Eat Me – Shameless Family Promotion

Eat Me: The food and philosophy of Kenny Shopsin

If you’ve ever clicked on the links at the bottom of the sidebar on the left, you’ve probably realized that a) my last name is Shopsin, and b) my family owns a restaurant in New York City called, you guessed it, Shopsin’s. The restaurant has been a fixture in my life since the day I was born. Literally. I’ve lived in a number of apartments and houses, but the restaurant (now in it’s third location) has always been the place I called home.

Our restaurant is very hard to explain, though that doesn’t keep people from trying. Google it and I’m sure you’ll find a ton of people that love it, hate it, are disgusted by it, are shocked and awed by it, or just plain like eating there. One thing I think people will agree on is that the menu is huge, incredibly varied and incredibly weird. The two things I’ve seen people ordering the most of lately are Macaroni and Cheese Pancakes, which sound weird, but are truly awesome, and the Gallant sandwich (warm turkey, bacon, avocado, cranberry mayo, ciabatta) which almost sounds normal and again, is quite delicious.

You can look at the full menu here (pdf). A warning: When I was still living at home, before going off to college and my stay on the west coast, I used to design the menu for my dad. My designs were not particularly inspired, but they were relatively readable and consistent. When I left for college I gave my dad a copy of Quark Express and a brief tutorial on how to use it. And use it he did. I haven’t studied Claude Shannon’s work on information theory as much as I’d have liked, but I’m pretty sure his menu design is approaching some sort of maximal information density limit.

Anyway, the reason for this post is that my father recently released a cookbook/philosophical tract/memoir called “Eat Me: The Food and Philosophy of Kenny Shopsin”. I’m obviously quite biased, but I think it is the most entertaining cookbook I’ve ever read. It’s a combination cook book and memoir, with about 100 recipes and a bunch of essays detailing my father’s approach to food, cooking, family, the restaurant business, and much more. Not to mention a picture of me bathing in a sink. You can read it like a cookbook, just going to the recipes that interest you, but I think most people will just end up reading it cover to cover like a normal book.

The book is designed by my sister Tamara and the photographs were taken by her husband Jason.

Once my scanner gets here and I get everything set up I’m going to post a couple of excerpts on the site, but really, why wait? You should just buy a copy :)


Amazon Page for Eat Me

Publisher’s Page for Eat Me
Shopsin’s Website
Shopsin’s Menu
Amazon Page for I Like Killing Flies , a 2002 documentary about the restaurant.

13 comments
  1. fisheatingbagel says: September 25, 20084:37 pm

    I’ve looked at the menu before, and it makes me really sad I don’t live in New York; I would love to visit the restaurant sometime.
    How is your move to NY going?

  2. Suzanne says: September 25, 20084:57 pm

    Can I order a book and send it to you to have it autographed? My partner is a serious cookbook collector and lover of iconic restaurants and would flip out. Email me if you get the chance! Thanks!

  3. Rick Auricchio says: September 25, 20085:58 pm

    I love the menu, despite the fact that your dad should definitely be hauled away by the design police.

    But descriptors like “southernish,” “little fried things,” and the pun of “Thai Cobb” vs. “Ty Cobb” are wonderful. And fourteen ways to order a side of grits? In New York, no less!

    Unable to accommodate severe food allergies? Heck, with all those items, folks with allergies shouldn’t even get within 100 feet!

    One thing missing: “Slow readers risk being ridiculed and banished.”

  4. JM says: September 25, 20086:23 pm

    I like the menu design but, even I searched the menu’s offered drinks, I can’t find the Guarana Antarctica (my favorite drink, since I taste it when I was visiting Brazil first time) whose ‘can’ appears next to the Big Johns sandwiches in the menu… lol.. i assume your dad just find the Guarana’s can weird enough to be included in the menu :)

  5. Jake H says: September 25, 20086:23 pm

    Yes…I think data implosion is immanent on your dad’s menu, but it does sort of match the delightfully hodgepodge nature of the restaurant. Oh, how I’d love to dine there some day!

    Also, your sister’s splendid book design more than makes up for the menu.

  6. slim says: September 25, 200811:35 pm

    I’ve seen “I like killing flies” and loved it. Your Dad is a national treasure.

  7. Anne says: September 26, 20087:43 pm

    That menu is pretty darn scary! And I’m kinda scared by the thought of mac & cheese pancakes… But the Gallant sandwich sounds good. :-D

    It says something about the restaurant, though, that it doesn’t need the most well designed menu to keep people coming back.

  8. mc says: September 27, 200810:04 am

    The name “white trash chicken hash” involves more of an insult (or racial epithet) than you might realize. Please change it.

  9. MooPig says: September 27, 20087:48 pm

    That’s Eat Up.

  10. Charlene says: September 28, 200812:28 pm

    Thanks for warning me about the allergy stuff, Rick. (sigh)

  11. Simon says: September 29, 20083:06 am

    Awesome menu! I don’t know what a lot of the things on there are but I’d love to try some of them.

    I’m hungry now.

  12. Becky says: September 29, 20085:58 pm

    Oh, my. Not only have I eaten at Shopsin’s many times over the years when I’ve gone back to NYC, but I have seen you there years ago, as a kid, studying! Little did I know that THAT Charlie and THIS Charlie are one and the same. Two great tastes taste great together!

    Fabulous, and I shall buy a book post haste, though I don’t know if I could replicate my fave soups half as well.

    – BEcky

  13. Rick Auricchio says: October 1, 200811:59 pm

    Becky, that’s really a neat coincidence. Things like this are what make life fun.

    Now I’m sorry I never went to Shopsin’s. I lived in NJ till 1979; now I’m at the left edge of the country, right at the Pacific…

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