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Absurd Farm to Table Menus

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These items are from a restaurant we were considering going to:

"Home grown salad cut to order"

"Humanely raised local animals"

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  1. Sure - but if that's the clientele they're looking for, they're using the correct verbage . . .

    1. What's absurd? Both make sense.

      13 Replies
      1. re: Peg

        "salad cut to order"...that doesn't strike you as absurb?

        1. re: Notaslavetofashion

          Presumably it means it's cut from the ground to order. I know of few items (can't think of any, actually) that grow from the ground that benefit from being out of the ground for any time at all.

          1. re: tommy

            Diner: "I'd like the garden salad"

            Waiter: "Wonderful. And how would you like that cut? Julienned, chopped, diced, or slivered?"

            Diner: "The romaine I would like chopped, 3x3, and the arugula torn by hand, and the butter lettuce simply rough diced."

            1. re: ipsedixit

              There is a highend steakhouse here that presents you with a selection of 6 steak knives to choose from. The waiter was giving a description of each one and its country of origin. I just thought, this is crazy, could I just have one that will cut the steak?

              1. re: DaisyM

                Yes, the waiter comes out with a tray of 6 knives to choose from. http://www.barclayprime.com/newslette...

                BTW, the steak is excellent there.

                1. re: DaisyM

                  Christ on a bicycle- do you get to choose how pointy your fork is, too?

                  1. re: EWSflash

                    You also get to try a bunch that you be considering buying. Value added.

                    1. re: tommy

                      I can't remember which restaurant presented you with a tray of fine pens so you could choose which one you wanted to sign the bill with.

                      1. re: DaisyM

                        It was Alain Ducasse's first US restaurant in the Essex House in NYC. They also had little upholstered poufs so a lady would not have to put her purse on the floor.

              2. re: ipsedixit

                Is that what they do?

                1. re: tommy

                  No idea. Just a poor (probably very poor) attempt at humor.

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    I think we'd all agree that this would be absurd! :)

                    1. re: tommy

                      No more absurd than asking to see "The Papers" of the chicken one is contemplating consuming. ;-)

        2. Struggling to find the absurdity. Local/sustainable/homegrown are things many people are loking for these days.

          1. Put me in the stumped category also. What do you find absurd?

            1. I guess the cut to order thing is a little silly (I am both a cut salad producer and work the salad line in a restaurant -- to my mind cutting each salad as you go makes no sense) but some people will pay for it I guess. I do have a general complaint about business using the terms "home grown" or "home made." "Our house-grown salad" makes more sense to me. This is all just me being picky however -- I don't actually find the above menu "absurd."

              The animal thing seems spot on to me.

              1. I find the salad thing ridiculous, but humanely raised animals , yes!

                3 Replies
                1. re: magiesmom

                  Believe me, I'm totally for humanely raised and humanely slaughtered animals (kosher meat!). I just think that there is a point that these menus get silly.

                  1. re: DaisyM

                    Some people seek these things out. No harm in knowing your market and patting yourself on the back for catering to it.

                    1. re: DaisyM

                      It's very important to know where the meat comes from especially if you like to avoid commodity meat (which most restaurants tend to use). I really don't see what is silly about the menu - it should be more often used and we often ask waiters about the source of the meat. Some people care where their food comes from.

                  2. I would prefer :

                    "home grown animals cut to order"

                    "humanely raised local salad"

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Maximilien

                      Live poultry, fresh killed!

                      http://www.mayflowerpoultry.com/index...

                    2. Put me in the "not getting the absurdity" camp.

                      So did the 'absurd' (in your mind) description make you reconsider your plan of going there?

                      How about "the usual bagged crap salad everyone else gets at Voldemort" and "factory meat tortured to death"?

                      Does that whet your whistle?

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: linguafood

                        We're going to go and bring our own recycled toilet paper!

                        1. re: DaisyM

                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/823418
                          :-)

                        2. re: linguafood

                          " "factory meat tortured to death"? Does that whet your whistle?" as opposed to "Humanely raised local animals"?

                          Either way I'm eating a dead animal. In the end, they both suffer for my dinner. As long as it tastes good, I honestly don't care. There, I've said it.

                          1. re: ttoommyy

                            Suum cuique.

                            1. re: ttoommyy

                              Either way I'm eating a dead animal. In the end, they both suffer for my dinner. As long as it tastes good, I honestly don't care. There, I've said it.
                              _______________________________________

                              And, now, so have I.

                          2. http://eater.com/archives/2011/01/14/...
                            http://www.seriouseats.com/2011/01/vi...
                            http://www.hulu.com/watch/208808/port...

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: huiray

                              i was surprised it took this long for someone to bring up this episode of portlandia. thought of it immediately!

                              1. re: mattstolz

                                Ah, but I saw this thread only half an hour ago. I, too, thought of the Portlandia skit immediately and it took a minute or two to locate the relevant links.
                                :-)

                              2. re: huiray

                                Thank you so much for making me laugh today! Love it.

                                1. re: huiray

                                  omg.... I need to be watching this show.... thank you!!

                                  1. re: huiray

                                    I thought of this as I read through the thread and intended to find the link to post. I am glad you did. The chicken's name was Colin.

                                  2. I think this is an example of someone using buzz words to try and appeal to a certain audience but at the same time, I suspect that there is a bit of false advertizing going on. Its december and from what I can tell DaisyM is in the Philly area so unless this restaurant has a gigantic greenhouse attached, I doubt there is any home grown salad being cut. Salad in december is coming from somewhere far away when you're in Philly or anywhere in the NE. The cut part is an extension of all this chopped salad that showing up all over the plae. I'm sorry, but I like to see the lettuce in my salad as distinctly identifiable pieces. This trend of chopped to bits salads until its a mushy mass is not appealing to me. As to local animals, may get tough to do everything from local meat unless the menu is pretty limited on the choices.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Bkeats

                                      My best friend's father retired from a greenhouse tomato operation a few years ago. He was going stir crazy and constructed a hydroponic lettuce garden in the garage. His set up is about the size of a coffee table, and produces enough mesclun mix to make 4 side salads a night, almost every night from October to March. My guess is the restaurant the OP referenced is relatively small - it doesn't seem like a stretch that they could have a good sized indoor lettuce garden, even in Philly.

                                      1. re: mpjmph

                                        Could be. Without knowing the restaurant's name (I don't think that's been shared) it's hard to make any sort of assessment.

                                        The questions are: are they really doing it (I see no reason to think they're lying), and does it make a difference (in my experience it does). Nothing strange here at all.

                                    2. I run a personal chef business, and am affiliated with a community farm. When I serve that farm's product for salads, it is "cut to order"... as in harvested specifically for me. Cutting to order seems the more sustainable harvest method, as the base of the plant can continue to grow. The harvest method is termed "cut and come again".

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: KarenDW

                                        This is what I was thinking about the "cut to order", too--that they might have their own garden and harvest the vegetables as needed, not that each individual vegetable were cut when ordered. Freshly harvested is always better and I'd pay more for that than one that was trucked from halfway around the world. As humanely raised local animal goes, I don't see the absurdity in that. Small, quality controlled vs large factory farmed.