Today I have been searching through tea house and tea room menus on the New York Public Library’s wonderful menu collection digital project at http://www.menus.nypl.org. The striking thing about the early 20th century menus I looked at was how heavy the food was. Tea rooms pioneered lighter cooking of the sort associated with educated, young women in the 1920s. Yet the menus I found, admittedly a somewhat random sample, were full of meat…hot, cold, sauced, you name it. While the salads and chicken dishes I had expected were there too, there was much hearty, stick to your ribs fare to be found.
Look for more details soon.