If you watch the Food Network, you’ve probably caught at least an episode or two of Alton Brown’s Feasting on Asphalt. The show has been on for two seasons and followed AB road tripping around parts of the US looking for good road food. The show focused on diner-type restaurants and the people in them, and always felt a lot less contrived (and a lot less like it was simply pushing product) than some of the network’s other on-the-road type of shows. Feasting on Asphalt: The River Run is a book that follows Alton Brown’s route along the Mississippi River and highlights some of his best dining experiences on that path with recipes from many of the diners and restaurants he stopped at.
This book is a great source of recipes for anyone looking for authentic eats, as many of the restaurants featured in the book have been in one location – making the same, locally well-loved food – for years and years. It’s generous of them to share some of their recipes, and the book almost manages to give you a sense of traveling to each location as you read through it. On a side note, the design of this book is great. Its thick cardboard cover and pull-out map remind me very much of the activity books that I took on road trips as a kid (you do need a kitchen for the “activities” in here, of course). The food is mostly Southern fare – not surprising – and while it isn’t health food, it’s not meant to be. The relatively easy to follow recipes should turn up satisfying comfort-food, a “taste of [Southern/Midwestern] home.”