Category Archives: Misnomers

Frozen Foreshadowing?

I LOL’d when I pulled this out of the freezer at my parents’ house tonight.  Could any product have a name that better fits the current state of the food industry than this?  Not unless it was bagged spinach called “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Lethal”.

Thankfully, Blue Bunny’s Peanut Butter Panic hadn’t done the complicated food chain tango with the Peanut Corporation of America so we could eat it without wondering if we should also be making funeral plans.  And it tasted pretty good, too.

Define “Farmers’ Market”

Some people apparently have a pretty loose definition of a farmers’ market.  In my head, the name implies that, you know, actual farmers might be there selling things that came from the ground or off of trees– something that requires the seller of such goods to have some sort of contact with the earth.  I think the photo below is a pretty good representation of what one might expect to see at a place called a farmers’ market.

So, you can imagine my disappointment when I went to a “farmers’ market” in a posh Arizona neighborhood (Scottsdale) recently to find that there were no farmers there.  I wish I had taken photos to show the paucity of agricultural products at this so-called “farmers’ market”, but the whole scene was so uninspiring it never occured to me to pull it out. 

 I saw lots of jewelry, clothing and knick-knacks but NOT ONE thing even remotely resembling fresh fruit or vegetables unless you count the knit scarves the color of tomatoes and eggplant.  I even jovially asked the scarf stallholder if there was any actual food at the market and she did tell me that “the farmer” wasn’t there today.  I thought, “THE farmer? Meaning just one guy?”  Then definitely don’t call it a Farmers’ Market (note emphasis on the plural). 

She also helpfully pointed out the stalls selling chocolate, salsa, pasta sauce and olive oil.  At least it was food.  But even the olive oil was a bit disappointing.  All of it was imported- not from California-but Australia and Spain.  More disappointing still was finding out later in the week that there actually is some locally grown and produced olive oil in the Phoenix area, so why wasn’t it at this market instead?

My point isn’t to harp on this particular market.  I’ve found this lazy defintion of a farmers’ market in other places (like Wichita, KS in the prime growing season last year).  The point is, it shouldn’t be called a farmers’ market if you can’t buy fresh produce there.  Further to the point, the people who run these markets and those of us who shop at them should demand it.  Otherwise, many reasons for a having a farmers’ market (i.e. supporting local farmers, providing healthier food, providing a sense of place and seasonality) are rendered null and void and we might as well head back inside to the supermarket.

Kind of food, kind of not, but funny







Nah.  It’s just a pet food store with a name that gave me a good laugh. 

 I’m sure the people at my local shopping center thought I was weird, laughing and taking photos of it. 

But it did make me wonder: What, exactly, would the zest of a pet be?

* I just realized my cat sort of looks like the “I can has cheezburger” cat in this pic.

You named your restaurant what? Part III

I stumbled upon this review of an unfortunately named London restaurant called “Oops”.  What does “Oops” mean?  Your guess is as good as mine.  Could it be “Oops! Our soft opening is tomorrow and we still don’t have a name for this place?” I just hope it’s not Oops as in: “Oops. I dropped the lamb cutlet on the floor.” “Well, pick it up quick and plate it, they’ll never know the difference.”  Or “Oops.  We don’t seem to have your reservation.  The wait’s only 90 minutes, though.  Would you like to take a seat in the bar?” 

In the interest of fairness, there’s a better review from the folks at Time Out, here.

You named your restaurant WHAT? The Sequel

The last thing I want to be reminded of when I go to a Mexican restaurant is the nasty bout of TD I brought home after eating a salad in Mazatlan.   

So naturally, a Mexican Restaurant named Montezuma’s summons up a memory lane I’d rather just not go down.

Montezuma’s is a pretty big Mexican restaurant chain in Australia, and an internet search shows there are Montezuma’s in NY and Pennsylvania, too.  Now, I realize that Montezuma was an Aztec ruler and it’s not unheard of to name restaurants after royalty.  But when that person’s name is most commonly associated in popular culture with Montezuma’s Revenge, I’d think twice before putting that person’s name on my restaurant.  Or menu:

Would Montezuma’s Delight be the opposite of Montezuma’s Revenge?  And what, exactly, would the opposite of that be?  Two opposites that come immediately to mind for me are both pretty unappealing.

It’s dinner time in Rome. Do you know where your children are?

With Pope Benedict’s World Youth Day mass still ringing in the pilgrims’ ears, God may strike me down for this, but I can’t resist sharing something I found while researching the dining habits of the Pope and other residents of the Vatican.

It’s an entry from Frommer’s about dining in Rome:

Best for the Kids: After their tour of the Vatican or St. Peter’s, many savvy Roman families head for the Ristorante Il Matriciano, Via dei Gracchi 55 (tel. 06-3212327). It’s not fancy, but the price is right, and in summer you can opt for a sidewalk table. Let your kids feast on good, reasonably priced homemade fare that includes such crowd pleasers as ricotta-stuffed ravioli. At the next table you’re likely to see some priests from the Vatican dining.

Hmmm.  A kid friendly place that’s also a hangout for priests.  And it just gets better.  An entry for best al fresco dining on the same page mentions Roman Polanski.   Don’t the editors at Frommer’s do background checks on their writers or do they just fail to see the irony?

You Named Your Restaurant WHAT??

Burp, Hindley St., Adelaide

Yes.  You really saw what you just thought you saw.  It’s a Mexican fast food joint in Adelaide, Australia named Burp.  Naming restaurants after bodily functions is generally a bad idea.  Giving a restaurant a name that even remotely sounds like a bodily function is not wise, either (think Taco Ria or Pu Ping Palace). 

 I’ve never eaten at Burp.  Morbid curiosity has almost gotten the better of me a couple of times, but I just can’t bring myself to do it.  I’ll post more photos of oddly named restaurants from time to time, and I’d love to hear other examples of poorly chosen restaurant names from you.