Railroad Fried Rice etc.

James A. Landau JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Tue Jun 1 12:27:34 UTC 2004

In a message dated  Mon, 31 May 2004 17:39:53 EDT,   Bapopik at AOL.COM writes:

>     I dined at the Thai restaurant Sa-Way on First Avenue and East 77th
>  last night.  It has:
>  RAILROAD FRIED RICE 9.95--Marinated in our own very special red sauce, with
>  white meat chicken and succulent shrimp.
>     I usually don't associate railroads with fine dining.  No one goes into
>  the Four Seasons and asks for the "Amtrak Special."

On the contrary.  In the grand days of Pullman travel (say before WWII),
railroad dining cars had a reputation for fine cuisine.  It was mostly lost in the
post-WWII pre-Amtrak decline of railroad passenger service, but has not been
entirely lost.  (I met someone who would take the Southern Crescent from
Washington DC to Alexandria VA just to eat in the Crescent's dining car.)

I once tried, without success, to determine if hash-browns were invented by
railroad dining car chefs.


Which leads to the word "pax".  The National Railroad Passenger Corporation,
before it paid a New York advertising firm to invent the name "Amtrak", was
referred to as "Railpax".

Also it might be relevant to note that the Patuxent River Naval Air Station
in Maryland is commonly referred to as "Pax River" or simply as "Pax".


Back to dining, sort of.  My guess about "all stove up" is that it refers not
to camp stoves but to the stove wood that they burned, which has to be
chopped up into pieces small enough to fit into the stove.  Hence the wood (or so I
speculate) had to be "all stove up", with a natural extension to someone who
was beaten up or otherwise incapacitated as "all stove up".

       - Jim Landau

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