1950s Archive

Comstock Lode

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The waitress never served the window pie again. She's not there.

Last summer the Comstock House, an amazement of marquetry, ormolu, and other Victorian splendors, imported a chef direct from Maxim's in Paris, France. Virginia City was shaken to its foundations. The great days were back. Howard tbermidor and grenadins de veau Beauséjour, suitably translated, were back on the menu. But the chef, a notably temperamental artist, was not altogether happy in “the West's liveliest ghost town, ” as Virginia City likes to call itself. The patrons, in many cases, wanted Nevada steer meat instead of timbale d'écrevisses Nantua and rognons en casserole chez soi, A low fellow from Carson City made bold to criticize the pigeonneau au plat (83.75) and the chef declared he was departing. It chanced that evening a stylish dinner party from Reno was due and just before taking the down stage, the imported artist turned down the icebox control to its coldest depth, freezing its entire contents beyond all thawing for days, and chopped the butane gas pipe in the back yard with a meat axe, allowing all the fuel to evaporate.

Since his departure, things have been quieter on the Comstock, but we all know this tranquillity isn't here to stay. The chef at the Sawdust Corner has invented a sandwich known as the “Virginia City Terrible,” which contains eleven ingredients of meat, cheese, and dressing, and Pancake Lane was seen reading an article on French cuisine in the Sunday San Francisco Chronicle, and there is no telling when a rash of caneton bigarade aux pommes soufflées will break out in C Street. The Comstock likes its public dining in a state of tumult, and a restaurant called Bedlam House would make a pot of money. That's for sure.

lucius beebe,
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