Friday, September 11, 2015

New Notions for Restaurants: 1901.

The temperance movement of the nineteenth and early twentieth century in America and Britain resulted in the opening of many alcohol-free dining establishments – and a surprising number of regular publications. One of the latter, which served the former, was a British newspaper called The Temperance Caterer. The paper was ‘The official organ of the National Temperance Caterer’s Association: Representing Temperance Hotels, Coffee Taverns, Clubs, etc. and sole organ of the Temperance Catering Trade’ and both were established in 1876.

The Temperance Caterer published items of interest from around the world, and the edition of March 15, 1901 included the following story:

Warner’s “Nonesuch” Lunch Rooms, Atlanta, Ga., have in operation a combined bill of fare and check that has many good points.
This bill of fare (a la carte) is printed in quantities on thin slips of paper 9½ x 4 inches in size. Instead of the guest giving his order verbally or writing it on an order check, he ticks off with a pencil the articles he desires. After being used for the filling of the order, this bill of fare is checked with a blue pencil in the service room and is returned to the customer with the total inscribed – finally becoming the cashier’s ticket. It has the advantage of securing the accuracy of an order in the customer’s handwriting, without putting the customer to the trouble of doing the writing.
No waitress has any special station. A boy distributes bill of fare order slips, marking them to correspond with the number of each table. As a customer takes a seat, any waitress or the boy gives him a glass of water, a napkin, and one of the slips. When the customer has checked of what he desires, any waitress near, or passing, picks up the slip and takes it out to the service room. There the order is filled, the slip checked, and the dishes put on a tray. Directly it is ready a bill is rung and the first waitress disengaged delivers it, being guided of course by the number on the slip.
This system keeps all the waitresses uniformly busy, and thus, it is claimed, tends to increase the average amount of work done by each. It further insures absolutely uniform service to every customer – it being merely a matter of chance as to who hands in or delivers an order, there is no possibility of any waitress favoring one customer at the expense of others or the house.

I have several recipes for you today from the chapter on Temperance Drinks in How to Mix Drinks: Or, The Bon-vivant's Companion, Containing ... Directions for Mixing All the Beverages Used in the United States, Together with the Most Popular British, French, German, Italian, Russian, and Spanish Recipes (1862) by Jerry Thomas.

Ginger Lemonade.
Boil twelve pounds and a half of lump-sugar for twenty minutes in ten gallons of water; clear it with the whites of six eggs. Bruise half a pound of common ginger, boil with the liquor, and then pour it upon ten lemons pared. When quite cold, put it in a cask, with two tablespoonfuls of yeast, the lemons sliced, and half an ounce of isinglass. Bang up the cask the next day; it will be ready in two weeks.

Imperial Drink for Families.
Two ounces of cream of tartar, the juice and peel of two or three lemons, and half a pound of coarse sugar. Put these into a gallon pitcher, and pour on boiling water. When cool, it will be fit for use.

Raspberry, Strawberry, Currant, or Orange Effervescing Draughts.
Take one quart of the juice of either of the above fruits,' filter it, and boil it into a syrup, with one pound of powdered loaf-sugar. To this add one ounce and a half of tartaric acid. When cold put it into a bottle, and keep it well corked. When required for use, fill a half-pint tumbler three parts full of water, and add two tablespoonfuls of the syrup. Then stir in briskly a small teaspoonful of carbonate of soda, and a very delicious drink will be formed. The color may be improved by adding a very small portion of cochineal to the syrup at the time of boiling.

Drink for the Dog Days.

A bottle of soda-water poured into a large goblet, in which a lemon ice has been placed, forms a deliciously cool and refreshing drink; but should be taken with some care, and positively avoided whilst you are very hot.


Peter Hertzmann said...

i wonder how the illiterate ordered at Warner’s “Nonesuch” Lunch Rooms? I would guess a goodly number of their potential clients couldn't read.

The Old Foodie said...

Hi Peter, thank for your input, and my apologies for not responding sooner. I have been beset with problems on my new computer and am only just emerging from a full re-set. Would the customers of lunch rooms be the "better class" of business people, and be literate? The poorer labouring classes would not have eaten at such rooms, would they? I will try to find out about Nonsuch, and see who the clientele might have been.

Peter Hertzmann said...

Lunch rooms in the northeast seemed to exist at all levels of factory workers, if I understood what I read in Repast by Lesy and Stoffer. Maybe Warner's were more exclusive.