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Serious Eats: A Comprehensive Guide to Making and Eating Delicious Food Wherever You Are [Paperback]

Ed Levine
1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

15 Dec 2011
3. When you daydream, do you often find yourself thinking about food? 4. Do you live to eat, rather than eat to live? 5. Have you strained relationships with friends or family by dictating the food itinerary changing everyone s plans to try a potentially special burger or piece of pie? Ed Levine, whom Ruth Reichl calls the missionary of the delicious, and his editors present their unique take on iconic foods made and served around the country. From house-cured, hand-cut corned beef sandwiches at Jake s in Milwaukee to fried-to-order doughnuts at Shipley s Do-Nuts in Houston; from fresh clam pizza at Zuppardi s Pizzeria in West Haven, Connecticut, to Green Eggs and Ham at Huckleberry Bakery and Café in Los Angeles, Serious Eats is a veritable map of some of the best food they have eaten nationwide. Covering fast food, family-run restaurants, food trucks, and four-star dining establishments, all with zero snobbery, there is plenty here for every food lover, from coast to coast and everywhere in between. Featuring 400 of the Serious Eats team s greatest food finds and 50 all-new recipes, this is your must-read manual for the pursuit of a tasty life. You ll learn not only where to go for the best grub, but also how to make the food you crave right in your own kitchen, with original recipes including Neapolitan Pizza (and dough), the Ultimate Sliders (which were invented in Kansas), Caramel Sticky Buns, Southern Fried Chicken, the classic Reuben, and Triple-Chocolate Adult Brownies. You ll also hone your Serious Eater skills with tips that include signs of deliciousness, regional style guides (think pizza or barbecue), and Ed s hypotheses ranging from the Cuban sandwich theory to the Pizza Cognition Theory on what makes a perfect bite.

Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter; Original edition (15 Dec 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 030772087X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307720870
  • Product Dimensions: 2.9 x 20.3 x 27.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 880,672 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
By Tlrrd
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've been cooking recipes from serious eats for a few years now, and always love them (or at least love the ones that I've chosen to cook). Thinking that this book might at least replace a few of the well worn printout I've been using in the kitchen, I requested this for Christmas.

Unfortunately, it is a long list of "Best of" restaurants for a country I no longer live in. When you have 10 pages of a list of best burger joints, and then only 3 recipes, it isn't a recipe book. If you had told me how to recreate each one, J. Kenji López-Alt style, then it would have been 5 stars.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit disappointing 13 Nov 2011
By cristobal - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've been a SE reader for years, and was delighted when I saw out they were coming out with this book. I pre-ordered as soon as it became available. On the website, it really sounded like there would be a lot more recipes than actually made the book. Instead it seems to mostly be made up of an endless series of Best Of lists. If you read SE there is absolutely no reason to buy the book, unless you simply want to support the site. If you don't visit the SE site, you will probably find the book quite entertaining for its voice, but don't think for a second you will find any cooking treasures in there, because you won't.
39 of 49 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Useful only as ironic statement on the status of the printed word in this century 3 Nov 2011
By nybiblio - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Serious Eats site is a wonderful resource for venues, recipes, and just about anything else to do with food. I purchased this book based on the expectation that it would be a similar resource. After all, it is "A Comprehensive Guide to Making and Eating Delicious Food Where Ever You Are." The title should have been "400 Pages of lists in SEverAL doZEN TYpEfacES and SIzeS with a few recipes thrown in." The lay-out of the book leaves much to be desired. It's a chaotic jumble, not helped by the typefaces/sizes previously mentioned.

I had hoped for thoughtful articles and a solid collection of recipes. Instead, the book mostly contains lists reprinted from the website. How relevant is this in an age where we can pull up the same information on our cell phones/iPads while traveling?

