Restaurants with Cash Pinned to the Walls

Planning a trip or looking for a local restaurant that will also fulfill your love of coins and currency? There is a tradition to stapling dollar bills on the ceiling of bars. Sometimes, with the name and date you were there, and who you were with; other times with stories, wishes, or drawings.

Many say this tradition has roots in the Gold Rush. The Gold Rush brought over 300,000 transplants to California and with the influx of people came the decline of resources and supplies. Many wasted all their money hoping for gold and never were able to make it home, thus staying, and making California their new home. The struggle for jobs, land, food, and other mainstays left people wondering how they could get home and encouraged new transplants to stow money in a safe place, like on the ceiling of a bar. They would write their names on their “Get Home” money and staple it to the ceiling of the local bar. If they did not find gold, they could come back to the bar, still having enough money to get back.

Another theory of how the tradition began is with sailors. Sailors we’re said to have tacked money to the bars before they left for sea. This is so when they returned, no matter what occurred on the trip, they would at the very least have enough money for a drink.

 Regardless of the history of the tradition, it has become a common way for eclectic restaurants and bars to stand out and provide a unique atmosphere for their customers. We have rounded up a list of restaurants across the United States (well, mostly in Florida) that  are famous for using cash as decoration!

McGuire’s Irish Pub | Destin, Florida

destin-moneyMcGuire’s Irish Pub first opened in 1977 as a small neighborhood pub in a shopping center. In 1982 McGuire’s moved to its current location; Pensacola’s original 1927 Old Firehouse. Inside the pub you’ll find a turn-of-the-century, New York Irish Saloon themed 615-seat restaurant.

They are celebrated for their atmosphere boasting more than One Million signed dollar bills hanging from the ceilings and walls of the Pub. In 1996, a second location, McGuire’s Irish Pub of Destin opened on beautiful Destin Harbor with the same great food and live Irish entertainment.

 

Willie T’s | Key West, Florida

CaptureWillie T’s Restaurant & Bar offers some of the best home cooking in Key West Florida. Offering everything from savory steaks to mouth-watering hamburgers. Coupled with large 10-foot screen TV’s for the latest sports game enjoyment and a variety of alcoholic beverages to choose from.

The ‘World Famous’ Willie T’s offers the perfect respite in the middle of all the action of Duval Street.They are known for our constant LIVE MUSIC, daily drink specials, delicious food and friendly service. Visit for a festive hangout for tropical drinks & Florida-inspired American eats in a mostly outdoor setting.

 

Siesta Key Oyster Bar | Sarasota, Florida

siSiesta Key Oyster Bar (or as the locals call it “SKOB”) is a hangout with a laid back, beachy atmosphere that will get you right into the Island Spirit. When you’re at SKOB you feel right at home, like you’re hanging out with good friends on your back patio (although chances are the ceiling of your patio is not covered in dollar bills).

Of course there are burgers and wings – they just happen to be award winning wings and some of the most delicious U.S.D.A. Prime mouthwatering burgers you can get anywhere

From Raw Oysters and Fresh Fish to Crab Legs and Crab Cakes – there is something for everyone on the menu. And with over 21 beers on tap along with Domestic, Imports, and specialty bottled beer – you will not go away thirsty!

 

Cabbage Key | Pineland, Florida

fishLocated in the Old House at the Cabbage Key resort, the open-air restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner 365 days a year. The main room of the restaurant is nestled among live cuban laurels dripping with moss. Previous visitors have taped thousands of one-dollar bills to every surface. You can ask your server for a black marker and tape to add yours to the collection.

The front room is the old porch with a view of the marina and sound. Look around at antique fishing gear, classic Cabbage Key photographs and replicas of tarpon, snook and other game fish.

Known by many as “the bar with all the money on the walls”, the Cabbage Key bar has been serving up drinks to boaters for over 60 years. With active fire places, original hardwood floors and Cypress walls, the bar and the formal dining room make up the other two dining locations.

