Taste of the Town

Todd Blackledge and JR Rosenthal. Center Street, $20 (208p) ISBN 978-1-4555-4729-6
ESPN devotees will all recognize former NFL quarterback Blackledge. And not only as a familiar voice in the Saturday afternoon press box, but as the curious food-lover in minute-long Taste of the Town segments that highlight the eateries around America's biggest football campuses. Collected here are bite-sized restaurant reminiscences from 20 college towns, along with recipes from his favorite diners, bbq joints, seafood shacks, and ice cream parlors. Near the University of Alabama he visits the Waysider, where Bear Bryant once dined on country ham, and shares their recipes for salmon croquettes and chocolate pie. At Ohio State, he explores the Thurman Cafe's infamous Thurmanator burger, a bunned morass of ground chuck, bacon, ham and three kinds of cheese. As a bonus, or perhaps a penalty, Blackledge includes a chapter entitled Coaches Can Cook, which features favorite dishes from men who have spent a lot of time in locker rooms. Audibles include tuna relish from LSU's Les Miles, Jimmy Dean sausage dip from Arkansas's Bret Bielema, and—What are they thinking?—a salsa recipe from Joe Paterno. A great book for fans heading out on road trips this bowl season. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 03/31/2014
Release date: 09/01/2013
Genre: Nonfiction
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