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Alice, Let's Eat: Further Adventures of a Happy Eater

(The Tummy Trilogy #2)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  1,070 ratings  ·  102 reviews
In this delightful and delicious book, Calvin Trillin, guided by an insatiable appetite, embarks on a hilarious odyssey in search of “something decent to eat.” Across time zones and cultures, and often with his wife, Alice, at his side, Trillin shares his triumphs in the art of culinary discovery, including Dungeness crabs in California, barbecued mutton in Kentucky, potat ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published December 26th 2006 by Random House Trade Paperbacks (first published 1978)
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4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,070 ratings  ·  102 reviews

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Dec 16, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: foodanddrink
I did not make it through all the essays here, because I felt like they all started to sound the same. I say that of many essay collections or short story collections, and neither format is usually designed to be read cover-to-cover. That being said, I do like Trillin, and enjoy his columns in the New Yorker. He's charming, funny. I'd like to be seated next to him at any number of dinners. His essays make me chuckle, and capture a slice of life when American food culture suddenly went beyond reg ...more
Kristen Northrup
Sep 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food, humor, nonfiction, own
I've been reading Trillin's essays for years but this is the first time I've sat down with an entire book's worth. As with many poetry collections, I sat down expecting to browse through a small selection of pieces at a time but then suddenly I'd finished it.

Although everything was written in the 70s, remarkably little is dated. Many foodie trends have, in fact, cycled back around. My copy is a first edition hardcover. It cost about $2 and likely always will but the yellowing pages and dated dus
Lauren ReVeal
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Alice and I have a special connection, it would seem!
Aug 11, 2011 added it
Over the years I have read Mr. Trillin's writing in New Yorker magazine. His food writing reveals a completely different side. it's like bringing a kid to a candy store. Here is someone who clearly loves food, and people who love food. His style reminds of Jeffrey Steingarten, a mix of confession and comic writing. While some of the stories are dated, many are timeless, such as the feast he brought onto a flight to Miami, . It helped that as a native New Yorker, I have visited many of the eateri ...more
Nov 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Calvin Trillin's far-ranging quest for his next great meal is laugh-out-loud funny.

It's a short book, but it's like a really rich dessert - just a small bite is enough. It's not a book to sit down and read in one sitting. Read a chapter every now and then, and enjoy.
Aug 27, 2014 rated it it was ok
Maybe Calvin Trillin is funnier in small doses like a New Yorker length article, but this book is the definition of a humorist trying to hard. HAHAHAH I love eating. LOL my wife is a nag.
Nov 12, 2017 rated it liked it
As I’m about half way through my literary dinner with Calvin Trillin’s 2006 prose, “Alice, Let’s Eat”, I wonder if digesting a fifteen course(chapters) meal in a single sitting was the best path to satisfy my hunger for words.
Now, don’t get me wrong, satire and self deprecating humor on a menu certainly is mouth watering, however, perhaps it’s best suited for an app, starter or hors d’oeuvre whichever your culinary nomenclature desires.
Trillin and his wife, Alice, go traipsing across the globe
Max Potthoff
I came to this book after hearing that it was one of Jonathan Gold's favorites. I blindly trust his judgement more than I care to admit. Written in the context of Trillin's relationship with food and his marriage, it is hard of imagine this being written and publicized today. That doesn't mean it isn't very funny and thoughtful. He is humane and gentle when it comes to the person he loves and the work the he does. Some of his most memorable lines are "why would anyone want to go away from a city ...more
Feb 14, 2019 rated it did not like it
Unfortunately this book came out before our current Golden Age of foodie writing. There were no Food or Cooking channels in 1978, no foodies, no Bourdain, no fusion, no gastropubs, no locavores, no Yelp. So while it was probably big stuff to read his writings in the New Yorker then, today they come off as a bit flat and one dimensional in a time when people now place food within the context of the wider world. How is food made and ingredients grown? This read is somewhat amusing, kind of clever, ...more
Nov 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love his writing and his sense of humor. Alice was a lucky woman.
Oct 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
I actually LOL'd in real life throughout this one. The cleverness and self references throughout were a delight.
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I feel about Calvin Trillin's food essays the way Calvin Trillin feels about Arthur Bryant's.
Mike Jackson
Jan 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great stories . My two favorites were London and New Orleans
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I used to think that Plato is the only person who is right about everything and that Shakespeare is the best writer ever. Move over you two, because I think I just found your competition.
Vy Vy
Sep 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely recommend this book, especially for those doing Home Economics. It's a really good book to read if you want to learn about different foods (that the author has experienced/eaten).
Mar 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019, march
If you are familiar with his writing, this is what you'd expect, and if you're not, it's a good introduction.
Feb 28, 2018 rated it did not like it
I'm partial to Trillin and to writing about food. But the essays here haven't aged well--the gender portrayals seem, in today's light, like especially unfortunate reflections of a different time.
Dec 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016, food
The best food writer I've ever read. From NYC's Chinese restaurants to the steakhouses of the midwest to the noodle houses of London, Trillin paints himself as a voracious scoundrel, always thinking ahead to his next gourmet conquest when he's only halfway through his current plate. We root for Trillin against the forces of evil, namely, those characters and obligations that might prevent him from eating some dreamed-of dish, instead diverting him to some dour pile of absolutely pedestrian food. ...more
Cindy Dyson Eitelman
Feb 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
I thought this was going to be hilariously gut-busting, so I suffered the disappointment of overblown anticipation. There ought to be a word for that--that feeling you get when your expectations for something are all out of proportion to the realities of it. That doesn't necessarily mean it wasn't humorous and maybe even funny at times. Just not enough.

