I found some more menus from the Super Chief train and this time I’ve got one with breakfast, lunch and dinner. So, looking over the breakfast menu, I see it’s pretty similar to the one I wrote about a few days ago. Though, there are figs in cream on this bill of fare. Don’t see much call for that anymore. Understandably.
Lunch is also pretty interesting. It’s listed as luncheon, which is a pretty fancy way of referring to what many in this country now call ‘a swing through the drive-thru’. Not as fancy as calling it the midday repast, or noshes at noonish, which I think would make an awesome title for a cookbook, though others disagree. In my opinion, I also think we should refer to lunch as tiffin, but efforts to get this meme off the ground have floundered. Visionaries often have a difficult time.
There’s no actual starters listed on the menu, but you can get relishes instead. Like olives and gherkins, though I’m not sure how these qualify as a relish. And chow-chow, on the other hand is most assuredly a relish, though not something you see much of outside the South. Horrible stuff really, kind of like eating chunky battery acid. I like the fact that at luncheon one can get queen olives, but at dinner it’s colossal olives. Which raises the question, well many really, but for now we’ll concentrate on the one which is: Did they actually stock two different size of olives, or did they have one size, and use clever verbal marketing techniques to convince the diners that they were getting a bigger olive at dinner? Like, “Would you prefer to have some of the remarkably large olives that we happen to have in the kitchen tonight, globular fruit of the olive tree so large that the only term that fits is ….. colossal? Or, if you’d prefer not to fill up on the relishes, we can bring instead, the considerably smaller, but no less delicious queen olives.”
Oysters, three ways! Wow. Why in milk, and in cream? Is there really a difference here, other than in calorie count, which we all know nobody actually paid much attention to back in 1936? Obviously, since they’re all selecting the colossal olive over the queen olive.
Sardines and ox tongue. I run just a bit north of the generations that considered tongue and sardines a normal menu item. You rarely see these anymore, maybe an old line Jewish deli or for lunch at your great aunt’s place down in St Pete. I don’t personally miss tongue, which my mother fed us much too frequently, in my opinion. On the other hand, I still do get a hankering for the sardines. Not as much as herring, of course, but in a sandwich with some mustard and raw onion? Yum! Of course, I only indulge in this once a decade, since I have to consume if by myself over the sink, and then go for a long hike in the woods till my breath no longer reminds Mary of the sulfurous stench of hell. It usually takes a couple of weeks.
No actual sandwiches on the menu, which is worthy of note. You can get the fixings, bread on one hand, and ham or chicken salad on the other, but in the dark days of the nineteen thirties, with so many people out of work, you still have to make your sandwiches yourself.
I like the fact that you can get an orange, or you can get a sliced orange, five cents more. And, ah, there we are, the figs in cream again. Guess they have to keep trying to get rid of them.
I’m a little surprised that there are no desserts listed. I’m a fan of this myself and don’t see any need to have a dessert after lunch. Mary of course, thinks that’s just certifiable.
And next, a look back at the dinner menu, and also a glance at the bar menu. Because, it’s only proper to have a cocktail before the evening meal.