The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 105, July 2001 - April, 2002

Book Reviews

restaurants epitomize this change. Old-time restaurants ("Mom and Pop din-
ers") have been replaced by fast-food chain restaurants. Only a handful of these
old restaurants and cafes that we ate at as children still exist. In the pages of this
book, Sheryl Smith-Rodgers explores many of these classic restaurants and cafes
throughout Texas, ranging back from the early 186os (the Stagecoach Inn in
Salado) to the early 198os (Rodgers' Restaurant in Somewhere in Texas). This
book contains a bit of history in our fast-paced world.
"Like the chapter of a novel," Richie Jackson, executive vice president/CEO of
the Texas Restaurant Association states, "they tell the story of our lives" (p. x). Or,
as the author of this book states in the introduction, "Large or small, fancy or
plain, these restaurants share three things in common-long histories, established
reputations, and loyal customers. Lots of the latter. Or else I figure they wouldn't
still be in business after twenty-plus years and claim all those colorful histories" (p.
xi). There is, then, a need to remember these restaurants in our histories of Texas.
This book is meant for both native and non-native Texans alike. For native
Texans, we can, through these restaurants, find a special connection to the past.
Many of the restaurants and cafes we ate at as children can be found in this book.
For non-natives, this is an excellent introduction to not only a piece of Texas's
historical past, but also a collection of excellent eating establishments. And for
those outside of Texas that do not have the luxury of visiting Texas and attending
these eating establishments, the majority of the restaurants here also include a
recipe of their typical food, such as Macaroni and Tomatoes from the Mecca
Restaurant (pp. 18-19) or Chicken Flautas from the La Mexicana Restaurant
(pp. 8o-82). This book, then, is not merely for those residing in Texas.
This book brings history into the present and bridges the gap between genera-
tions. After all, food is an integral part of our cultural history, one that all soci-
eties, cultures, and classes chare in common, at least to an extent. Under each
restaurant heading, Smith-Rodgers gives us a brief, easy-to-read history of the
establishment. Not only does it give us the address of the restaurants, but gives
us easy, down-to-earth instructions for the "directionally impaired." Also, it often
tells us of good things to "stop by and see" located near the restaurant.
Written without the gaudy prose so often found in this type of book, both
native Texans wishing to reminisce and bridge the gap to their own cultural his-
tory and also non-Texans wishing to partake of a piece of Texas's history can do
so through these excellent and mouth-watering recipes.
University of Texas at Austin KIM RICHARDSON
Life at the Texas State Lunatic Asylum, 1857-1997. By Sarah C. Sitton. (College
Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1999. Pp. 190. Illustrations, preface,
introduction, notes, bibliography, index. ISBN o-89o96-859-4. $34.95, cloth.)
Psychologist Sarah Sitton traces life at the Austin State Hospital through three
periods: the nineteenth-century asylum movement, the reform movement initiat-
ed by the National Mental Health Act in 1946, and the shift toward community-
based care and de-institutionalization in the 1970s. Treatment of the mentally ill

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 105, July 2001 - April, 2002. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101222/. Accessed September 16, 2014.