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.

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.

Yes, a few times. IME most places use boxes with lids for leftovers instead of aluminum foil.

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.

Yup, at a French place in Providence. The name escapes me, alas.

First I’ve heard of it. Anyone got links to pictures?

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

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.

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.

I guess because I associate “lower end” restaurants with sytrofoam to-go boxes or those foil trays with the paper lid.

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.

I have never in my life heard of this.

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…)

Requisite scene from The Sweetest Thing.

Yes, once or twice in my life. Only at very expensive restaurants.


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.

Foil swans are never used for anything in a sauce or liquid that might leek.

Well, no, you’d never wrap leeks in a foil swan :wink:

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…