The image of Tombstone, Arizona, doesn't often stray from its rough and tumble roots. Despite a tradition of gunslingers, gamblers, and cowboys, the town's businesses, hotels, and restaurants continually emphasized the boomtown's refinements, and nowhere was their promotion more apparent than in the foods of the town. The massive silver strike of 1879 gave rise to a number of grocery stores, butcher shops, ice cream parlors, and restaurants that spoke to a refined urban scene.In this lively study, Sherry Monahan offers a brief history of Tombstone and the evolution of its increasingly sophisticated dining scene. Businesses that began in tents due to a lack of building supplies raced to keep up with the area's exploding population. Soon the town boasted restaurants to rival the finest establishments of San Francisco and the business district achieved fame for the availability of posh hotels and luxurious eating. Monahan includes 140 recipes from the 1880s, most from Tombstone restaurants, so that readers may experience their own taste of Tombstone.
Sherry Monahan is a freelance writer and journalist. Her articles have appeared in True West Magazine and Arizona Highways and among her many books is Tombstone's Treasure: Silver Mines and Golden Saloons (UNM Press).