As a collection of short essays in a newspaper--and I think that's where this came from--I'd definitely read them every time. Here's an example--
Jul 18, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who love food
This is a very nice about food by American humorist Calvin Trillin. In a short story format, Trillin describes his eating of everything from barbeque ribs to hog's pie across America and Europe. Trillin is a man who loves to eat and does not have the pretensions of many food writers. That he can also write about food (unlike the current NY Times food reporter Frank Bruni) makes the book even more enjoyable.

The book, however, is not perfect. Although "Alice, Let's Eat" is supposed to be humorous,
Dec 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food-writing
Calvin Trillin, writer of many hats, has said he's not a food writer. Instead, he writes about eating. But oh, how he writes! He's witty, with a dry sense of humor, and able to parody people nicely, without condescension, unless those people happen to be politicians.

Once again, he takes us on a merry trip to eat what the regular folk eat, with a magnificent side trip to a dinner by Paul Bocuse at Lutece. He also takes us to London and Paris, where his wide-eyed true-blue American outlook on lif
Oct 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
This is a highly amusing and wonderful book written by a Calvin Trillin, who I believe after reading this book to be a true foodie.

His descriptions of the some of the varied meals he eats at restaurants, church dinners, street food, airplanes, all over the country and France and England made me laugh and in quite a few cases made me very hungry.

I chuckled multiple times while reading this book and even laughed out loud a couple of times.

His late wife, Alice is featured throughout the book and he
Apr 29, 2016 rated it it was ok
Semi-amusing, sometimes over-written, focusing on gourmandizing (eating lots) rather than saying anything interesting about the food. Rather dated in its approach to writing about food, and about the topics he chooses. Why doesn't he get tired of mentioning Arthur Bryant's KC BBQ?
Read as bedtime reading, for which it was a fine choice. Short-ish essays, transparent prose, a chuckle here and there.
I will remember his odd arch self-deprecating tone, his quietly ironic stance of knowing what he say
Jan 31, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very enjoyable book that reminds us that there's good regional cooking everywhere you go. My mother, who disliked "corporate" food and loved local cooking, would have loved traveling with Mr. Trillin and trying the treats his favorite places had to offer.

It's also fun watching Alice -- Mrs. Trillin -- trying to squeeze a trip to a museum or picturesque seaside into her husbands grazing schedule.
Sep 26, 2007 rated it really liked it
I picked this up again after reading Trillin's beautiful piece in The New Yorker about his wife, Alice, after her death. Although on the face of things this is a book about Trillin's quest for authentic food and his adventures in finding it, it's also a comic look at family life and the woman he loved.

Here's an inscription he wrote in the first book he published since her death: “I wrote this for Alice. Actually, I wrote everything for Alice.”

How can you not love that?
Oct 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
"To you a jazz festival is just eating with background music" says Calvin's wife, Alice. Calvin isn't just an enigma, he's my eating hero. He is exactly the kind of person who I would want to hang out with. And eat with. And plan our next meal. Cleverly written and beautifully eloquent about all things food.
Jul 03, 2007 added it
Shelves: foodwriting
I just started this one, but it's a classic from what I understand, so I'm excited. I wish I could eat as much as this author clearly does without getting fat.

-- Having finished it, it was very cute. There's a chapter called "confessions of a crab eater," during which he basically admits that Dungeoness is the best of the crabs. I'm a fan.
Bill Adelson
Jul 13, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: ANYONE, WHY NOT!
Read all of Trillin. It's great American writing. Sophisticated and entertaining and romantic and beautiful. I makes me want to eat wonderful foods and fall in love. What more could one want from life. If you can't have the real thing, than this falls under the category of vicarious thrills, vicarious existence actually.
Jun 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
Super fun and enjoyable book. I particularly liked how it painted a picture of what Manhattan looked like before I knew it (published in 1979) and yet a lot of it feels like it could have been written today. Makes me want to go to Kansas to hunt down some really good bbq. Recommended for anyone who loves ready witty stories about food and life!
Aug 01, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: calvin-trillin
I read this book because I had already read "About Alice". I loved the book he wrote to honor and memorialize his wife and wanted to read more.

While this book wasn't as 'good' as "About Alice" I hesitate to even say that because the first was about her and this book is about meals and dining. He uses his wife as the 'voice of sanity' or some such. Anyway it is an entertaining book.
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Let's Eat 1 11 Feb 25, 2007 10:03AM  
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Calvin (Bud) Marshall Trillin is an American journalist, humorist, and novelist. He is best known for his humorous writings about food and eating, but he has also written much serious journalism, comic verse, and several books of fiction.

Trillin attended public schools in Kansas City and went on to Yale University, where he served as chairman of the Yale Daily News and became a member of Scroll an

Other books in the series

The Tummy Trilogy (3 books)
  • American Fried
  • Third Helpings