Table d’hôte

35a. Pierson Hotel, El Paso, Texas 1883.jpg
35b. Pierson Hotel, El Paso, Texas 1883.jpg


Pierson Hotel


Table d’hôte


El Paso, Texas


October 8, 1883


Shortly after arriving in El Paso, a young clerk enclosed this menu in a letter to his parents in Connecticut, writing: “I enclose a bill of fare which I had the first day that you may see that I am not entirely out of this world if I have got nearly to the jumping off place.” The standard table d’hôte was reassuring in the sense that it represented an unvarying facet of the civilization. Entrées like pork and beans, lamb pie, and ribs of beef were served in hotel dining rooms all across the country each day. While regional influences were generally muted, this menu appears to offer one local dish—stewed veal with chili.