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 .
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Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.