Operations Spuds

This menu was printed for dinner on June 7, 1953, on a special train moving potatoes from California to the East. Apparently, Santa Fe attached passenger cars to the end of the train to give farmers a chance to see how their crops were treated by the railway.

Click image to download a 1.9-MB PDF of this menu. Click here to download an OCR version.

“The world’s greatest potato race!” proclaims the menu. “Thanks for coming on the Santa Fe, to travel up front with spuds in the back, and see all along the way how potatoes get the fastest track!” The menu has an inner page attached to the cover with a black tassel.

The menu itself offers a choice of grilled whitefish, mushrooms on toast, or charcoal broiled sirloin steak, complete with baked potato (of course), broccoli Hollandaise, soup or watermelon, dessert, and coffee. The cover has my favorite Hernando Villa painting, completely romanticized, of course, but with the special touch of the red handprints on the white horse somehow mimicked by the red warbonnet on the silver train.

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