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Vintage Restaurant Menus - Quiz
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
- 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.
- 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.
- In every city and town, across the U.S., zone codes were replaced by 5 digit ZIP codes in 1963.
- 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
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.
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?
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 bookletClick thumbnail to view full-size
Some Views of the Waldorf Astoria Menu - All images Â©.E. Gregory/LiteraryMind all rights reservedClick 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
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.
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 MenuClick thumbnail to view full-size
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© 2012 Ellen Gregory