if bicycle-eating dogs were prohibited from the store. Very funny.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Years later I returned to see if the place was as good as I remembered and I was very saddened to see that following a remodel they'd updated the sign to be more grammatical. Very sad. The chicken was still good, but not as good as a hungry, bleary-eyed 17 yo might have thought either....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Surati Farsan Mart's online menu for their dine-in is good for the most part except for this interesting item:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "Special Instructions: Dry Clean Only"

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: hye

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ha ha -- except...even dry cleaning probably wouldn't work on that chole stain! darned turmeric! ;-).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Not sure if it's a "gaffe", but this one made me laugh. A Chinese restaurant in Chelsea, NYC has anecdotes next to certain dishes to explain why they're special. One reads, "Before she died, this was Princess Diana's favorite dish." ...Yah, the "before" part kind of goes without saying.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: juliefischer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yesterday I was in Flushing's Chinatwon and at Fortune House in, I couldn't help noticing that one of the English items listed on the board was "beef trip" . I know they meant "tripe" but for a moment I speculated on whether the owners/cooks of the place had come to this country from China via Pnom Peh, and had piced up a few technique from the pizza parlors who make the infamous "happy pizza" (basically the pizza equivalent of hash browinies).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            you mean that ain't oregano on that happy pizza?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. A friend of mine provided at request, a hasenpfeffer recipe for a local publication. He listed ingredients in order from largest to smallest, and as a joke he wrote the first ingerient as: "one large rabbit - dead". That's just how they printed it. I still keep a copy of that; we really cracked up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Browsing on-line menus last week, I ran across some sort of dish topped with a "crispy poached egg." I kept browsing, then couldn't find my way back to it. My mind still cannot wrap around a CRISPY poached egg. Poach, then roll in panko?

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: thew

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I've been oil poaching eggs since I was a teen. Well, BACON FAT poached is more like it. How many hours ya think the egg would have to simmer under oil to reach the "crispy" stage? '-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I do wonder if they meant "crispy fried" instead of poached. Not that I find crispy fried all that attractive. I find "crispy" egg whites that brown around the edges of an egg tough and too chewy. Nevertheless, I do seem to cook them that way far too often when I'm in a hurry to get them on top of waffles... <sigh>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A crispy poached egg is deep fried post poaching (and say that five times fast). Here's one recipe:


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: small h

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    An egg dipped in egg batter & crumbs, then deep fried. Now THAT has potential!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: BobB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Might as well hang for a sheep as a lamb - why not make it a Scotch Egg? You lose the runny yolk, but you get sausage. Mmmmm, sausage...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          But I love runny yolks. Maybe a crispy poached egg on top of a sausage patty, on a well-toasted buttered english muffin, topped with some hollandaise... and bacon on the side!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: BobB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Drool... Though I might add a slice of cheddar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Emmmily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hmm. I'll have to think about that one. Cheddar and hollandaise together?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: small h

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks for the recipe. I'm just not sure it sets my mouth watering. I can't imagine "poaching" an egg in only an inch of water. I do love eggs poached in milk with Lawry's Seasoned Salt, then served on a toasted English muffin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          caroline, lawrey's seasoned salt works so well on eggs, doesn't it? it also is perfect on cottage cheese with summer tomatoes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hooray you're back! Missed you, alka girl!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              thank you, buttertart! i missed you, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  i'll email you at your address in the profile.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Great, looking forward to hearing from you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      you've all left out the layer of fried scrapple (ok spam in a pinch)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. from a little Dominican place in Harlem, NYC:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  clamps with rice


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. was just perusing the menu for Burger Kitchen in LA and i'm laughing about the "burblanc sauce" served with their salmon patty :)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      boy, that sounds so appetizing, doesn't it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "ooop, excuse me, i've gotta ...<burblanc>."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Isn't that where Laugh-In was filmed? Beautiful downtown Burblanc?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. not exactly a gaffe, but i thought of this thread immediately:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. upper right side of the menu in flowing, cursive script, "pieces of resistent tripe", aka "piece de resistance, tripe"!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: lasarney

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            oh gosh, that "pieces of resistent tripe" cracked me up. good name for a grunge band, eh?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. My favorite sports drink - Pocari Sweat. Not a "gaffe" but the actual name of a Japanese sports drink.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: siki2

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Chinese restaurant in Leon, Spain: "Casa Rong." Having dated Mister (W)rong for many years, I love eating at his little place, where their "leg rolls" are a popular appetizer. (You can also choose "beer consummate" (beef consummé?) or "extruded porcine matter stoned sizzling hot."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Not bad, really, for a Chinese menu translated to Spanish and then into English!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Chinese menu in California:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sweet and sour dick.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Here is a menu item from an Asian restaurant in Egypt. For all you diners who are unsure as to what exactly "Poo" as a category is on the menu, the restaurant provides the translation parenthetically -- (crap). I have the photo, but I can't get the durn thing to load...

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I take it you were in a Thai restaurant, roxlet :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "Chinese Semen Cannabis Drink"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      They wanted to say "hemp seed drink"