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Are there dishes that are "restaurant menu immune"?

ipsedixit Oct 19, 2010 05:08 PM

What I mean is, are there dishes that would never appear on a restaurant menu?

Things made and served exclusively at home?

Only thing that really comes to mind is something like tuna casserole (although I'm sure someone will come up with a menu featuring tuna casserole).

That said, are there such dishes? If so, what do you think they would be?

  1. sbp Oct 28, 2010 06:28 PM

    Well, not that I would serve this at home, but "pigs in a blanket". Is it strictly a low rent passed hors d'oeuvres at this point?

    2 Replies
    1. re: sbp
      deet13 Oct 28, 2010 06:46 PM

      That's funny, I've actually been to an upscale gourmet eatery which served pigs in a blanket...

      1. re: deet13
        o
        ospreycove Oct 29, 2010 09:41 AM

        Retro. Retro Hors d' oeuvres!!!!! Include the Swedish Meat Balls, and don't forget the Rumaki......................

    2. deet13 Oct 28, 2010 06:19 PM

      Are there dishes that would never appear on a restaurant menu?

      Are we talking about American restaurants; because if we are, I'd venture to say that any dish with horse or dog meat in it would probably never make the cut...

      1 Reply
      1. re: deet13
        ZenSojourner Oct 28, 2010 06:37 PM

        "any dish with horse or dog meat in it would probably never make the cut..."

        Double entendre? LOL!

        I read somewhere a few years back that some place had actually outlawed dog meat. Some place here in the states I mean. I wouldn't dream of eating Fido - but really, legislating that? I think horsemeat for human consumption is illegal in some places here in the states too.

        Some people make pets of pigs, goats, even cows on occasion. Targeting canines for legal exclusion from the human diet just didn't sit right with me, especially since it seemed motivated at least in part to target a few specific ethnic groups.

        I wouldn't do it, and the thought of it does make me kind of queasy. But I really don't think we should be passing laws based on what makes some of us queasy. I don't know how else to put it. Never in a million years would I voluntarily eat dog meat (or horse meat) but making it illegal for other people to do so really bothers me just as much.

      2. t
        toomuchfat Oct 28, 2010 11:22 AM

        Chicken sashimi
        Tamago gohan

        13 Replies
        1. re: toomuchfat
          s
          small h Oct 28, 2010 12:18 PM

          I believe Yakitori Totto in Manhattan serves chicken sashimi.

          1. re: small h
            o
            ospreycove Oct 28, 2010 01:03 PM

            This is the deal of the Century!!! a family owned commercial landing house (fish come in from the commercial long liners), and of course they sell whole fish for about a third of the price a retail fishmonger sells filets of same species. BUT that is not the DEAL.......Whole Grouper heads ONE DOLLAR EACH!!!!! just the "Grouper throats" alone off a 15lb fish is worth the price and not to forget the cheeks, all off fresh fish processed the same day. it is in Cortez Florida.

            1. re: ospreycove
              s
              small h Oct 28, 2010 01:05 PM

              Um, you lost me, there. Maybe this is about my fish head comment, upthread?

              1. re: small h
                o
                ospreycove Oct 28, 2010 05:53 PM

                small h...... No, just reporting the news that a little known wholesale fish house in the Village of Cortez, has excellent, fresh, meaty DEALS on Grouper Heads. I buy them when I make fishhead stew or a wonderful pasta di Mare, nothing is better!!!

                1. re: ospreycove
                  ZenSojourner Oct 28, 2010 05:59 PM

                  "fish heads, fish heads, yummy yummy fish heads,
                  fish heads, fish heads, eat-um-up, YUM"

                  Sorry. Sometimes I just can't help myself . . .

                  1. re: ZenSojourner
                    mamachef Oct 28, 2010 07:13 PM

                    Thanks, ZS. I had JUST gotten rid of the earworm.

                    1. re: mamachef
                      ZenSojourner Oct 28, 2010 07:20 PM

                      >:D

                  2. re: ospreycove
                    s
                    small h Oct 28, 2010 06:50 PM

                    Well, then, stew away. I've never had grouper head, but I've liked all the other grouper parts that have wound up on my plate.

