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.

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Entry from June 13, 2016
“How do you order food at a Muslim restaurant?"/"Allah carte.”

"À la carte” sounds like “Allah carte, prompting the pun:

Q: How do you order food at a Muslim restaurant?
A: Allah carte.


The “Allah carte” joke has been cited in print since at least 1930, when it was published in a college humor magazine and widely reprinted.


Wikipedia: À la carte
À la carte /ɑːləˈkɑːrt/ is an English language loan phrase meaning “according to the menu.” It was adopted from French in the early 19th Century and refers to “food that can be ordered as separate items, rather than part of a set meal.”

The phrase is used in reference to a menu of items priced and ordered separately, i.e., the usual operation of restaurants. This is in contrast to a table d’hôte, where a menu has limited or no choice of items and is served at a fixed price.

6 July 1930, Sunday American-Statesman (Austin, TX), “College Humor,” magazine, pg. 9, col. 1:
“This must be a Mohammedan restaurant/ Says here, ‘Meas served Allah carte.’”
-- Chicago Phoenix.

Google Books
The Selected Verse of Ogden Nash
By Ogden Nash
New York, NY: Random House
1946
Pg. 122:
Take heart! Kismet indeed! Nobody can make me grateful for Paris green in the soup just by reassuring me that it comes that way Allah carte.

5 October 1955, Los Angeles (CA) Times, “Cityside” with Gene Sherman, pt. 1, pg. 2, col. 1:
According to Miss Robin Raymond, there’s an Arabian restaurant where you can order a complete dinner or Allah carte.

Google Groups: rec.music.dementia
Demented Datebook August 23
David Tanny
8/23/02
(...)
Still Another Random Thought…
“Eat here - Allah carte”

Twitter
Karl Webster
‏@kp_webster
Ha! #holyfood An Allah Carte Menu. (via @editoriale )
3:51 PM - 21 Jun 2009

Twitter
Nick Chowdrey
‏@nickchef88
Q: What do you call a Muslim restaurant without a set menu?
A: Allah Carte.
#islamjokes
4:17 AM - 3 Jul 2013

Twitter
Jowan Mounsey
‏@JowanMounsey
Went to a halal restaurant. Ordered allah carte.
3:40 PM - 5 Mar 2015

Twitter
Ian Marshall
‏@Two_Tents
I went to a Muslim restaurant and ordered from the Allah carte menu.
6:29 AM - 9 Jul 2015

reddit
How do you order food at a Muslim restaurant?
submitted June 13, 2016 by relaxyourshoulders
Allah carte.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityRestaurants/Bars/Bakeries/Food Stores • Monday, June 13, 2016 • Permalink