Posted by Brian from Shawnee on July 12, 2005
I've searched the archives and nobody seems to have offered this explanation for the term "86'd" yet: At Delmonico's restaurant in New York City, the 86th item on the menu was the famous Delmonico steak. They ran out of this item so frequently that it became shorthand for anything they ran out of in the kitchen, and the term spread from there. I heard this just tonight, on the cable channel Food Network. There is also a web site for steak lovers that supports this theory. http://www.steakperfection.com/delmonico/Firsts.html
There's no actual proof offered, but the site includes some pretty interesting "firsts" for the Delmonico's restaurant.