                    1. re: small h
                      o
                      ospreycove Oct 29, 2010 09:39 AM

                      The main "Meaty' part of A grouper head is locally called a Grouper Throat, right or anatomically wrong, it contains 4 chunks of pure filet that fall away from the large chicken wing like bones, Has anyone seen the" Mrs. Pauls Crispy Fish Sticks"For Zenny.....lol

                      1. re: ospreycove
                        ZenSojourner Oct 29, 2010 11:32 AM

                        NOOOOOO! What did I ever do to you that you would wish Mrs. Pauls on me?

                        *whimpers in the corner

                        LOL!

                        *NO OFFENSE to lovers of Mrs. Pauls!

                        1. re: ZenSojourner
                          o
                          ospreycove Oct 29, 2010 02:10 PM

                          Zenn......Next will be the curse of the Banquet, brand, Pot Pies!!!!!!!!

                          1. re: ospreycove
                            mamachef Oct 29, 2010 03:11 PM

                            I am whiimperer and cowering in the corner behind this thread....
                            Zennie, things will only get better.

                            1. re: ospreycove
                              ZenSojourner Oct 29, 2010 04:56 PM

                              What a horrible curse to lay on someone, especially this close to Halloween!

                              *peers through the curtains watching for Banquet Pot Pies disguised as mummies

            2. r
              rinkatink888 Oct 28, 2010 10:36 AM

              Three recipes from my Toisanese mother that I make often but haven’t seen in Chinese restaurants - steamed ground pork with water chestnuts and salted duck eggs, steamed pork belly or pork butt with shrimp paste and steamed pork ribs with fuyu paste.

              1. n
                nsstampqueen Oct 28, 2010 10:01 AM

                I'm guessing you will never see the traditional east coast Canadian - fish head stew on a restaurant menu. Outside of newfie restaurants you probably won't see Cod Cheeks or Cod Tongues either. Very common items in Eastern Canada/Newfoundland.

                3 Replies
                1. re: nsstampqueen
                  raytamsgv Oct 28, 2010 10:21 AM

                  You can actually find fish head dishes in a number of Chinese restaurants in the LA area. They're Chinese-style, of course.

                  1. re: nsstampqueen
                    mamachef Oct 28, 2010 10:24 AM

                    fish heads, fish heads, roly-poly fish heads. fish heads fish heads, eat em up yum.
                    I've had fish head stew, and it was good stuff. Only mine wasn't Chinese. I had it in Louisiana, and it was done Creole style, and served with rice flavored with bayleaves.

                    1. re: nsstampqueen
                      s
                      small h Oct 28, 2010 10:46 AM

                      Fish head soup is not hard to find in Manhattan's Chinatown. I'm very fond of it.

                    2. raytamsgv Oct 21, 2010 02:30 PM

                      I've never seen any restaurant even try to reproduce my carne asada/chipotle chow mein dish. Other than that, I don't think any dish is "restaurant menu immune." It'll take just one famous chef who misses a dish his/her mom made. The chef will cook and embellish it, and it'll become a fad.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: raytamsgv
                        ipsedixit Oct 21, 2010 03:15 PM

                        ray,

                        Don't be so sure about that carne asada/chipotle chow mein combo -- at least not the principle behind it, see here http://chinobandido.com/index.html (which is actually one of my favorite joints in Phoenix)

                        1. re: ipsedixit
                          raytamsgv Oct 21, 2010 03:50 PM

                          That's hilarious!

                          1. re: raytamsgv
                            ipsedixit Oct 21, 2010 04:05 PM

                            ... and quite delicious too!

                          2. re: ipsedixit
                            j
                            julesrules Oct 21, 2010 05:58 PM

                            We have chow mein burritos in Toronto too, chino locos or something... Now I'm wondering if they knew about the Arizona place?

                        2. Midlife Oct 21, 2010 12:16 PM

                          Pretty hysterical. I read only the first sentence of your post and the one thing that came to mind was Tuna Noodle Casserole too. I've never seen it on a resto menu, but wouldn't count it out. I know I'd give it a try but it's probably one of those things that's best the way you had it as a kid.

