Monday, July 5, 2010

Frenchy's Restaurant

This is a repro-duction drawn by one of our staff artists, inspired by the painting of Frenchy's Restaurant by C. L. Peterson in the Ford Times Cookbook, Volume 5, published in 1968.

The recipe listed in the cookbook is for "Braised Calves' Sweetbreads in Wine Sauce."


sig shonholtz said...

In 1973/4 I traveled with David Paul Greg (the inventor of the laser disc) and his partner to Milwaukee to make a presentation at the Milwaukee Wire Corporation, I was 19 years old. We were all from Los Angeles, California. I was a surfer, had never been to a real city in the winter, and was unnerved by the snow on the ground without skiers.

After our presentation, we went to Frenchy's for lunch. I had never been to such a place. First, all the "booths" had "back doors," for easy escape, in case your wife came in and you were dining with your mistress. This was a special restaurant I was sure, in fact there is now a restaurant in Los Angeles called Delmonico's which is based on Frenchy's.

I was so moved by the menu that I took one home with me and still have it. The wild animals on the menu were really wild, such as Bengal Tiger. I wanted to order it but my father had always told me that when I was a guest at dinner I should not order the most expensive meal. Therefore, I was torn, between a TIGER and a steak.

I took the steak out or respect, but I always wonder.....first, was it a real Bengal Tiger as opposed to perhaps and Old Lion, or Lioness? How would I actually know the difference? And, would I be able to appreciate it? What if my ordering the most expensive meal would have given the wrong impression of us "Westerners" and squashed the deal? I had no way of knowing, so I played it safe, but we did not make the deal. So, in retrospect I now think, I should have ordered the Tiger. At least now nearly 40 years later I could say "I dined on a Bengal Tiger once", before it was P. I.
Sig Shonholtz
Los Angeles, California

Eve said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eve said...

My Grandpere, Paul Wilfred La Pointe was the owner of Frenchy's. My father, Paul R. La Pointe is still alive. My Grandmere, Paul Sr.'s wife, has just passed away at the age of 98 and is buried near her summer home in Elkart Lake.

Anonymous said...

The tiger was real, as was the lion. My father used to get the wild game from game farms in Africa (Kenya) and India. Typically the animal woudl arrive at the restaurant frozen. I have a picture of my father in his tux and overcoat astride a frozen lion on the sidewalk outside the restaurant. We had a couple of large walk-in deep freezes in the old Ruggles Marine building next door that my father bought and converted for the restaurant. The lion or tiger would be placed in the deep freeze. I am not sure how it made it from the deep freeze to the plate, but there were large saws and such in the building.

It was quite a place. In the 50's the Milwaukee Braves used to come in. In the 60's it was Curtis LeMay and Barry Goldwater, John F. Kennedy, and of course, the Green Bay Packers (Vince Lombardie always came after the two Milwaukee game at the old County Stadium). I remember when Rudolf Nureyv cam to Chicago, and drove up with his entourage. My father kept the restaurant open until he arrived, and they ate and drank until wee hours of the morning. I still have the autographed picture that he gave my mother. My favorite person when I was young was Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny and several other characters.

Wasn't it amazing that such a place existed? It was created by a man who left home at the age of 13 and struck out on his own. It was a unique place. But there are many uniqye places and wonderful experiences all over this world. You just have to look and be willing to follow your own instincts.

Paul La Pointe (son of Frenchy)