Dining at the Adolphus in 1937 Pretty Much Would Have Kicked Ass

Categories: Whimsy

Hotel Adolphus 001.jpg
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.

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?

Menu1.jpg
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Picture eating while listening to Will Osborn and His Orchestra. They were playing at the Hotel.

Menu2.jpg
click to embiggen



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15 comments
Guest
Guest

Great nostalgia! Thanks. 

Andrea Saldana
Andrea Saldana

Well, the inflation shows that is kind of the same as you pay todya,

 for example in 1937 the "Today's Ladies Special" was 90 cents,  today would've been $14.06

Still good prices :) 

Jswebi
Jswebi

Here is a link to current prices  ..http://www.usinflationcalculat... .

Prices are still very respectable considering the venue and the time.There were not Dozens of High End places to eat at the end of the Depression.I bet this was THE place to eat in Dallas.Baked Red Snapper for 10 bux in tdays dollar?? 

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

I don't think they had quite the same sanitation/hygiene standards in those days either, just keep that in mind. A modern system may end up with a glorious case of Adolphus Revenge.

ObserverFan
ObserverFan

Yeah, it would've kicked ass as long as you're white. I'm the sure the portions were drastically smaller as well.

Allie
Allie

They served a roast beef and whipped potatoes sandwich. Awesome.

Allie
Allie

I'd be interested in seeing this menu with the prices converted to "Today's Dollars". Then get back to me on what you'd be eating.

ChrisYu
ChrisYu

'Ladies Special' .90 cents...get a Wayback machine for Alice

Chickenpants
Chickenpants

You just can't get Jumbo Frog Saute anymore

Christopher
Christopher

Today the prices on the menu would look much the same...except "40" would be understood as $40 instead of $0.40.  Yea 10,000% inflation.

Nic Rodriguez
Nic Rodriguez

I don't think they let my kind eat there back then, but I would tear up that Lenten special or the mushrooms and marrow on toast! Maybe even splurge and get the country fried pork tenderloin.  Even have cheap Budweiser for Reitz. $0.20 a stein! Let's get bombed!

Guest
Guest

One of the best things I got out of this thread is the "inflation calculator"Thanks.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

We're dos of a kind senor, first thing I liked on there was the mush/marrow..that shit sounds good!

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