A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“Tuesday is just Monday’s ugly sister” (3/27)
“Happiness is having a rare steak, a bottle of whisky—and a dog to eat the rare steak” (3/27)
“What whiskey will not cure, there is no cure for” (3/27)
“Good girls are made of sugar and spice. Country girls are made of whiskey on ice” (3/27)
“This whiskey tastes like I’m about to tell you how I really feel” (3/27)
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Entry from August 25, 2015
Brass Band, Without a Leader (beans without pork)

ENtry in progress—B.P.

Brooklyn Newsstand
3 July 1887, Brooklyn (NY) Daily Eagle, “Restaurant Calls,” pg. 13, col. 1:
“Brass band, without a leader” is a plate of beans without pork.

15 August 1897, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “A Feature of City Life: The Restaurants of the Metropolis and the Familiar Places One Sees,” pg. 21, col. 2:
And then a New Englander with a taste for baked beans without the pork is made to blush. “Brass band without the leader!” covers his case.

Chronicling America
6 November 1897, The Evening Star (Washington, DC), “Waiters and Their Ways,” pg. 14, col. 5:
On the Bowery.
“‘One with the light out’ is his yells for coffee without milk and beans minus pork is ‘a brass band without a leader.’”

Brooklyn Newsstand
15 November 1902, Brooklyn (NY) Daily Eagle, “The Buckwheat of To-day,” pg. 12, col. 4:
This means that the buckwheat season has come around again, and that guests who have for months been ordering “one on,” “coffee in the dark,” “white wings, sunny side up,” “one dyspepsia in a snowstorm,” “beef an’,” “brass band without a leader,” “one wheat an’ one sweet,” “make it punkin,” “mystery without onions” and “plate o’ wheat” are varying the round of etymological gayeties by commanding the waiter to “brown the bucks.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Tuesday, August 25, 2015 • Permalink