This is a cookbook–a wonderful cookbook–and an appreciation of the diners and other homegrown restaurants that supplied or inspired the recipes.
The title and subhead, “More Retro Diner, A Second Helping of Roadside Recipes,” were conceived by the publisher and in retrospect don’t really serve (pardon the pun!) the book well. It was conceived as a sequel to an earlier, similar title; this one was written and compiled by Teri and her longtime collaborator, Roadside Magazine publisher Randy Garbin. The older book has since gone out of print, while this one motors on, even with the goofy title. They wish it had more accurately been called, simply, “Comfort Food from the American Roadside.”
Inside, there are many delicious recipes, from Jigger’s Pumpkin Pancakes (from a small diner in a small Rhode Island town) to Oasis Cafe French Onion Soup (from a much-missed hole-in-the-wall Boston restaurant) to Ann Sather’s Creamed Spinach (Chicago residents, you KNOW!) to Teri’s own Southwestern Stuffed Shells (with cilantro, mmm). All were tested in Teri’s kitchen and are guaranteed not only to produce the expected results, but to lay out the steps in logical order (a pet peeve of Teri’s with some other cookbooks).
All this is wrapped in a generous coating of Randy’s eloquent and impassioned praise for the roadside restaurants that serve good comfort food. Bon appetit!