Thursday, August 13, 2020

Gourmet Restaurant Menu, Disneyland Hotel

Like many collectors of vintage Disneyland stuff, I particularly love paper ephemera. Brochures, flyers, tickets & ticket books, souvenir guides, maps, and vintage menus. I can't get enough of 'em! 

Today I am sharing scans of a menu from the Disneyland Hotel, and their "Gourmet" restaurant's coffee shop. While there are some tiny numbers on the inside, I don't think they indicate a date, so I am guestimating that this is from sometime in the mid-to-late 1960's. I love this illustration featuring the Mark II Monorail zipping along the beamway. The Sierra Tower is pictured in its original un-expanded, pre-1966 appearance.

They had themselves a respectable coffee shop! There's not much on the menu that I souldn't be happy to eat. A steak sandwich sounds pretty tasty, maybe with some fries and a nice green salad. Or fried jumbo shrimp, dip those in some nice spicy cocktail sauce. As always, the prices look amazing, until you remember to allow for inflation. That Top Sirloin Steak at $4.60 is equivalent to nearly $40 (using 1965 as my basis). 

Maybe I'm weird, but I like imagining that I'm sitting in the coffee shop, in its glorious mid-century decor, listening to the murmur of other patrons, sipping my glass of ice water while trying to decide what to order!


Nanook said...

I wouldn’t mind joining you at the Gourmet coffee shop, with all the 'features' you mention. But don't forget the ever-present smell of cigarettes, along with the occasional wisps of smoke to complete the experience. Also, the height of the pillars supporting the monorail beamway seemed to be borrowed from the Land of the Giants-!

Thanks, Major, for this great trip back.

"Lou and Sue" said...

"London Fish & Chips - Inimitable Style with Lemon Ice"
I have never heard of Fish & Chips being served that way.

"Flaky Chicken Pie"
This one just hits me funny...I've heard of dark meat and light meat, but never "stupid" meat. ;)

"Fresh Orange Juice"
Of all the times I ate in Disneyland or at the Disneyland Hotel, as a youngster, I cannot remember any of the food I ate - but I do remember their delicious fresh-squeezed orange juice.

Nanook, I sure don't miss cigarette smoke in restaurants!

Stu, I left you a comment at the end of the day, on yesterday's post. Just thought I'd mention it, in case you don't usually check back.

Major, thank you for posting this menu. I'll order the Eastern Scallops, please.

P.I. said...

Most menus have incredibly dull covers. But this one is actually "suitable for framing".

You're NOT alone in collecting ephemera, that's for sure. I've been collecting since childhood. Unfortunately, I no longer have most of those items.

Sometimes, those simple items become priceless, because they were given to you by someone in your life, or it represents a truly happy experience. Digital files will never replace those items, or make you feel the same way.

Stu29573 said...

I would like to think I'd be sitting there all suave and cool, but I know that even today, I'd be yammering to get to the park! I love the artwork, though! Of course, in the artwork, I'm on the Monorail heading toward the attractions! 40 bucks for a steak seems pretty pricey, even for a "Gourmet" Coffee Shop.

And Sue, yes, I saw it and responded! Thanks!

Melissa said...

Wow, that cover is absolutely everything I expect from mid century commercial art. Suitable for framing, indeed!

I love the sandwiches themed to the Disneyland “lands.” I wonder why they didn’t have sandwiches for Adventureland or Main Street?

I had to look up “Tin Roof.” We always called it a Mexican Sundae.

I’m with you on the fresh orange juice, Sue! I remember the first time I went to Florida and tasted fresh orange juice made with fresh oranges. It completely blew my mind; the bland concentrate we make do with in the northeast just can’t compare. And in the hotel where I stayed in Costa Mesa, each public area had a big glass cooler full of cold water chock full of sliced fresh oranges and lemons - I must have looked like s complete rube marveling over it!

DrGoat said...

Lou and Sue, Yes, it's the orange juice but I'm getting the Dole Whip thing too. Don't remember if that was on early trips or a bit later. Also oversize lollipops that eventually got sticky and in the way. Remembering breakfasts on vacation always brings back the sound of clattering of dishes and silverware in the backround. And my Dad smoked back then but Mom did not let him smoke in restaurants. Yea for Mom.
Thanks Major. That is a great menu cover.

Ernie said...

This is great! I think California menus are fascinating in general.

There's a New Yorker article on menus at that gives more info about the Lord Menu Company, which printed this one.

JC Shannon said...

I can't get enough ephemera either, Major. The art is mostly the reason for my love affair with Disneyland pamphlets, handouts, and maps. Nanook, I had forgotten about "smoking or non" in restaurants. It seems so long ago, but I guess it really isn't. Thanks for sharing, Major.

Anonymous said...

Major, I will have the Coffee Shop Special Sandwich and a cold Michelob.

@P.I. you are right, those old papers are special. I have some recipe cards written by Mom in her handwriting. I really treasure those.

@Melissa, the Tin Roof must be a West Coast thing, many soda fountain places had this, without further explanation, and it was always the same thing.

