Dining and Driving with Cats: Alice Unplugged

Dining and Driving with Cats: Alice Unplugged

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Dining and Driving with Cats: Alice Unplugged 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Sefina Hawke for Readers' Favorite Dining and Driving with Cats (Alice Unplugged) by Pat Patterson is a contemporary romance novel that would appeal most to a diverse audience of young adults and adults who enjoy heartwarming romances with elements of humor mixed in. Alice bribes her husband into a road trip with herself and their two cats by promising the perfect car to take them from Mexico to North Carolina. Pat had images of a Suburban SUV and a Ford Platinum F-150 in mind, but Alice provides a Honda Fit. The road trip includes everything from fine dining with cats to cat smuggling, all the while showing the deep love connection between Pat and Alice. Will the foursome manage to make it to their final destination? Dining and Driving with Cats (Alice Unplugged) by Pat Patterson has a cover that practically screams crazy road trip fun. I once went on a road trip from Ohio to Florida with two seventy-pound dogs so I can personally understand many of the laughs and challenges that come from bringing your beloved pets along for the ride. I loved the way the author described the food dishes as it allowed me to not only get a clear image of the appearance of the food, but it also allowed me to imagine the taste. The book seems to be somewhat evenly divided between a romance tale and a travel guide, yet Pat Patterson succeeded in blending the two concepts together to create a guidebook with a romance story. I found this book much more interesting and enjoyable than the typical travel guide book and I loved the fact that it made me laugh a lot! I really hope the author decides to write a sequel!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pat Patterson is a born storyteller. His is an enchanting voice in the narrative that hypnotizes you into believing you are in the car with his Alice and the cats. Anyone who has ever taken a road trip will identify with this wonderfully well written new book by a first time author. I could not stop sighing page after page over the indescribable affection and sheer joy this couple possess for the most mundane and everyday acts we usually are oblivious to. From the time they cross over the Mexico border heading for Austin until the last page of the surprising ending there is a warmth and sincerity that can only come from a true story. At first I wondered why they enjoyed taking their cats to restaurants, cafes and diners? By the end of the book those cats, Munchy and Tuffy, were my dearest friends and are welcome to dine with me anytime. As hilarious as the great cat escape in Lenoir's must have been for all the diners it was the author's totally absorbing description of the restaurant's meal and the surroundings that captivated my imagination. In fact this is by far one of the best restaurant and dining review books I have ever read including, Fodor's, Zagat's and the Michelin guide. If the author wasn't a computer wizard he could work for the NY Times food critic section. Anyone traveling to New Orleans deserves to read this book and fantasize over Clancy's smoked soft shells and Gautreau's duck confit. Other scrumptious meals served at places as different as the Java Cafe in Austin to Herbsaint in New Orleans keep the reader asking for more. And more is what you get. This book never stops delivering what every reader wants - an engaging story with characters and stories that demand to be read. The enigma that is Alice begins to percolate from the first chapter as the reader senses the awe in which she is held by the author. His Alice is the girl on fire. She is the smartest person he ever met and while driving to Baton Rouge the reader learns how he met her. By the last page the reader learns how he almost lost her. When they first met he fell hard. He pursued. She resisted. She said she had cats. What she didn't say was she also had a secret. Between meals at Ralph and Kacoo's and the Carousel Bar in New Orleans the reader learns about the Other Woman but is left guessing about the secret until the very end of the book. I can say no more. There will be no spoilers in this review. As difficult as it is to select which event, person or place I enjoyed the most in this book there are two deserving a special mention. One is the visit at BigLig's. The author admits in his Disclaimer it was necessary to disguise the actual family and the illness discussed in the book. Whoever the real life family might be they should know that everyone who reads this book will say a prayer and send a thank you for just being. The second mention must recognize the author's delightful approach at weaving his memories of the past into the ongoing conversations he and Alice share in the car and at the dining tables. With a subtle, almost invisible style, the reader is spirited into the past to taste the grandma's chicken at the Procope in Paris and to feel the damp January sidewalks of Saint Germain des Pres as Alice and the author follow the Sorbonne students in a hungry search for an inexpensive dinner.When the last page number appeared in my hand I wanted more. Imagine my joy to see that book 2 is coming soon. I loved this book. Greta Hancock Asheville
