Wechsberg's book is an established classic on a par with those of A. J. Liebling and Waverly Root. Like those other authors, Wechsberg was a journalist who wrote about food, restaurants, and food cultures in the mid-20th century, and his insights and great storytelling give the writing a permanent appeal. This can be seen from the reaction after this essay collection (whose chapters were originally written as magazine articles) appeared in this reprint edition in the mid-1980s. I was at a Christmas party with some accomplished food folks, including Paul Bertolli of the Chez Panisse in Berkeley, and was recounting to someone one of the stories ("Tafelspitz for the Hofrat") from this book. When I finished I found that most of the room was listening, and that many of them, independently, had recently read the book too. That particular essay, by the way, has lately been re-discovered in Vienna, where it was set, and has been proudly adopted by some restaurants there. In this book Wechsberg interviewed, and popularized to US readers, the legendary Fernand Point, chef and owner of the 20th-century's most famous and influential restaurant in France (and for whom the _Guide Michelin_ reportedly debated adding a fourth star to their rating system for premium restaruants). Some of the chapters are interviews, some experiences and some celebrations of food. This book is well known and indispensable to food fanatics and those seeking more of the background and context from which contemporary western culinary culture -- high cuisine as well as comfort food -- emerged.