Look Before You Eat (May, 1951)

Look Before You Eat

IF you’re a shy gourmet, constantly confused and embarrassed by super-duper menus in fancy restaurants, Keene’s English Chop House in New York City is the eating spot for you. They’ve discovered a way to show you exactly what each item looks like before you order it.

How do they do it? Well, the eating place has several 35-mm plastic stereoptican viewers with built-in light sources. The waiter brings you one of these with a collection of color slides showing mouthwatering views of choice foods on the menu. Then, you make your choice—after re-checking the price, of course.

Keene’s reports that about half of their new customers are eager to make use of this “Viand Viewer.” And the famous chop house has found only one fault with the device—it makes customers impatient.

  1. Firebrand38 says: January 24, 20085:04 am

    The writer got the name wrong but the place is still around as Keens Steakhouse http://www.keens.com/in…

  2. jon says: January 24, 20081:54 pm

    It’s hard to imagine a Chop House could ever have had a super-duper menu that people would find confusing, particularly in the 1950s!

  3. Blurgle says: January 24, 20086:27 pm

    A ‘gourmet’ chop house? Ho-kay…

  4. Mike Brisendine says: January 24, 20086:43 pm

    Viewmaster for grownups.

  5. Firebrand38 says: January 25, 20085:07 am

    Yeah,a gourmet chop house. Why not?

  6. Thundercat says: January 25, 20087:16 am

    ummm, why not just put pictures on the menu?

  7. Firebrand38 says: January 25, 200811:12 am

    Gee I don’t know…..maybe cause there were thousands of restaurants without a gimmick that didn’t get publicized in Mechanix Illustrated?

    Or how about this? Let’s say we go for 3″ by 3″ pictures or 9 square inches. We’ll be conservative and stipulate 20 menu items. Twenty 9 sq in pictures totals 180 square inches. or almost 2 more pages of color printing (and not a digital printer in sight in 1951). And of course you change, delete or add just one menu item and you get to throw out all the picture menus and start again.

    But that’s my guess.

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