Origin of the Doggie Bag

Apparently the first doggie bags were used in San Francisco during WWII to prevent food waste, then spread around the country under different names such as Snack-Sac and Doggie Pak.

29 June 1943, Associated Press:
SAN FRANCISCO – The newest device of the Society For Prevention of Cruelty to Animals:
The Pet Pakit.
It’s a carton cafe owners give to patrons on request. The diner scrapes leftovers from his plate into the box, to take home to his pet.


It was considered uncouth to take home restaurant leftovers for anyone but Boswer in most restaurants until the 1970s. And some upscale places still discourage the practice.

People And Doggies Like Leftovers

“Nothing could be finer than dinner in the diner”

When I was in high school in the 1970s I was lucky enough to take the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad’s Rio Grande Zephyr from Ogden, Utah to Denver, Colorado. It was the last non-Amtrak long distance passenger train in America. I wanted to ride her before she disappeared so my Dad took me on the trip as a graduation present. As shown in the photo below the train had many dome cars including an observation dome lounge car on the rear of the train.

Image copyright John Wiesmann (RailPictures.net)

Eating in the dining car was very special on the Zephyr streamliner, with white linen, fine china and silver, a vase of fresh flowers, and fresh Rocky Mountain Trout served while the train was passing the spectacular scenery of the Rockies.

Zephyr menu

Here’s an interesting article about the history of dining aboard passenger trains in the U.S.:
Last call to dinner – Classic Trains Magazine.

Peter Moruzzi’s new book on classic dining is out now!

I apologize for the lack of posts but Le Continental has been jet-setting recently, exploring Munich, Berlin, Edinburgh, and Glasgow. Posts on some historic eateries in these cities coming soon!

Meanwhile, here is some big news: the long-awaited new book by my friend Peter Morruzi (Havana Before Castro, Palm Springs Holiday) titled Classic Dining: Discovering America’s Finest Mid-Century Restaurants is out now (originally it was due on November 1st). Get yours at your local bookstore (or here), and if you are in the Los Angeles area you may want to attend the book launch on November 10th at Wacko bookstore in Hollywood. I have a copy of the book and it is gorgeous: filled with vintage photos and graphics, along with beautiful new photography by Sven Kirsten (Tiki Modern, The Book of Tiki). Buy the book and be inspired to visit the classic restaurants featured in the book (which also has a directory in the back of classic restaurants in the U.S.) because the book and this blog exist for the same reason: to inform people about classic and historic restaurants while they still exist, and to encourage them to patronize these restaurants so they can survive for as long as possible.

Peter Moruzzi’s new “Classic Dining” book is coming soon!


Peter Moruzzi (author of “Havana Before Castro” and “Palm Springs Holiday”) just finished a new book called “Classic Dining: Discovering America’s Finest Mid-Century Restaurants” and it will be out on October 1st, 2012! In addition to gorgeous vintage graphics there will be stunning new photos by Sven Kirsten (author of “The Book of Tiki” and “Tiki Modern”). Here’s a sneak peek that will whet your appetite…

Moruzzi’s New “Classic Dining” Book Available for Pre-order | Peter Moruzzi’s America After Dark.