Friday, August 03, 2007

San Francisco dining, 1920.

Today, August 3rd ….

Today I am taking you back to enjoy luncheon at the famous St Francis hotel in San Francisco in 1920. Life must have seemed pretty good back then. Secure in the knowledge that the War to end all Wars had made life safe forever, this is what the wealthy inhabitants and visitors enjoyed at the hotel on this day eighty-seven years ago.

Dishes marked with Star (*) are Ready.

*Mixed Melon Supreme, Parisienne 25
*Giblet a l’Anglaise 35
*Consomme, Marconi 35

*Fried Smelts, Remoulade 60
*Fillet of Halibut, Bonne Femme 65
Broiled Fresh Mackeral, Maitre d’Hotel 50
Terrapin, Maryland 135
Boiled Salmon Belly, Hollandaise 60

Egg Bienvenu (1) 30

*Spring Lamb Irish Stew 50
*Exposition Sausages, Potato Salad 45
*Tripe and Potato, Family Style 50
*Cold Capon, Tongue, Lima Bean Salad 125
Broiled Imperial Squab with Bacon 200
Top Sirloin Steak, Bordelaise 100

*Broiled Fresh Mushrooms 100
*Stewed Celery in Cream 35

*Potato O’Brien 30
Fresh Peach Pie 25 Huckleberry Tarte 35
Vanilla Pudding Souffle 35 Peach Moussee 50
Frozen Caramel Pudding 60
Strawberry a la Ritz 60
What would have been your choice from the menu? The chef to the hotel, Victor Hertzler, had published a cookbook the year before this dinner, and recipes for a number of the dishes are included. Here is what I have chosen for your lunch today:

Salted salmon belly, melted butter.
Soak a salted salmon belly in cold water over night. Then place in vessel and cover with fresh cold water, bring to a boil, and then set at side of the range for twenty minutes. Dish up on a napkin on a platter, garnish with parsley in branches and quartered lemons. Serve melted butter separate.

Potato salad.
Slice three boiled potatoes while hot. Add one small onion chopped fine, some chopped parsley, salt and pepper, two spoonsful of olive oil, and one each of boiling bouillon, or boiling water, and vinegar. Mix carefully so as not to break the potatoes , and serve in salad bowl with lettuce garnishing.

Monday’s Story …

From the Savoy.

Quotation for the Day ….

I would rather live in Russia on black bread and vodka than in the United States at the best hotels. America knows nothing of food, love or art. Isadora Duncan, America dancer (1878-1927)


T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

What excellent prices! It all sounds quite elegant -- even the cold dishes.

Anonymous said...

Yeah... those prices? $50 USD for lamb stew would be expensive nowadays, (even in SF) but in 1920's money?!

please elaborate?

The Old Foodie said...

Hello kt - the prices are in cents - which makes them cheap by our standards, but I suppose in relation to the average wage they would still have been expensive at the time. I must find out what the average wage actually was!

Carolyn Y. said...

hello, I came upon your site because I'm doing a report on 1920's and the average income was $1236

The Old Foodie said...

Hello xcrayon: that makes it a very expensive meal, relatively, doesnt it?