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Restaurant-Review Article Written in 1859 in the New York Times


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The writer of a January 1,1859 (that's correct) NYT review of NYC restaurants ended by noting that unlike certain London saloons, he knew of no  establishments "...where the knives and forks are chained to the table to prevent their being stolen, and a Newfoundland dog is kept under the table for guests to wipe their hands on."

Jan 1, 1859 - "How We Dine" by the Strong-Minded Reporter of the Times


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On 5/24/2018 at 9:54 AM, tfbrennan said:

Jan 1, 1859 - "How We Dine" by the Strong-Minded Reporter of the Times

This is truly amazing, and museum-worthy. The writer has an extremely droll sense of humor - witness his descriptions of "The Third-Class Eating House," which is his lowest rung of dining:

"If you wear glasses, you find, on entering the room, that an oily vapor covers them with an opaque film so suddenly as scarcely to give you time to ascertain that two gentlemen in their shirt-sleeves, who have just got off their carts at the door, have come in with you. This vapor is attributed by one of the gentleman visitors to whom you have mentioned the fact, to 'the hot air a condensin itself on the cold glass' - in which observation there may be a great deal of truth, but it fails to account for the greasy character of the condensation...."

"The smell peculiar to this establishment does not partake of the spices of Araby the Blest; the principal odor being rather ammoniacal in its character, and suggestive of stables."

"A guest has no sooner seated himself than a plate is literally flung at him by an irritated and perspiring waiter, loosely habited in an unbuttoned shirt whereof the varying color is, I am given to understand, white on Sunday, and daily darkening until Saturday...."

"The disgusting manner in which the individuals who dine at this place, thrust their food into their mouths with the blades of their knifes, makes you tremble with apprehensions of suicide...."

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