Literary

Your New Favorite Coffee Table Book Is Full of Vintage Menus

Until restaurants became popular in the 1800's, a printed menu, unless it was a special occasion, was as rare a sight as eating with your hat on. Since then, menu design has become more and more important as a branding tool, an excuse to sit back and peruse an establishment's offerings, hell, even a keepsake.

Now, thanks to Menu Design in America: 1850-1985, there exists an omnibus of nearly 800 full-color examples of this art form, helping to build a visual past of dining habits and restaurants across the U.S.A.

From first-class publisher Taschen, the book includes menu covers and interiors, photographs of restaurants, an introduction on the history of menu design by graphic design writer Steven Heller, and extended captions by culinary historian John Mariani.

For a beautifully done peek into our gastronomic history of dining out via graphic design, this book's for you.

My copy arrived last week and there hasn't been a day I haven't picked it up and enjoyed turning a page or two. Want one for yourself or a foodie friend? Go here.

Follow Chow Bella on Facebook and Twitter.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Laura Hahnefeld
Contact: Laura Hahnefeld