Friday, March 16, 2012

Dining with Chicago's Carson Pirie Scott

My research into the department store restaurants and tea rooms of yesteryear continues, and this week I received the latest vintage postcard to add to my collection, one from Chicago's Carson Pirie Scott department store in 1906!

I love the elegant columns shown on this card written Dec. 28, 1906. It reads, "Dear Meta, Do you see me at one of these tables lunching? I hope you had a fine Xmas. With regards, Dr. Patrick." (At least that's what it looks like to me.) The recipient was a Meta Pillsbury in Illinois. I wonder if she was related to those Pillsburys.

In related news, I also came across a well-loved copy of the 1962 cookbook "Look Who's Cookin' at Carson's!" compiled and published by the Carson Pirie Scott Women's Club. I've got to dig a bit deeper to see if any of the book's recipes were actually used in the restaurant or whether they were simply favorites of the women's club. At any rate, it has recipes for treats like $200 Red Cake (which sounds like Red Velvet), Hershey Bar Chocolate Pie (calls for six 5-cent Hershey bars), and something very intriguing called Broken Glass Torte. It doesn't call for any broken glass, thank goodness, but it does involve making three different colors of Jell-O and layering them in the torte. May have to try that one, and when I do you know you'll see it here!


  1. Hi Angela - did you see that the March Southern Living had a short article about department store tea room foods? I thought of you when I saw that.

  2. Don't you love the old recipes? I love the ones that call for the candy bars -- and they call for them by price -- I wonder how much chocolate that would be now!

  3. Always fun to step back in time, especially when its related to your department store tea room passion!

  4. How fun that your department store tea room memorabilia collection continues with success!

  5. I remember seeing a Broken Glass Torte or Salad recipe, and Hershey Bar Pies in some of my mom's
    1960ish recipe books. Fond memories here! Nice post.

  6. What wonderful finds, so so interesting. I love learning about these things.

    Thank you for yet another wonderful and informative post!!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  7. amazing! this is very interesting!

  8. Always love seeing your department store finds.

  9. Great photos, Angela - I would love to have tea there (if only...)
    Your blog is great, I so enjoy it,


Thanks so much for taking time to leave a comment! It makes my day to hear from readers!