Title: A Century of Restaurants: Stories and Recipes From 100 of America's Most Historic and Successful RestaurantsAuthor: Rick Browne
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Publication Date: October 15, 2013
How I Got It: Razonia McClellan PR
New restaurants are a dime a dozen, but sprinkled throughout the United States are remarkable restaurants filled with rich American history and delicious dishes that have kept people coming back for decades. Author and TV host Rick Browne shares this amazing history and some of the country's most coveted recipes in his new cookbook, A Century of Restaurants: Stories and Recipes from 100 of America's Most Historic and Successful Retaurants. In a A Century of Restaurants, Browne profiles 100 restaurants, all at least a century old- and in some cases, 200 or more years old. From the oldest restaurant in the US (White Horse Tavern in Newport, Rhode Island, which began serving hungry folks "Stewed Pompion" and "Roast Beef-Stake" in 1673) to the youngest centenarian (The Pleasant Point Inn, a famed resort in Lovell, Maine, which began its long run in 1911,) each restaurant played a major part in shaping US culinary culture. They represent the best of family traditions, have provided jobs for millions of people, entertained and fed millions more, and in many ways define what we call American hospitality. Throughout his 46,066-mile journey to visit America's oldest restaurants, Brown talked to the owners, the chefs and cooks, the waiters and busboys, the customers who return year after year, and the folks who have just walked in the door or the first time, looking for the magic that has kept people coming into their dining rooms for ten decades or more. Readers can take a step back in time as they immerse themselves in the food history that shaped our country, prepare the recipes that sustained the restaurants throughout the years, and reminisce about years gone by with the unique photography featured in A Century of Restaurants.
First of all, this book is gorgeous. It is a hardback, 400-plus page book that is fit for a coffee table. Filled with tons of pictures, recipes, and interesting facts, it allows readers to take a trip across the United States and visit 100 different restaurants. My restaurant visits are restricted to a radius of a few miles near my home, with an occasional trip further into the city. Rick Browne traveled for the readers like me, bringing an insider's view and gossip. Statistically restaurants only have a 50% success rate, but each of the restaurants featured have succeeded for 100-200 years! It's reasonable to say that any establishment in business for such an extended amount of time will have its own full history. Each restaurant indeed has a story (or two,) some are shocking and some are hilarious. Special cups of coffee during Prohibition, dishes named after famous locals, and story after story of community love and support for historic restaurants fill this delicious book. Some people visit cities for cultural events or sightseeing, but I always want to try the restaurants. This book would be a great gift for anyone with a love of food and American history.
** I was given this book in exchange for an honest review **