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mouthwatering prose from a master storyteller! By Dan Snodderly Format: Paperback As someone who has visited Louisiana many times—eaten fried alligator in the Atchafalaya Swamp, danced at Tipitina's, and second-lined in Professor Longhair's funeral parade—I didn't think I would learn very much from "Dining and Driving." Plus I'm a dog lover rather than a cat lover. But Alice's thorough research and Pat's sharp eye for telling details, and their uncanny ability to encounter memorable locals like Chenier father and son, and the professor-turned-bartender at the Carousel Bar, make for riveting reading. Although I might be inclined to argue with the author on the importance of the Battle of New Orleans and on the difference between creole and cajun cooking, I will definitely be re-reading the sections on bourbon and zydeco music (which somehow seem to naturally fit together) before my next trip to the region.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Once Read Never Forgotten Format: ebook Once read never forgotten. This is going to be one of my favorite books of all time. From the first chapter to the last the author kept me wanting one more page. Sure there are cats in this book and after 260 pages even I wanted to get a couple for my family. But this is a story of sweet romance between a man whose adoration for Alice comes through on every page. It is a story about an actual auto trip the couple took with their two cats. Along the way they stop and meet unusual and interesting people. They take the cats into restaurants to dine with them. At one place in Austin their fat cat, Tuffy, jumped onto the bar and knocked the chicken carbonara into the other diner’s lap. They even went to my favorite restaurant in New Orleans called Clancy’s. I loved the part about meeting Jim Carville. My favorite part of this book is when the author meets Alice for the first time. She had a spy who thought the author was two timing her. This part actually made me cry when I found out the truth. And of course there is the secret. Alice had a big one alright and boy I cannot wait to find out what happens in the second book. I don’t know if this book is a romance story or a travel and dining story or an inspirational story. I guess it is all three and more. My fav this year. Ingrid Appleby
LAMartinez More than 1 year ago
First of all, I remember in the early to late-1990s how my parents fit their three daughters and a fat tabby in the backseat of a 1992 Mitsubishi Galant. They would take us every summer across the southern states, from California to Florida and as far north as Niagara Falls, Canada. Ours was an "educational" and "historical" tour of the United States. I now wish I could go on an eating adventure like these two! Oh to have the luxury of mouth watering feasts and driving cross country....with two cats in the backseat instead of bickering children! My family had a lot of fun memories and adventures during my childhood and I could picture each stop that Pat and Alice took. Parts of this book reads like a tour guidebook that lists interesting facts but with more gusto. Pat weaves his tale, needing to tell you some facts about the background, architecture, the people in each stop, the smells and how the cats behaved or didn't. This book is funny and charming and, did I already say, mouth watering. The way he describes the way the food tastes - oh my, please take me with you! But the way you can tell his love for his Alice is also pretty lovely and puts this book into a sweet, tasty romance. If you're still needing to getaway this summer, then I suggest Dining and Driving with Cats - Alice Unplugged and be prepared to laugh, sigh and salivate the whole way through! *I received this book in exchange for an honest review. However, these thoughts and opinions are my own. I'm not required to write a positive review.***