                          1. hyacinthgirl Oct 21, 2010 12:10 PM

                            I have never seen very basic afterschool snack food on menus. Things like:
                            ants on a log (celery, peanut butter and raisins)
                            string cheese
                            apples and peanut butter

                            I don't know if these would count as "dishes" per se, but they're all I could think of.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: hyacinthgirl
                              Emme Oct 21, 2010 02:04 PM

                              they're on the menu at the PB and J shop IN NYC... name eludes me at the moment...

                              1. re: hyacinthgirl
                                l
                                lizabu Oct 27, 2010 06:07 PM

                                You gotta see this version of ants on a log...so clever...the blog is by a cook from Moto in Chicago
                                http://www.garrettkern.com/?p=498

                                1. re: hyacinthgirl
                                  Firegoat Oct 29, 2010 10:04 AM

                                  Check out the ants on a log with foie gras.....
                                  They also serve popcorn balls!!!!
                                  http://www.allmenus.com/il/chicago/26...

                                2. tatamagouche Oct 21, 2010 11:22 AM

                                  Oh, I've seen lots of tuna casseroles on restaurant menus.

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: tatamagouche
                                    tatamagouche Oct 21, 2010 02:20 PM

                                    OK, initially I was thinking, "There's *nothing* that some chef somewhere won't find a way to jazz up and trick out." And as I've said I've seen fancified tuna casseroles plenty.

                                    But it occurs to me I've *never* seen like a Jello salad with marshmallows or mandarin orange segments or what have you in a high-end restaurant. At cafeterias yes; coffee Jello in New England, yes, but that's a tradition. But never a fancy contemporary rendition.

                                    Bet *someone* has though.

                                    1. re: tatamagouche
                                      ipsedixit Oct 21, 2010 03:12 PM

                                      I had the proverbial '70s Jell-O salad at a steakhouse (forget the name) in Tampa. It didn't even incorporate fresh fruit, only canned, but for some reason I found it rather refreshing after all that rich and savory beef. Go figure.

                                      1. re: ipsedixit
                                        tatamagouche Oct 22, 2010 07:16 AM

                                        That makes sense actually. Funny.

                                      2. re: tatamagouche
                                        mamachef Oct 28, 2010 09:41 AM

                                        I have!! At Alinea I had both a red pepper gel and Guiness-poached short ribs under Guinness gel. Amazing.
                                        Not sure if that's the type of thing you mean - but I have also been served a rose-and-champagne gel with fresh peaches, which may be a little closer to what you had in mind.
                                        And then, there's always ouefs en gelee. An old classic.

                                        1. re: tatamagouche
                                          BubblyOne Oct 28, 2010 10:48 AM

                                          Neiman Marcus' Mandarin Orange Souffle (with chicken salad) at their Mariposa restaurants, one of my favorites. They can call it whatever they want, but it's jello with mandarin orange segments.

                                      3. tcamp Oct 21, 2010 10:45 AM

                                        Anything with "Surprise" in the name.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: tcamp
                                          mrsfury Oct 22, 2010 08:48 AM

                                          Good one!

                                        2. chowser Oct 21, 2010 08:40 AM

                                          Given that there is a cereal "restaurant" and peanut butter sandwich eatery, I think everything is fair game for restaurants. I've seen tuna casserole on diner menus.

                                          1. aching Oct 20, 2010 11:45 AM

                                            I feel like you never see turkey on the menu of a fine dining restaurant - would you agree? Of course, you can find turkey sandwiches by the gazillion at lunch places - but I don't think I've ever seen turkey for dinner...

                                            13 Replies
                                            1. re: aching
                                              ipsedixit Oct 20, 2010 11:58 AM

                                              Hmm, dunno about that.

                                              There are lots of restaurants serve opened face turkey sandwiches with gravy etc. for dinner. And there are restaurants that offer turkey dinners year round, esp. delis etc. (e.g. Brent's Deli in Los Angeles). Turkey meatloaf and chili is also a common dinner item. Now whether any of those restaurants are "fine dining" ... that's open to debate I suppose.

