September 27, 2016
Please excuse the quality of the reproduction: this is a forty year old Xerox of a menu that was already forty years old when I copied it. But there’s a lot to look at here, from the fact that abalone was still pretty inexpensive, that Olympia oysters were still available (they all but disappeared for many years), and that a child’s plate consisted of filet of sole or lamb chop (one). Not exactly what we’d consider kid food today.
If you want to see what Di Maggio’s Restaurant looked like, this article includes wonderful vintage video of the place.
What isn’t mentioned? That Joltin’ Joe’s Dad, Giuseppe, a lifelong fisherman, was not allowed to fish during World War II because he was Italian, and considered an alien risk. He was not, in fact, even allowed to visit the family restaurant: As an enemy alien, he was prohibited from traveling more than five miles without permission. (Italians in San Francisco also had a curfew, and many of their homes were seized by the government.)
For more information on the family, this article is instructive.
Categorised in: Old Menus