We’ve already seen a Hoover Dam menu from 1946 (when UP still called it Boulder Dam), but the photo used on that menu showed numerous automobiles that clearly dated from the 1940s. For this 1968 menu, UP used a new photo that cleverly did not include any automobiles whose styles might soon become outdated.
The descriptions accompanying the photos have also changed. Where the 1946 menu simply marveled at the “engineering triumph” and “masterpiece of masonry,” the 1968 menu explains further that, before the dam, “the Colorado River was America’s most dangerous and one of its most destructive streams. Now it is a highly useful servant.” Little did UP know that the environmental movement that was then in its infancy would soon persuade much of the public that such dams were desecrators of nature and despoilers of beauty.
The lunch menu offers City of Los Angeles passengers a choice of French fried shrimp, roast turkey, chopped sirloin steak, club house sandwich, and the chef’s special salad bowl. These are all complete meals, but they are no longer table d’hôte: instead, the shrimp comes with French fried potatoes, the turkey and sirloin with whipped potatoes, and the club house sandwich with cole slaw. At $2.70 (about $14 today), the club sandwich is, for some reason, the most expensive meal on the menu.
The a la carte side still has lots of choices, including Pacific coast fish, brook trout, lamb chops, various egg dishes, seven sandwiches, three salads, a “cold salmon plate,” and various veggies, breads, desserts, and beverages. Also new is that most of the a la carte sandwiches and salads come with cole slaw (in the case of sandwiches) or bread (in the case of salads) and a beverage, thus blurring the distinction between the two sides of the menu.