Red Cliffs Menu

This menu isn’t clearly dated, but the code “7-1-8” makes me suspect it is from 1958 as the prices aren’t high enough for 1968. Nor does the menu state what meal it was for, but the lack of a true table d’hôte menu makes me suspect it was for lunch. The menu does clearly say it was for the Texas Chief.

Click image to download a 524-KB PDF of this menu.

The cover painting was by Adolph Heinze. Like Frederic Mizzen, Heinze was from Chicago, but unlike Mizzen, who was primarily an advertising illustrator, Heinze was primarily a landscape painter. Long before he painted the scene on the cover of this menu, he was hired by Louis Hill to paint scenes in and around Glacier National Park (two of which appear in Call of the Mountains) as well as Blackfeet Indians such as Two Guns White Calf.

Ironically, considering my criticism of Mizzen’s painting, while the advertising nature of that work was subtle (but gimmicky), Heinze’s painting on this menu is an overt advertisement for Santa Fe. The only other painting of a Santa Fe streamlined train on one of its menus that I know of was the Hernando Villa painting of the “Meeting of the Chiefs,” and Villa, like Mizzen, was primarily an advertising illustrator.


Red Cliffs Menu — 1 Comment

  1. Are you sure the prices are more 1958 than 1968? $5.25 was about what the NP charged for a steak dinner on the North Coast Limited in 1968. One thing I find fascinating about these menus is how differently priced certain items are, compared to what they would be today. A good example is how the halibut and grilled chicken are both $2.50; whereas today, $30 for a halibut dinner wouldn’t be unheard of, but chicken? Maybe as this was prepared, $17. I guess the comparative value of seafood has gone up; I heard somewhere that in the very early days in New England, lobsters were considered so lowly that they were fed to prisoners.

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