Swellest Menu Art, Part III

Mayflower Menu
Mayflower Menu

Today is the final installment of vintage menus.  The above pic is a Thanksgiving menu, a feast that Americans celebrate at the end of November, which makes all politically correct people get their panties in a wad because Pilgrims and Indians (now called Native Americans) could never possibly have shared a squash and a smile.  But whatever.  We watch football with our families, gorge ourselves on turkey and casseroles, and save room for pie.  Come to think of it, why would anyone be eating in a RESTAURANT on Thanksgiving?  Anyhoo, here are the feast details (one may click to enlarge).


Those prices are pretty steep for modern times, and this menu is at least twenty years old.  Mercy!

Here is a cute breakfast menu from Varadero International in Cuba, all in Spanish.


pic102Coffee was A QUARTER.  Can you imagine buying a beverage for ONE coin?  What would the tip be?  A nickel?  Did waitresses walk around with jingling aprons as dimes clinked against pennies?  Consider the pain involved if she chose to “make it rain up in here.”

The next menu is from the Alta Mira Continental Hotel in San Francisco.  How this hideous design ever got approved is beyond me, as it’s ugly as a 1970s appliance set.


However, I would be willing to overlook that if I could still procure either the filet mignon or the Half Lobster Delight for under $5, as advertised.


Bratten’s Grotto in Utah included actual photos on their large fold-out menu:

Cattlemen’s in Fort Worth–in bright taxi-cab yellow–had an interesting cocktail menu, which included both a Tio Pepe and a Tia Maria.

This final menu shows the name of its owner in the left corner, and its age, with the dates from 1961-1972.  I love the sea foam green, the cheese saltines, and the ten ways to prepare a potato.

Thanks for peeking back in time with me!

Sweller Menu Art, Part II

Today we have the second installment of menu art.  This disturbing menu is from L’Etoile in Nob Hill, San Francisco.  Are the cherubs protecting them from harmful UV rays?  I’m concerned that m’lady is self-tuning in to Tokyo.  Perhaps she is listening with her bosom–or is that Madonna’s great-great-great grandmother doing colonial vogueing?


L'Etoile In Nob HillNext is a Maison des Crepes, where you can get a crepe, salad bar, AND a drink for only $1.65.  The Crepe Devil looks intriguing…


pic096I don’t know where this is from, but frankly, it gives me the willies.  The incomplete artwork looks like a storyboard scene from a Hitchcock film, and the writing is very aggressive, like they’re peeved they even had to bother with a menu.  Just trying to read it out loud makes me sound like the Swedish Chef on The Muppets.


pic098We’ll end with this festive Exposition Fish Grotto, which I’m sure you’ve heard of, since it’s “World-Famous.”  Note more naked cherubs, getting merry and gay off a barrel of Paul Masson.



Yes, I also am thinking of Orson Welles right now.

Swell Menu Art, Part I

Maxim’s Restaurant Francais in Houston, TX

I scored some super cute vintage menus at an estate sale several years ago and thought I would share, since I find them aesthetically superior to any contemporary art museum collection.

From Campy:

To Watercolor:

To bonafide art on this 1957 St. James’s Restaurant menu (Juillet-Aout only), just so you know the sardines are FRESH:

MÉHEUT Mathurin,  Sardiniers démaillant la sardine
MÉHEUT Mathurin, Sardiniers démaillant la sardine

Note the selections on the reverse side, and that delicious Cafe Sanka takes ten minutes to prepare–for the finer palatte.


And lastly, Fortnum & Mason had a very Around The World in 80 Days feel to it.

Their menu included Sardines on a Raft, Hot Cheese Flan, Ovaltine, and Horlicks–of which I had never heard.  Hungry yet?

Friends Don’t Let Friends Drink And Operate Chainsaws


I’ve heard of helping your buddies move and then sharing a case of beer, but this is a different breed of cat.

