Opinion: It’s a secret

Did you know some restaurants have what they call “secret menus”? I’d never heard of them, but apparently that’s the point.

I discovered this the other day when I accompanied my friend Steve to one of those places where you have to order your meal off a huge board. I think there should be a yellow line on the floor that you can stand behind to be left alone for a few moments to decide. These things take time. I was considering the “Pick Two” but whenever I pick two they tell me it’s not the “right” two.

Steve was getting impatient and stepped in front of me: “I’ll have the chicken and feta chopped salad with spicy hummus and cilantro.”

“Wow, that sounds great,” I said. “I don’t see that on the menu.”

“It’s on the secret menu,” he said.

Suddenly, the manager came over and took my friend aside. “How did you hear about this salad?” he asked Steve. “It’s supposed to be a secret.”

“I saw it on your website,” said Steve. “It’s one of the offerings you don’t advertise, but it’s still available to order.”

“But Sir, no one is supposed to know about these items. The next thing you know, everyone will want them. And that’s the last thing we need. We’re trying to run a business here.”

The next week we stopped at a popular burger place and Steve was still on his game. “I’m going to have the Hypocrite Burger,” he said, describing it as a veggie patty topped with bacon.

Apparently, he spoke too loudly, because again a manager stepped in. “That item,” the manager said, “is TOP SECRET, and it’s not available yet.”

“Okay,” said Steve, with a huge grin on his face, “then I’ll have the Land, Sea and Air sandwich,” which he explained was a burger, chicken patty and fish fillet stacked together.

“Wow, they didn’t even tell me about that one,” admitted the manager.

As we got up to leave the restaurant, Steve jokingly said, “Next time I’m here I’m going to order the vanilla soft serve with chicken nuggets swirled in. I know they have it.”

The manager checked his smart phone, then jotted something on a napkin. I hope he doesn’t take Steve seriously. It would be really hard to keep something that delicious a secret.