 

Cantina Captiva | Captiva Island, Florida
33885471_1851288058498067_474686223709896704_nThe final Florida based restaurant, Cantina Captiva is located within the Captiva Island Inn. Enjoy a spicy and unique atmosphere while savoring the fine Mexican and Southwestern cuisine.

A customer from TripAdvisor reviewed the Cantina as ‘Mexican in the Tropics’:

Cantina Captiva is our must have lunch while in Captiva or Sanibel. This last visit, we four ladies had great Margaritas, fajitas, tacos and enchiladas for lunch. Everything was excellent including our server. The prices are reasonable and the outside seating is very nice. Definitely worth trying!

 

The Soup Cellar | Leavenworth, Washington

21719_550901808257157_2067690350_nThe Soup Cellar was established in 1988. The current owners took ownership in 1994 and ever since have been striving to create an experience that offers the highest quality of service, food, and atmosphere

A TripAdvisor reviewer states:

What a fantastic experience! It is located in the cellar and the decor is like a bavarian pub. They offer a fantastic salad bar and a soup bar along with the many different brats and other german foods–great saurkraut. The people are very friendly and the service was great! The dinners have great portions on them–so enjoy! They have a big selection of various beers to try also. Very clean place–even the bathrooms!

 

Bill’s Gyro Souvlaki | Atlantic City, New Jersey

11140265_10208091246744969_3071804008456576227_nThis restaurant is the perfect place to stop for gyro while you stroll along the Atlantic City boardwalk. TripAdvisor user reviews it as such:

This is quite the place. The atmosphere is best described as very Jersey but it’s worth it. We all got the gyro sandwich was fantastic. The spinach pie definitely left something to be desired but I also ate it after eating the whole sandwich. The onion rings were pretty good and the fries were decent, but the gyro sandwich is what made me give them such a good rating. There is seating (a lot of places on the boardwalk only have tiny areas or no seating at all. We had a party of 6 and figured 2 of us would sit at the bar but they immediately pulled another table up to seat us together. The staff was pleasant, competent, and efficient. I would definitely go back!

 

Tortilla Flat Superstition Saloon | Tortilla Flat, Arizona

SONY DSCThis saloon is located in Tortilla Flat, an authentic remnant of an old west town, nestled in the midst of the Tonto National Forest, in the Superstition Mountain Range. Tortilla Flat started out as a stagecoach stop in 1904 and neither fire nor flood has been able to take away this historic stop along the Historic Apache Trail.

A visit to Tortilla Flat isn’t complete without a stop in the Superstition Restaurant & Saloon. The decor alone will send you back in time, from the Saddle Bar Stools, to the walls of dollar bills from around the world. The food is incredible; the website says they serves the Biggest burgers, hottest chili, and coldest drinks everyday.

 

Dollar Bill Bar | Oatman, Arizona

oatIf you’re looking for an ice cold beer on tap while enjoying a simple Americana bar with a twist, look no further than the Dollar Bill Bar. Patrons are encouraged to sign a dollar bill and then hang it on the wall, ceiling, or really anywhere they deem appropriate. They tout to have over $100,000 worth of bills covering their walls.

 

The Hideout Saloon | Mariposa, California

348sThe Hideout Saloon is a saloon/pub in the Gold Rush Historic Downtown District of Mariposa. You can find 150 yr old dry stack rock wall throughout main bar, original bar wood floor repaired always with reclaimed local barn wood, and first growth Doug Fir original wood floors in secondary rooms.

The Saloon is open every day into the wee morning hours for all. With live music Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights with special performances as scheduled Sunday through Tuesday. Karaoke Wednesday nights. Open Mic always available for performance and jamming any time scheduled entertainment is not performing.

Friday Odds and Ends, June 24

 

ClquzeRWgAACtBh.jpgAccording to PCGS, the $20 Mormon gold coin was the first double eagle struck on US soil for general circulation. Look for an in-depth story on our blog soon!

 

Have you visited the online museum Mintage World yet? It’s got thousands of coins and other items, cataloged and easy to access for all visitors.

