Eat St.: Recipes from the Tastiest, Messiest, and Most Irresistible Food Trucks

James Cunningham. Penguin/Pintail, $20 (304p) ISBN 978-0-14-318748-6
Cunningham confesses that he is a terrible cook. But his passion for eating has been enough to propel him into the host spot of Eat St., the Cooking Channel’s survey of awe-inspiring food trucks, and now into the role of author for this collection of more than 125 recipes culled from the show. The book is a study of both utensil-free street snacks, and the more complicated, fork-mandatory dishes that have evolved as this realm of cookery comes of age. Though Cunningham is a professional comedian, he generally stays out of the way, letting the recipes speak for themselves. He contributes the briefest of commentaries about each truck, but compensates with an extensive “Truck Finder” bibliography, listing Web sites and Twitter handles for each. The chapters are arranged by complexity, beginning with fries then moving through burgers and hot dogs, sandwiches, tacos, soups, and then curbside meals like lobster risotto and pulled pork caesar salad. The last chapter, on desserts, is a decadent foray into maple bacon cupcakes and carrot cake pierogies. Geographically, the selections are nicely varied. There are the expected cities such as Seattle; Los Angeles; Austin, Tex.; and New York, but also a healthy sampling from locales in Florida, Arizona, and even Canada and the U.K. Matching cuisines to their native locales would be a fool’s errand, since many of these mobile chefs delight in bringing foreign flavors to their home turf, including Chris Hodgson and his Dim and Den Sum truck, which rolls soba noodles into the heart of Cleveland, Ohio. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/07/2013
Release date: 04/02/2013
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-14-318736-3
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