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Vintage Restaurant Menus - Quiz

Updated on January 16, 2017
LiteraryMind profile image

I love the look and feel of vintage and antique items. My collections contain quite a few beautiful items that I enjoy sharing.

Vintage Restaurant Menus
Vintage Restaurant Menus | Source

Restaurant Menus From the Mid-20th Century - Quiz Questions

In the past I have written about "My Vintage": Porcelain, Doll, Teacup and Depression Glass Collections. I tried make them informative, as well as beautiful to look at with photos of the items in my collections.

Being pretty satisfied with those articles, I decided to produce a similar one using vintage restaurant menus. Well now, sometimes things just do not go as planned. That's when we have be flexible and switch from Plan A to Plan B.

When I looked at the restaurant menus, it became apparent that they were in less than stellar condition. A little grease, a tiny rip, a nice big gravy stain.

I tried to angle my camera so I could photograph at an angle which would exclude these mummified pieces of ancient left over food, but alas and alack all my efforts were thwarted. There was schmutz everywhere.

So what do I do now? I go to Plan B.

If I can not make this an example of elegant menus, then I will make it a fun filled set of quizzes regarding the menus.

All of these menus come from restaurants in New York City.

NYC restaurants tend to be a little higher in price for comparable restaurants in a smaller city or town.

These are all from the late 1930's; early 1940's

Ways to Determine the Date of Your Vintage Menu

Here are some ways to narrow it down

  1. Do they serve liquor? In the United States, Prohibition was from 1920 to 1933. If the restaurant serves liquor or beer, the menu has to be before 1920 or after 1933.
  2. Check out the address . One or two digit zone codes were introduced in large cities in the United States in 1943. Careful, the absence of a zone code could either mean it is before 1943 or the city was not large enough to need one.
  3. In every city and town, across the U.S., zone codes were replaced by 5 digit ZIP codes in 1963.
  4. You could research the proper names. For example if the name "Joe Schmoe Whiskey" looks obscure to you, you could do an internet search and see when it they stopped making it. For something familiar such as "7-Up", you could research when it first became available.

Caruso Menu - Caruso Spaghetti Place No Longer Exists

Caruso-menu-cover | Source

There is a picture of Enrico Caruso on the cover.

Restaurant menu design copyright expired: Public Domain

Would you care for dessert? - All desserts are at vintage prices.

Caruso-dessert-menu | Source

There are a lot of choices on the Caruso menu. Let's see which one most people would order-- (Actually I am curious as to how many people would order stewed prunes instead of the other luscious choices.)

What would you like for dessert?

See results
Russian-Bear-Menu | Source

Russian Bear Restaurant

The Russian Bear No Longer Exists

The "menu" for the Russian Bear is set up more like a Playbill.

It is a 28 page booklet which has an extensive wine list and menu. Then there are pages and pages of museums, theaters, arenas and stadiums. It is a great little book for a tourist.

More interesting pages of the Russian Bear Menu - It's really a booklet

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Interesting check policy
Interesting check policy
Interesting check policy | Source

Some Views of the Waldorf Astoria Menu - All images ©.E. Gregory/LiteraryMind all rights reserved

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Very interesting..............soda is not a choice of beverage on any of these menus.

The closest is ginger ale on the Caruso menu and that is listed with the cocktails, wine and liquor list.

The choices are coffee, tea or milk.

Supper Club Menu - 1938 - Autographed by Jack Dempsey

Supper-Club-Menu | Source

The person who gave me this menu told me it is from 1938. If I did not have that information, it would be hard to determine the age of this menu. There are very few age clues.

Jack Dempsey was an American boxer know as the "Manassa Mauler"

I can find biographical information on Jack Dempsey indicating he was a restaurant owner in New York City after he retired from boxing. I have not been able to find the name of his restaurant and do not know if it is the Supper Club.

However, one of the supper suggestions is "Jack's Delight" -- "Virginia Ham and Eggs with Cream (Just a Little Different)" $1.50 and under special sandwichs there is a "Dempsey's Club"

More Views of the Supper Club Menu

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Supper Club Menu ChoicesSupper Club Menu ChoicesSupper Club Menu ChoicesAnother menu with milk fed chicken?  Hmmm.Jack Dempsey's autograph on Supper Club menu
Supper Club Menu Choices
Supper Club Menu Choices | Source
Supper Club Menu Choices
Supper Club Menu Choices | Source
Supper Club Menu Choices
Supper Club Menu Choices | Source
Another menu with milk fed chicken?  Hmmm.
Another menu with milk fed chicken? Hmmm. | Source
Jack Dempsey's autograph on Supper Club menu
Jack Dempsey's autograph on Supper Club menu | Source

You need not be a Hubpages member to comment. All are welcome.

© 2012 Ellen Gregory

Are you hungry now? - Or maybe just hungry for the prices of the 1940's???

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    • profile image

      Lynn Klobuchar 4 years ago

      Love those prices!

    • profile image

      othellos 4 years ago

      Interesting quiz with this unusual topic. A learning experience that takes you back to those times in order to see a different kind living standards. Thanks for sharing:=)

    • rockingretro2 profile image

      rockingretro2 5 years ago

      I would love two or three lobsters at that price.

    • profile image

      johnmcdunn 5 years ago

      cool lens!

    • Commandrix profile image

      Heidi 5 years ago from Benson, IL

      Interesting how menus have changed since then. I'd like to go back to those prices for sure.

    • OrganicMom247 profile image

      OrganicMom247 5 years ago

      Interesting lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      i enjoyed the tour through old menus. All things old interest me. thanks for sharing this..

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      Both! Plus, I love vintage things... reminds one of a different time. :)

    • victoriuh profile image

      victoriuh 5 years ago

      Great idea for a lens and good job running with plan B!

    • flycatcherrr profile image

      flycatcherrr 5 years ago

      It's interesting how the typography is so distinctively 1940s, isn't it? I enjoyed looking at these.

    • profile image

      TravelingRae 5 years ago

      Very interesting! I think the gravy spots ad even more character. :) Just one thing; your intro puts these as being from the mid-19th century, but they are actually mid-20th century. As for stewed prunes, I'll take them over Jello any day!

    • DuaneJ profile image

      DuaneJ 5 years ago

      Very unique lens...and it was interesting to note what sort of meals were hot in those days....

    • jolou profile image

      jolou 5 years ago

      What an interesting and fun lens this is. Shows how much prices have changed over the years.