Clementine Paddleford: Vintage American Menu Covers

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American food writer Clementine Paddleford has an archive of over 700 restaurant menus at Kansas State University.  I photographed as many as I could in the short time I was there, and have divided them into several blogs starting with American restaurants.  It was fun seeing classic American restaurants, many of them now closed forever.  Clementine collected menus for many years wherever she traveled.  Even though it would have been interesting to see all the actual menus, most had print that was too small, hard to read, or faded; or sometimes the menus were so huge and heavy, they were difficult to hold.  The covers are beautiful and worthy to be framed.  How I wish I could have seen them all!  Someday…

Clem Baltimore Chesapeake Restaurant

Clem Bloomington Boxman's menu photos

Clem Bloomington Boxman's menu cover


Clem California Ambassador Hotel cover


Clem California menu Al Fresco honoring Clem

Clem Chaquita banana menu cover

Clem Hawaiian Canlis menu cover

Clem Hawaii plantation menu

Clem Hawaiian Canlis pilaf recipe

Bonus!  A recipe from Canlis.

Clem Idaho Hotel Rogers menu cover

Clem Idaho The Lampost menu cover

Clem Missouri Bevo Mill menu cover

Clem Missouri Edmonds menu cover

Clem New England Shore Dinner menu cover

Clem New Orleans Antoine's Menu

Clem New Orleans Arnaud's a la carte menu cover

Clem New Orleans Arnaud's A la Carte Menu

Clem New Orleans Arnaud's Easter cover

Clem New Orleans Brennan's Vieux Carre Restaurant green cover

Clem New Orleans Brennan's letter

Clem New Orleans Brennen's  Vieux Carre Restaurant red cover

Clem New Orleans Commander's Palace

Clem New York  The Forum of the Twelve Caesars

Clem New York Barbizon Plaza cover

Clem New York Ben Marden's Riviera 1939 World's Fair menu  cover

Clem New York Brussels Restaurant  cover Andre Pagani

Clem New York Brussels Restaurant cover with tassles

Clem New York Brussels Restaurant menu 1

If you can read French, here is Pagani’s menu.

Clem New York Delmonico's Hotel Lucullus Circle

Clem New York Golden Horn

Clem New York Grand Tier Restaurant for Opera season

  A special menu for the opening night of Opera season!

Clem New York map of LaGuardia

Clem New York menu Colony Restaurant

Clem New York menu cover Coffee Rendez-vous

I loved this one because you can see where Clem’s coffee dripped on the menu!

Clem San Francisco Blum's menu

Clem Vassar College Age of Baroque menu

Clem Wild Game menu from Nino's Sports Afield

Clem Williamsburg menu cover Chowning's Tavern

Clem Spice Association Welcome cover

These Spice Association menus are from various years and locations across the country.  It was an annual event, each time with a different theme.  You will see where Clementine had some of the guests sign her menu at one of the events.

Clem Spice Association intro

Clem Spice Association quote from Winter's Tale

Clem Spice Association Mission Trail Dinner

Clem Spice Association New York Pennsylvania Dutch menu cover

Clem Spice Association menu with signatures

Coming up in the next blog will be menus from across the globe!


4 Responses to Clementine Paddleford: Vintage American Menu Covers

  1. October 22, 2013 at 5:25 am #

    On the Boxman’s menu there is a reference to “Duncan Hines”! Had no idea that was a real person (LOL)

    Great memorabilia!

    • October 22, 2013 at 8:36 am #

      Yes, Lisa – isn’t it funny how some of the familiar food names were real people, but some just completely made up in marketing meetings, like Betty Crocker. Duncan Hines was a salesman from Bowling Green, Kentucky who wrote about his eating adventures as he traveled. Clementine regarded Hines as an expert on cooking and eating and had great admiration for him. And as we all know, Duncan Hines sold his name to Proctor & Gamble and the rest is history!

  2. June 2, 2018 at 5:23 am #

    These vintage restaurant menu covers look so fascinating. They also remind us of our cultural heritage.

    • June 2, 2018 at 6:40 am #

      The menu covers are like works of art. How I wish I could have taken photos of every single one, but there were hundreds of them! Clementine was a busy lady!

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