 

appear-confidentHow to appear confident, even when you’re not.

 

 

 

 

nh-apluto-mountains-plains-9-17-15_0-640x411Is Pluto’s cold surface hiding a distant ocean? NASA has the details.

 

 

 

 

 

CaptureWant to feel like a modern chef and have something to impress your dinner guests? Salt-cured egg yolks will be a hit (and they’re a cinch to make.)

 

 

Why Are Meals Square?

“A square meal a day” keeps the doctor away. Or so they should say.

We’re told that our meals should be square and then we’ll be the epitome of health.

But why “square”? Why not “rectangular” or “heart-shaped”?

The jury’s out on this one. The phrase probably comes from the use of “square” as meaning “fair and square”, or honest and straightforward. Who doesn’t want an honest, satisfying meal?

One of the earliest appearances of the phrase was in a U.S. newspaper in 1856:

“We can promise all who patronize us that they can always get a hearty welcome and ‘square meal’ at the ‘Hope and Neptune. Oyster, chicken and game suppers prepared at short notice.”

food-tv-dinner-green-giant-corn-ad

More literally square than figuratively square: the fifties TV dinner.

The rumors surrounding the term are more entertaining than its actual origin.

  • One such tale suggests that sailors used to eat off of square plates. The plates weren’t often filled all the way, but sometimes they would receive a large enough meal to fill the whole plate, making it a literal square meal. The Royal Navy did in fact serve meals on square plates, but the much later appearance of the phrase makes it unlikely that the Navy was the origin.
  • Another tale of medieval Britain suggests a square dinner plate with a bowl carved out in the middle to hold a serving of stew. Travelers would take this square with them in case they ran into some friendly neighborhood stew-cookers.
  • Yet another story suggests that the rigid way soldiers sat in the U.S. Military during meals formed a square shape, making a visit to the mess hall a square meal.

None of these tales are likely true, since “square meal” only showed up mid-19th century. But they make for good stories.

An 1865 edition of Harper’s New Monthly Magazine wrote about a mining town and said, “Says the proprieter of a small shanty, in letters that send a thrill of astonishment through your brain: ‘LOOK HERE! For fifty cents you CAN GET A GOOD SQUARE MEAL at the HOWLING WILDERNESS SALOON!”

The writer needed to explain that this meant a “substantial repast” of sustenance. Clearly “square meal” needed a little time to become familiar.

Sources:

Phrases.org.uk

World Wide Words

Sustainable Living: Kitchen Tips from the Great Depression

It just so happens that sustainable living practices coincide with times of recession.

It makes sense, when you think about it. During economic recession, saving money means using less – turning down the heat, making your own dinner, and using less fuel, being kind to the earth as a result.

In general, these practices also mean being healthier. It’s a 3-in-1 deal, and how can you say no to that?

The amount of things you can do to save energy are only as limited as your imagination. It just means reworking how you think. Do you really need to throw away that Ziplock bag, or can you reuse it?

Today’s tip: Make your own food.

(This goes along with our post about victory gardens! Growing your own vegetables, fruit and herbs is cheap and fun.)

Pre-made/frozen meals use more plastic & cardboard waste than home-cooked meals, not to mention all the added sugar & preservatives. Do your body and your wallet a favor: don’t buy prepared meals.

Just take a tip from YouTube star Clara, a 94-year-old cook who demonstrates meals that her mother made during the Great Depression. In her popular online show, she shows how to stretch ingredients to the furthest degree and still get a great meal out of it.

You can check out Clara’s videos and recipes here.

"Wilt-not waste-not" fresh vegetable care released from 1941-1945

“Wilt-not waste-not” fresh vegetable care released from 1941-1945

  • Cooking your own meals takes some planning. It may sound like a lot of work, but it’s easy once you get the hang of it. Plan out a week’s worth of meals, including leftovers, before you go to the grocery store. That’ll keep you from the temptation from buying unnecessary, unhealthy packaged food.
  • Fresh food is your friend! So are rice & pasta, good staples to keep in your pantry.
  • Reduce the amount of meat you use, or get rid of it altogether. Meat is more expensive than most other foods you’ll buy.