My cookbook/food collection spans several hundred volumes. I can always find room for one more if I even remotely think I will ever use it. I've never returned a book before, either to a book store or to Amazon. This one is ready for UPS pick up tomorrow.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Unique and Refreshing Take on Food and Recipes 4 Nov 2011
By Chris - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
First of all, I'll caveat this review by stating that I've been a long time reader, commenter and occasional contributor to Serious Eats. I count the writers and editors of SE as both my professional associates and personal friends. With that said, I paid the full Amazon price for this book so I think that I am entitled my opinion just the same as other readers.

This book is a truly unique spin on food. It's a grey area between your traditional cookbook and the new wave of gastro-travel writing, in the same vein as Anthony Bourdain and AA Gill. There are honest, raw and sometimes humorous anecdotes about the travel, the progenitors of the food and the restaurants that the New York based staff sought out.

Earlier in the century, the Michelin tire company, driven by the motivation to get motorists on the road (and therefore selling more tires), started to case the great restaurants in the country of France. This tradition turned into what is now known as the Michelin guide, and is one of the most widely respected tomes of restaurant lore in the world.

I'll stop short of comparing the Serious Eats guide to the Michelin guide, but they've accomplished a similar goal - get the word out on local eats across the country and expose great restaurants to hungry citizens across the lower 48. As such, the book does a fantastic job of acknowledging locals eats, both famous and under the radar, across the country. If I ever find myself in Milwaukee, WI or Portland, OR, this book will serve as a valuable guide of where I should spend my dining budget.

Not that they've probed the country's gastronomy willy-nilly. They've smartly focused the book on the type of food that your average American eater and aspiring cook can relate to. This means slices of Americana, burgers, sandwiches, hot dogs, desserts, BBQ and naturally, slices of pizza. These dimensions are further divided into variations of technique whether it be regional or idiosyncratic. For example, a chapter of pizza acknowledges not only the glories of New York style pizza, but also the Chicago style, the grilled, the bar pie and others. Furthermore, each section is peppered by helpful, bullet-proof recipes to recreate said cuisine.

As for the recipes, they're traditional and easy to follow, and in some cases, truly off the beaten path. I don't recall a Rachel Ray or Jamie Oliver cook book including a recipe for halal chicken over rice, or even a Cuban sandwich for that matter (which the SE book does). There are recipes in the book for falafel or the obvious buttermilk pancakes or hamburger. But that doesn't make them any less useful, as they tend to be well thought out.

The only hole that I could poke in the book is the fact that it's a Freshman effort by a young team of food enthusiasts. It's a bunch of strangers firing off opinions about restaurants and recipes, but then again, that could be a description of any show on the Food Network. Enthusiasm is the key message in this book. The love for food doesn't just drip from their tongues - it practically explodes on the page. Does that enthusiasm make their restaurant recommendations more credible or their recipes more reliable? I can't answer that, but it sure as hell makes this book more fun to read.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not What I Expected 27 Dec 2011
By Matthew Barker - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It really is more of a coffee table type book instead of a cookbook. As one reviewer noted, it might be better for people that travel a lot and might make it to some of the restaurants they list. I was hoping for more recipes, which are really sparse in this book. Not really a good buy for what I expected.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seriously fun eats 21 Dec 2011
By bill - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If Walt Whitman had been a foodie and lived to be 192, he would have loved this book. It is a fun collection of "I hear American eating (and cooking)" writting by the folks who do the very successful food blog, Serious Eats. They are serious about eating, but in a spirit of fun. As they say in the introduction, this is a democratic book, reporting on tasty food in all corners of the country, giving the reader a smattering of recipes, interesting information (what's the deal on wood-fired ovens?), and lots of good tips on where to get great food from fried catfish in Oxford (Mississippi, of course) to shave ice in Hawaii. No matter where you live (almost), there are places the book will make you want to drive to. Taste is the supreme value here, not health or political correctness (though there is a nice nod to farmers and farmers markets). And you don't need a highly refined palette, just a sound tongue and an eager stomach, and an ear ready to hear that food-gasms can be had in places that think Michelin is just a brand of tire.
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