The Most Overused Menu Descriptions

From 'grilled to perfection' to 'garden fresh'
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 6, 2009 6:14 PM CDT
The Most Overused Menu Descriptions
An entree of Chilean sea bass and beef tenderloin that will be served at the 65th Annual Golden Globe Awards is previewed for the press on January 3, 2008 in Beverly Hills, California.    (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Tired of menus that use the same old phrases over and over? So are the food critics at the Chicago Tribune. They nominated nine menu clichés for the compost pile:

  • "Grilled to perfection": Subjective to the point of meaninglessness. And why always grilled, and not “boiled” or “baked”? Can only grilling reach perfection?
  • "World famous": Almost always an empty boast.
  • "Kobe burger": “Kobe” is becoming a general synonym for “high quality”; it doesn't apply unless the beef actually came from Japan.

  • "Shrimp scampi," "eggplant alla melanzane," "with au jus": All use non-English words in a daft attempt to sound cultured. Translations: “shrimp shrimp,” “eggplant in the style of eggplant,” “with with juice.”
  • "Garden fresh": Even factory-style mega-franchises like Subway describe their produce this way,
  • “Homemade": Besides the fact that it’s almost always a lie, shouldn’t food be made in the restaurant?
  • "Melt in your mouth": If steak is really melting in your mouth, something’s wrong.
(Read more restaurant stories.)

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