And there you have it. Some simple ideas to get the healthy train going. If you eat out constantly, try starting out with a couple cooked dinners a week, and see where it takes you!

Do you have any kitchen tips not mentioned here? Do your fellow sustainable cooks a favor and write your tips in the comments!

How to Start Your Own Victory Garden

Winter is on its way, but some of us are already dreaming of spring. And why not put that anticipation of spring to good use?

During World War I and World War II, the government promoted the creation of “victory gardens” or “war gardens”, vegetable, fruit and herb gardens planted on private property and public parks.

On a similar vein, Seattle, WA has confirmed plans to build a “Food Forest” full of fruit trees, herbs, and more, all available to the public free of charge.

Creating victory gardens helped with multiple things at once. The public food system was becoming overburdened, and if citizens created their own gardens, more factory food could be shipped to soldiers. They also made people feel like they were truly contributing to the war effort and boosted morale.

411px-INF3-96_Food_Production_Dig_for_Victory_Artist_Peter_Fraser

“A Victory Garden is like a share in an airplane factory. It helps win the War and pays dividends too.” -Claude R. Wickard

Victory gardens can be just as useful today – for slightly different reasons. With a growing movement toward at-home solutions, self-reliance, and locally grown foods, victory gardens fit right into place.

So how do you start your own? With perseverance, yard space, and some seeds.

  • Planning is important, which is why you should take the winter season to read up on gardening and the right plants for your area of the world.

408px-Deposit_Seed_Co_Victory_Garden_Catalog_1944_-_Flickr_-_USDAgov

  • Pick your plants. Which veggies, fruits or herbs do you eat the most often? If you’re new to gardening, which ones are the easiest to grow?
  • Decide where to plant your garden. Will you pick a nice patch in your backyard, or will you need to use creative containers like window boxes?

With some patience and reading up, a victory garden can be yours!

Sources:

Victory Garden Informational pdf
As usual, Wikipedia
Starting a Victory Garden
Wartime Educational Film

A History of Thanksgiving in 3 Minutes

Do you know the history behind one of the most popular American holidays?

The feast in Plymouth was only the start. Let us take you back in time for the real story behind Thanksgiving…

Thanksgiving is commonly attributed to a dinner in Plymouth, 1621, between the Pilgrims and Native Americans, incorporating a tradition from England called Days of Fasting and Days of Thanksgiving. Governor of Plymouth Plantation William Bradford declared a day of thanksgiving for the harvest they reaped, and invited the local Wampanoag Indians.

800px-Frances_Brundage_Thanksgiving

Due thanks we give and are thankful / for every heaping plateful!

Turkey is the one food that can be connected from this dinner today, as wild turkeys were a regular part of the diet at Plymouth that fall.

Pumpkin pie started its roots from English colonists. Pumpkin was introduced to Europe in the 1500s, added to the tradition of filling crusts with vegetables, and English cookbooks featured pumpkin pie recipes beginning in the 1600s.

It took a long time for the Plymouth feast to spark a regular tradition. In 1789 George Washington declared the first nationwide thanksgiving in America, “by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God,” but only for that year.

According to one source, the author of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” Sarah Josepha Hale pushed to make Thanksgiving a regular holiday, and perhaps as a result of her encouragement Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a formal holiday in 1863. He asked Americans to “set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving.” This was during the Civil War, a time when giving thanks was much needed.

Later, Roosevelt and Congress officially set Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November to cater to what every American’s mind is really on this time of year: to extend the Christmas shopping season. Black Friday, anyone?Thanksgiving_1900

Today, the President of the United States pardons a turkey every year right before the holiday, and that turkey will be free to roam farmland freely. In fact, the first recorded event of pardoning a turkey was not out of sympathy for the turkey but because of the turkey’s smaller size. President Kennedy sent his gift turkey back from the National Turkey Federation, saying “We’ll just let this one grow.”