This book by Mark Kurlansky certainly looks fascinating, reporting as it does the recipes uncovered by WPA workers before the interstates and fast-food changed our eating habits. But really, when you are talking about recipes for chitlins and fried beavertail, isn't it a little ridiculous to stoop to the obligatory swipe at the "low quality" of chain restaurants?
I never got served chitlins, any part of a beaver or squirrel, or even lutfisk, but we had liver and other unattractive parts of animals, lard was common, and canned wax beans counted as a vegetable. I'm not sure what the objection to Applebee's would be in that context.
I object to the group birthday chants at chain restaurants, but that's another matter entirely.