Lost Restaurants of Napa Valley and their Recipes


Today my second book Lost Restaurants of Napa Valley and Their Recipes (published by The History Press) hits the shelves. I can’t wait for y’all to read it!

LostRestaurants-coverOn the surface it’s a collection of some historic restaurants from across Napa County that no longer exist. But it’s more than just a listing of eateries. These restaurants provide the food history scaffolding to tell a larger story about the marginalized people who built this county. Why do we eat the foods we eat? Where do those foods come from? How did “exotic” and “foreign” foods become “American” classics – and what racist, assimilationist, and/or segregationist attitudes had to change for that to happen?

Here’s the book description: “Alongside its vineyards, the Napa Valley boasts restaurants celebrated for their pioneering spirit. Stroll through the memories of this region’s mouthwatering eateries with tales of the enterprising women and risk takers who helped make Napa a foodie haven. The Empire Saloon made history by being the first business to serve food in the fledgling city of Napa, and a little over a century later, the Magnolia Hotel set the standard for fine dining in Yountville. The A-1 Café made Chinese cuisine a local favorite, and Jonesy’s set the aviation community aflutter with its tasty special potatoes. Join author Alexandria Brown as she delves into the history of Napa County’s gone-but-not-forgotten restaurants and their classic dishes.”

Available now everywhere books are sold. Please buy from indie bookstores like Napa Bookmine, Copperfield’s Books, or Indiebound. Also available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and other retailers.

Although no events are scheduled as of now, be sure to check my Author Events page once society becomes less of a hellscape.

These are the chapters in the book:

Part I: Early Days of Eating Out
1. Empire Saloon
2. Dorr’s Saloons
3. Valley House Restaurant

Part II: “The Luscious Bivalve”
4. Arcade Restaurant
5. The Nielsens’ Restaurants

Part III: Room and Board
6. Exchange and French Restaurants
7. Napa Hotel
8. Magnolia Hotel (Calistoga)
9. Aetna Springs Resort

Part IV: Chili Queens and Tamale Men
10. Tamale Parlors
11. Dabner Brothers
12. Spanish Restaurant
13. El Faro Restaurant

Part V: Chow Chop Suey
14. Lai Hing Company
15. Sang Wo’s Lunch Counter
16. A-1 Cafe

Part VI: Little Italy
17. The Depot
18. Napa Raviola and Noodle Parlor

Part VII: Early Twentieth Century Classics
19. Mrs. Tobin’s Restaurant
20. Classic Grill

Part VIII: Mid-Century Modern
21. Jonesy’s Famous Steakhouse
22. Taylor’s Refresher
23. Palby’s

Part IX: Restaurant Renaissance
24. Magnolia Hotel (Yountville)


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