I don’t know why I love stuff like this, but I do.
I believe that it’s only somewhat recently that historians have begun searching out menus. This is a good thing, as there is plenty of information to be gathered from them, from selection to prices.
Most of the menus seem to come from middle to higher class establishments, but there are a few that seem like they come from regular day-to-day diners.
It’s interesting to note that the younger the menu, the less interesting it seems to me, probably because they seem more similar to the menus I see around town today.
My personal favorite comes from a place called the Boston Bakery, which claims to have served “2,500 people daily”, an extraordinary amount of folks. My favroite bit comes from the server card.
Give each customer a check as soon as you serve the order and see that it is kept in sight. Very few beats come in here, but experience has taught us there are some. We will give any waiter $2.00 who will give information that will enable us or the head waiter to detect any one in the act of Check Beating.
Also, I have no idea what a Boston Pancake is (found under “Miscellaneous” on the menu), but it’s certainly not what the first few answers that Google supplies. Be warned. The search results are very much NOT SAFE FOR WORK, nor any other time for that matter.
Also of note is the menu from Baur’s, a restaurant in Denver around 1947. My eye was drawn to the soda selection, and instantly realized that we would be better served by restaurants who still had this sort of selection. When was the last time you had the opportunity to order a Pineapple Ice Cream Soda, or a Strawberry Rickey?