New App Puts Secret Menus in the Palm of Your Hand
This article originally appeared on Food and Wine. For more articles like this one, visit FoodandWine.com.
Secret menus are far less secret than they used to be. If you don’t know that In-N-Out will make you fries “animal style” or that Chipotle will gladly whip you up a quesadilla, it’s time to sublet that rock you’ve been living under and find a new place to crash.
But all this isn’t to say there aren’t still secret menu items out there that you may know nothing about. Or that new secret menu items couldn’t be created at any time. A new app called “Off The Menu” wants to completely demystify the idea of the secret menu. It currently offers up off-the-menu guides in 16 cities across the US and Canada, covering eateries and bars as wide-ranging as the aforementioned In-N-Out all the way to classy joints like Spago Beverly Hills.
For now, the company touts the free product as a way to discover new foodie adventures while traveling, but if the app catches on, it’s easy to see how it could work as a unique promotional tool for restaurants looking to lure in customers with “off-the-special-board” specials or other scavenger-hunt-like deals.
Some may say that publishing secret menus takes all the fun out of secret menus—which I guess is kind of true. Though you could also say that when Zagat started publishing customers’ restaurant reviews, it took all the fun out of walking into a restaurant and not knowing whether it would suck.
Off The Menu is currently available for Apple devices with a Google version hopefully coming later this month. A rep for the app says it will be getting an even wider launch this fall with more secret menu items being uncovered. Until then, you’ll just have to figure out these additional secrets the old-fashioned way: bribing sous chefs.