                                              1. re: ipsedixit
                                                aching Oct 20, 2010 12:03 PM

                                                Oh yes, I meant restaurants like Hatfield's, Providence, Patina, Melisse, Josie, Lucques, etc., etc. There's Jidori chicken all over the place, but never turkey!

                                                1. re: aching
                                                  amyzan Oct 21, 2010 08:50 AM

                                                  Maybe not on the coasts, but in middle America, turkey tends to turn up on fine dining menus seasonally. People get a taste for it in the fall, apparently, and start asking for the full turkey dinner--mashed potatoes, gravy, vegetable, stuffing.

                                                  1. re: amyzan
                                                    aching Oct 21, 2010 01:14 PM

                                                    Interesting! I've never seen it, but clearly it exists.

                                                    1. re: aching
                                                      ipsedixit Oct 21, 2010 03:11 PM

                                                      Well, if seasonal counts, then turkey is on fine dining restaurants all the time during Thanksgiving and the Christmas holiday when restaurants have their special holiday menus.

                                                      1. re: ipsedixit
                                                        amyzan Oct 21, 2010 10:54 PM

                                                        Well, hell, I went looking for a restaurant menu with turkey on it already, just to prove my point. I can't find one! So, I may be eating my shoe on this one, at least for now. But, I could swear I've seen turkey on menus at places charging upwards of $20 a plate, which is always a bit funny to me, considering the bird isn't a heritage breed or anything else of interest or "value." Not for the holidays, either, I mean. Maybe I'm just getting old and have a quirky memory....sigh.

                                                        1. re: amyzan
                                                          c
                                                          cgarner Oct 22, 2010 08:41 AM

                                                          hi, Did my post about Stephen Starr's restaurant Jones in Philadelphia?

                                                          1. re: amyzan
                                                            d
                                                            DarkRose Oct 25, 2010 03:13 PM

                                                            http://williebirdsrestaurant.com/ - Willie Bird. All turkey, all the time.

                                                            1. re: DarkRose
                                                              mamachef Oct 28, 2010 09:38 AM

                                                              I'm thinking I should've gone downthread now. Yep, Willie Bird's is the restaurant I was referring to. Apologize for redundancy.

                                                      2. re: amyzan
                                                        mamachef Oct 28, 2010 09:36 AM

                                                        amyzan, there's a restaurant in my hometown (which is definitely not Middle America) dedicated only to that fine poultry. And of course, the best-seller is a "Thanksgiving-style Turkey Dinner." My only problem is, they serve the cranberry sauce in one of those doofy, ridiculous-sized paper "cuplets", and I learned early on to ask for about six of them.

                                                  2. re: aching
                                                    c
                                                    cgarner Oct 20, 2010 12:45 PM

                                                    Back to Jones in Philadelphia
                                                    straight from their menu
                                                    THANKSGIVING DINNER roast turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy

                                                    1. re: aching
                                                      j
                                                      jhopp217 Oct 21, 2010 07:25 AM

                                                      I know of two restaurants and one take out place within a mile of where I live that a "thanksgiving" dinner is a staple on their menu. One place had a thanksgiving hero with fresh turkey, gravy, stuffing and cranberries....it was heaven.

                                                      1. re: aching
                                                        bagelman01 Oct 21, 2010 07:44 AM

                                                        Here in New England, many old time Yankee restaurants/inns have roast tom turkey on the dinner menu. It's not just a thanksgiving thing. My objection is restaurants that list tirkey dinners, but just roast deli breasts. I want a selection carved off the frame, part dark, part white.
                                                        and...turkey pot pie on the lunceon menu.

                                                      2. phofiend Oct 20, 2010 11:41 AM

                                                        I have yet to see green bean casserole on a restaurant menu.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: phofiend
                                                          Firegoat Oct 29, 2010 09:57 AM

                                                          Now you have
                                                          http://fordhamsfarmhouse.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=13&Itemid=27

                                                          look under Wednesday

                                                          And you can even get it in New York as part of dinner....
                                                          http://nymag.com/listings/restaurant/...

