Rio Grande Zephyr Dinner Menu

Although the menu cover is rather plain, in Rio Grande Gold (meaning orange), at least this Rio Grande Zephyr 1979 dinner menu is still a folder. Instead, the menu offered four table d’hôte entrées: Rocky Mountain trout (the favorite), London broil, short ribs, and New York steak. The trout was $7.45 (about $22 in today’s dollars) while the steak was $9.75 (about $30 today).

Click image to download a 1.6-MB PDF of this menu.

There was also a plate dinner with half a baked chicken; a hamburger or ham sandwich for children under 12; and soup, four sandwiches, and two salads on the a la carte side. This is not quite as extensive a menu as offered by the California Zephyr in the 1950s or 1960s, but much broader than Amtrak’s menus of the late 1970s.

The Rio Grande Zephyr along the Colorado River in 1983. The second “locomotive” is actually a former Alco PB that no longer provides power but does hold a boiler to provide steam heat for the train. Click image for a larger view.

In addition to the four dome coaches and dome-observation car, Rio Grande owned a dome-cafe car, the Silver Shop. This was where the Cable Car Room was located in the later years of the California Zephyr. Since a large portion of the car was a crew dorm for the California Zephyr, and since the dome-observation car provided drinks and snacks, Rio Grande only used the Silver Shop on special occasions and on the last month or so of Rio Grande Zephyr operation.

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