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Fog City Diner Cookbook Paperback – January 1, 1998

15 customer reviews

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--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

So, okay, Cindy Pawlcyn adds butter to her mashed potatoes before she adds the milk, which is all backwards according to those who have initiated intense experiments to resolve such issues. But so what? Her food (it's her name on the cover of the cookbook, even though any food coming out of a restaurant as popular and free-spirited as the original Fog City Diner in San Francisco is likely to be something of a group effort--kind of like the Manhattan Project) brightened palates back in 1985 when the diner opened, and it serves adventurous palates just as well today.

Remember when attaching "California" to food actually meant a thing or two? Fog City Diner Cookbook is something of a time capsule in that regard. You have seen similar-looking food on menus in your town. But that's now, and this book (and the food before it) came out back when it was news. What's interesting to note, however, is that Pawlcyn bases her dishes on sound culinary principles. She isn't throwing oddball ingredients together to grab attention or to appear to be clever, she's combining flavors and textures and cultural heritage to achieve specific effects, with new and powerful results. In other words, she shows restraint on the one hand, and knows what she's doing on the other.

For that first blush of that brash California "thang" with food, don't hesitate to hang your hat inside the Fog City Diner. The cookbook, that is. --Schuyler Ingle

From Publishers Weekly

On the front door of the Fog City Diner in San Francisco is a sign: "No Crybabies." And it means "anything goes--have a good time, and leave your problems elsewhere," writes Bill Higgins, a co-proprietor with Pawlcyn, and contributor of the introduction to this collection of the diner's recipes. Obviously, Fog City has many of the usuals--though they've been spruced up--and, less obviously, it practices the sort of sophistication in food that San Francisco is famous for. So the book serves up mashed potatoes, and duck stew; gingerbread, and sauteed prawns; chili dogs, and lobster gazpacho. This provocative little volume offers a welcome taste of old and new, American and fusion, and a vicarious trip to a metro area that doubles as culinary nirvana. One can nearly understand why people get into the business of serving food (and drink--Fog City is well known for its eclectic stock): pleasure, sheer license. Photos not seen by PW .
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (January 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898159997
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898159998
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 8.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,654,576 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

One of my earliest memories is of sitting in the backyard garden in Minneapolis with a salt shaker while my dad picked perfectly ripe tomatoes hot off the vine. I can still taste the fresh, warm red flesh seasoned with a sprinkling of salt...

My passion for seasonal, farm-fresh flavors has never waned. Through all those years in school, college, training in France, stints in other chefs' kitchens, a transplanting in the West, and all the sweat and tears of running my own restaurants - I'm still just a kid in a tomato patch.

For the past 30 years, I've cultivated gardens and restaurants in California's San Francisco Bay Area, setting deep roots in Napa Valley with Mustards Grill, Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen and my newest sweetheart, Brassica. Helping people create unforgettable celebrations is a natural (and joyful) extension of what we do, and serving as Culinary Partner for the Monterey Bay Aquarium (and their important Seafood Watch program) is a very special honor.

Thanks to the wonderful teams at my restaurants, I've also been able to nurture the part of me that seeks out distant corners of the world, bringing home flavors at once exotic and familiar. I've managed to write five cookbooks - Mustards Grill Napa Valley Cookbook, Fog City Diner, Big Small Plates, Cindy Pawlcyn's Appetizers, and Cindy's Supper Club: Meals from Around the World to Share with Family and Friends - bring the flavors I love to kitchens far and wide.

Each endeavor is distinctly different, and I love them all equally. Just like kids.

Learn more at cindypawlcyn.com and sign up for monthly newsletter, Cindy's Kitchen.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Samuel Wang on June 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
Sad to say, I have never been to the Fog City Diner, so I cannot compare my outcomes with the originals. But, the book is great! Enough detail so that even I can get it right, and where necessary (i.e. pie crust) the measurements are PERFECT. The ceviche recipe is an especially excellent one (orange+lemon+lime juice marinade - who knew?). Hearty comfort food with a lot of spirit and panache.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Wende Mate VINE VOICE on June 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book would get the full five stars from me based on its inclusion of one of the single most fabulous recipes I've ever made - the Grilled Eggplant Sandwich with Fontina and Watercress. My, oh my, I salivate at the mere thought of it. It's a fantastic thing to eat, even if you decide to forgo making the buns from scratch! Just don't skip making the Tomato Chutney which is sheer magic combined with the smokiness of the eggplant, the creamy, tang of the Fontina and the clean whiff of the watercress.

