I Just Had Three Vials Of Blood Drawn, But I Can Still Operate A Camera

That's actually just lemonade.

That’s actually just lemonade.

Oranges

Oranges

Pelican full of leftover Valentine's candy

Pelican full of leftover Valentine’s candy

Hippo Soda Water Bottle 1926

Hippo Soda Water Bottle 1926

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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…

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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.

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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.

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

Swell Menu Art, Part I

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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.

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