All the World's a
Restaurant: On the
Global Gastronomies of
Tourism and Travel
Rebecca L. Spang
"The visitor to Mexico can choose his climate and scenery as one selects a meal à la carte." So wrote Duncan Hines in the 1945 edition of his guidebook for motorists, Adventures in Good Eating. 1 Begun, according to
Hines, as "a new game that would intrigue my wife," the task of inventorying North America's restaurants, inns, and motels quickly grew into a thriving business that involved Hines in publishing ventures, product endorsement, and cartography. Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, Hines reviewed roadside eateries even more quickly than Howard Johnson could franchise them. ("Well liked by many," was, however, all he had to say about the restaurants with the cupolas, blue-green shutters, and orange roofs, the "similar architectural pattern" of which he deemed more remarkable than the ice cream. 2) Traversing the United States, Mexico, and Canada with remarkable thoroughness, Hines' itinerary treated the continent as à-la-carte menu, banquet menu, and smorgasbord all in one.
If it was Duncan Hines who brought a sense of the map as menu (and, by extension, of the menu as map) to the American dining and driving publics, his was hardly a novel comparison—as the multiple meanings of the French word carte (both "menu" and "map") make evident. Already in 1809, Pierre Jouhard (a successful lawyer in Napoleon's Paris) had asserted that a restaurateur's carte transported every customer to "the land that saw his birth, and seated him at the table of his forefathers." In the famous restaurants of the