From the mid-50s through the mid-60s, California Zephyr menus were pretty plain, but in the late ’60s the railroads began featuring photos of the train itself on brilliant yellow covers. This menu, dated October, 1969, spotlights the Cal Zephyr on the North Fork Feather River bridge, which when built was considered the longest reinforced concrete arched railroad structure in the U.S. This bridge had been built (at taxpayer expense) in about 1961 as part of a line relocation associated with the construction of Oroville Dam.
Click image to download a 7.7-MB PDF of this menu.
Both the a la carte and table d’hôte sides of the menu had five entrées, four of which were common to both: broiled halibut; baked chicken; pork chops; and roast sirloin. The fifth entrée on the a la carte side was ham and eggs, while on the table d’hôte side it was broiled sirloin steak. The a la carte entrées ranged from $3.50 to $4 (about $22 to $25 today). Going table d’hôte added a mere 50 cents to the price, for which patrons received soup or juice; potato; vegetable; dessert; and beverage, items which, if purchased separately, would cost more than $2. The most expensive meal, the sirloin steak, was $5.95, or more than $37 today.