Slow Food Columbus Blog

Living the slow life… one day at a time

Announcing “Off the Menu”

with 9 comments

With this month’s “Flavors of Thailand” dinner at Nida’s Thai on High, we open the door to a new series of events that we call “Off the Menu.”  The idea for the series comes from an experience that many of us have had, in one form or another, with the chefs that we’ve gotten to know in our favorite restaurants.  We’ll be talking with them about food (big surprise) and they’ll make some offhand comment about some dish or ingredient or style of cooking that they themselves find really interesting.  And we say, “That sounds great!  Why don’t you make that sometime?  Either as a regular menu item or as a special—I’d love to try it!”

Their answers vary.  Sometimes, they say it’s too unusual or too exotic to have widespread appeal.  In other cases, it might just be something that’s unknown, and customers tend to stick with what they know.  Or the ingredients would add up to a somewhat higher price than what most customers think Columbus restaurants should charge.  But in the end, the bottom line is the same:  “We don’t think people would buy it.”

And we always walk away thinking the same thing:  “I bet I know some people who would.”

So we want to give the chefs of Columbus an opportunity to take a risk—to drop us a line and let us know what they would imagine doing if they could have their way, maybe on a night they’re not usually open, as Nida is doing, or maybe as a set of specials on a regular night.  Who knows… perhaps these events can help to stimulate demand.  In the long run we’d love to see some of these events give rise to occasional specials, or further events, like the recent snout-to-tail dinners at DeepWood and G. Michael’s, that help all of us, as consumers, to push our boundaries further.

Off the Menu: The Flavors of Thailand

Kor Moo Yang (grilled pork)
Sai Grog Isaan (Thai sausages)
Namm (preserved raw pork)
Soup nor Mai (spicy bamboo shoot salad)
Nam Ta Krai (lemongrass juice)
Kai Pa loh (hard boiled egg with pork in soy sauce)
Gang Pa (spicy soup with pork ribs)
Pad Woon Sen (stir-fried bean thread noodles with tomato and tofu)
Gra Prow Moo (basil with ground pork and chicken gizzard)
Num Kang Sai (Thai fruit with coconut milk and ice)

Also included will be a small preview of
spring/summer cocktail specials from the bar

$37 member / $45 nonmember; reservations required


Written by Bear

April 11, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

9 Responses

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  1. Love the name! 😀

    Walker Evans

    April 11, 2010 at 4:07 pm

  2. […] was the first in what we hope will be a series of dinners featuring unusual dishes and ingredients. Restaurants often shape their menus around the […]

  3. […] was the first in what we hope will be a series of dinners featuring unusual dishes and ingredients. Restaurants often shape their menus around the […]

  4. […] “Have I told you about our Off the Menu series?” I asked.  Rick shook his head.  I smiled… and launched into a discussion of how we’re trying to put consumers together with chefs who want to take the kid gloves off for a night and get creative.  (Details here.) […]

  5. […] couple of weeks later we launched our first Off the Menu event at Nida’s Thai on High, titled Flavors of Thailand.  The event, and the series, were […]

  6. […] Off the Menu series is meant to recognize the responsibility that consumers have for what appears on restaurant menus […]

  7. […] we prepare for our upcoming Off the Menu dinner, An Offal Evening at Basi [tickets here], it occurs to me that it’s worth taking a […]

  8. i would love to attend but i am vegetarian and that menu is not friendly for me

    Kathryn Kiefer

    October 28, 2011 at 6:26 am

  9. Kathryn, if you mean the Flavors of Thailand dinner, it happened in April of 2010—almost immediately following a reception for the chef of Dragonfly Neo-V, who had been nominated for a James Beard Award. Plenty of the food at that event was vegetarian or vegan. Our Events page contains information on these and other events.

    More generally, we’re a member-driven organization. Our events reflect the interests of our members. If you’d like to see more vegetarian events, I’d encourage you to propose one.


    October 28, 2011 at 11:51 am

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