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A Taste of Pennsylvania History: A Guide to Historic Eateries and Their Recipes

Debbie Nunley and Karen Jane Elliott

John F. Blair, Publisher
$18.95 paperback
7 ½ x 8 ½ 
304 pages
illustrations throughout
Published in 2000

It is no small task to write a cookbook and travel guide that captures the range of dining opportunities available to 11 million Pennsylvanians in 66 counties.

Debbie Nunley and Karen Jane Elliott researched nearly 900 restaurants and dined at about 250 of them before selecting the 116 included here. They focused on restaurants of significant historical interest. Some of these are inns, taverns, and roadside hostelries that have been in business for many years at the same site. Others—former schoolhouses, barns, and train stations among them—have been converted from other uses but still retain their original flavor.

The restaurants are grouped by theme—those located on the waterfront, those that were stops on the Underground Railroad, those frequented by famous people, and those haunted by a ghostly presence, to name a few. People in eastern Pennsylvania might enjoy The Garden Restaurant in Philadelphia or The Jefferson House Restaurant in Norristown, where Joe DiMaggio was reunited with a chef he'd met 35 years earlier. Those in central Pennsylvania might like to visit Alfred's Victorian in Middletown or Duffy's Tavern in Boalsburg, the home of Memorial Day. Those in the west will like The Stone House in Farmington and Penn Brewery in Pittsburgh.

A Taste of Pennsylvania History includes two or three recipes from each restaurant, so readers can reproduce their favorite dishes. There is something here to suit everyone, whether their tastes run to haute cuisine or simple country fare.


“This guide to historic Pennsylvania eateries blends a cookbook with a travel guide, exploring the range of cuisines available to Pennsylvanians in over sixty countries in the state. Nearly 900 restaurants were researched and over two hundred sampled before selecting the hundred-plus featured here: chapters are strong on the recipes, sans photos.” —Midwest Book Review
"This delightfully written book is the perfect Christmas gift for anyone visiting or living in Pennsylvania. More than just a restaurant guide, the book gives the history behind each restaurant as well as selected recipes from each establishment. The book is a must for anyone who enjoys elegant dining."  —Amazon.com reviewer