We're doing some construction around here, which has prompted some early spring cleaning. It's funny the things you find when you rummage around old desk drawers and file cabinets. Like this dinner menu from the Hotel Adolphus, drafted for the Dallas Southern Clinical Society, whatever that was. Had you attended the luncheon, some 75 years ago, you could have eaten like a king for a couple of bucks.
When's the last time you saw shirred eggs, or Jello with whipped cream, or hot mince pie on a fancy hotel menu? And I wonder when the last time mock turtle soup was served in a Dallas dining room?
I've been championing more offal on Dallas menus, but look how much organ meat chef Hugo Gottwald offered his guests. Cold ox tongue, calf's sweetbread and broiled calf's liver are all on the menu. Perhaps offal has come full circle in Dallas.
Paging was not permitted in the Adolphus' Century room, but you could notify the head waiter if you were expecting a phone call. I'm sure cell phones would have been prohibited as well -- if they had been invented.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the Observer's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Dallas's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
If I were to dine at the Adolphus circa 1937, I'd be a glutton. It's too hard to avoid with prices like this. I'd start with goose liver canapes, and then sup on a rich lamb stew. I'd wash them down with two small bottles of Burgundy and then snack on fresh fruit. I'd have a slice of pie with cheese and ice cream and then I'd finish with coffee. The whole meal would have cost $2.04 with tax, and then I would have left an extravagant $1 tip.
Check out these scans if you want to get a better view of the menu. What would you order?
Picture eating while listening to Will Osborn and His Orchestra. They were playing at the Hotel.