Cindy Pawlcyn is a most remarkable chef. I know people (yes, plural) who literally swoon at the mention of the Pork Chop served at Mustards, her wonderful restaurant in Napa Valley. (That Pork Chop must certainly be one of the most legendary foods on the West Coast.) In any case, she is a master of combining and juxtaposing sometimes surprising ingredients to coax the most intense and exciting flavors out of food.

With this book, Pawlcyn elevates diner food to a gourmet art form and then some. I've not been disappointed with any of the recipes from this book. They are just plain fun. Although I don't usually like cookbooks that include skipping all over the pages to find the recipes within recipes, I have to make an exception with this book. The sub-recipes have been well-worth the trouble.

Needless to say, I also recommend the Mustards Cookbook - almost as highly as I recommend dining at the restaurant.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By L Smith VINE VOICE on April 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
I like to browse different types of cookbooks, and to find recipes that I may not find anywhere else. This cookbook did not disappoint. Even though I have not visited the Fog City Diner, I have been to many diners in my day. I was surprised at the large variety of recipes available, and the eclectic ingredients included in the book.

Some of my favorite recipes include: Split Pea and Apple-Smoked Bacon Soup, Mushroom Toast, Cheesesteak Sandwich, Cobb Sandwich, Chicken Curry Pot Pie, Apple Dumplings, Vanilla Caramel Custard, Hot Toddy, and Seasoned Nuts.

Enjoy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey R. Ambroziak on September 23, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I fell in love with the Fog City Diner over a decade ago. It's the first place my fiancee and I went to after our engagement - so my memories are forever tied to that wonderful period. When I heard the diner was going under to be reborn anew as a different establishment, my first reaction was to try and preserve a little bit of the magic by ordering this book. At least I hoped to keep some of the magic alive through memories of their delicious cuisine.

This book does not disappoint. My criteria for recipe books are both simple and rigorous. Simply put, when I follow the steps precisely as described, do I get what is advertised on my plate? I don't want imprecise measurements. I don't want an amount of filling that could never be encompassed by the amount of dough the recipe calls for. I don't want to "season to taste". I don't want to heat or stir "until" some vague condition is met.

Fortunately, following the steps for every recipe I have tried has led to success. Bravo! I may huddle in Connecticut these days, but this book has brought me the taste of San Francisco as captured by the Fog City Diner. And the opportunity to re-live that first magical trip to the Diner - priceless!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Real Audiophile on August 29, 2008
Format: Paperback
I have been lucky enough to visit the Fog City Diner many times over the last 15 years or so. I think Cindy is gone on to other things but I was there when she inspired the place. My first exposure was on that credit card commercial that featured the FCD and showed the Red Curry Mussle Stew because the dish was soooo good. I was going mad trying to figure out how to cook this at home. Then came the cookbook. Problem solved.

The book is overall very enjoyable and it has some great little stories. The dishes are unusual and easy to make.

Recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joanne on June 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've been to San Francisco so many times but never had the chance to visit the Fog City Diner. When I found the book, I just had to buy it. The recipes are pretty easy and the pictures and photos make it that much more enjoyable. I think any fan of the City would love the book. It would also make a great gift for anyone who loves to collect cookbooks or who has been to the restaurant itself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mark Bales on March 31, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a Bay Area native, we've been familiar with the Fog City Diner for many years. I was pleased to find out that they had a cookbook, and then distressed to find out that it was out of print. Amazon to the rescue, representing used-book vendors. The book came in very good shape (considering it's a 20-year-old mass-market paperback), and had all the recipes I was looking for.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ms. Annie on October 5, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Love this Fog City Diner cookbook! It's got lots of fun "back story" information about the owners, customers, and how recipes originated and in some cases evolved. There's lots of recipes I intend to try & while some might be a bit ambitious and time intensive to undertake, instructions are detailed and from my dining experiences at Fog City Diner I know any dish will be well worth it! My daughter and new husband moved to San Francisco following their wedding (almost 17 years ago!) and some of my fondest memories include visiting their wonderful "new hometown" of S.F. One memorable trip we hit Fog City Diner and had the most amazing Cobb Salad Sandwich that still makes me smile (and hungry!) to this day. Searching out that recipe recently brought me to Amazon's offering of Fog City Diner's cookbook. I brought it to my daughter's (now in Seattle) and looking through it together we reminisced about what a great adventure beginning their married life together in San Francisco was. Next time I visit her I'm making that Cobb Salad Sandwich & we'll think oh-so-fondly of the Fog City Diner. Ah, Good Times, Good Times!
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