Mixed grill and pineapple phosphate soda

1940s Astoria Café menu from when my grandparents, Annibale (Joe) and Francesca waited tables there {courtesy Old Brisbane Album}. With many American GIs in Brisbane at the time items like ‘Yankee Lemonade’ and ‘American Beauty sundae’ made it to the menu along with the expected ‘Mixed Grill’ type of fare and perhaps surprisingly – ‘Double Decker Spaghetti Sandwiches’! The Astoria Café was at the busy corner of Edward and Adelaide streets and an office building now sits at the spot – 243 Edward – though I dearly wish the Astoria was still there.


Filed under dishes + recipes, inspiration + history

6 responses to “Mixed grill and pineapple phosphate soda

  1. Leslie Price

    that menu is amazing to see,thanks so much Zoe for putting it up Buon Natale to you and your family Elizabeth

  2. Ian Rowland

    Great memories! The Aussie diggers used to say the Americans only had 3 faults: The were overpaid, over-sexed and over here! One riotous story goes about a Saturday night screening of Disney’s current screen hit BAMBI at the Wintergarden Theatre which was packed with Yanks and Aussie soldiers with their girlfriends. At the dramatic climax of the film when Bambi stands on a hilltop in the moonlight after his mother was shot and plaintively calls out…”Mother…Mother…Where is my mother?. You could have heard a pin drop until an Aussie from the back of the theatre called out “Probably out with a bloody Yank of course!” The place exploded in laughter!


    • Hi Ian, thanks for sharing! Yes, I can just imagine, especially when the theatre would have been packed on a Saturday night too. Interestingly, when I was researching this era to write about it in, Joe’s, I came across quite a few such incidences in Brisbane picture theatres during that era. It seems theatres and cafés were both places where the Australian and American soldiers had no choice but to mix and not always amicably due to several factors at the time! Warm wishes, Zoe

  3. Augusto di marco

    Hi! Zoe
    History is always alive.
    As memories are golden moments.
    And you are an amazing person, A Merry Christmas to you and your family.

    • Hi Augusto, seeing this menu certainly brought this little bit of my grandparents’ history as well as that of the Astoria Café that much closer. So good that one is still around. Thank you for your many kind comments throughout this year. Troppo gentile. Buon Natale to you and your family also. Auguri, Zoe x

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