This menu is only relevant to Chicago because it is from an article in a magazine that was widely read here in the Midwest. It not only was one of the first descriptions of a Chinese meal that most local European-Americans could have seen but it included the names of dishes in Chinese characters as well as in translation.
The title of the article was “A Chinatown Dinner, Eaten by Americans, and Said to Have Been Much Enjoyed.” The dinner had been hosted by one Col. Robert M. Floyd at a restaurant on “Pele” (i.e., Pell) Street in New York’s Chinatown, “under special instructions from the Chinese consul.” Ivory chopsticks were supplied along with porcelain spoons and ordinary forks.
The writer says that the guest’s favorite dish was suey be-gop, “delightfully prepared” pigeon. Their least favorite was boiled abalone, described (to Easterners and Midwesterners ignorant of Pacific seafood) as “a dish that takes three days to cook and then is tougher than ever; it is a shell fish with characteristics of rubber shoe.”
Good Housekeeping, vol 24, pp 234-5, 1897