• James Eric Fristad


Two entrées, each typical of two quite different menus, one in each hand, to choose between -- each with its own surprises and letdowns (you may, like myself, love the listed Gumbo but shudder at a side order of fried, slimy okra). From the moment the head-waiter put that folded listing of wonderful foods into your hands, you began pondering scrumptious options like what the left image above suggests: steak in a rich sauce, probably a lobster alternative, maybe a surf & turf option. Salade niçoise before bouillabaise before your entrée, and tiramissou afterwards ... all accompanied by well-paired wines, you imagine.

Except, well, the cook has a fever, the wait-staff feels poorly as well, the dishwasher called in sick, and the delivery truck has gone missing. That restaurant may close down for awhile, and you may be out of luck, at least as regards that original food-venture you were salivating for.

Ah, but another option is on the horizon, different yet similar in some respects. It's all food, after all, right? This alternative is less fancy, will take a smaller bite out of your eating-out budget. Not much like your first choice, in fact, but palatable and unique. And most importantly, you don't hafta cook tonight. So, which is it to be for us?

Ahem, more menus. Each of these screenshots conveys the same ambiguity, one from a tablet and the other from my smartphone. The first

is less obvious unless you are used to the top-right side menu icon (you must turn your head here, because I put it on its side to fit better). Usually when you click that bright little box with a couple of horizontal strokes, you can instantly get to 'most anywhere on the site.

Um, Eric, there are eight additional menu-ish buttons up there on that page. For real, two distinct sets of routes?

Exactly. Two menus, one page. There are two perfectly solid options to explore -- except that for reasons of budget and health only one option is likely to happen in this time-space world for us. We aren't wealthy, and we are mortal seventy-somethings.

And we have no way of knowing, probably for another month at least, which menu will matter. I do have reservations for all of those scheduled places, Springtime and Autumn, have made plans and savored both sets of possibilities.

Here is the more desk-top version if you are curious. You can get there on smartphone/iPhone or desktop by closely examining the original homepage until you find a button labeled "MM." That is the magic looking-glass key. Or heck, just click the image below.

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