@Stu, the $40 steak is consistent with the Hotel Steakhouse 55 today, and that will be a piece of meat on a plate with no parsley. Great breakfast there, and more reasonable than dinner.


Kathy! said...

Old menus are pretty interesting, particularly ones with cool painted illustrations. I especially enjoy some of the kid’s meal options on the old Disneyland ones, with things they wouldn’t think of offering to kids today (not a nugget or grilled cheese in sight). Oh boy, the hotcakes with syrup and butter are a diet special! I’ll take mine with a side of applesauce.

Major Pepperidge said...

Arg, blogger says my comment is too long! Time to cut it in half:

Nanook, back in those days cigarettes were just a part of any dining experience. It seems hard to believe, now! I remember my grandparents lighting up after dinner at Monty’s Steakhouse (one of their favorite places). And yes, those Monorail supports must be twice as high as in real life.

Lou and Sue, I didn’t notice that; fish and chips served with “lemon ice”?? What the heck? Did you get a little bowl of sherbet? Or did you get slices of lemon in a dish of ice? “Flaky chicken pie”, admit it, chickens are not dependable on the best of days. I grew up being a real orange juice snob, because my grandparents had about 40 orange trees (Valencia and Navel), and there was nothing better than a big glass of fresh-squeezed juice. Then at restaurants they’d serve this acidic bug juice that was supposedly “orange juice”! Scallops is a good choice, I went to a restaurant last year, our host offered to pay for our dinner, and I didn’t want to order the scallops because they were too expensive. “Go ahead!” our host insisted (he IS pretty rich). So I ordered, and got three seared scallops.

P.I., this is one of the best covers in terms of graphics (maybe the classic Tahitian Terrace cover surpasses it). And I know I’m not alone in collecting Disneyland ephemera, based on the prices fetched on eBay! I rarely win anything good because I don’t want to spend $300. And I agree, digital files don’t “scratch that itch”. I’ve sold off some things that I wish I still had, but there’s always something else that comes along.

Stu29573, I’m with you, it would be driving me nuts to eat a leisurely meal when Disneyland was a one minute Monorail ride away. Unless I was lucky enough to have a multi-day visit, then it would be very pleasant to take a midday (or dinner) break and sit in a real restaurant and relax both mentally and physically for an hour or so. If I had a room at the Disneyland Hotel, maybe I’d even go take a little nap!

Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, I also wondered why Main Street and Adventureland did not get specialty sandwiches! Notice that the three lands that are represented are all variations on ham sandwiches. Hey chef, there are other things you can put between two pieces of bread! It’s only 9:30 in the morning, but a Tin Roof (or Mexican) sundae sounds pretty good - maybe because I know it’s supposed to be 102 degrees today (107 on Saturday). Cold water “chock full of sliced fresh oranges and lemons”, gimme gimme!

DrGoat, I don’t think they had Dole Whips back in 1965 - I’ll take one of those right now too! So funny, I always (and I do mean always) wanted one of those big lollipops when I was a kid, and my mom would say, “You’ll get tired of it after five minutes and then I’ll have to carry it all day!”. And I know she was right too. My dad smoked when I was little, and then I thought he quit. Then we went to visit him at the Navy base and he was puffing away in his office - he only quit when he was home.

Ernie, thank you for the link to the New Yorker article! I’ve only skimmed it at the moment but will definitely read the whole thing when I am done responding to comments.

Jonathan, I was at my mom’s house last weekend, trying to find one particular item among my boxes of “Disneyland junk”. I went through six boxes and didn’t find the thing I was looking for, but it was fun! Those things are HEAVY, too. A long time ago, when “no smoking” in restaurants had been a thing in California for a while, we went to visit my grandparents in Minnesota. My brother and I went to the local Hardee’s for lunch, it was so weird to eat in the dining area because every table around us had a customer smoking while eating.

JG, it’s Pabst Blue Ribbon or nothing! One of my vivid memories from childhood is going to a delicatessen with my dad, and being entranced by the neon signs for various beers. It made me want beer so much, ha ha. I especially like a Miller Beer sign, known as a “bouncing ball” sign, I would love to own one. You’d think that the west coast would have the Mexican Sundae, we love our Mexican cuisine here! I realize that $40 is not that insane for a good steak at a better restaurant, but that’s usually more than I am willing to spend. That’s right, I am cheap.

Kathy!, yes, some of the really old children’s menus from Disneyland offer things like broiled lamp chops. No pizza or chicken fingers! I wonder how hot cakes with syrup and whipped butter is a Diet Special??

Anonymous said...

When I saw the menu, it immediately took me back to the days at Hills Brothers...sandwiches were below $2 back then. But that equates to around $12 today. Customers paid in cash...there were few credit cards at the time. The girls would take their tips home...all a beverage cup. Seems pretty simple. KS

zach said...

KS, when I was a busboy at Sambo's (It was the 60's, OK?) in Reno one Summer each of the 3 servers each gave me 50 cents from their tips. I was making $1.35 an hour plus a meal per shift (no steak).