                                                        2. c
                                                          Christnp Oct 20, 2010 10:33 AM

                                                          The only thing I can think of is English Muffin Pizzas. There are always a few restaurants that recognize the popularity of home cooking and nostalgic comfort food.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: Christnp
                                                            ipsedixit Oct 20, 2010 10:41 AM

                                                            RE: English Muffin Pizzas.

                                                            The Marshall Stack in NYC has them. It's called their "afterschool special".

                                                          2. c
                                                            cgarner Oct 20, 2010 10:11 AM

                                                            I doubt it… remember when it was all the rage to have s’mores on a dessert menu?

                                                            Stephen Starr’s Jones in Philadelphia is another example with it’s Brady Bunch Living room atmosphere and menu items include meatloaf, glazed carrots, chicken pot pie and Dunan Hines Chocolate cake with a glass of milk

                                                            There’s been restaurants which feature PB&J sandwiches, cereal and milk… you name it.

                                                            Just because something is a casserole, doesn’t make it un-restaurant-worthy.

                                                            1. c
                                                              csdiego Oct 20, 2010 10:04 AM

                                                              Beanie-Weenies? At least by that name. I realize it's basically a low-end cassoulet.

                                                              On second thought, nah, I can actually see it: Side of 1947 vintage Pearl Harbor Spam, rare, with shirred dove egg accompanied by beenie-weenie of sopressata, cannellini and heirloom tomato.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: csdiego
                                                                Firegoat Oct 29, 2010 10:35 AM

                                                                pork and beans
                                                                http://www.allmenus.com/il/chicago/26...

                                                              2. John E. Oct 20, 2010 08:36 AM

                                                                After seeing Diners, Drive ins and Dives, I wouldn't bet that there is anything that would not be on a restaurant menu anywhere.

                                                                1. e
                                                                  electricfish Oct 20, 2010 08:20 AM

                                                                  Tuna Glunk? That's my DH's family's name for the recipe. Tuna, celery, onion, elbow macaroni, mayo and spices, served cold. My family made the same thing, but sometimes added apple or grapes.

                                                                  1. Perilagu Khan Oct 20, 2010 07:59 AM

                                                                    I don't recall ever seeing a souffle on a resto menu. There are also countless Italian dishes that, for some reason, never seem to make the cut.

                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                      c oliver Oct 20, 2010 08:04 AM

                                                                      I've seen souffle on many menus. Always one of those order ahead things. What kind of Italian dishes haven't you found. When I go to SF and NYC that's one of the things I love -thebreadth of Italian food.

                                                                      1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                        bagelman01 Oct 21, 2010 07:41 AM

                                                                        Back in the late 60s and early 70s there was a chain of mall restaurants called La Crepe or La Creperie (mym memory is unclear) here in southern New England (and maybe elsewhere) that featured many souffles on the menu. Problem was you could never order and receive it in time to consume if you only had an hour lunch/dinner break.

                                                                        1. re: bagelman01
                                                                          Striver Oct 22, 2010 10:26 AM

                                                                          A French restaurant I like (Passione in Montclair, NJ) asks for 20 minutes lead time for their classic - and very good - chocolate souffle. If you know you're going to want it, it can certainly be done even within a one-hour timebox.

                                                                        2. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                          p
                                                                          Plano Rose Oct 23, 2010 09:46 AM

                                                                          Kahn. aren't you a Texan? You need to make it to Rise #1 in Dallas. All souffles all the time.

                                                                        3. s
                                                                          Shann Oct 20, 2010 06:27 AM

                                                                          What kind of a restaurant do you mean? My Mom owned a diner for 20 years and mac & cheese, tuna noodle cassarole, lasagne and other cassaroles were standard lunch specials that sold well. They stood right alongside other diner staples like meatloaf, hot turkey sandwich and liver and onions (which we all hated but still sold pretty well).

                                                                          1. ZenSojourner Oct 19, 2010 10:56 PM

                                                                            At one point in my life I might have said yes . . .

