Advertising, Culture, Food, Humor, Nostalgia, Pics, Vintage

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!

Advertising, Culture, Food, Humor, Nostalgia, Pics, Vintage

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.

1950s, Advertising, Culture, Food, Humor, Nostalgia, Vintage

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?