Like a bleacher bum bowing to Sammy, I am in awe of Old School, Dick, Paulette and all the other's of their generation on chowhound. Oh, to have visited Fritzels and the rest. Now, I can only live through the memories of OS and his cronies.
We've done a reasonably good job of saving our old buildings, but a lousy job of saving our old resturants. New York still has Gage and Tollner's and Sardi's. Boston has Durgin Park and the Union Oyster House and Locke-Ober. New Orleans, obviously, has a whole quarter's worth of old time chow. Yet Los Angeles, much more modern than Chicago, has Musso's and Phillipes, and such. What do we have to do in Chicago, import Joe's Stone Crab. Fooey!
Even before chowhound, I've had a fascination with these kind of places. Craig Rice books are one way to get a bit of a fix. The other way, is through the old menu's. Dick mentioned some old menu's he has. I've been collecting menu's for a while, although it's more of a fits and spurts kind of thing.
My collection, however sorely lacks in Chicago places. Still, I do have 3 Fritzels menu's, including lunch and dinner from their last day. The third Fritzel menu dates from 1958. I do have menu's from all over the world, especially resturants of a certain haute class. Lots of Simpsons-on-the-Strand, Maxim de Paris (not the chicago version), Lucas Carton, Grand Velour. I would be more than happy to trade some of these for Chicago of Las Vegas related stuff.
Other things that may interest both in Chicago and out: 2 Keens Chophouse (I'd trade one); Schrafft's and Luchow and Lindy's; like a gazillion menu's from Baltimore's Miller's Brothers, "The Place to Eat". For those who believe that all roads lead to Rome, I have a Ristorante Alfredo, The Real King of Fettucine"; for cruise fans, a few from high end lines like the SS France and the QEII; for Simon and Howler, a 1947 menu from Veeraswamy's of Regent and Swallow streets, London; and for Old School, who has started this whole mess, a menu from Jim McCovey's Old South Bar-B-Q Ranch with branches in Clewiston, Hialeah, Ft. Meyers, Old Town (on the bank of the Suwanne River) and Orlando, Florida. Again, I am interested in trading.
As to guidebooks, well a couple of weeks ago, Rene had responded to a post about italian backeries by looking up some entries in an old Pat Bruno book. I had been meaning to write about old guide books. It's amazing how a guidebook, a few years old, is a waste, but a few years after that becomes something worth collecting. I have a host of Chicago books including a resturant book from the 1930's. Anyone else share this hobby?