1953 Challenger Inn Lunch Menu

This menu has the same cover as the one from a couple of days ago. Inside, however, it is dated May 11, 1953, five months after the previous ones. It still has the same budget-menu format, but the prices have gone up.

Click image to download a 1.3-MB PDF of this menu.

The entrĂ©es are corned beef hash with string beans, “special cold plate” with Mexican slaw, and Hungarian goulash or fish with potatoes and string beans. Where in December these items would have been priced at 75 cents, 85 cents, and $1.25, now they are 85 cents, 95 cents, and $1.40. That’s about $6.25, $7.00, and $10.25 in today’s dollars.

In other words, in today’s dollars, they are all about a dollar more than on the December menus. This is the last budget-priced menu in my collection, which suggests that the experiment, if it was one, didn’t work out, either because the railroad was losing too much money or because the first-class passengers who typically patronized dining cars wanted something a little higher class.


1953 Challenger Inn Lunch Menu — 1 Comment

  1. That’s one of the few menus that I can’t anything I’d eat from the fixed price meals. I can’t imagine the the Pullman passengers weren’t up in arms about this. It’s not a bad concept for the club car or snack bar, and that’s where the UP should have tried it. The ironic thing is that it’s showing a “budget” menu with a picture of about the least “budget” place you could go, Sun Valley.


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