Friday, March 18, 2022

Dinty Moore's Rendezvous Restaurant, Chicago, Formerly Famous in Willow Springs, Illinois.

Dinty Moore, Restaurateur.
On March 7, 1914, brothers William Moore and James Moore Jr. opened an Irish eatery and pub at 216 West 46th Street, New York City. Family members lived above the restaurant. They shortly opened a second location at 161 West 23rd Street, also in Manhatten.
It was named by owner James Moore after the saloon where Jiggs hung out in the famous comic strip "Bringing Up Father." The George McManus comic strip was about a stereotypical Irish-American, who became rich by winning the Irish Sweepstakes, and his social-climbing wife started in 1913. The comic strip was so popular that many Irish men named Moore were suddenly called Dinty.

After opening the restaurant, James Moore, who began calling himself Dinty, was notorious in the 1920s for his flagrant disregard of Prohibition (1920-1933), which endeared him with the hard-drinking celebrity crowd. The restaurant was best known for its Irish stew, made from kosher beef and lamb, and the Corned Beef and Cabbage plate (original recipes below).

Early newspaper reports confirm this establishment was frequently violating the Volstead Act (aka Prohibition). References in the 1920s confirm the place was known as "Dinty Moore's," but they are fuzzy about which brother was "Dinty." Subsequent references confirm James was the proud owner of the "Dinty" moniker. 

Newspaper accounts paint Dinty Moore's as a popular hangout catering to celebrities and business moguls. Presumably, its reputation as a speakeasy generated a devoted clientele, and George McManus was a frequent patron. It's unknown when the restaurant was officially named Dinty Moore. 

Dinty Moore's Rendezvous Restaurant, Chicago
Dinty Moore's Rendezvous, 1332 West 69th Street, Chicago, Illinois.
Dinty Moore's Rendezvous, 1332 West 69th Street, Chicago, Illinois.

There were several other "Dinty Moore" restaurants throughout the country, but they were not related. Most of these Dinty Moore restaurants used the original Dinty Moore Corned Beef & Cabbage and Irish Stew recipes (scroll down).
Dinty Moore Restaurant, McMinnville, Tennessee.

Compiled by Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D.

Original Dinty Moore Corned Beef & Cabbage Recipe
This is the original Dinty Moore Corned Beef & Cabbage recipe from James Moore. Circa 1915, New York City.

NOTE: Only Use Beef Brisket cut. Corned Beef is boiled in pickling spices (a brine) and requires a lot of boiling. As a supper or dinner dish, it's usually served with boiled cabbage and potatoes, and a chuck of Irish Soda Bread. As a sandwich, it usually served on rye bread with its natural condiment, mustard; it needs no other. 

FYI: The difference between corned beef and pastrami is corned beef is boiled while pastrami is peppered and smoked. Up to the late 1980s, most Chicagoland delicatessens boiled their own beef briskets, fifteen briskets at a time. It was very rare to find a deli that smoked their own briskets for pastrami, but some smokehouses did..

  • Place the beef brisket in cold water, bring to a boil, boil for 3 1/2 hours, and skim the water every 20 minutes. 
  • Add Pickling Spices of your choice per directions per volume. (McCormick was the standard unless the deli was kosher.)
  • Add fresh boiling water if necessary to keep beef covered. 
  • Fifteen minutes before it is finished, add 1 lb. of granulated sugar for every 20 lbs. of beef. 
  • Allow beef to cool in the water it was boiled in for 1½ hour. 
  • Place cabbage in cold water with a piece of pork.
  • Boil for 18 to 20 minutes. 
  • Remove pot from the fire and heat up when wanted. (will stay white for 24 hours.) 
Dinty always served boiled potatoes and carrots with a pinch of parsley (traditional) with his corned beef & cabbage.

  • Wash good-sized Irish potatoes (if you can find them); substitute with Idaho or Red potatoes.
  • Do not remove the skins. 
  • Boil in the brine water until 'hard boiled' — 25-35 minutes (only add a touch of salt).
  • Keep skins intact and dry potatoes in the oven for about 20 minutes. 
  • Serve with a lot of butter.

Original Dinty Moore Irish Stew Recipe
or "Irish Stew a la Dinty Moore." 
George Rector, the famous Rector's restaurant chef in New York City, shared the recipe below. Both friends, Rector and Moore, were renowned restaurateurs and probably shared recipes and clientele.
Irish Stew a la Dinty Moore.

"This is what Jim 'Dinty' Moore did when I first smelled the Irish stew steaming out of his kitchen. It's the same Dinty Moore, who was immortalized by George McManus, whose corned beef and cabbage Jiggs was sure to be eating when he could get away from Maggie. 

  • 1 pound Kosher beef chuck
  • 3 pounds shoulder of lamb
  • 1 pound breast of lamb
  • 4 medium-sized potatoes
  • 6 medium-sized carrots
  • 2 medium-sized green peppers, diced
  • 1/4 cup leeks
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup canned tomato pulp
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon A-1 sauce
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup cooked green peas
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • Trim all the fat you can from the meat. 
  • Cut all the meat in pieces two inches square.
  • Start the beef cooking in enough water to cover the meat.
  • Simmer one hour. 
  • Trim all the fat you can from the meat. 
  • Cut all the meat in pieces two inches square.
  • Simmer the lamb in enough water to cover the meat. 
  • Skim the fat off the top of the boiling water from time to time. 
  • Simmer 30 minutes. 
  • Combine: Carrots cut in quarters, Green Peppers, Onions (white or yellow), Leeks, and Celery.
  • Simmer for another 1/2 hour.
  • Add the seasonings with the tomato pulp into the stew.
  • Continue cooking for 10 more minutes. 
Serve with a garnish of green peas and parsley.

[1] Dinty Moore was not the name of the stew's creator, Jay Catherwood Hormel (1892-1954), son of George A. Hormel, founder of the US company that produced it. The 24-ounce tins of stew were initially known by the company name "Hormel Beef Stew" in 1936. 

However, Hormel entered into an agreement with C.F. Witt & Sons, a large grocery and meat firm in Minneapolis, to sell and distribute its meat products under the Dinty Moore trademark, which C.F. Witt already owned. Witt, in turn, was granted the right to sell other food products that were not canned goods under the Dinty Moore name. But Hormel's use of the name was soon challenged. 
It turned out that Dinty Moore was the name of a character in that gag strip Bringing Up Father, an epic comedy of husband-and-wife strife first appearing in 1913. Hormel appeared to be infringing upon the rights of the cartoons strip's creator, Geroge McManus (1884-1954). It was decided that there was no direct competition between Dinty Moore the stew and Dinty Moore, the cartoon character. Hormel did not violate McMannus' rights or those of his publishers, King Features. 

MacManus later revealed that he got the name of the corner saloon owner Dinty Moore from that of a bellhop in a St. Louis hotel.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, great stuff as always. I love reading your posts. I already copied and saved the Dinty Moore recipes!


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