                                                                            But that was before I saw Twinkies on the desert menu at a restaurant.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: ZenSojourner
                                                                              j
                                                                              jhopp217 Oct 20, 2010 06:14 AM

                                                                              A friend of mine had a pizzeria that sold battered deep fried Twinkies and it was so popular he got interviewed on the morning news. I never tried them, but many people told me they were the best dessert they ever had. He also had deep fried Snickers and Milky Ways.

                                                                            2. Emme Oct 19, 2010 10:05 PM

                                                                              i only imagine silly things like Monster Toast or Egg Sailboats might not make it to menu...

                                                                              i'd love to open a restaurant called STRATA. then serve like 5-10 strata and/or casseroles every day that rotate or just work off what ingredients are fresh. along with a cup of soup.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: Emme
                                                                                o
                                                                                ospreycove Oct 20, 2010 08:50 AM

                                                                                a good strada of sausage cheese...etc. is always welcome on my plate!!!!

                                                                              2. y
                                                                                yfunk3 Oct 19, 2010 07:00 PM

                                                                                I could swear I've seen "personal casseroles" on some menus, especially in homey, diner-type places. And then there's mac & cheese and lasagna, which can be a casserole and be easily made in individual casserole dishes/servings.

                                                                                1. b
                                                                                  beachmouse Oct 19, 2010 06:50 PM

                                                                                  15-20 years ago, people in much of the country would have laughed at you if you suggested that macaroni and cheese would become an acceptable restaurant dish. So I wouldn't call the casseroles entirely off the restaurant table based on the unlikely success of the restaurant M&C.

                                                                                  1. onceadaylily Oct 19, 2010 06:09 PM

                                                                                    Currently looking to my left at the Chow headline 'How to Cook a Squirrel'. I can't see that taking off in a widespread fashion.

                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: onceadaylily
                                                                                      ipsedixit Oct 19, 2010 07:16 PM

                                                                                      Don't be so sure about the squirrel dish ...

                                                                                      http://www.mnn.com/food/healthy-eatin...

                                                                                      Money quote from the article:
                                                                                      _______________________________________

                                                                                      "Squirrel meat was once a common feature of the British diet and in recent years has returned, being sold by speciality game dealers and restaurants and endorsed by celebrity chefs, who have cooked up recipes for squirrel ragout and squirrel offal skewers."

                                                                                      1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                                        i
                                                                                        Isolda Oct 20, 2010 05:54 PM

                                                                                        The family cookbook that my Alabama grandmother and grandfather typed up for me years ago includes a recipe for Brunswick stew made with squirrel. She never made it that way, but she says her mother did.

                                                                                        I have never cared for Brunswick stew, so I'm pretty sure adding a squirrel or two would do nothing to affect it either way.

                                                                                      2. re: onceadaylily
                                                                                        ZenSojourner Oct 19, 2010 10:20 PM

                                                                                        Widespread, probably not.

                                                                                        But there was a roadkill restaurant in Kentucky, I think it was, that was doing quite well awhile back.

                                                                                      3. c oliver Oct 19, 2010 06:05 PM

                                                                                        This is interesting, ipse. I'm running through the list of things I have or generally cook at home and, no, I don't think they're "restaurant menu immune." Probably because alot of places have gone the homey route which I think is great. 'Course it's made some of those items,i.e., lamb shanks, really expensive in the market since they've become trendy. I'm sure they're must be a seared ahi tuna over handmade noodles with mushrooms and a creamy cheesy sauce.

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: c oliver
                                                                                          j
                                                                                          just_M Oct 20, 2010 06:35 PM

                                                                                          I think I might have to make that and see if my tuna snob son (only raw or seared) would eat it. Then of course I would have to keep it to myself that it was tuna casserole as he would never eat it again. Man those teen year are tough when you still think you know it all ;->

                                                                                        2. n
                                                                                          Nocturnalbill Oct 19, 2010 05:23 PM

                                                                                          I would imagine that most of the casserole oeuvre would be menu immune (excepting the lasagna family), as most people would not see that as haute enough for the chef. My feeling is that few things are going to be home-only these days, as chefs constantly try to redefine the restaurant experience.

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