North Coast Limited 1966 Dinner Menu

Like other NP paper of the 1960s, the cover of this menu uses a black-and-white photo by NP telegrapher Ron Nixon without even a bit of red to enliven the scene. Inside, however, the menu is anything but drab, offering a much wider variety of foods than most dining cars of the era.

Click image to download a 2.5-MB PDF of this menu.

The table d’hôte is conventional with four different entrées: fish, chicken, lamb chops, and 16-oz. sirloin steak. Then there is a plate dinner offering a choice of fish or beef stew, plus veggies, orange tea biscuits, and pudding. Then there is a “salad suggestion” of fresh crab meat salad, toast, and pears for dessert.

Where the menu really shines is on the a la carte side. There are nine entrées, including omelette, bacon and eggs, Welsh rarebit, “N.P. Special Vegetable Plate,” and hamburger steak, plus the ones on the table d’hôte side. There are also nine salads, including “seafood salad” (is that the crab?), shrimp salad, and lobster salad. Then there are five different soups, ten different cold sandwiches, and freshly baked pie and eight other desserts.

This is roughly twice the a la carte selections on most menus of the time, such as this 1954 Empire Builder menu. Some Union Pacific dinner menus of the time didn’t even have an a la carte side, probably because people ordering a la carte were expected to eat in the coffee shop rather than the diner.

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