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This menu brings us two of my favorite things:  A trusted name in classic American foodservice, Stouffers, and a rotating restaurant!

Stouffer’s Top Of The Riverfront rotated atop the 30th floor of Stouffer’s Riverfrton Inn hotel in the shadow of the famous St. Louis arch.  It opened in 1969 to much fanfare and our menu dates from 1979, as evidence by the prices and the attachment of a small addendum to the menu noting that beef prices had spiked causing a $1.00 surcharge on all steak items on the menu.  That occurred in 1979, hence our conclusion that this is the likely time of of our menu.

Stouffer’s is a trusted name in cuisine, most known today for its frozen entrees in your grocer’s freezer, but had a network of quality hotels and restaurants in major cities throughout the United States – Restaurants beginning in the 1920’s and hotels beginning in 1960.

The menu is fancy without being quite fine dining.  Special note to the survival of Rarebit as an appetizer.  It had mostly fallen out of favor by 1979 on menus BUT Stouffer’s still makes a rarebit frozen entree as of 2020.

I also like how they skip mention of shrimp altogether and just call them “scampies”.

The hotel and the Top of the Riverfront restaurant closed in 2014.

 

 

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This menu caught my eye immediately because of its cover caricature of Winston Churchill.  The inside didn’t disappoint.  In addition to listing the food and a nice mission statement about the kind of man the Prime Minister is and the food he expects, the menu is chock full of notations and admonitions of the era.

The coffee is “special blend”.

The Saganaki, a Greek flaming cheese – “it is delicious”

They deny responsibility for loss or exchange of personal property, so hold on to those purses tight.

Roquefort cost extra if you want it with your dinner salad (yes!).

My personal favorite:  “For festive dining may we suggest you read our wine list.”

Now to the food itself:  Shrimp De Jonghe is a dish I’d all but forgotten about but it appears here available as both an entree and appetizer.  A simple casserole of shrimp in garlic, sherry and butter sauce w/ some breadcrumbs sprinkled on top.

Four of the six sandwiches are variations of hamburgers alongside a reuben and a sliced steak sandwich.  Note the restriction on ordering sandwiches on Friday or Saturday evenings during dinner hours.  This used to be a fairly common restriction.  The two big dinner nights of the week a restaurant needed to make it’s money selling entrees.  On the other hand they were happy to feed you a hamburger on a weeknight.

On the entree side please not the Wiener Schnitzel which could be upgraded to “ala Holstein” for 30 cents extra.  This preparation topped your fried veal with a fried egg, anchovies and a caper sauce.

The prices place this menu squarely in the heart of the 70’s and the location may have been in Indiana, though many restaurants have called themselves the Prime Minister. I would like to have visited this one.

 

 

 

 

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There are so many restaurants called “Black Angus” it’s difficult to nail down which location you’re talking about, if it was part of the chain that started in 1964 that endures today or if it was an independently owned restaurant sharing the name.

The best indication that this is a part of the chain is the one picture included.  However, this is by happenstance.  The full menu had specials stapled and clipped to it.  The hand–written beef stew special was written on the back of a photo advertisement which shows Black Angus brand steak sauce varieties next to the ketchup.

 

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I can make out “Hot” and “Smoke” varieties from the picture.  Maybe the other one says “Western”?   Good looking onion ring though!  I also like the steers and branding marks in the table design.

Typical of the casual steakhouses of the day the menu has something for everyone and some delightful graphics.  After all they can sell the beef so cheap because their Uncle is a cattle rustler!

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Just a dessert and after dinner menu at Daniel’s.  The menu faintly identifies it’s location as 548 Seabreeze Boulevard in Daytona Beach, Florida.  Today that is the location of a nightclub called Molly Brown’s.

A few clues as to the dating of this menu:  Haagen Dazs ice cream is prominently featured.  That was a very 80’s flex on a menu.  The presence of mostly flambeed dessert likely rules out the 90’s as does the pricing – especially the $40.00 pour of Louis XIII cognac (today those are about $125 +/- for a pour).

I am guessing mid to latter half of the 80’s for this one.  No idea if Daniel’s was a full service restaurant or just an after dinner spot.  If you know please let us know!

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Mader’s Restaurant dates to 1902, is still in operation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and promised it’s the “#1 Ranked German Restaurant in Milwaukee”.  A city whose history is steeped in and intrinsically linked to the nation’s beer supply claiming this to be the best place to hoist a stein and enjoy some brats, well, that’s a bold claim.

But our diner must have been enthralled because they not only kept the menu – they kept a placemat!

I am guessing this undated menu is circa early 1970’s based on the prices, possibly closer to the mid 70’s.  The Roast Pork Shank, identified as 4,000,000 sold since 1902 on this menu, remains the featured item on their 2020 menu.  Ich habe hunger.

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The long and storied history of Casa Gallardo, its founder Ramon Gallardo and its eventual demise are chronicled in great detail by Lost Tables and it’s worth your time if you’re interested.

The Cliff’s Notes version:

Ramon Gallardo worked his way up in the restaurant industry, got a Small Business Administration loan to open his own place – Casa Gallardo, to much success in 1975.  In 1979 General Mills bought the restaurant, turned it into a chain to compete with Chi-Chi’s and El Torito and kept him on board to run the operation.  GM sold it in 1985 and Gallardo left the company.  He went on to operate other restaurants in the St. Louis area and is now retired.  Casa Gallardo’s last restaurants closed their doors in 2012.

 

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This one is a bit of an intriguing mystery.  No surprise that the history of a restaurant whose name seemed to be “Elegance” is difficult to track down.  The menu doesn’t really yield any clues as to region or identity either.

Regardless of where this restaurant was it is a stellar example of continental fine dining.  Based on the menu prices this was likely circa late 1960’s or early 1970’s.   One of my favorite dishes, Steak Diane, is featured.

All the hallmarks of fine dining of the era are featured:  tableside salads and entrees and flambe desserts.  I especially love the late supper menu which almost assures this restaurant was located in a major city and in or near a theater district or similar supplier of post-show/event dining.

If you know where this restaurant may have been, let us know so we can add those details.

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