The earliest earliest print reference found by FoodTimeline.org was published in the Eureka [California] Humboldt Standard of August 14, 1964: “An entrée in restaurants in Portland [Oregon] is called surf and turf—a combination of lobster and steak.”
However, there is a second claim, without printed proof, that the same dish by the same name was served at the Sky City restaurant, in the Space Needle, at the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair.
The dish is called “Reef and Beef” in Australia. Evidently, ostentatious displays are not limited to the U.S.
Modern Riffs On Surf & Turf
Don”t be constrained by lobster and steak. Pick your favorite seafood and meats: crab cake, crab legs, scallops or shrimp with lamb chops or pork chops, for example.
Or, enjoy a hot dog in a bun paired with lobster, shrimp or tuna salad in a bun, a clam roll or lobster roll.
Fish and chips with a tasty sausage also has its appeal. As does crab cake and ribs.
We could fill the Leap Days for the rest of our life with different options, and not run out.
Happy Surf & Turf Day!
[Updated February 2012]