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The Surf and Turf Problem

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Jan. 7th, 2010 | 11:27 am

The Surf and Turf (Lobster and Steak) Problem is a little heuristic I've noticed. No matter what the restaurant, there will be at least one high end dish that exists for the sole purpose of giving someone something to order that's very expensive and will/may impress the person they're dining with. It generally won't be something that the restaurant is known for or that fits the cuisine they serve. In Chinese restaurants, this will typically be something like Shark's Fin soup. In American style restaurants, this will be your Big Hunk of Meat or Seafood or both. More subtly is to super-plus every dish up with an expensive ingredient (or a mundane one with a fancy point-of-origin or name. A decent Menu Fu heuristic I use is to look for Surf and Turf items. If they feel disproportionate in number then there's a good chance the restaurant maybe overpriced for what they do.

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