We’re gonna talk about the Sip menu. And to do that we’re gonna speak French, so hang on:
Prix fixe — “pree feex”
It means “fixed priced.” Translation in the restaurant business: “You don’t get to pick what you want to eat, but you get to pay more for it.”
A prix fixe menu is common among fancier restaurants. If you order a meal from that menu, you get what’s on the menu and … that’s it. It’s a restaurant’s way of cutting down on labor in the kitchen — fewer dishes, easier prep. Seems like that would cost less, but no.
It’s also their way of saying “Our chef is so important and respected and magnificent, they will tell you what you’ll like best.”
(Of course, a prix fixe menu is also common for conference meals, which usually don’t have any business making claims of magnificence. Maybe they hope “rubber chicken” sounds better in French.)
The point we’re going to make is: Our brunch and sip menu ain’t prix fixe. And there’s nobody working in our kitchen, or coming to your table, telling you what you ought to order. And we don’t have some snooty chef who thinks they know better than you.
You order from us. We don’t order you.
Glad we got that straight.
So how does something get on the Sip menu?
That’s a good question! And the answer is … several answers.
First, we need to talk about our philosophy of menu construction. Here are some of the considerations we weigh in deciding if a new menu item has what it takes to make it to the show:
- Variety — We don’t like repetition. We don’t want to offer multiple versions of something with not enough variation between them. Part of the reason for that is, if our menu is too big, it’s not manageable for our kitchen without causing you to wait. So every menu item has to pull its weight in terms of customer appeal.
- Appeal — Simply put, if people like you aren’t ordering it, we’ll stop offering it. Our avocado and Marmite toast never caught on, so we quit offering it. [Note: We never really offered this. Read about Marmite and you’ll know why. —Ed.]
- Value — Sure, we could offer Beluga caviar on heirloom tomato crisps and yogurt parfaits sprinkled with ground edible gold leaf, but that’s not why you’re coming in, so we don’t. You want good, filling food at a reasonable price. We have that.
- Convenience — Being able to tell somebody what you want to eat and have them bring it to you kinda defines convenience, doesn’t it? But not if you have to wait longer than you should. So by convenience we mean really good food served in a reasonable amount of time. Or faster. We have that, too.
- Cooperativity — If that wasn’t a word, it is now. It means “How well does a menu item get along with others?”; specifically, it refers to the reason some people have called our bill of fare a “brunch and sip menu.” Take a look at the menu from either of our two Sip locations and you’ll see there’s more liquid refreshment on them than solid sustenance. The meal items are … kinda brunchy, yeah. It doesn’t have to be brunch to order one, but they’re definitely brunchworthy. And the libations are at home in your hand anytime we’re open. The food and drink have to share a menu, and they all need to get along. We insist on that.
So now that you understand our menu Zen, or as we sometimes call it, our “Zenu” [We never call it that. —Ed.], we’ll explain the basic categories of menu items we offer, and what fits into each.
Suggestions from our brunch and sip menu
Here are items you can expect at one or both of our locations — the House in Scottsdale and the Garage in Arcadia — and how they might best fit what you’re looking for in the moment.
Serious fare, early a.m. edition — Your go-to list for meal-sized breakfast stuff
- Breakfast burrito
- Breakfast sandwich
- Classic egg muffin
SF, late a.m. — Still meal-sized, but brunchier than above
- Turkey BLT
Lighter — Lots of choices for when your stomach isn’t quite as noisy (yet)
- Avocado toast
- Bagel and schmear
- Overnight oats
- Hummus plate
Greener — And shouldn’t we all be thinking greener?
- House salad
- Spinach and goat cheese salad
- Veggie wrap
Beerier — When you need something just right to wash down
- Pretzels and beer cheese
If that last suggestion leaves you feeling a little dry, you’ll probably notice that we’re not making beverage suggestions here. First, because we have too many to list. And second, because the featured beers and cocktails change often, so you get lots and lots of choices. Take that, snooty prix fixers!
Our best advice if you want to see what’s … on tap? Come in and check the board. (See what we did there?)
See you soon!