Quick little trick I use to render a submenu for each view in the controller, without having to specify anything

class ApplicationController < ActionController::Base
  before_filter :render_submenu

  def render_submenu
    controller = self.class.to_s.tableize.split("_")[0]
    @submenu   = render_to_string :partial => "#{controller}/submenu" rescue nil


And then somewhere in my application layout

<% if @submenu || @content_for_submenu %>
  <div id='submenu'>
    <ul id='submenu-list'>
      <% if @submenu             %><%= @submenu %><%end%>
      <% if @submenu && @content_for_submenu %><li class="separator" id="this-page-separator">&nbsp;</li><% end %>
      <% if @content_for_submenu %><%= @content_for_submenu %><% end %>
<% end %>

This lets each individual view add some links to their submenu with a simple <% content_for :submenu do %> block, and at the same time, render a submenu for the entire controller, placed in app/controllers/mycontroller/_submenu.html.erb