One of the joys of returning to restaurant dining is the act of leisurely paging through the menu, seeing what’s on offer. In a pandemic era limited to takeout and delivery, this perusal has been entirely action-oriented; you have to make a firm decision and commit to it as soon as you call the restaurant rather than asking the server what’s good or tacking on the ol’ “You know what? I’ll have a side of fries, too,” after everyone at the table has placed their orders. Reading over menus (even if they’re all in PDF form now) is a treat I never knew I’d miss. And with menu-scanning comes what I call the “Ooh!” foods.
The “Ooh!” foods are the ones that you can’t help but get excited about when you see them pop up on a menu. They might not even be particularly exciting/ complicated/fancy dishes; I’m much more likely to emit an excited “Ooh!” when I see garlic knots on a menu than when I see bacon-wrapped scallops. (Who in this universe has ever messed up seasoned butter?) Another big “Ooh!” food is, I am prepared to admit, pulled pork nachos. As soon as I see them under any menu’s appetizers section, I know they will soon be under my nose. Which menu items are you uniquely (and yes, maybe even weirdly) excited about when you encounter them?