Golden State Limited Dinner Menu

This menu is undated, but the fact that it is for the Golden State Limited tells us that it from before 1947, as the train’s name was changed to just Golden State in that year. The prices on the menu are too high for 1946, but are about right for 1935 to 1940, so I suspect it is from that era.

Click image to download a 1.4-MB PDF of this menu.

Rock Island and Southern Pacific had pretensions of the Golden State Limited competing against Union Pacific’s Los Angeles Limited and Santa Fe’s Chief, but the Golden State Limited was a distant runner-up to the other two trains. The Los Angeles Limited always had a sirloin steak dinner on the menu in addition to two or three other meat entrĂ©es and salmon or trout. This menu has veal and Lake Superior whitefish but no top-grade steak. The fact that the railroads kept the same menu cover for decades, even after changing the name of the train, indicates a lack of care or desire to keep up with the times.


Golden State Limited Dinner Menu — 1 Comment

  1. I take it you meant the prices are too low for 1946. I agree. The charge for meals outside the diner was still a quarter. Most railroads went to fifty cents after the war. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason how things were priced between a la carte and dinners. The whitefish was $1.00 on the dinner side compared to 80 cents on a la carte side. At 20 cents more for a complete meal, that’s an irresistible bargain. OTOH, the veal steak was 80 cents a la carte while it leaped to $1.35 on the dinner side. Unless you got a lot bigger steak, that’s a real gyp. The omelette was 30 cents more while the chop grill was back up to 50 cents. It’s almost like they were trying to discourage certain things from being ordered on the dinner side. They did have a tenderloin with potatoes for $1.50 but didn’t carry it over to the dinner side, where I’m sure they could have gotten at least 50 or 75 cents more. The dessert selection on the dinner side sucked too. I think I would have gotten the steak for $1.50, a lettuce salad for 25 cents, a cup of coffee for 15 cents, and a slab of pie for 20 cents. For $2.10, that would have been a good dinner.

    Regards, Jim

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