Mystery Dinner Ideas With Menu Items
What Is a Mystery Dinner?
First, let's nail down the basics. A mystery dinner's bare bones are the following:
- The menu is known only to the hostess/host. You, the host or hostess, are the only one who knows what is on the menu.
- The menu's items are mysterious. Your menu's items should have obscure names. The names might have some relation to what the dish actually is, but the idea is to confuse the guest. Here's an example: You might call pancakes "potholders"!
- Everything's delicious! Your food, of course, should be delicious. Try not to select anything that will repulse your guests. You most certainly want them to enjoy themselves.
A variant is to have the "mystery" part of your dinner be to guess the theme. A prize could be given for the first one to guess it correctly.
Mystery Dinner Sample Menu Ideas
Here are a few items that I came up with. Feel free to use them if you wish! And if you want to spice things up some more, I've included several themes you might try on for size after the sample menu.
- Coffee = Go-Go Juice
- Milk = Teat Treat
- Chocolate Milk = Muddy Teats
- Water = Unfrozen Snow
- Tea = Boston’s Best
- Potatoes = Irish Eyes Are Smiling
- Pasta = Confucius says...
- Rice = Seeds From a Stem
- Baked Beans = Gas 'n' Go
- BBQ Ribs = Glossy Bones
- Fried Chicken = Your Goose Is Cooked
- Bourbon Chicken = Foul and Drunk
- Polish Sausage = Foreign Pig
- Country-Style Ribs = Hillbilly's Bones
- Hamburgers = Cow Patties
- Peas and Carrot Sticks = Sticks and Stones
- Corn = Just Passing Through
- Broccoli = Trees With Branches
- Asparagus Spears = Arrows
- Grapes = Seeds of Wrath
- Apple Slices = Adam's Nemesis
- Banana Split = Monkey's Iced Twin
- Brownies = Fairy’s Apprentice
- Chocolate Cake = Devil's Advocate
- Angel Food Cake With Chocolate Syrup = Tilted Halo
Giving your dinner a theme is fairly easy. Are your guests big readers? Then how about a literary-themed dinner? Each food item served might be a book title, or each food item's name (or part of it) might be in the book's title. For example, you could serve grapes on your menu and call them "Seeds of Wrath."
Once the guests name the theme, then they may have to guess the author. How much more fun could this get? Have them guess the genre. Prizes for the winners! They don’t have to be expensive prizes. Having a lovely centerpiece could be the prize for that table. Maybe a gift card to Barnes and Noble.
Are your attendees musically inclined? How about throwing some music into the titles? Guessing the musical genre could be one prize and the musical group another. The prize? A gift certificate to Amazon or your favorite music store! If your grand prize mystery is Elvis, then a CD of his greatest hits would be a great prize indeed!
- Western Omelet = All Shook Up
- Potatoes = Smiling Irish Eyes
If your people are move buffs, throw some movie titles into the mix. You might also have guests guess the director. The grand prize in this case could be copy of the DVD/BluRay of your choice.
- The Wizard of Oz = Apples (Remember the scene where Dorothy tries to eat one, and they get thrown at her?)
- Conan the Barbarian = Chicken legs… (Why? Because you eat chicken legs with your hands like a "barbarian.")
A Sample Mystery Dinner Breakfast Menu
And who says it has to be dinner food? I have created a mystery breakfast menu as well.
- Boiled Eggs = Soft Rocks
- Fried Eggs = Easy on the Eyes
- Scrambled Eggs = Messy Babies
- Western Omelets = All Shook Up
- Sausage Patties = Ground Pies
- Sausage links = Smart Fingers
- Pancakes = Pot Holders
- Bacon = Tight-Skinned
- Hash Browns = Shredded Roots
- Waffles = Road Kill
- Syrup = Sappy Attitude
- Butter = Greased Lightning
Don't Forget the Utensils!
Whatever you do, don’t forget to have them order their utensils. They are part of the menu as well.
- Fork = Devil’s tail
- Knife = Robinhood’s Tool
- Spoon = Lover's Cuddle
- Napkin = Sleepy Relative
- Toothpick = Lumberjack’s Reward
Of course, you may change these to suit your theme or your group.
Just Have Fun!
The scope of your dinner can be bound only by the limits of your imagination!
Make your menu is pleasing to the eye. If you are creative, cut out a shape that is part of your theme. Plain paper is fine, if you're more comfortable with that. No one says you have to have a theme for your dinner either. You only need good food and great friends to have a spectacular time.