These menus are fun! I've already planned a couple of meals! Ernie, thanks for the link!

Going to lunch now, but wish I was heading for the Monorail,


Nanook said...

@ Kathy/Major-

I think the Hot Cakes with Syrup & Whipped Butter managed to be 'squeezed-in' on the menu in the last remaining free area - which just happened to be located below the DIET SPECIALS. Well, let's hope, anyway. Or, perhaps this particular menu was created during the "Take Your Kid to Work Week", and 'ol Junior created this 'dream' Diet Special of Hot Cakes, etc... (Or, alternate choice #1 - it was a salute to Green Acres, in which case, make 'em "Hotscakes"-!)

Omnispace said...

That's a beautiful illustration on the cover of the menu. Interesting that the tower is turned 90deg, when it actually faced West Street, but that's artistic license and looks great alongside the tall monorail pylons.

The Menu items are classic for that time period. Thankfully they have Spaghetti on the menu, Milk, and Jell-O for my 1960's kid-self. Thanks for sharing!

Melissa said...

Maybe it was a stack of three silver-dollar pancakes.

DrGoat said...

Omnispace, if you like that menu cover (it's beautiful), you'll like the menu cover for the '60s Tahitian Terrace. The Major sent me the link to the Van Eaton Galleries auction, and it is item #395.
Thanks again Major and there are some great items up for bid, along with some dubious ones that you remarked on. Hope I'm not out of line.

Omnispace said...

Thanks DrGoat. That's a very nice menu as well - love the way the side panels fold over the menu items. And I thought only the Blue Bayou had the Monte Cristo Sandwich. It looks like an interesting auction. Going to be tempting to look through it.

"Lou and Sue" said...

DrGoat, I bought one of those large lollipops, too, in 1972. It wasn't the extra-jumbo one, but the next size down - about 10" in diameter, mostly light-purple colored. I got it all the way home without breaking it - it survived a plane trip. I recently found the picture that I took of it, when I got home, but it's blurry - otherwise I'd share it here.

Ernie, are you new to this blog? Welcome!

Nanook, when you mentioned "Take Your Kid to Work Week," I thought of Mike-Mike from Major's post, a few months back, and am now laughing about it, again! :)

Nanook, my husband and I watched all of Green Acres on dvd, several years ago, and enjoyed it. I remember watching it as a kid, but I sure appreciated the humor even more, now.

Major and Melissa, growing up, I drank Tang or "frozen-concentrate" OJ. Fresh-squeezed OJ was heavenly!

Stu, I left you another message on yesterday's.

FUN comments from everyone today - thank you!

Major Pepperidge said...

KS, I like a good sandwich, but not many are $12 even today (though I’ve certainly spent more on a really good sammich). I love the idea of the girls taking their tips home in a paper cup! Great detail.

zach, I know, I have some Sambo’s items I want to share (from my “stuff in the box” posts), and feel a little icky about it. Maybe I’ll do one just to see how it goes, but I’m prepared to abandon them. $1.35 an hour, wow. I think I was watching “The Man In The Gray Flannel Suit”, and Gregory Peck’s character was making $5000 a year. And he was successful! Inflation, man.

Nanook, yes, I think that’s the case, but my heart is broken anyway! ;-) “Hotscakes”, I can hear Eva Gabor saying it right now! “Olivah!”

Omnispace, I guess they wanted to showcase that cool elevator on the outside of the building? But you make a good point, I didn’t even notice the shifted building. Spaghetti, milk, Jell-O… the perfect meal!

Melissa, that’s it!

DrGoat, I managed to get one of those Tahitian Terrace menus years ago - the green “lunch menu”, and I have one of the small souvenir “dinner menus” that they gave out in an attempt to slow the theft of the full-sized menus. But I still want a full-sized one! I might actually bid on something in that auction, but it’s a secret! There are definitely “A” items and “C” or “D” items in that auction.

Omnispace, I think you can get the Monte Cristo at the French Market too - possibly other restaurants too. The Creole Cafe? Not sure. Go through the catalog, it’s fun and doesn’t cost a thing!

Major Pepperidge said...

Lou and Sue, I notice that you didn’t say that you actually ATE the lollipop ever! It was a souvenir, until it got too covered with dust and fuzz I’ll bet. Yes, Ernie and P.I. are new as far as I can recall. “Mike-Mike”, you have a good memory! I would love to watch “Green Acres”, such a great show. I kind of liked Tang (haven’t had it for at least 30 years), but it was a totally different beast than real orange juice.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Major, yes, I ate the lollipop, with the help of my parents. It was easy to break into small pieces by tapping it on the kitchen counter - while still in its plastic wrapper.

And, "Welcome!" to P.I., too!

Chuck said...

Major, Green Acres is available on Amazon Prime. Watched through the first ten or so episodes early in the pandemic before I got distracted. Holds up really well, and, unusually for the era, at least the ones I watched have a gentle story arc flow to them. Not like today's programming, but still there's a flow where things from past episodes are mentioned.

Melissa said...

I grew up in a farming community; there are moments when Green Acres verges on documentary.