He’s on the road again. This time, Alton Brown and his motorcycle-mounted crew are off on a thousand-mile, south-to-north journey that follows America’s first “superhighway”—the Mississippi. Starting at the great river’s delta on the Gulf of Mexico and ending up near its headwaters in Minnesota, Alton and buddies travel the heartland’s byways to scout out the very best of roadside food—and to get to know the people who spend their lives preparing and serving it.
A companion to the six-part Food Network series airing in fall 2007, Feasting on Asphalt: The River Run is a travel diary, photo journal, and, of course, cookbook. Alton’s itinerary includes big-city eateries and small-town chat ’n’ chews, as well as markets, inns, ice cream parlors, museums, barbecue joints—and even an alligator farm.
Louisiana-style Grilled Alligator Tail (served simply, with lemon and butter) is one of the book’s forty original road-food recipes. Others include Pecan-Coconut Pie from an Arkansan roadside restaurant; BBQ Pork Ribs in Mississippi that Brown eats over pancakes; Vegetable Borscht from St. Paul’s Russian Tea House; and Fried Catfish from a riverside burg in Illinois. When it comes to America’s foodways and folkways, there’s no better tour guide than Alton Brown.