If the menu offers “ceaser” salad and “expresso,” do you hightail it out of the restaurant? Washington Post writer Jane Black dreams about sitting down and brandishing a copyediting pen. In the first of what promises to be an “occasional series of rants about dining out,” Black takes on egregious menu typos like “shitake” mushrooms and “mescaline” salad. Such mistakes are increasingly common, the article asserts, because ingredients change more often and dish descriptions have become more complicated. Furthermore, most small restaurants print their menus themselves, instead of going through a designer who might have access to a proofreader.
Thus, we end up with such novelties as Texass chilli and creme bluree, along with the ever-popular cream of leak and potato soup. Chowhounds have found fertile ground in these menu gaffes, but one website claims that these errors really only concern white people. “The presence of an improper apostrophe on a menu can ruin an otherwise delicious meal for a white person,” intones the tongue-in-cheek Stuff White People Like. Perhaps it is a little smug to point out errors like the grocer’s apostrophe, but somebody’s got to fight the battle.