A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from July 28, 2014
“Our tongue sandwiches speak for themselves” (deli/restaurant sign)

"Our tongue sandwiches speak for themselves” is an old joke about a sign in a deli or restaurant, but such signs actually did exist. “‘Our tongue sandwiches speak for themselves.’—Broadway cafe advertisement” was cited in print in 1906. “Sign in a delicatessen window: ‘Our tongue sandwiches speak for themselves.’—New York American” was cited in 1926.


Chronicling America
27 November 1906, Los Angeles (CA) Herald, pg. 4, col. 7:
“Our tongue sandwiches speak for themselves.”—Broadway cafe advertisement.

31 January 1925, Lebanon (PA) Daily News, pg. 2, col. 7:
Quite Right.
Customer: “How are your tongue sandiwhces?”
Waiter: “Well, sir, they speak for themselves.”

12 February 1926, Trenton (NJ) Evening Times, “The Fun Shop” by Maxon Foxhall Judell, pg. 22, col. 1:
TONGUE AND—
Waiter: “A customer wants to know how the tongue sandwiches are.”
Proprietor: “You wil ltell him that the tongue sandwiches speak for themselves.”
-- James P. Hughes, Jr.

Google News Archive
4 October 1926, Milwaukee (WI) Sentinel, “Stars and Stripes,” pg. 10, col. 2:
Sign in a Third avenue delicatessen: “Our tongue sandwiches speak for themselves.”

15 October 1926, Rockford (IL) Republic, pg. 13, col. 8:
Sign in a delicatessen window: “Our tongue sandwiches speak for themselves.”—New York American.

Google Books
March 1962, Boys’ Life, “Think and Grin,” pg. 78, col. 2:
Sign in a sandwich shop: “Our tongue sandwiches speak for themselves.” — Chris Siebrasse, Hamilton, Ohio.

Google Books
You Don’t Have to Be in Who’s Who to Know What’s What
By Sam Levenson
New York, NY: Simon & Schuster
1979
Pg. 206:
In a delicatessen: OUR TONGUE SANDWICHES SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES

Google Books
Smart Alec’s Revolting Jokes for Kids
By Ward Lock, Ward Lock & Co Ltd
New York, NY: Ballantine Books
1989, ©1987
Pg. 37:
Sign in a delicatessen: Our tongue sandwiches speak for themselves.

Twitter
Tony Blackburn
‏@tonyblackburn
Sign in a restaurant....Our Tongue sandwiches speak for themselves
4:37 PM - 20 Apr 2013

Twitter
Southern With Sass
‏@LilSouthernSass
Signs Of The Times: Restaurant Sign:
“Our tongue sandwiches speak for themselves.”
9:05 PM - 7 Sep 2013

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityRestaurants/Bars/Bakeries/Food Stores • Monday, July 28, 2014 • Permalink


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