Only in York County

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Handwritten menus: Or, you never know what will get people riled up

Sometimes, I know that when I post about something, it’s going to draw comments.

Other times, I get kind of surprised. Case in point? My September post about handwritten menus.

I am “for” the handwritten menu. It shows me a place is local, probably family-owned, and definitely a down-home kind of place. The places with handwritten menus tend to be places that know their regulars by name, and I love it!

Not everyone agreed, though.

Non-native, a new commenter, had a valid point. “I’m glad you like it, but to me it’s a sign of a restaurant that hasn’t kept up with the times. I’m from New York originally, and if someone handed me a hand-written menu in a restaurant back home I wouldn’t think twice about walking away without ordering. I’m not talking about a specials board, that’s par for the course, but to actually hand-write and photocopy a menu instead of typing it seems like a bad-sign to me. You might call it quaint or cozy, but it makes me wonder if someone in the food service industry isn’t using modern technology for a simple thing like the menu, what else aren’t they keeping up with? If they’re not using a computer for their menu, I suppose they’re not using it for their inventory either. If they haven’t updated the technology on their menu in 20 years, are they updating the technology in their cleansers and sanitizers? I’m not saying that these restaurants are dirty or unsanitary or that their ingredients aren’t fresh, but what I am saying is that what may appear cute or quaint to some can also appear as a sign of backwardness, unprofessionality, and disorganization to others.”

I can see where you could draw those conclusions; just because I don’t share the opinion doesn’t mean I don’t see where the commenter is coming from!

Commenter Adam brought up another handwritten classic – the signs for yard sales and roadside produce stands. He says, “I love how people in York use unnecessary apostrophes. Example: ‘Apple’s for sale,’ or my personal favorite, simply, ‘Lope’s.'”

I am with Adam on that. I am no fan of unneccessary apostrophication. (Also, why “Lope” at all, when canteloupe is spelled with a U in there??)

My father-in-law, John, was on my side about the menus. He writes: “The handwritten menu is legible, uses proper spelling, appears to be grammatically correct and shows some concept as to presentation of the subject matter. Someone was paying attention in English and writing class. You would spoil these well-learned talents of the menu writer by introducing him/her to “Spell Check”, Page Set-up”, “Font” and other “Word” apps that require no concept of grammar or presentation of the subject matter. Long live ‘Old School”. Now I’m hungry.”

ME TOO! Time for some breakfast! Maybe I’ll go get a handwritten-menu-restaurant omelet. How about you?

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