Texas Guinan: Gonfarone's 50-Cent-Special
The year was 1908. Texas Guinan was living on the same shabby block as 61 Washington Square South, a boarding house whose lodgers included aspiring authors such as Willa Cather, John Dos Passos, Max Bodenheim, and Stephen Crane. Since Texas was spending many hours at unpaid rehearsals, listening to her stomach growl, neighbors confided that you could get a decent meal at Gonfarone's for a few cents.
***50-Cent-Meal, Gonfarone's Restaurant, New York, 1920s***
A pint of California red wine, assorted antipasto, minestrone or spaghetti with meat or tomato sauce, choice of main dishes (boiled salmon with caper sauce; sweetbread with mushroom gravy; broiled spring chicken or roast prime ribs of beef), vegetables and salads (spinach, potatoes, green salad), a dessert (biscuit, tortoni or spumoni), fresh fruit, assorted cheeses, and coffee [a 'demi-tasse'].
Photo: Hotel Gonfarone, 38 West 8th Street at MacDougal Street [circa 1913]