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a feast for the eyes
August 10, 2011 10:08 AM   Subscribe

The art of the menu.
posted by crunchland (20 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
Neat, if a bit young. Bookmarked to skim for future inspiration.
posted by Gator at 10:12 AM on August 10, 2011


This is such an innocuous example of the sort of menu it is, I am surprised he used it. There are tons of Mexican restaurants in Brooklyn that exist more for their margarita and daquiri specials than the food, and they all have menus like this, just ten times as haphazard, as if arranged by a illiterate synesthete slowly going blind.

...and I, apparently, am a lot more angry about not being able to find a burrito that one night than I thought.

(Oblig. Onion link.)
posted by griphus at 10:27 AM on August 10, 2011


I eagerly await the tenth menu.
posted by digsrus at 10:28 AM on August 10, 2011


The infodesign nerd commenters' disdain for Shopsin's menu makes me sad, because it's actually a pitch-perfect design — it's just not trying to do what they think it should. As anyone who's seen I Like Killing Flies knows, that that menu's design is absolutely perfect for its purpose; it just doesn't have the same purpose as other restaurant menus. White space and structure, low information density and hierarchy, are all nice if you want to make choosing what to order easy. But Shopsin wants to make it hard! (And shouldn't any good Tuftean have a grudging respect for a design that fits that much pure information on one page, anyhow?)

Also, it'd be nice if they could learn to spell. "Saddistic" gave me a chuckle, but I'm pretty sure it was unintentional.
posted by RogerB at 10:31 AM on August 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


I do love the idea that an ugly menu is the perfect illustration of a type of place.

(A type of place I'd probably love.)

“Shopsin’s daughter, Tamara,” explains a Saveur article, “once admitted that the worst thing she had ever done was teach her father how to use Adobe InDesign. She didn’t expect him to exploit the text-squeeze function to such an extent.”

For some reason that made me laugh.

It also makes me glad I'm (much much more) a design hobbyist than any sort of trained professional or the type of person who would break out in hives looking at this.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:31 AM on August 10, 2011


Also, "snuggly."
posted by Gator at 10:34 AM on August 10, 2011


Needs more Papyrus.
posted by xedrik at 10:49 AM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


The only (and I mean ONLY) complaint I have with Shopsin's menu is that it's a tad short on description.

I can't be the only one who favors concise, high-density information over "design" and "artistic use of white space", can I?
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:52 AM on August 10, 2011


I went to Shopsin's on a visit to NYC specifically because I had seen pdfs of its insane menu beforehand. It's perfect. The table I sat at had a framed picture of Damar from DS9 sitting next to it.
posted by palidor at 10:52 AM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


How weird, the Shopsin's menu appears to feature someone dressed as Alex from A Clockwork Orange.
posted by exogenous at 10:58 AM on August 10, 2011


Holding an Orange Julius, of course.
posted by Gator at 11:00 AM on August 10, 2011


I'm scared to go to Shopsin's I don't think I would react well to being publicly humiliated.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:05 AM on August 10, 2011


Under Consideration is awesome.
posted by eyeballkid at 11:05 AM on August 10, 2011


The best menus have pictures representative of what you'll actually get.
posted by 2bucksplus at 11:15 AM on August 10, 2011


They have yet to go over the awesomest restaurant menu of all time, that of GRILL in downtown Tucson, AZ: FRONT (Pg. 1, 2, 3) BACK— so I guess I'll check in later. Hmph.
posted by carsonb at 11:20 AM on August 10, 2011


I like this local menu because of the random prices. It's a reaction to whole-number prices which, after tax and tip, you never end up paying a whole number for anyway.
Also the food is great.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 11:30 AM on August 10, 2011


And speaking of crap restaurant websites, that link won't take you anywhere unless you've already gone to the site and picked a location. Nevermind.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 11:36 AM on August 10, 2011


When I ate at Shopsin's during my first NYC visit, it was the best damn breakfast I ever had. I am sure if I returned and had something else, it would still be the best damn (insert meal here).
posted by Kitteh at 11:56 AM on August 10, 2011


Were you berated by the staff? This is an honest question, I want to go but I would probably be seething and plotting their destruction for months if they started shouting at me.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:02 PM on August 10, 2011


No, they were nice to me, but it helped that I was aware of the legend of Shopsin's and decided what I was going to order before I even got there. The magic of the online menu!
posted by Kitteh at 1:46 PM on August 10, 2011


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