Dinner is Served


Mount Hood Railroad DiningI just finished a book about Fred Harvey, the man who brought fine dining to America's railroads and something resembling civilization to a score of Western towns thanks to the Harvey Girls.

The book's title is Appetite For America: How Visionary Businessman Fred Harvey Built A Railroad Hospitality Empire That Civilized the Wild West.

The Girls

If the book gets you curious, you can check out this basic history to share with the kids: Harvey Girls: The Women Who Civilized the West and then watch MGM classic  The Harvey Girls together on DVD.

To further explore the romantic experience of rail travel, check out Great American Rail Journeys: The Companion to the Public Television Programs. To plan your own adventure, consult USA by Rail.

The book got me thinking about trains that I've ridden and meals that I've enjoyed. The library has collections of dining car recipes for those who'd try their luck at replicating the experience.

Here Are a Couple to Try

From the Dining Car: The Recipes and Stories Behind Today's Greatest Rail Dining Experiences 

or Dining by Rail: The History and Recipes of America's Golden Age of Railroad Cuisine.


Author Bio:

Joe Toschik is a Half Moon Bay librarian who has lived and worked on the Coast for about 17 years. A former Air Force meteorologist, he is still a weather nut. His hobbies include photography and walking the Coastal Trail and his favorite quote right now is as follows: "Fortunately we're not in control.". . .Willie Nelson

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