Honolulu Lunch Menu

Just as Canadian Pacific advertised its trains on the covers of some of its steamship menus, this menu advertises CP steamships on the cover of a menu used on the Mountaineer. The menu is undated, but it calls Honolulu a “new port of call” for CP ships. That would date it to 1929, when CP steamships began stopping in Honolulu.

Click image to download a 1.9-MB PDF of this menu.

The menu itself is unusual in that it has two pages of a la carte items and no table d’hôte. The most expensive item is a sirloin steak for $1.50, the equivalent of about $25 today. A whole meal with soup, salad, potatoes, vegetable, beverage, and dessert could get quite expensive.

In keeping with the railroad tradition that diners write out their own orders, this menu states, “It will be a great aid to the service and will avoid any possibility of mistakes if passengers will kindly ask for meal order blanks, and upon them will write their orders, because stewards and waiters are not allowed to serve any food without a meal check.”

In the 1950s, Canadian Pacific would simplify this to, “Will guests please be good enough to write on meal check each item desired, as employees are not permitted to accept or serve orders given verbally.” Meanwhile, American railroads were satisfied with the much briefer, “Waiters are instructed not to take oral orders.”

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