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The Pen & Pencil Club Has Always Been Amazing

This menu from a 1906 press dinner might involve a cream cheese course and definitely involves cigarette pairings.

The Pen & Pencil Club — the actual press association — is the oldest group of its kind, founded in 1892. However, the club has not always inhabited the notorious Latimer Street dive as we know it now — over the years, the club has had five different homes.

An after-hours refuge for journalists and the service industry alike, the Pen & Pencil has no shortage of defenders who will tell you in no uncertain terms: It's amazing. And while we can't now know exactly what each previous iteration was like, this menu from a 1906 press dinner hosted at the Pen & Pencil has us thinking that it's always been a little bit amazing:

Courtesy of the NY Public Library

We'll admit, we're not exactly experts on the turn-of-the-century table, but we think that means the cheese course was just a slab of cream cheese. (Hey, it was a delicacy then, we think!) No matter. We demand the prompt return of pairing progressions that culminate in cigarettes. We would also demand that "consomme a la Pen & Pencil Club" be restored to the club's current menu immediately, except we suspect that might just be a euphemism for hot dog water. We are reminded of this NPR story about how no table used to be complete without a dish of plain celery. Most of all, we are smitten.

The Pen & Pencil Club

1522 Latimer St, Philadelphia, PA 19102 (215) 731-9909 Visit Website

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