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America Eats Out: An Illustrated History of Restaurants, Taverns, Coffee Shops, Speakeasies, and Other Establishments That Have Fed Us for 350 Years Hardcover – October, 1991

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Mariani ( The Dictionary of American Food & Drink ) surveys American dining from the inns of the Revolutionary era to the food fashions of the 1990s, showing how Americans have found themselves attracted to eating out by a progression of "good ideas." He reveals how innovations, such as the elegant menu choice and flexible hours of Delmonico's in New York City, circa 1837, the lunch wagon in Providence, Rhode Island, of 1872, and the showmanship of Maxwell's Plum in New York City, founded in 1966, have helped to change American expectations and eating habits. The author also looks lovingly at the wide variety of American eateries and at how they grew, including the origins of diners and fast food, as well as how continental gave way to nouvelle in haute cuisine. And though Mariani rather rushes from trend to trend and from historical sketch to anecdote, readers intrigued by popular culture at its most (and least) delicious won't want to put the book down.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

In a brisk, chronological narrative, Mariani, Esquire's food and travel correspondent, surveys American eateries from menu-less Colonial taverns to Delmonico's opulent Paris-style restaurant in early 19th-century New York to Bern's, a garish and extravagant Tampa steakhouse that he calls ``the most remarkable [and] one of the most famous restaurants in the entire world.'' Mariani's straightforward history has little in common with another recent survey, the Sterns' wittier, more entertaining American Gourmet (p. 1004). Much of the author's material appears to be recycled from more specific popular histories such as those listed in his bibliography; and his commentary and summary judgments (on Italian immigrant food, for example) are generally pat and conventional. Still, Mariani knows how to highlight salient aspects of a trend or establishment, and his perfectly readable narrative abounds in diverting facts, quotes, anecdotes, and profiles. (Did you know, for example, that the first golden arches, made for a Phoenix McDonald's that opened in 1953, are now on permanent exhibit at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan? Or that the famous ``21'' Club began as a high-class speak-easy to replace a predecessor, ``No. 42,'' that was displaced by Rockefeller Center, and closed with a lavish, bang-up New Year's Eve demolition party?) For libraries, Mariani's account can function further as a handy time-line of American gastronomy; and, not least, the 200 b&w photos to come promise a banquet for browsers. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 285 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow & Co; 1st edition (October 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688099963
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688099961
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 8.5 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,408,892 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Mariani is an author and journalist of 30 years standing, having begun his writing for New York Magazine in 1973. Since then, he has become known as one of America's premiere food writers (a three-time nominee for the James Beard Journalism Award) and author of several of the most highly regarded books on food in America today.
In 2012 Saveur Magazine won as ASME award for its "Italian-American" issue for which Mariani wrote the lead article. His first book, The Dictionary of American Food & Drink (Ticknor & Fields, 1983) was hailed as the "American Larousse Gastronomique" and was chosen "best reference book on food for 1983" by Library Journal. After a decade when the book was declared a "classic" of American food studies, Hearst Books issued a completely revised edition in 1994. In 1999 Lebhar-Friedman published a revised, expanded version entitled The Encyclopedia of American Food & Drink, of which he is currently writing the fifth edition, to be published by Bloomsbury.
Mariani' s second book. Eating Out: Fearless Dining in Ethnic Restaurants (Quill, 1985) was called by Food & Wine Magazine "a diner's manual to guerilla tactics for restaurant survival." His third book, Mariani's Coast-to-Coast Dining Guide (Times Books, 1986), which he edited, was widely acclaimed as the American counterpart to France's Guide Michelin. His next book, America Eats Out (William Morrow, 1991) won the International Association of Cooking Professionals Award for Best Food Reference Book. From 1989 through 1999 Mariani co-authored annual editions of Passport to New York Restaurants (Passport Press) and was editor of Italian Cuisine: Basic Cooking Techniques (Italian Wine & Food Institute), which became the textbook for Italian cooking studies at the Culinary Institute of America, and he has written the food and restaurant sections of the Encyclopedia of New York City (The New-York Historical Society and Yale University Press, 1995) and contributed entries to Chronicle of America (Chronicle Publications).
Mariani's other books include The Four Seasons: A History of America's Premier restaurant (Crown, 1997; revised 1999); Vincent's Cookbook (Tenspeed Press, 1995), with chef Vincent Guérithault; The Dictionary of Italian Food & Drink (Broadway Books, 1998) which was nominated for an IACP award; and, with Marie Rama, Grilling for Dummies (IDG Books), which first appeared in 1999 and was revised in 2009.
His newest books are How Italian Food Conquered the World (Palgrave-MacMillan, 2011), which just won the Goumand World Cookbooks Award for the USA 2011, and the Italian Cuisine Worldwide Award 2012. He co-authored Menu Design in America: 1850-1985 (Taschen Books, 2011). He was host for the TV series "Crazy for Food," which played on national PBS stations.
Mariani received his Phd in English from Columbia U. He lives in Tuckahoe NY with his wife, artist Galina Stepanoff-Dargery Mariani. He has two sons, Misha and Christopher.

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By Ronald B. Smith on April 10, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Foodies will love this book.
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