Laughter and friendly shouting filled the room. I didn't recognize the language the locals
were speaking, although I was pretty sure I was still in Italy. There was a single, large table in the middle of the
room, and - oddly - everyone appeared to be eating out of the same, large bowl placed at its center.
There was a big wooden spoon everyone used to fill his plate, after which, great care was taken
to wipe the spoon clean with a hankerchief before passing it to the next diner. A family gathering, surely.
I sat on a stool at the bar. There was a small blackboard hanging on the wall behind the bar.
The only thing written on it was "sta sera tapolon!". OK - Italian tapas maybe? A large, friendly woman in a house
coat like my grandmother used to wear came out from the kitchen and greeted me. I smiled and replied in
one of few Italian phrases I know and pointed to the board and gestured to my mouth. She wiped her hands
on her apron excitedly and ran back into the kitchen exclaiming something.
A few minutes later, a young man - obviously a student, probably the owner's son or nephew -
came out of the kitchen carrying my food and a place setting. He was followed by the entire kitchen staff
and by the eyes of everybody else in the place. He cleared his throat several times and, encouraged by the
owner, smiled widely and said to me in English, "Enjoy your donkey stew, Signore!" Wait, what donkey stew?
Who ordered donkey stew? I had. That's why everyone was looking at me with such pride.
You'll want to avoid this and other embarrassing moments at restaurants in Spain, Italy, France and Portugal with
Donkey Stew® menu assistant.
Some items are listed on menus in a kind of "shorthand", such as referring to goat cheese as "goat". Others are referred
to by the way they are made (eg, "guitar" - a traditional pasta type made with a tool that looks like a guitar) or by some
special terra cotta pot traditionally used for cooking or aging (the locals know what's in the pot). There may be no menu in English, your pocket dictionary may
leave you scratching your head, and there may be no WiFi or cellular connection for your smartphone.
Donkey Stew® menu assistant does not require an Internet connection (except to download any
updates), and it has over 45,000 individual entries and recognizes many thousands more. You don't need to tell it where you are;
you simply type in what you see on the menu.
In addition to its large database, you'll find helpful hints and a "point-and-shoot" selection of images to assist you in
getting the food or service you deserve. Now with AMI® - Artificial Menu Intelligence.
Think fast: those cherries you saw at the market were 4,75€ a kilo. You only wanted about 1/2 pound. What's 1/2 a pound in kilos anyway? And how many
dollars are we talking about? Too easy? OK, how about this: the restaurant is charging 30,00€ for a 300gr Florentine steak. Am I being overcharged
or underfed? Is 10cl of beer even worth considering at any price?
With Xchange, these conversions and calculations are a couple key presses away. You can update the exchange rate manually or, if you have an
Internet connection (eg, at your hotel or a nearby WiFi cafe) with a simple button click.
Xchange also includes clothing size charts in case you're wondering if you those size 96 European slacks you were contemplating will be too big.