I wanted to react yesterday, but my anger about my own compatrios led me down a deep rabbit hole, so I let it go ...To the owners defense, (according to what I can find about the establishment) they love the German culture when they visited there and wanted to have something here in the USA.
I think they didn’t want to get too authentic as I doubt that non German speakers in the USA would understand or look up das Speisekarte and instead opt for das Menu. Although, having not been to Germany it could be that Menu is a common word now.
My issue, me being of German ancestry myself, is that I get it if you want to honor the culture, but the best way you can do so is to try your best to be as accurate as possible.
I have a few friends I talk with from Germany and as direct as Germanic peoples can be, they have never once gotten mad at me for making an honest mistake when I try and use the language.
True story, went to a local market here in Ohio last year and there was a man from Germany there selling German spices and condiments. He did it because there was not really anything equivalent here.
I was nervous and my German is little better than a toddler, but I was able to ask how much do the 2 items cost in German. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a German so surprised and showing absolute delight in the fact that I tried.
With all that being said, one would hope that the proprietor or a business would do their best to get it accurate.
My wife tells me the coffee is good , regardless- I wouldn’t know as I never acquired a taste for the bitter bean!
Anyhow, I think it was an honest mistake, and though "menu" (or "Menü") isn't used for the term "Speisekarte" in German, it can even be seen as kind of hilarious, maybe just a matter of "false friends", as these cases of misuse are called by linguists (and language learners as well as teachers).
However, I'll compress yesterday's (unposted) rant to this: The Germans certainly can't complain about their language being bastardized - not after what they do to English as a matter of course. False friends all over. My biggest pet peeve is that Germans call the cell phone or mobile phone "Handy" - it's actually become the official term to indicate the smartphone. Well, you can carry it in you hand (German: "Hand"), can't you?! Actually, the explanation is particularily vexing - there are many things that can be carried in one hand, so why's a club not a "Handy", too? It sounds like English, so it has to be. Oh, and don't mind that there's an actual English meaning for the word, either ...
I'll stop here (even though I find it hard - I'm a language teacher, after all).
I think any discussion like this could lead us down a very unpleasant route - that's why I want to thank Andrew for his endearing story that highlights something much more worthwhile than any unpleasantness of this kind. It signifies that overwhelmingly, we all try our best. Sometimes we fail, and sometimes we do stupid things without failing, as well we should. The sobering thought behind this is: We've always made it up as we went along, which has brought us here. Not the best of strategies - but at least, probably not a malicious one.