Here’s how I think it all went down.  Dapper Dan left the firm early, but not before enlisting Kip and Truman from accounting as his partners in landscaping.  They floored their Studebakers to suburbia with an urgency mandating no time to change out of their office duds or set their fedoras down.  Curse you, early sunset!  In the past two hours, Dan has felled a tree, while Kip and Truman have laid the steps along the pathway.  Won’t Betty be surprised?

Now it’s time for a break.  Kip raises his spade, and Dan tops off his (third) glass of sociable whiskey (it pairs well with Pall Malls).  Don’t snag your trousers while you straddle that trunk.  And save some Corby’s for the other two.  You remember what happened last time, Dan.

In Pursuit of the Hairy-Nosed Wombat


Every American girl who ever saw Grease wanted to be Sandy Olsson, to look like her and speak in her cool Australian accent. Elementary school had taught us about the nation’s indigenous kangaroos and koala bears, so we knew it must be the coolest place on earth.

When Elle McPherson graced the covers of our magazines and Nicole Kidman our movie screens, we wondered if they only churned out attractive people.  Even our own celebrities were not immune to their charms.  We couldn’t figure out why anyone would ever want to leave happy smiley Dennis Quaid, but Meg Ryan did it for an Aussie.  Then Hugh Jackman and Keith Urban showed up on our radar, and that was all she wrote.  By the time Take  Home Chef debuted on TLC, American women could only respond with, “Yes, please.”  Have you not seen Curtis Stone?

So I did what anyone else would do: I Google Mapped the directions to see how far Sydney was from my home.  Google gave me 187 steps, #81 being “Sail across the Pacific Ocean,” and the last being “Turn right onto George Street.”  It says it would take 503 hours to travel the 15,000 plus miles.  The Proclaimers said they would walk 500 miles, but even THEY would not walk 15,000.  I would do anything for love, but I won’t do that.  So it was decided.  Australia was no longer my destination nation.

That was, until this morning, when Jack Hanna described the tough armored bum of a Tasmanian wombat, and I melted at the sight of its face.   Look at that.


Then I found out wombats viciously maul people, probably because it is in their Australian blood to eliminate humans.  What is up with that?  But then I saw this picture, and I forgave them.  I figured they must have been provoked.  He’s clearly not ripping her face off.


However, I read Bill Bryson’s In A Sunburned Country, so I know Australia is chock-full of the world’s deadliest creatures.  Bryson made it clear that venomous creatures lurk at every corner, waiting to fell you.  No snorkeling at Batt Reef for me.

But then I saw THIS!


I’m so confused.  Should I brave the outback and its lethal creatures or just stay home?


For The Seafood Lover In You


Along with a handful of birthday greetings in my in-box today, was this inviting gem of an email, reminding me that “Lobster is back for a limited time.”  Nevermind that I asked to be removed from their mailing list seven years ago.  In their defense, the terms do say “Please allow 10 days as noted in the CAN-SPAM Law for Quiznos� to remove you from all future email advertisements.”  Maybe it’s just taking longer than usual because of global warming or the recession or changing gun control laws.

Nevermind that my husband has a lobster allergy, so we never eat it at home.  Nevermind that I don’t even eat lobster at RED LOBSTER (although I did enjoy a pre-Prom dinner there), due to the fact that I go into sodium chloride shock each time we take part of their salty cheddar bay biscuits.

In fact, it’s been so long since I partook of lobster, that I have no idea what it tastes like.  No clue.  But I can tell you that Quizno’s wouldn’t be my go-to place.  Oh, heck, no.  I would have warm lobster with butter sauce, not a mish-mash of mayo.  And BTW, the bottom of the ad says it’s only 51% lobster.  Why not 50%?  So they could legitimately say the MAJORITY of it is lobster, by a percent?  I suspect it’s like the “krab” at Subway, devoid of any “crab” at all.

