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#1
Old 06-16-2011, 11:33 AM
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Ever Receive a Foil Swan?

The Archer thread reminded me of a recurring gag, that every time someone eats out, they're in the next scene holding a foil swan containing their leftovers. I've never eaten at a place that did the foil swan thing, but then I'm not doing a whole lot of high-end dining. But the idea of the foil swan had made it far enough that it's immediately identifiable to me what it is and what it contains.

Ever get a foil swan with your leftovers? Or a foil anything shaped? Typing this reminds me that, back in the day, when you wanted your food wrapped the kitchen would usually just dump it on some foil, wrap it, and return it to you in a wax paper bag that often had a picture of a dog on it. I suppose that, pre-microwave, "doggie bags" actually were for the dog as often as not. I don't know when the expectations that you'd get some form of take-out container really took hold but I can't imagine getting a foil wad of food in a doggie bag these days from even family restaurant style establishments.
#2
Old 06-16-2011, 11:35 AM
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Sometimes as a little kid my parents would bring them back for me when they had gone out to a place they obviously didn't want to take a little kid to. But I haven't seen them in a very long time.
#3
Old 06-16-2011, 11:37 AM
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Yes, a few times. IME most places use boxes with lids for leftovers instead of aluminum foil.
#4
Old 06-16-2011, 11:41 AM
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I was thinking that as well, that these days the panache of a foil swan would be outweighed by the convenience of a decent foil tray with paper lid. Hard to look classy with crab juice leaking out of a swan and onto your pant leg.
#5
Old 06-16-2011, 11:46 AM
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Yup, at a French place in Providence. The name escapes me, alas.
#6
Old 06-16-2011, 11:58 AM
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First I've heard of it. Anyone got links to pictures?
#7
Old 06-16-2011, 12:08 PM
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With SafeSearch on, the Google Images result for "Foil Swan" returns some pics including stills from Archer.

Supposed "real life" foil swan
Still from Archer
#8
Old 06-16-2011, 01:35 PM
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I've gotten one but I'll be damned if I can remember where. I think it may have been St. Elmo's in Indianapolis.
#9
Old 06-16-2011, 01:39 PM
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Not sure why they're being associated with fancy restaurants. I used to wait tables at a Lone Star Steakhouse in college, and we'd make them. They're absurdly easy to create.
#10
Old 06-16-2011, 01:58 PM
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I guess because I associate "lower end" restaurants with sytrofoam to-go boxes or those foil trays with the paper lid.
#11
Old 06-16-2011, 02:17 PM
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I've gotten them at very "old-fashioned" restaurants, the kind that used to be classy but are now a little stuffy and moth-eaten.
#12
Old 06-16-2011, 02:22 PM
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I have never in my life heard of this.
#13
Old 06-16-2011, 02:26 PM
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The one time I can remember receiving one was at a fairly classy restaurant up in Minneapolis,about 15 years ago.

Much hilarity ensued when, on the drive back to our hotel, the recipient of the foil swan opened up the car window, stuck the head of the foil swan out the open window, then closed the window, decapitating the poor bird. (Yes, some alcohol had been imbibed...)

Last edited by kenobi 65; 06-16-2011 at 02:27 PM.
#14
Old 06-16-2011, 02:29 PM
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Requisite scene from The Sweetest Thing.
#15
Old 06-16-2011, 02:32 PM
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Yes, once or twice in my life. Only at very expensive restaurants.
#16
Old 06-16-2011, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suranyi View Post
Yes, once or twice in my life. Only at very expensive restaurants.
+1
#17
Old 06-16-2011, 02:47 PM
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The Jumer's hotels in Illinois always wrapped up your leftover mini-cinnamon rolls in foil swans. You may have even been able to order that as take away (after finishing a sit down meal of course). Management might have changed hands since then, or they've been bought out, but in the eighties and nineties they were a higher end hotel and restaurant. I must have carried away a half dozen foil swans. They likely used them for other leftovers, but I only remember the little cinnamon rolls.
#18
Old 06-16-2011, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jophiel View Post
I was thinking that as well, that these days the panache of a foil swan would be outweighed by the convenience of a decent foil tray with paper lid. Hard to look classy with crab juice leaking out of a swan and onto your pant leg.
Foil swans are never used for anything in a sauce or liquid that might leek.
#19
Old 06-16-2011, 02:56 PM
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Well, no, you'd never wrap leeks in a foil swan
#20
Old 06-16-2011, 04:41 PM
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Hey, this is my first post! About a foil swan! I got one about five years ago at a restaurant in Malibu that overlooks the water more or less. Not a fancy place...
#21
Old 06-16-2011, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Leaffan View Post
I have never in my life heard of this.
Ditto.
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#22
Old 06-16-2011, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Excellent View Post
Yup, at a French place in Providence. The name escapes me, alas.

I remember Al Forno in Providence used to do the foil swan thing.
#23
Old 06-16-2011, 06:13 PM
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From that Google Images link, I get the impression that there are foil swans that are actually used to store leftovers, and foil swans that are made to be artistic and look like actual swans, but that there's little overlap between the two. I might have gotten "doggy bags" that looked like some of those, but it never would have occurred to me that they were "swans".
#24
Old 06-16-2011, 07:17 PM
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This one here appears to be a legitimate "leftovers swan" which not only looks swan-esque but also incorporates a tray within it. Which answers my "How is this better than a take-out tray?" question.
#25
Old 06-16-2011, 07:20 PM
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My parents came home once from a Mom-and-Dad-only night out at some fancy-shmancy restaurant in Palm Springs with foil swans. I was SO jealous. I'd never seen anything so beautiful! (I was about 12 at the time.)

On a similar note, there used to be a steakhouse in Seal Beach (CA) that shaped the foil leftovers like a steer head with horns. Very cool. Easy to do, too, when your leftovers are just meat.

I think the chain "Lone Star" is still around, I just haven't been since the one in SB closed.
#26
Old 06-16-2011, 08:05 PM
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I once received an pe goose

...runs away...
#27
Old 06-17-2011, 08:22 PM
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I definitely have, but can't remember where from (which worries me -- manufactured memory?).

I would wager it was somewhere between age 10-17, on a vacation "out west" with my family (Colorado, California, Montana). We took a few such vacations around that time because I had sisters at colleges out west, and we tended to dine "upscale" at least once or twice each trip.

I vaguely recall not understanding why my leftovers came as a weird foil lump until my mother explained it was supposed to be a swan.
#28
Old 06-17-2011, 08:39 PM
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Yes, but not in a while. I don't even remember where, I just remember laughing that I got a foil swan when I'd only seen them on TV.
#29
Old 06-17-2011, 09:25 PM
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I've probably made thousands. After college (early 90s) I worked at an expensive restaurant in Williamsburg, VA. Most customers seemed inordinately tickled to get their leftovers that way. I remember once a customer didn't have any leftovers but was jealous of the swans he saw at other tables so I sent him home with an empty swan.

I know we used to make other animals sometimes if we were feeling whimsical. For some reason I was very fond of foil crabs. Maybe I used those for seafood?

Last edited by carlotta; 06-17-2011 at 09:26 PM.
#30
Old 06-17-2011, 10:58 PM
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I've gotten them several times. I've also tried making them myself a couple times but failed miserably.
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