While cleaning my desk last week, I discovered that one single packing box could hold a couple hundred menus. Mostly take-out menus and dozens of single sheets stolen from fine dining joints, but also a few sleeved menus still in their fancy folders as well as entire press kits.
So one box of menus = 300 menus, give or take. That box in the picture above? That's one in a series of four. That's roughly 1,200 menus I've collected over seven years on this desk, some historic (like the fateful New Year's Eve menu from Adega's first year in town and the menu that Eric Ripert cooked for me and my friends at Le Bernardin), most not -- a record of Denver's changing restaurant scene from one of the most dependable documents available. A forest's worth of trees, a thousand chef's dreams (most of them broken), more ahi tuna tartare and beef carpaccio and truffle fries than I could count.
New menus have already started to build up at my temporary desk. New press kits, new promises. I have two stuffed in the back pocket of my blue jeans right now, a whole other box of them at home, a car full of them. My mailbox at the office is too stuffed to fit any more.
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And yeah, when this move is done, I'll be taking them all with me. Because they're not just Denver's history, but mine as well.