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:
“Why can’t someone look at me the same way I look at pizza?” (4/27)
“What’s the best place to buy Cheerios and donuts?"/"Hole Foods.” (4/26)
“Warning! The consumption of alcohol might cause you to think you can sing” (4/26)
“Life is basically all the stuff you have to do to get from coffee to wine time” (4/25)
“I respect faith, but doubt is what gets you an education” (4/25)
More new entries...

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


Entry from August 24, 2015
Sheeny Funeral (roast pork)

A “sheeny funeral” was 19th century restaurant slang for a plate of roast pork. “Sheeny” is slang for a Jew—a person whose religion forbids the eating of pork. “A plate of roast pork, but no gravy” was cited in print in 1886 as “One Sheeny funeral without a hearse.”

The restaurant slang term, along with most other restaurant slang, was seldom used by the 1940s.


Old Fulton NY Post Cards
30 June 1886, Marathon (NY) Independent, pg. 3, col. 4:
NOT EXACTLY A GUARANTEE.
Scene in a South Clark street (Chicago—ed.) restaurant: Enter an apt specimen of the Hebrew race, seats himself and says: “Vaiter, vaiter, pring me a plate of roast pork, but no gravy.” Waiter hurries away and roars out: “One Sheeny funeral without a hearse.” Then the old elo’ dealer suddenly remembers he has not finished his order, and orders a plate of biscuit with his roast pork. The waiter announces in a loud voice: “Send along the pall-bearers with that funeral.” And yet there are those who regret the lack of expression found in the English language.

Chronicling America
13 January 1891, Seattle (WA) Post-Intelligencer, pg. 9, col. 6:
How a Fakir Ordered Lunch.
Indianapolis News.
(...)
“Gimme a sheeny funeral, without any band, a couple of Pullman wheels—no, never mind the wheels, give me a Castle Garden, a stack of whites and a copper and some ink.”

To the ordinary mortal this would be more than unintelligible Greek, but not so with the attendant—he knew his business, and in a few seconds had placed before the hungry fakir a piece of boiled pork, a cheese sandwich, two fried eggs and a cup of coffee.

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:
A man from the moutains is given a shock after ordering roast pork without gravy when the shrill voice of the waiter awakens the echoes with, “Sheeny funeral without the hearse.”

Google Books
Valentine’s Manual of Old New York
By Henry Collins Brown
New York, NY: Valentine’s Manual, Incorporated
1925
Pg. 94:
“Eggs in the dark,” meant eggs fried on both sides, while the poetical term, “White wings, with the sunny side up,” was translated as eggs fried on one side, and “A sheeny funeral with two on horseback,” was roast pork and boiled potatoes.

Google Books
Inns and Outs
By Julius">Google BooksKeller
New York, NY: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
1939
Pg. 21:
They called pork chops without gravy “a sheeny funeral with the hearse.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Monday, August 24, 2015 • Permalink