On the Serious Eats calendar, you'll see a big, fat star on November 1st. Why? That's when the Serious Eats book comes out—and we can't wait to share it with all of you.
That's right—it's almost time for Serious Eats: A Comprehensive Guide to Making and Eating Delicious Food Wherever You Are to hit bookstores (and e-bookstores!) near you. What's on the menu for these 368 pages? Well! We're glad you asked.
The short answer: One, long, impassioned search for our favorite eats from across the country—from food trucks to fine dining and everywhere in between. The best pies and sliders and brisket and croissants and fried chicken we know. 50 recipes developed by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt. Predictably mouthwatering photos from Robyn Lee. Tales from the road. Introductions to many of the fine folks making this fine food. Our theories on oatmeal and American cheese, pizza ovens and sandwich construction. And much, much more.
There will be a few classic Serious Eats gems you've seen before between these covers—I mean, how could the Hamburger Fatty Melt not make it into our book? But the vast majority of the photos, recipes, and content are brand new.
Each chapter will be about different foods you know and love and read about every day on Serious Eats—burgers and pizza and sweets, of course, as well as sandwiches, breakfast, barbecue, fried foods, farmers' markets, and street food.
Let's take our sandwich chapter. You'll find our guide to sandwiches all across America, from Beef on Weck to Italian beef, from spuckies to Cubans. You'll read about 15 sandwiches across this country that blew our minds. Then there's our survey of New Orleans po' boys (does any city have as rich a sandwich culture as New Orleans?). You'll read about our favorite old-guard purveyors of tortas and lobster rolls and Philly roast pork—and about cheffy shops that put their own spin on a classic. You'll meet five of our favorite delis across America. There are recipes, of course, from a pork belly banh mi to a Reuben with homemade corned beef. You'll lose yourself in the photos on every page. And, of course, you'll hear from the Serious Eats community, with comments sprinkled throughout this (and every) chapter.
Ah, it's facts you want? It's 368 full-color pages, in a glossy, gift-worthy, hefty-but-portable paperback. It's listed at $27.99 (though, as always, likely cheaper at major retailers). There will be a simultaneous e-book that'll look every bit as beautiful. It's published by our good friends and partners in this whole delicious adventure, Clarkson Potter of the Crown Publishing Group at Random House. And it's out November 1st—just in time for all your end-of-year gift-giving—in stores everywhere. (Available for pre-order at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and Indiebound.)
How Did You Write It?
When we first started talking about the Serious Eats book nearly two years ago, the task seemed daunting. But between the collective knowledge of the Serious Eats editors, overlord Ed Levine's extensive eating travels, our huge net of contributors across the country, our food writer and blogger friends in every corner of America, and our Serious Eats community members, we had a lot of intel to start with.
So where do you go, armed with those thousands of recommendations from hundreds of sources? You hit the road, of course.
Most travelers are constricted by the number of meals in a day. You can hit up three spots, maybe four or five if you get snacks in there, but that's about all, right?
Our days started to look more like 8 eateries. 12. 15. We're pretty sure our record is my single day in Salt Lake City, where I ate at 22 establishments in 16 hours. (I don't recommend this.) Workdays started to look like a 4:00am wakeup call; an early morning flight from NYC to Denver ("But Ed, we really do have to stop back in Colorado before the sandwich chapter's done..."); a 10-hour swing through Denver, Boulder, and Sedalia, Co.; a speedy drive to the airport; and a flight out to San Francisco before the day was done.
JetBlue happened to offer their All You Can Jet deal just six weeks before our manuscript was due, when we were starting to panic about all the states we wanted to visit or, often, re-visit; for a shockingly reasonable sum, a traveler could take any JetBlue flight she wanted for an entire month.
This really changes the way that you look at a country. We'd never thought a day trip to New Orleans from NYC made much sense, but armed with our passes, how could we not? Ed, Erin, Robyn and I jetted out one fine Tuesday morning, landed before 9:00am local time, met food writer and incomparable tour guide Pableaux Johnson, knocked off 2 fried chicken places, a beignet stop, a gumbo detour, 2 snowball places, and, oh yeah, 24 po' boys (and a few drive-through daiquiris) before we ran through security to make our 5:00pm flight.
So over the course of a year, often thanks to the gracious hospitality of friends, family, and SE contributors, we crossed the country to find you the best in American regional eats. Here's a map of some of the burgers mentioned in Chapter 3—in Detroit and New Jersey, Atlanta and Seattle, and everywhere in between.
When you read about our favorite doughnuts or fried clams or hot links, know that we've been there, on the ground, in our never-ending search for the delicious.
Eat It Up
Get excited, Serious Eaters! As you can tell, we're itching for this book to get out there, and we hope you are, too.
About the author: Carey Jones, project manager and whip-wielder of the Serious Eats book, is the editor of Serious Eats New York and co-editor of Serious Eats: Sweets. Follow her on Twitter (@careyjones).