Food - Drink
This Collection Of Vintage Railroad Menus Gives A Glimpse Into Meals Past
By JENNIFER SWEENIE
If you've ever wondered how Americans in past decades dined in style, take a look at Ira Silverman's collection of menus from the fancy train cars of yesterday. Silverman's menus, donated to Northwestern University, harken back to the days when travel was a luxury, and the food served on America's railroads fit the bill.
Most of these menus are dated between 1960-1971, on the heels of the "golden age" of rail travel. Some of the most common foods listed are sardines, full continental breakfasts, and kids’ menus, and post-meal cheese plates, ice cream sundaes, wine, liquor, and even iced coffee also make appearances on multiple menus.
One 1943 dining car offered less-common Wisconsin duckling and whitefish hoteliere, while an Illinois company served "snowflake potatoes" (mashed potatoes with cream cheese and sour cream). The Union Pacific Railroad Company Menu even offered fried "disjointed" chicken (meaning the chicken was simply separated into pieces).