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Classic Harvey House recipes

Taylor Trade

Fred Harvey, a traveling salesman for the railroads during the mid-1800s, saw a need for good food along the nation's expanding railroad lines. He took his idea to the Atchison, Topeka and Sante Fe Railroad, then the smallest of the competing lines, and soon Fred Harvey lunchrooms sprang up as fast as the railroad could build them.

Harvey Houses were the first restaurant chain, with good, fresh food prepared by world-class chefs, served on good china and white linen tablecloths.

The following are several recipes of classic dishes served at Harvey restaurants, from "The Harvey House Cookbook." Tuck in – and don't miss your train's departure!

Bright Angel Mexican Salisbury Steak
From chef Eli Gomez, Bright Angel Lodge, Grand Canyon

2 ½ lbs. lean ground beef
2 ½ ounces pimento, diced
8 ounces green chili pepper, diced
1 large onion, diced fine
6 ounces bread crumbs
2 eggs beaten lightly
Salt and pepper
Red chili sauce


Combine all ingredients except red chili sauce. Shape into six patties. Broil or grill the patties to desired "doneness." Serve with red chili sauce. Serves six.

Guacamole Monterey
From chef Joe Bianchi, El Tovar, Grand Canyon

1 avocado, mashed
1 tomato, chopped fine
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon chopped chives
½ teaspoon salt
Dash pepper
½ cup cottage or cream cheese
2 Tablespoons chopped green onions
Dash Worcestershire sauce


Combine all ingredients thoroughly. Chill. Serve on lettuce with peeled, chilled tomato wedge or use as a dunk mixture. Yields 2 2/3 cups, serves six.

Fried Chicken, Castañeda
From chef Dan Tachet, Castañeda, Las Vegas, N.M. 

1 3-pound hen, sliced about a third of an inch thick
Onion, chopped very fine
1 quart good chicken broth
½ pint cream
2 egg yolks
Bread crumbs


Fry the onion in butter, add flour, mix and pour in the broth and cream. Stir and let come to a boil. Let it cook about 10 minutes. Add eggs yolks and parsley and remove from the fire. This sauce must be quite thick. Dip the slices of chicken in the sauce so that it adheres to both sides. Lay them in a pan sprinkled with bread crumbs, and also sprinkle the chicken with bread crumbs. When cold, dip them in beaten egg and crumbs and fry is deep hot grease. Serve with tomato sauce and French peas as garnish. (If handled properly, one three-pound hen will make 10 to 12 fair-sized orders.)

Albondigas Soup
From chef Dan Tachet, Castañeda, Las Vegas, N.M.

4 onions
1 lb. Beef and veal, mixed
3 to 4 seeded green peppers
1 soupspoon of marjoram
2 cloves garlic
2 eggs
2 gallons of white bouillon
½ cup of corn meal
Butter or lard


Cut up the onions and green peppers; put them on the fire in a copper pot with two ounces of lard or butter. (Mexicans do not use butter for cooking.) When onions are done or melted, add the bouillon and let boil. Have the beef and veal passed through a meal chopper. Add the eggs, marjoram, parsley, corn meal and a little salt, and mix well. Make some small meat balls, about a half-inch in diameter; drop them in the broth; let simmer for a half-hour. Skim off the fat, season if necessary, and serve. (Mexican cooks will press the meat without their left hand over the simmering soup, using the forefinger of their right hand to give the albondigas the correct shape.)

In the 1920s the Fred Harvey Company redesigned and reopened La Fonda in Santa Fe, N.M. Harvey House

Empanadas with Vanilla Sauce
From chef Konrad Allgaier, La Fonda Hotel, Santa Fe, N.M. 

1 ½ cups finely chopped cooked beef
1 ½ teaspoons crushed oregano
¼ cup sugar
2 ounces suet, chopped fine
1 1-pound jar mincemeat
1 Tablespoon grated lemon peel
1 recipe plain pastry (using two cups flour)


Combine beef, mincemeat, suet, oregano, sugar and lemon peel. Roll pastry and cut in six-inch circles. Place 1/3 cup filling on each pastry circle, fold in half, and flute edge. Prick to allow steam to escape. Fry is deep hot fat. Serve with hot vanilla sauce (below). Yield: 12 turnovers.

Vanilla Sauce

3/4 cup butter
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 ½ cups sugar
3 cups boiling water
3 teaspoons vanilla


Melt butter; blend in cornstarch and sugar. Add boiling water, stirring constantly and cook until thickened. Add vanilla just before serving.

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