I’ve mentioned before that I’m no foodie. I’ve waitressed, but never anywhere nice. I also never wanted to live in New York, although I really like that city and have always enjoyed visiting. But I get what it’s like to feel a calling to do something difficult. To learn the idiosyncrasies of a career that only a small portion of people do. Which is a lot of what this book is about – the inner workings of an upscale restaurant in NYC, as seen through the eyes of newly arrived twenty-two year old Tess.
She lands a job as a back waiter possibly because she’s pretty, but also because she’s a “fifty-one percenter.” (My book club friends and I had a lively discussion about what that term meant. The publisher’s definition is less cynical than ours was.)
In the beginning, Danler seemed to treat food and wine more intimately than her characters, but eventually (like it or not), we got to know Tess and the rest. None of them made good choices, but that makes for interesting reflections/discussions. Tess is provocative, the book even more so. People seem to love or hate it, which was probably Danler’s intent. Sweetbitter’s thesis seems to be that good and bad should be equally savored because both are necessary for experiencing a full-bodied life. What do you think?
Because last month’s theme was food, I included three awesome cookbooks in my choices and then challenged everyone to make something from them. (Did you? If not, did you make anything else last month that was interesting or exciting?) Not having much time or kitchen skills (Panera is to me what Luke’s is to Lorelai), I decided to pick something from Eat Like a Gilmore – Beef-a-Roni. It was awesome. Everyone loved it. The last picture is actually from the book. I was too busy eating to take a pic of my bowl, but it looked just like that!! 😀
Wondering about my headline? Who remembers the old “Beef, it’s what’s for dinner” commercials??