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Food Lovers' Guide to Brooklyn: Best Local Specialties, Markets, Recipes, Restaurants, and Events (Food Lovers' Series) Paperback – June 15, 2010

3.8 out of 5 stars 1,364 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Packed, district by district, with detailed listings, maps, and descriptions. . . . [This] book offers plenty to discover, including temporary markets, events, and pop-up and underground restaurants.”

New York Times

From the Back Cover

Savor the Flavors of Brooklyn
 
Food Lovers’ Guide to Brooklyn is a sumptuous, neighborhood-by-neighborhood journey into the culinary mecca that is New York City’s hottest borough. Seasoned food writer Sherri Eisenberg shares the inside scoop on the best places to find, enjoy, and celebrate gastronomic treasures. From the Old Brooklyn Cuisine with its world-renowned classics to the New Brooklyn Cuisine with its hipster enclaves and growing locavore ways, a bounty of mouthwatering recipes and other delights awaits you in this engagingly written guide­—the ultimate resource for food lovers to use and savor.
 
 
Inside You'll Find:
 
Maps of Brooklyn’s neighborhoods • Food festivals and culinary events • Specialty food stores, markets, and producers • One-of-a-kind restaurants and landmark eateries • Recipes steeped in both local traditions and the latest trends • Insider information about the flea market and green markets • Best of Brooklyn—from the Best Pizza to the Best Banh Mi
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Product Details

  • Series: Food Lovers' Series
  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Globe Pequot; First edition (June 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762759437
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762759439
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 5.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,364 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,776,960 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By "switterbug" Betsey Van Horn TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Reading Brooklyn was an unusual experience. Why? Because I had to read the whole book to appreciate it and be gripped by it. The book was like an embryo--rudimentary, unborn. But when I read the last paragraph, I actually got a spine chill. And, later, after shelving it, my thoughts wandered back to the story with a deeper pleasure.

For the first 100 (or more) pages, nothing much happens. Young provincial Irish girl Eilis Lacey travels to America(circa 1950), leaving her sister and mother in the Irish berg. She improves her education, her appearance, and refines her tastes. With the help of a family friend (a priest), Eilis finds a place to live in a rooming house and a tedious job in a clothing shop. She encounters new friends, (all rather shallow), meets a man, has a courtship. It is all very mundane. When she lies in bed after receiving a letter from home, she actually thinks about her mother or sister taking out the envelope, what kind of envelope, how many envelopes. I was exasperated at that point.

Yet I kept reading. Toibin is a competent writer, and I was at least partially engaged, although I remained skeptical of any interesting story emerging. You know how some authors fail to maintain control over their story and characters? Well, Toibin has perhaps too MUCH control. That is how it seemed as I was reading. It plodded along, but rather lightly. I did like Eilis and cared what happened to her, but I wanted something imaginative or inventive to occur. At least one splashy thing. But when something dramatic happened in the last 100 pages, it didn't really affect me too much. It seemed more of a vehicle for other action to take place, for Eilis to enter into decisive conflict and change.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Brief summary, no spoilers:

There are no explosions in this book. There are no murders, car chases, scenes with international espionage, or anything that would require its movie rendition to have special effects.

Instead, this beautifully written story is about a young girl named Eilis Lacey, who lives with her mother and with her attractive, vivacious sister Rose in a small town in Ireland. The time period is the 1950s. Eilis is smart and good with numbers but there is not much employment opportunity where she lives, so a priest with connections in both Ireland and New York gets her both boarding and a job in Brooklyn.

Needless to say, Eilis has to learn to live in a new culture and away from the only home she's ever known. Everything is so strange and new, but soon she meets a sweet young man named Tony and suddenly she begins to adjust and flourish.

This is the story of a young, immigrant girl learning to deal with change and adversity and how this makes her grow both intellectually and emotionally. It's also about dealing with disparate cultures, and having your heart and soul divided. Just what is "home?"

That this novel is written by a man is truly stunning - because Eilis comes alive from these pages and her thoughts and reactions generally rang true.

I also want to add that I could not stop reading towards the end because I just had to find out how this was all going to be resolved. And let's just say that this would make a very good novel for book clubs - there are going to be lots of different opinions on the denouement.

My only quibbles? I had trouble with the male characters, especially Tony. In many ways he didn't seem real to me, and if anything, too idealized.
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Format: Hardcover
Spare, beautiful writing gives this novel three stars. But the story itself is so lacking in depth, with unrealized characters. Eilis, the protaganist, offers so much potential for the author to plumb the history of the immigrant -- their myriad reasons for coming here, the struggles to make it, the ties to their home country.

Instead, life basically happens to this girl, with no real effort or participation of her own. She doesn't desire to come to America but it's conveniently planned out for her (including a job and home for when she arrives), she doesn't fall in love but rather comes to accept the love of another. I kept waiting for her to grow into and express her own intentions, to make her own decisions, but alas, even the ending is simply an acceptance of circumstances.

There were several tangential characters (sister Rose, the department store manager, the professor) who pique interest. I would have enjoyed learning more about them, and their stories could have elevated this passive, unfulfilling journey.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Colm Toibin enters William Trevor territory with this lovely novel about an Irish immigrant's move to Brooklyn in post-World War II America. In spare unhurried prose he covers her experience with the departure from her limited world, a nightmarish crossing, learning to deal with a new job, night school, her boarding house acquaintances and new love.

Those looking for a speedy read will be frustrated by the measured pace of the incidents as well as their unremarkable nature. But in dwelling on the quotidian Toibin evokes an all enveloping reality of time and place and character.

Relationships aren't distorted for melodramatic ends as in "The Blackwater Lightship", nor is the book as moving or as intellectually and emotionally satisfying as his masterpiece "The Master". But this is as good an example of a writer's craft in creating a lived-in reality of small engrossing lives as one can find.
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