I love going to upscale bars in Brooklyn. With dark wood trim, low lighting, and good music playing at a reasonable volume, they’re the perfect place to enjoy an artisanal cocktail or a pint of craft beer with a friend or a date. But if you’re hungry, good luck figuring out what you want to order. Fancy Brooklyn bars have a bad habit of making their food menus so minimalist as to be inscrutable.
Some sly dog, apparently after one too many trips to The Vanderbilt, The JakeWalk, and Wolf & Deer, made a truly spot-on satire of opaque Brooklyn bar menus. The Brooklyn Bar Menu Generator invites would-be Kings County bar owners to “use this handy tool to generate a name and menu for your fine establishment—absolutely no imagination necessary!” The generator applies a liberal dose of terms like “rustic,” “farm-to-table,” “locally sourced,” and “artisanal,” but it goes beyond making fun of foodie buzzwords. I love the way each menu is divided into three sections, none of which has a heading, leaving you to scratch your head about the relative size of each plate. (Prices, ranging from $8 to $18—but unsullied by any gauche dollar signs—don’t do much to help.) But my favorite part of each menu is the way it alternates between elaborate, if confusing, descriptions like “Japanese pork belly jam with orecchiette & locally-sourced shell bean” and infuriatingly uninformative ones like “fig,” “sardine,” and “scraped kale.”
Here are a few of the menus I got from the generator, but please do click through and discover more of your own. You won’t be disappointed, unless you’re so over orecchiette.