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Distracted Driving to Gastronomic Destinations ByV. Williamson April 17, 2017 rosepointpublishing.com Format: Paperback Dining and Driving with Cats - Alice Unplugged by Pat Patterson could as easily have been titled An Ode to Alice--or--An Ode to Gastronomy. The author could wax as poetic over exotic and very expensive dishes, maybe more so, than Alice at times, but it was a toss-up as to who won. I guess the answer is that we did, as neither you nor I will likely ever indulge in a Boudin from the "Boudin Capital of the World." Most of us will never have the kind of money this successful ex-D.C. executive Alice and her loving hubby can spend to experience a road trip from San Miguel de Allende in the foothills of central Mexico, filled with the kind of dining experiences that Pat describes in effusive, glowing descriptions. Indeed, the dissertation on bourbon alone might be worth the price of the book for some aficionados. Alice has mapped out a route into the U.S. where they will visit exclusive and well-known restaurants, bistros, pop-ups, landmarks, and friends of note along the way. They do all this in a Honda Fit with two cats, their fat-bottomed girl, Tuffy, and a wily Maine Coon, Munchie, whom Alice has insisted they bring along. From Gautreau's to Clancy's, no exotic restaurant, their premier menu or dish is overlooked. Detailed arguments comparing a dish from one restaurant to the same of another restaurant ensue in which the reader is finally given their considered opinion. (And with their world-wide sampling [including Paris] of the finest, should probably be given considerable weight.) There are even recipes included, of which I hope to try and duplicate one or two at least once, albeit with a few more affordable substitutions. (I can hear Pat heaving a heavy sign and crying "nooooo"--[sorry] but remember--my budget isn't as broad as yours.) As if driving with one or two dogs wouldn't be adventure enough, a road trip with two free-roaming kitties should probably have been termed distracted driving. Alice, however, at most times seemed to have the situation in hand--except for one or two notable exceptions resulting in hilarious adventures. In the meantime, we are given insight into how this unusual relationship came to be, evolved, and gradually, at the end revealed in a secret you didn't see coming. What, you say? A twist in a dining dialogue? Yes! And you'll just have to read it for yourself. The links included in the manuscript worked just fine in my cell phone, and when I saw a link destination that interested me, did not hesitate to click for additional info. My problem was with the kitties being allowed not only in the restaurant, but sampling exquisite cuisine. Having set your mouth up for the taste of a particular dish only to discover it was being shared with a cat almost had me sputtering. Still, this was one travelogue you likely won't experience again--until the second in the series is released! If you love your kitties, love food, or enjoy traveling--don't miss the first. Highly recommended even if your summer is a Staycation, then enjoy the trip vicariously.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A welcome break from the norm!, June 18, 2017 By Books Laid Bare This review is from: Dining and Driving with Cats: Alice Unplugged The power of forward planning and preparation led the main protagonists in this story on a journey that I think I might actually quite like to undertake myself, although having their feline friends with them certainly added to their trip…I’m not so sure that I would feel the same. Not, that I am a cat hater, far from it we have our own moggy at home, but taking him on vacation isn’t something I have ever given consideration so the premise of the book caught my attention from that single point alone. I found the book detail rich and loved that the attention that was obviously lavished on the facts, it was impossible not to be impressed with the work the author had obviously put into researching the story and because of that I thought that the author was able to ensure that my attention never wavered. Their trip was a gastronomic tour of all the places that they have either already tried and are keen to return or the establishments that they have been itching to visit but never gotten round to it and this trip is their opportunity. I loved their culinary comparisons, the author is obviously a connoisseur of not only fine food but fine wine, and after finishing the book, I think I have picked up on a couple of tips, I may not have their refined palate but I found some of the points raised by the author enlightening! But going back to the story and taking all the food, wine and cats out of the equation, what was at the core of the book was a couple that adored each other, it was such a sweet romance and Pat and Alice were great, the author allowed me the opportunity to see who they were, how they came to be together and the life of love that they had spent together, their trip was what the story was about but it was them that stole the show. A break from the norm…and a welcome one at that.
Amys_Bookshelf_Reviews More than 1 year ago
Storytelling at its best I love a book where the author is a storyteller, and not all authors can pull this one off, but Patterson definitely did. This is a great story about a couple who has a road trip with two cats. It's endearing and wonderful, detailing the trip of different states, such as dining experiences and landmarks. It's full of humor and adventure. It's a clean and fun story, and very likable, so much that the reader can see the reason the narrator loves Alice so much. A well written story that takes the reader along on the journey.