From WarToad’s great find, https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=wu.89034680512;view=1up;seq=132 an online pdf of Hine’s 1959 edition:
Valle’s Steakhouse-Various Locations-MAINE+-Ah Valle’s…another great growing thriving group of successful restaurants that followed the blueprint to failure from HOWARD JOHNSON’S. Once had it’s own cattle ranch and served more beef and Maine lobsters than anyone in the US. Turned over to unprepared family members and boom….out of business and in debt. Was a favorite of our family…in Maine and at the Springfield, Virginia outpost.
Of the Old Talbott Tavern in Bardstown, Kentucky, Duncan Hines wrote in the 1941 guidebook that it was known as, “The Old Stone Inn,” and that it had been “in operation continuously since 1779. Its old fireplaces, heavy ceiling timbers, deep-set windows, the curious oil paintings discovered in one of the rooms—in fact, the entire building is extremely interesting. The “host” has renovated the inn without spoiling it. His specialty is country ham and fried chicken.”
In March 1998 the restaurant had a fire that did a lot of damage to the inn on the second floor. I believe most of those “curious oil paintings” went up in smoke. It reopened in November 1999. I would travel across the state in years past to eat that country ham; it was sliced razor thin and served cold, which is the best way to enjoy it. After the fire, they quit serving it, and I stopped going there as much. Most of their fare is just a little better than average, although last time I was there couple of years ago, it had improved. The restaurant also has the distinction of having the oldest beer license in the state.
We have gone there a few times in recent years since we camp at My Old Kentucky Home State Park campground a lot while taking in the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. I would rate the food as upscale bar food. They serve a decent Hot Brown. Their real distinction is they serve, I think, about 57 brands of Bourbon. There may be other places in Kentucky that do that but I doubt many and probably no where close outside of Kentucky.
I’ll be having dinner in Bardstown at http://www.bardstownmenus.com/PDF-menus/KurtzRestaurant.pdf Kurtz Restaurant during my visit to Kentucky next month, but I will stop at Talbotts for a beer, or a bourbon or both
I think the Middlebury Inn in Middlebury, Vermont should be included on the list. It was in some of Duncan Hines’ first guidebooks in the mid-1930s. From what I can tell, their restaurant seems to be carrying on the quality that Hines was recommending to weary travelers.
It’s almost as if a Surviving Fred Harvey Restaurants thread is called for…[;)]
In the early 1960s my mom worked at the Fred Harvey located in the Belvidere (IL) Oasis on I-90.
The Williamsburg Lodge in Williamsburg, Virginia was a Duncan Hines recommended restaurant. Hines didn’t say much about this place. He wrote that it was a “splendid new modern lodge” and that it “was designed and equipped to provide moderately priced rooms and meals.”
Today it is a Marriott hotel, and the website can be a nightmare; it is as slow as Christmas. See for yourself:
Maybe I caught it on a bad day.
Nevertheless, here is a lunch menu that shows what they have to offer. They have peanut soup, something that all roadfooders visiting this area need to try at least once before they die.
Commander’s Palace is listed in the 1961 edition of Adventures in Good Eating (p. 136). The guidebook says, “This is one of New Orleans’ historic old places. Specialties: Soft shell turtle stew, crabmeat Imperiale, stuffed flounder.
I went through guidebooks from the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s and could find nothing for Bern’s Steakhouse.
Within the boundaries of Letchworth State Park in in Castile, New York is the Glen Iris Inn. What is true more than 80 years is still true today. Duncan Hines said of this place that it was “a stately mansion, once the home of William Pryor Letchworth, who donated his estate to New York state for a park. Woods, waterfalls and canyons make an inviting setting. The menu is varied and tempting.”
The Wayside Inn in Middletown, Virginia has been around since 1797 and had been around for more than 135 years when Duncan Hines first came here. Hines wrote that “this is one of those favorite and delightful inns of which Virginia can well be proud. Filled with rare antiques and their food is very, very good. Comfortable overnight accommodations.”
It still looks like a place to have an enjoyable meal.
The Nick Stoner Inn in Caroga Lake, New York has gone through many changes over the years. The current owners have improved it recently. Duncan Hines said that “this inn, named for a famous trapper, is surrounded by an 18-hole golf course, which makes it indeed a golfer’s paradise. Chicken and steaks, home-baked bread and rolls are weight tempters.” There may have been a great restaurant here once, but for many decades now the restaurant, “The 19th Hole” seems more likely to be just an extension of the golf course, which is the main attraction. This is all I could find about it:
We just came back from Henderson KY on I-57 yesterday and I mentioned to my wife, remember when we were kids and there were so many Fred Harvey restaurants.
There were so many restaurants in New Orleans that Duncan Hines could have recommended that it would fill several more pages. Instead of describing some of them, he just listed them. One of these was Manale’s (now known as Pascal Manale’s). The restaurant is now in the 103rd year of operation at the same location that it was in 1941 and is still run by the same family. They must be doing something right.
The Homestead in Hot Springs, Virginia is a resort with a restaurant that sits on the property where Thomas Jefferson bathed in the mineral waters in 1818. Duncan Hines said that it was “one of the famous resorts of Virginia where many people drive out of their way to visit or spend a night or longer. I doubt that you will find better food anywhere in the South.”
The premises have three restaurants. The elegant [main] Dining Room looks like this:
Then there’s Jefferson’s Restaurant and bar:
There is the Casino Restaurant
Lastly, there is Rubino’s at the Cascades:
Here is their website:
As far as I know, Henry’s is the oldest continuing restaurant in South Carolina. In Charleston it is an institution. When Duncan Hines dined here, he said that it was “a city restaurant serving a variety of food.” That’s all he had to say about it, but that was enough. People have continued to flock here for decades ever since. It has gone through several changes over the years, and today serves primarily low country food with a few modern touches.
My husband and I had a late-ish supper in the bar at the Brown Hotel a number of years ago. We did recoil a bit at the price of the Hot Brown, but wanted to have the experience. It was OK. I’ve had much better Hot Browns elsewhere, including at the Science Hill Inn in Shelbyville http://www.sciencehillinnky.com/About-Us.html http://www.sciencehillinnky.com/About-Us.html and the Greyhound Tavern in Fort Mitchell.
I have had both as well, and my experience (price aside) was the opposite of yours – I found the GG version to be awful, while the original at the Brown Hotel was outstanding
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