Perhaps it’s even better than McDonald’s latest treat, fish bites.


Now, McDonald’s claims that these fried balls are made of tender, flaky wild-caught Alaskan Pollock.  Isn’t this the same company whose jingle began, “Two ALL BEEF patties, special sauce…,” and then it turned out that the Big Mac was really just pink slime, and not so much of the all beef?

Maybe if I ever get up to Maine one day (or north of Dallas), I’ll stop inside some fisherman’s wharf where Rachael Ray once spent $20 on a po’ boy that made her giddy, and taste an authentic lobster dish.  Until then, Quizno’s, I’ll pass on your former slogan: Eat Up.

I Want To Hold Your Hand (While I Sleep)

As if sea otters weren’t adorable enough, it turns out they hold hands while they sleep.  According to Wikipedia, “sea otters tend to rest together in single-sex groups called rafts. A raft typically contains 10 to 100 animals, with male rafts being larger than female ones. The largest raft ever seen contained over 2000 sea otters.”  I just got a cavity.  Too sweet.


How is that even possible?  I don’t mean the buoyancy or the fact that they have no blubber, and their thick fur keeps them warm.  What I mean is–how can anyone sleep touching someone else?  I know dog owners who let their dogs sleep not only in their bedroom (where the humans go), but on or even IN their beds.  I’m sure some of you needy people who like animals better than people do this, don’t you?  And you don’t think about how their little paws walk around in feces in the back yard?  Don’t tell me your dog’s nasty genital-licking tongue is cleaner than my toilet.  Just do not.

And you people who spoon each other–one of you doesn’t really enjoy that.  Usually the man.  He does that to appease you.  Didn’t you see the Friends episode where Ross teaches Chandler the “hug ‘n’ roll”?

Last Sunday at church, they discussed Dr. Gary Smalley’s personality type test.  Each of us falls into one of these categories, possibly two: a lion, an otter, a golden retriever, or a beaver.  Evidently, a fellow blogger already posted their traits on his blog many, many moons ago, so you can find out more info at:  http://weirdblog.wordpress.com/2007/02/22/personality-types-lion-beaver-otter-and-golden-retriever/.

The bottom line is that otters are outgoing and talkative, but unproductive and unstable.  I would think any proficient writers would not be otters, or a post would rarely get published.  Who needs to blog when you look like this?


Oh, my gosh, it doesn’t even look real.  But I still wouldn’t hold its paw while I slept.  I don’t even touch my husband’s paw while he sleeps.  We have a glorious dividing line down the middle of our king-sized bed, with a strict code of conduct that entails neither shall cross the line unless to give a hearty shove to stop snoring, or to advise the other to grab the shot gun and start pouring bullets into intruders.

Another reason I could not be an otter is the violent mating.  Sadistic male otters bite the female’s nose and often hold her underwater while getting busy, like some sick David Carradine foreplay gone wrong.  Eventually, the wear and tear on her nose leads to permanent scarring, which leads less playful, more modest otters to identify her as easy.  It’s like a scarlet letter for marine mammals.


That otter is to’ up from the flo’ up.   Somebody, fetch her some Neosporin before they start yelling, “Get thee to a nunnery!”


Otters can be so cruel.

Oppa Chunky-Style


Sweet Lord, that’s a jumbo-sized newborn!  I can see why Mom’s not smiling–or laughing-or jumping rope–or coughing–anymore.  Unless that baby was delivered C-section, there’s a 99% of light bladder leakage in the forecast.  Where is Whoopi Goldberg when you need her?


No one likes a fragile, underweight infant.  A big chub is the picture of good health.  But that double-digit pounded baby in the Mennen ad is intended to depict a newborn.  Really?  Here is the small print:


I think we’re gonna need a few more cans, Ma! There’s a lot of swaddling to be done…

According to the Guiness Book of World Records, the “heaviest baby born to a healthy mother was a boy weighing 10.2 kg (22 lb 8 oz) who was born to Sig. Carmelina Fedele (Italy) at Aversa, Italy in September 1955.”  There’s no pic to back that up, but let’s just recognize that it’s even bigger than this one.


