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. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from August 19, 2006

“Chalupas” are popular served at Taco Bell and other Mexican-American restaurants, but they’re not new. Versions of the “chalupa” (“boat” or “canoe” in Spanish) can be found from the 1890s. A chalupa is simply a tortilla sandwich “boat.”
Spanish for “boat” or “launch,” a chalupa is a corn tortilla dough formed into a small boat shape and fried until crisp. It’s then usually filled with shredded beef, pork or chicken, vegetables, cheese or a combination of these, and served as an appetizer.
Practical Guide to the City and Valley of Mexico
by Emil Riedel
Pg. 112:
Terry’s Guide to Mexico
by T. Philip Terry
Revised Edition
Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company
Pg. 244c:
Mexican-Spanish Dishes, Drinks, Fruits, Vegetables, Etc.
CHALUPAS; corncakes with turned-up edges and containing hashed meat, chile and beans.
Your Mexican Kitchen:
A Compilation of Mexican Recipes Practicable in the United States
by Natalie V. Scott
New York, NY: G. P. Putnam’s Sons
Pg. 8:
Chalupas are tortillas made in oval shape. A border is formed while they are hot by pinching up the edges into a little wall, with the fingers. The thin top skin is removed, and the underpart is pinched up into little miniature hills. (For dough used, see TORTILLAS.) Take shredded chicken, or pork, or veal, a little chorizo sausage (see CHORIZO) or any highly seasoned sausage chopped in small pieces, chopped tomatoes, and onions, and fry them together with the meat. Spread the mixture rather thickly on each chalupa, sprinkle finely shredded lettuce on top, and set into the mixture a radish with the peeling cut like petals, and a green hot chile (the latter may be omitted!). A little powdered Parmesan cheese may be sprinkled over this, as a final touch. And over all goes a little green chile sauce (see GREEN CHILE SAUCE).
Cooking…South of the Rio Grande
by George Luther Nelson
San Antonio, TX: The Nolan Printing Company
Pg. 24:
1 cup corn meal
1 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon salt
Mexican Sausage
or Cooked Chicken Shredded
Grated Cheese
Mix corn meal, boiling water and salt; then any of the other ingredients, until you have the right consistency to make small patties. Fry in hot grease. Sprinkle the patties with grated cheese and pour over a highly seasoned sauce to suit taste. Serve hot.
18 February 1937, Helena (MT)

Daily Independent, “Texans Cook Mexican Dishes” by Mrs. Gaynor Maddox, pg. 8, cols. 2-3:
Chalupas de Pollo
(Chicken canoe)
Shredded cooked chicken, strained tomatoes, green pepper, onion and garlic.
Fry tortillas in deep lard. Drain. They will curl up into canoes. Place shredded chicken on top of tortilla. Make sauce of strained tomatoes green pepper, onion and garlic. Fry these ingredients in lard until done. Do not have it watery. Pour this sauce over chicken. Add thin coating of cheese. Put in oven long enough to melt cheese. Serve hot.
12 December 1937, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “Food and Drink in Mexico,” section 5, pg. 4:
It may begin with soup and sliced avacados, served with olive oil and vinegar, and go on through gorditos migados, a kind of sausage; chalupas, tortillas with cheese, beans, shredded chicken and lettuce in white sauce; enchiladas, a dish familiar to Americans; tamales, another recognizable article of food; tostadas of either chicken or other meat; pavo con mole, turkey with the popular mole sauce compounded of fourteen spices and herbs; or cold meats.
5 March 1948, Dallas Morning News, “Barbosa Mexican Dishes Boast Authetnic Flavor,” section 2, pg. 4:
Chalupas. Remove skin and fry 1/2 pound choriza (Mexican sausage) in lightly greased skillet.”
The New-York Historical Society’s menu collection has two 1940s menus for the Original Mexican Restaurant, O. M. Farnsworth, proprietor, 115-117-119 Losoya Street, San Antonio, Texas.
From a dinner for the National Restaurant Association, State Restaurant Association of Texas, 30 March 1940:
Apio; Aceitunas; Chalupa; Chile con Queso; Chile con Carne; Frijoles; Tamales, Sopa de Arroz; Enchilada; Chiles Relleno; Tortillas de Maiz; Pina; Dulce.

An undated Original Mexican Restaurant menu in with the 1940 material has a regular supper and two special supper menus, and then these:
Chile con Carne…15
Frijoles con Tortillas…15
Sopa de Arroz…10
Sopa de Arroz con Tortillas…15
Tamales con Salsa…20
Enchiladas con Huevos…20
Huevos con Salsa…20
Huevos Rancheros…20
Tortillas de Maiz…05
Chiles Rellenos…20
Mole Poblano…
Pollo con Arroz…
Chile con Queso…20
Pollo con Calabaza…
Albondigas de Arroz…
Ensalada de Aguacate…

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • Saturday, August 19, 2006 • Permalink

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