Alcatraz's Menu From 1946 Sounds Delicious (and Super Fancy for Prison Food)

San Francisco exhibition "Alcatraz: The Last Day" has surfaced a really fancy inmate menu from years ago

By John Boone Aug 12, 2013 11:15 PMTags

These days, you're lucky to get a Tampon McMuffin or a "burrito" made from toilet water and a ramen packet in prison (a statement we make after watching lots of movies and TV about prison).

One (hilariously haughty) three-star Yelp review for San Quentin proves that it's not five-star dining: "The potatoes had lumps in them and the edges got cold pretty fast, so I felt I had to rush through eating them or they wouldn't stay warm for very long. It didn't OCCUR to them that maybe I wanted to take my time? Why don't they serve them just a LITTLE hotter, then there would be no problem.  As for the lumps I guess they were pieces of potato, but still, lumps are weird no matter what."

But this doesn't always seem to have been the case. Inside Scoop SF has resurfaced a menu from Alcatraz, showing what would be served up in the cafeteria from Sept. 2 to 8, 1946.

Baked croquettes?! Watermelon? Do you even know what purée mongole is?! We didn't! But it sounds fancy as hell (it's a creamed split pea-tomato soup, for the record).

Look at these menu options:


Monday (Lunch)

-Split Pea Soup

-Roast Shoulder of Pork

-Sage Dressing

-Brown Gravy

-Mashed Potatoes

-Stewed Corn

-Apple Pie

-Bread & Coffee w/ Milk

Tuesday (Dinner)

-Puree Mongole

-Chili Con Carne

-Steamed Rice

-Lettuce Salad

-Layer Cake

-Bread & Coffee


Wednesday (Lunch)

-Mexican Soup

-Beef Pot Pie Anglaise

-Tomato Catsup

-Buttered Beets

-Cole Slaw

-Bread & Tea

Thursday (Breakfast)

-Stewed Peaches

-Hot Griddle Cakes




-Coffee w/ Milk

Friday (Dinner)

-Potato Chowder

-Two Fried Eggs

-Fried Potatoes

-Zucchini SAute

-Iced Cup Cakes

-Bread & Coffee w/ Milk


Saturday (Dinner)

-Minestrone Soup

-Bacon Jambalaya

-Tomato Saute

-Cucumber & Onion Salad

-Orange Jello

-Bread & Coffee

Sunday (Lunch)

-Rice Tomato Soup

-Pounded Beef Steak

-Pan Gravy

-Mashed Potatoes

-Corn on the Cob

-Bread & Coffee

Pancakes! Steak! Breakfast for dinner on Fridays!

Sign us up!

If you want to take part in the Alcatraz eating experience—because you're a history buff or because it's a lot nicer than what you usually eat—the Embarcadero Center Hyatt in San Francisco is celebrating the "Alcatraz: The Last Day" photo exhibit with a special themed dinner. 

The three-course meal, ringing in at $28 (the inmates got it for free) includes such items as clam chowder, meatloaf and salad and runs Aug. 8 through Sept. 2.