Why I Collect Takeout Menus

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Why I collect takeout menus

Weird hobby, huh?!  Well, it all began many years ago.  I had a friend in Virginia who visited me for a week.  We went out to eat at a few Chinese restaurants.  He commented how the food differed and I was intrigued.  When he got back home, he sent me some Chinesefood takeout menus.  The food was somewhat different, much more along the lines of food from China.

Around here the star item is a Chow Mein Sandwich.  No, really!  Imagine a hamburg bun split in half.  The bottom bun is topped with chow mein noodles (from the *Hoo Mee Company), chow mein gravy (from the same company) and some veggies, namely celery, onion and at some restaurants, bean sprouts, then topped with the other half.  I’ve never had one but have seen 1000’s of people order and eat them.  People around here consider that authentic Chinese food!  At $1.50 on average, it is a very cheap meal.

Fortunately my mom grew up in Boston so knew real Chinese food, and taught me.  But back to the subject. The exposure to other types of Chinese food fascinated me.

I was hooked and a new hobby developed!

I began asking friends and colleagues for  Chinese takeout menus. I had about 50 menus.


Then my life changed thanks to someone I will call The Mac Weenie.  He lives in San Francisco and eats at a Chinese restaurant nearly every day. He began sending me menus, usually a dozen or so every few weeks.  He also included takeout menus from other cuisines and I expanded my hobby.  This began probably 12+ years ago and continues today.  You never know what he will send!  ?he is a very close friend, very generous, very helpful and very sexy!

My project for 2012 will be to organize my collection, put them into clear plastic sleeves or plastic holders, then into 3-ring binders.  I’ve seen a 3-ring holder, sort of a long plastic strip with a line cut out in the middle for the magazine to fit through.  Those will be perfect and will make it much easier to peruse through each menu when I want to.

So now I collect any and all takeout menus with the main focus on Chinese restaurant takeout menus.


* The chow mein and chop suey sandwiches originated in Fall River, Mass., home of Hoo Mee and hometown of Emeril Lagasse.  He can be seen enjoying a chow mein sandwich on his Food  Network segment where he visited his hometown


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