Saturday, February 17, 2007

Le Menu

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This is of absolutely no importance (unlike most of my other posts, huh) but does anyone remember Le Menu frozen dinners from the mid 1980s? They were a step up from the old Swanson-style TV dinners and served on a plastic white plate that you could throw into the oven. I don’t think they were microwavable. I, like a lot of people back then, didn’t even own a microwave so I’m not sure.

Anyway, as a 20-something single guy, I kind of liked them. They were convenient and tasted pretty good. I would always save the plate when I was done for some reason. They, the plates, were durable and reusable. I remember having huge stack of them at one point. And I wasn’t the only one. I’d see them in my friends kitchen cabinets all the time back then. There’s next to no information about Le Menus on the internet but I know they were a fairly big phenomenon back in the day.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

We must be of the same "vintage." I used to love those things (Le Menu) and I'm still using the plates today to take my lunch to work!

Fun post.

Dave said...

Oh yeah, I forget to mention those plates were indestructible and apparently have a life spanning decades.

Anonymous said...

yep still use the plates my self... and yes the are microwaveable....and dishwasher safe.. :-)

Anonymous said...

We're down to only 4 left. I wish I could purchase plates similar in size and construction. We use them every day.

logik said...

Those LeMenu plates were colored an off-yellow/beige when new. If you saved and reused them, they got even more yellowish with time. Often the dinner itself had left a stain...I remember orange from carrots. One of the saddest things to me was to see a home with those yellowed look-dirty-even-clean plates...it screams "packrat."

I remember wishing I could buy a no-plate version of LeMenu and save money and the environment. Or if they insist on adding plates to the cost, making them something you'd actually want to save, like out of glass or ceramic.

FeedingTime@TheZoo said...

So has anyone been able to find anything simular to the oblong plates? They are perfect for my husbands lunch box and microwavable. The last two we have are starting to break.

Colleen said...

My grandfather invented the "Le Menu" dinner line!

Anonymous said...

Colleen,then your grandfather was a smart man! I loved those dinners,especially the chicken parm.why did they stop making them? also my daughter is named Colleen.

Anonymous said...

If I remember right, there use to be a TV dinner brand called either top shelf or stove top, it might have been top shelf maid by stove top or Le menu that used these kind of plates that could be cooked in an oven (no higher than 350 degrees)or in a microwave oven.

I saved about 10-15 plates when I started saving then in the mid 80's and am now down to 4 plates left. Some one was wondering why the stopped making the entrees. Because the plates where getting to expensive to buy.

Anonymous said...

They made a entree call "Yankee Pot Roast" and where I lived they were selling it for almost 6 dollars and that was the equivilent of 15 dollar meal out by todays standards. When my family bought these they had to be shared. I never was able to enjoy one by myself.

Anonymous said...

The size and SHAPE of those plates are just perfect, with the right amount of slope to the edge.

I too am down to 3 of Le Menu and 1 of Stouffer's (slightly wider lip, same slope, same inner size). I'm willing to purchase several dozen. Quiksilv at aol dot com. Paypal direct --or just inform me they're up on eBay. I'LL PAY TOP DOLLAR FOR EITHER BRAND.

Donna M. Erwin said...

You guys are talking about oval plates. The ones I got were all round, about 7 1/2". I use them because I prefer the smaller size to the big plates. I read if you use a smaller plate, it fills up faster (of course), but your brain thinks there is more food (relative to the plate), so you think you're eating more than you actually are (helps to lose/not gain weight, which I need to lose). I have 7 but 2 are cracked. I am looking for them too.

Anonymous said...

Hi there. Just to let everybody know...I currently have an auction on ebay for 6 of the rectangular Le Menu type plates. It's ebay auction # 120430419015. Auction ends 6/11/09 at 7:00 PM PST . Thanks

Anonymous said...

Ohhhhh Noooooo!
Down to my last plate.

Le Menu in the days was probably the best frozen dinners out there.

Sharon said...

I too, am looking for some replacements for mine...down to about 4 of them now, and I too, am using a cracked one! That has to say something, about how good they are! BTW, if you have any kind of plastic container that hasd been stained from food, it can be restored quite nicely, by rubbing the item with lemon juice and set it out in sunlight for a few hours. It will clean most or all of the stain. Sometime you might have to do it twice for the best results.

Rock said...

I used to love these frozen meals and still to this day wish that I could make adish tasting as good as the shrimp scampi did.

After a late of bowling I would have a Le Menu meal and go to bed.
I'm really into food and recipes,you can check out my recipe blog if you wish to at
http://rocksrecipies.blogspot.com/

Kelly said...

Dave,
I also remember Le Menu frozen dinners and found your post while searching. I still have some Le Menu plates (2) with the covers and use them all the time - make up a dinner from left-overs - freeze it and microwave (yes, they're microwaveable)for a quick dinner.

Salty said...

Oh wow, I thot I was the only one with the plates. The 3 I have left are round = 1 white{4in}, 1 dark red {4in}, and 1 white round {3in}. I use them all the time.
Salty

Anonymous said...

Are there any of you leMenu individuals who are looking for those wonderful plastic plates from the 80's. I just found 10 of them at an auction and will be posting them on Tias.com next week where I have my site. Boy, are they popular along with Stouffer's plastic plates. Sold the last 4 I had for $20.00.

Nan said...

Bless him! I loved the chicken cordon blue with glazed carrots and orzo. Have to make it myself now. Wonderful memories!

Denver Todd said...

I have two Le Menu plates that I still use for eating. I like them because they are plastic and I can eat something on them without cooling the food down too quickly. Interestingly, on the back of one of the plates it says Armour.

Kay Gaugler said...

Hi.. I sell these exact plates on Ebay. I have hundreds of Le Menu plates for sale. And they are pretty cheap!. If you want to take a look my name on ebay is kbeau1 ;)

Kay Gaugler said...

My Plates look practically BRAND NEW! I literally have HUNDREDS of them to sell.