Despite their fleeting nature, these creations endure in a winning combination of graphic design, cross-cultural flair and...



New York Times food columnist Edge (Southern Belly: The Ultimate Food Lover's Companion to the South, 2007, etc.) explores "outsider food, immigrant food, [and] the food of the underclass" in an intelligently organized cookbook featuring a smorgasbord of American street foods.

In cities such as Los Angeles, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Houston and New York, the author gathered recipes that range from the familiar with an ethnic twist (sumac on tater tots) to regional fare (Portland poutine) to fast food (burgers and tacos) to healthier concoctions (Ethiopian lentils and tuna onigiri). Many employ simple ingredients, as well as flavorful sauces and marinades. Whether served in hearty or bite-sized portions, they are often characterized by their portable, comforting nature. Readers who may have initially equated “truck food” with greasy spoons will be pleasantly surprised to discover that quick methods such as deep-frying are limited, as are the more excessive creations, including a grilled cheese cheeseburger. Adventurous palates will also find fusions such as Kimchi quesadillas and crepes with chicken, veggies and coconut. Edge contextualizes his topic with well-considered introductions to each section—“Fries and Pies,” “Waffles and Their Kin,” “Brunch on Wheels,” “Unexpected Pleasures,” ”Sandwich Up!, “Rolling in Sweets,” etc.—and to the recipes. He also provides background on topics of interest to food-trivia enthusiasts, from the popularity of sriracha to tidbits given by the cooks he encountered. The book is especially noteworthy for its vibrant portrayal of cities as hotbeds for innovation.

Despite their fleeting nature, these creations endure in a winning combination of graphic design, cross-cultural flair and writing on one of the staples of the urban food landscape.

Pub Date: May 8, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7611-5616-1

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: March 19, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2012

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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