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 November 29, 2006

Fritoque (pronounced “free-toke-ay,” not “free-tokie” as sometimes cited) was a popular San Antonio recipe that included chili con carne, cheese, onions, and corn chips (“Fritos”). It was served in the 1930s-1950s, but is seldom seen today.
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.
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…
10 February 1939, Chronicle-Telegram (Elyria, OH), “Girl of the Turf” by Mary-Douglass Stovall (set in Santa Anita, CA), pg. 10:
Laughter came easily to them as they wrestled with guajolote and fritoque and ensalata de aguacate.
7 July 1952, San Antonio (TX) Express, “Original enjoys national reputation for outstanding cuisine,” pg. 5, cols. 3-4:
Open from 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m., the Original Mexican Restaurant not only serves the best in customary Spanish dishes, such as frijoles, chile con carne, enchiladas, tacos, and others, but it also features specialties served only at the Original Restaurant. They are: Fritoque, Chiletoque, Envueltos, and Esponjados.
6 November 1952, Kerrville (TX) Times, “Spanish Kitchen in Sunny San Antonio” by Helen Harvey, pg. 3, col. 8:
(Illustrated Above)
For a delicious and wholesome dish using either the homemade chili recipe above or chili con carne right out of a can, we heartily recommend FRITOQUE (pronounced FREE-TOKIE). Illustrated above, Fritoque is a great favorite here in the Alamo City, and almost every family has its own special recipe. We especially like this recipe, because all of the ingredients can be bought at the corner grocer’s, and the dish requires very little time and effort to prepare.
1 can (1 1/2 cups) Chili con carne with beans
1 cup grated cheese
1 medium onion (chopped)
1 cup crushed corn chips (measured after crushing)
Pour a can of chili con carne with beans into a casserole. Add a layer of grated cheese, chopped onions, and corn chips. Bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
22 January 1953, Oakland (CA) Tribune, pg. 15 ad:
GEBHARDT’S brisk, mellow Mexican foods make informal entertaining easy—every gay little frijole seems to say “Welcome!” Fritoque (pronounced free-tokie) contains lots of these beans. To make it, pour 1 can of GEBHARDT’S CHILI CON CARNE WITH BEANS into a casserole. Add chopped onion, grated cheese and crushed corn chips. Bake at 350 degrees F. 30 minutes.
The Tex-Mex Cookbook
by Robb Walsh
New York: Broadway Books
Pg. 79”
Pronounced free-TOKE-ay, this dish is found on the World War II-era menu of the Original Mexican Restaurant in San Antonio. The recipe is adapted from The Texas Cookbook, published in 1949 by Arthur and Bobbie Coleman. It tastes like a bowl of beans with crushed nachos in it. If you don’t have dried red chiles you can use pickled jalapeño slices.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • Wednesday, November 29, 2006 • Permalink

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