The 1939-1940 Golden Gate International Exposition led Western Pacific and its partner railroads to inaugurate the Exposition Flyer from Oakland to Chicago and Santa Fe to inaugurate the Valley Flyer to Bakersfield.
Southern Pacific, however, had the most trains to the Bay Area of any railroad–quite probably more than all other railroads combined. This menu would have been used on one of those trains, which was likely a heavyweight as it is not marked for the City of San Francisco or Daylight, SP’s two streamlined trains in 1939. Given the menu’s date of October 1939, it could easily have served passengers going to or from the expo, which ran from February through October 1939 and again from late May through September 1940.
The dinner menu offers passengers a choice of six complete meals: trout, lamb casserole, veal, duckling, sirloin steak, and prime rib, each accompanied by soup, vegetable, salad, bread, dessert, and beverage. The a la carte side has sirloin steak, tenderloin steak, club steak, lamb chops, and whole squab chicken, fresh fish du jour, as well as various cold meats, vegetables, and other dishes. Curiously, the sirloin steak is the same price–$1.50, or about $25 today–whether served a la carte or as a complete meal. Best of all, “if you desire extra helpings, your waiter will be glad to serve it without charge.”