It’s straight to bottles for you, Michelin boy!  Even La Leche League gave his mom a free pass on the nursing.  Seriously, his arms look like little Pillsbury Crescent Rolls.  Bless his heart.


I’m not saying the redheaded Mennen baby isn’t precious; with a good heavy lifting belt velcroed around my waist, I’d like to hold it as well.  I’d just like a little more truth in advertising.  BTW, I wonder what that now-fifty-five-year-old baby looks like?  Could it be that that little porker was Kevin Bacon?

Wing Droppings

What do you think of when I say “wings”?  Red Bull?  Paul McCartney? The 90s NBC sitcom?  Well, if you’re like most gluttonous Americans, probably these:


If you’re a lady between the ages of 13 and 49, currently bloated and irritable, craving chocolate and Pinot Grigio, it might mean this:


But if you don’t foresee buying many more of those boxes in your future, or you’re done with them entirely, “wings” might mean this most awesome of hairstyles. You probably attempted some semblance of it at one point.


I’m familiar with all of those wings, sometimes incorporating the three of them in the same moment.  But never had I seen a power mower with wings until today.

my 1955 Life magazine
my 1955 Life magazine

The small print reads, “This giant of precison mowers…is the pride and joy of many men who mow grass for a living–and more than a few wealthy men who mow grass for fun.”  For fun!  Interpret as you will.

There are also scads of songs with “wings” in the titles.  Broken wings, dove’s wings, eagle’s wings, little wings, silver wings, paper wings.  But the song I never ever want to hear again, so help me God–not at a wedding or a funeral or a bris–is “Wind Beneath My Wings.”  I can’t take it one more time.  I really can’t.

INXS told us that, “We all have wings, but some of us don’t know why.”  Does this gal know why?  To fly from catwalk to catwalk?  Those look heavy.

Victoria's Secret model Candice Swanepoel during the 2009 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show
Victoria’s Secret model Candice Swanepoel during the 2009 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show

Wings have inspired quotes from Shakespeare to Charles Dickens, but only one as elegant and classy as Mae West could have confessed, “I’m no angel, but I’ve spread my wings a bit.”  Which reminds me of this:


What’s the shelf life on that tat?  A wee bit more than this unfortunate gal’s…


Ouch.  Pass the blue cheese.

So whether you are right wing or left wing or a Detroit Red Wing, remember that we can all soar on wings like eagles.  Or not.



Life Is Like A Box Of Panties


It’s not too late to get your lady what she really wants for this inane Hallmark-induced holiday.  Regardless of her age, her weight, or even her sign (which you probably don’t even know, you CAD), no woman can resist a box of panties.  Just the thought of lying down on a yellow linoleum floor, surrounded by a veritable pinwheel of pastel-colored high-waisted granny panties gives me goose bumps. I know what I’m wearing under my Easter dress… Cupid, draw back your bow!

Look, Ma!  I don’t have to do the wash for three weeks solid!  Nevermind the scent from the hamper…

See how mesmerized she is as they swirl around her, like Snow White singing to the birds?  The sheerish netting on the pair she is sporting is so seductive.  Earl won’t be able to keep his hands off her once he steps down from his big rig.  That’s sexy from the bottom of her bum to her naval.  Nothing like scratchy fabric chafing her lower rib cage to put her in the mood for an amorous pretend holiday.  Fasten your seatbelt, Earl!

Note how carefree she has become, tossing her brassiere to the wind, strategically placing panties across her bosom, the way Peter Pan mermaids stuck adhesive starfish to their own chests.  That mermaid may seem jubilant in this scene, but her joy masks the pain of knowing she will never, ever be able to wear boxed panties.  Curse you, Neptune!



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