Now, as we have had occasion to mention, this is NOT a food blog. This is a blog wherein I discuss cultural matters, usually involving some of the postcards I have for sale (which none of you have rushed to buy yet. I know I have not yet optimized your blog-reading experience by making it possible for you to buy them from this very site, bit I feel that this hampers our mutual pleasure in each other’s company, since I’d always have to be telling people “Naw, that one sold within five minutes of posting the blog, but at least you get to look at it”. Nor have I told you WHERE you can find these postcards for sale. This is an interactive project, crawfish meringue, and you have to make more effort than that. In a world of social media, in which one can find books signed by people who died before the book was published or authentic souvenirs from fictional events I should think a person could just twiddle their apps a while and find…where were we?)
In any case, this is a blog about culture, and my peculiar fixation on unimportant facets of it, which SOMETIMES strays in the direction of food. So today I thought we’d look at postcards issued by diners, drive-ins, and dumps, and the world of self-advertisement
In love, literature, and promotion, one is always mystified by what some people choose. I GUESS I can understand why some people would show off the exterior of their restaurant. If a person comes looking for it, they can recognize it and pull into the parking lot, right? Knowing absolutely nothing else about Sollie’s than that it had its picture on a postcard, you’d drop in here for a pizza.
Though you could, of course, simply rely on the big sign outdoors. (Remember, this was in the days before GPS.)
In the end, though, all you’re really advertising is your architect.
No matter how enticing the exterior of your fabulous eating establishment, what does this tell a prospective diner?
Maybe this chap had the right idea. Don’t just show them the exciting exterior. Show them the luxurious dining room furniture.
That’s the ticket. Nothing makes you want to eat somewhere like a palatial backdrop.
Some interiors just scream out, “If you want a really great dining experience, you’ve found the place!”
Some of us, though, want a little more. Why not hint to us about the food? Show us your gorgeous buffet.
With its overflowing stacks of food, all set to serve hundreds of hungry diners.
Okay, then there’s the world of food photography. This takes skill, and the number of postcards out there which focus on a plate of steamed vegetables and a limp slice of meat are legendary. Better if you show off one specialty. (This one, by the way, was actually mailed, and has a note on the back about how the sender felt this pie had way too much meringue.)
That’s what you need to do, licorice bolognese: push the food. Let people know what they’ll get to eat, and they’ll beat a path to your door.
For those interested in minutiae, here are the details on the locations of these eating places, most of which are no longer there.
1The Beaver Club in Montreal gave you a cartoon, even if it DID reflect on the kitchen
2.Sollie’s offered pasta in Pittsburgh
3.Amazing how many restaurants and motels were inspired by the TV show: this manifestation was in Fort Lauderdale
4.Kent’s had a good spot in Atlantic City AND nice lettering on the sign
5.This is near Sequoyah Park in Tennessee
6.Simms’ Restaurant in Ocean City, New Jersey, was open only from May to November
7.Wolfie’s was such a fixture in Miami that PanAm had it cater the inflight meals between there from New York
8.Why they had a place called Baltimore Lunch in Spokane is not noted on the card.
9.This was the buffet at The Escape, also in Fort Lauderdale
10.The buffet at the Far Hills Inn in Sommerville, New Jersey was only available Wednesday nights and Thursday lunches
11.I hope Lulu and Vernon’s sold as many pieces of this pie to people in Mobile as there are copies of this card for sale all over the Interwebs.
12.And we’re in Fort Lauderdale again. A friend of mine ate there, she says, and found the advertising acutely accurate
13.L’Armorique, in New York City, gloried in authentic food cooked in the style of Brittany, and decided a good-looking girl dressed in Breton fashions was the way to go.