This menu cover features a painting of “Autumn Aspen” by Fremont Ellis. Raised in Montana, Ellis had no formal art training but ended up spending most of his life painting in Santa Fe. The back cover of the menu misspelled his first name “Freemont,” which must have been annoying to the artist who lived from 1897 to 1985.
Some Santa Fe menus of this time period were marked “Super Chief” and others “Texas Chief.” This doesn’t have a train name so it must have been used on the El Capitan or San Francisco Chief. Trains 23 & 24, the former Grand Canyon, just had a lunch counter diner, which probably would have used a less formal menu. A mark in the lower left corner says “1-17EC15.” The San Francisco Chief was trains 1 & 2, El Capitan was 17 & 18, and Texas Chief was 15 & 16, but it isn’t clear that this mark refers to one of those trains.
The menu itself has the routine combinations of pork and eggs plus griddle cakes. Unlike the Super Chief breakfast menu of the time, this one does not offer Santa Fe’s famous French toast, which was grilled then baked to be extra puffy.