Travel: Potluck on the Road

Only a Frenchman with an anesthetized palate would dream of setting out on an auto trip without a fat little red book nestled in his glove compartment—the Guide Michelin, France's gastronomical bible, maker and breaker of restaurant reputations from Paris to the Pyrenees. But in the U.S., tourists tend to take better care of their cars than of their stomachs. Four years ago, the dietetically neutral Socony Mobil Oil Co. joined forces with the Simon & Schuster publishing company in a venture to reduce the U.S.'s highway heartburn: a seven-volume domestic imitation...

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