1959 Challenger Dinner Menu

Though starting in 1956 Union Pacific combined the Challenger with the City of Los Angeles during the off-peak season, it still operated them as a separate trains in the summers. This menu is dated July, 1959, so it would have been used in the Challenger‘s own diner.

Click image to download a 0.8-MB PDF of this menu.

The menu offered patrons a choice of grilled halibut or beef pot roast with potato, vegetable, dinner rolls, dessert, and beverage for $2.25 (about $14 in today’s money) or tenderloin steak with hash browns, salad, and beverage (but no dessert) for $3.25 (about $20 today). The a la carte side includes nine sandwiches, four salads, and several other items.

Grauman’s Chinese Theater, pictured on the menu cover, was one of a chain of theaters co-owned by Sidney Grauman. Grauman’s partners included Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks. Across the street and down the block from the Chinese Theater was another Grauman theater with a name familiar to streamliner fans: the El Capitan. The latter is now owned by the Disney company and is used to premiere many of its movies.

The photo on this menu has an odd perspective that makes it appear that the steeply pitched roof is on the portion of the building in the foreground. In fact, as shown in the view above, the steep roof is part of a central entrance way.

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