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 is a heartwarming and beguiling adventure of a couple who shares a love that most of us only imagine. Pat Patterson is a born storyteller and makes readers feel as if they are part of the road trip. This book is as much a story of sweet devotion as it is an exquisite example of discovering life's hidden joys in the smallest of everyday experiences. Not since Michael Ondaatje’s hypnotic voice in The English Patient has a book spoken with such an allure for the reader. You might even spot a bit of Irish in the author and his spouse's detailed arguments comparing a dish from one restaurant to the same of another restaurant.

They, along with the cats, dine frequently during a sometimes hilarious but always romantic auto trip across the South. As the miles flip the odometer, we are given insight into how this unusual relationship between the couple came to be, evolved, and gradually, at the end revealed in a secret you didn’t see coming. What, you say? There is a twist in a dining dialogue? Yes! And you’ll just have to read it for yourself–no spoilers here. Dialogue is so natural between the two; you’ll swear he recorded the entire trip. Alice is revealed in the first pages as a real life brainy, successful business woman enjoying life in San Miguel de Allende a small cathedral town high in the Central Mexican foothills. For over thirty years she lived in Washington D.C.. When she was fresh out of grad school and managing her firm’s D.C. office she captured the heart of a young man who came in from the rain. He fell hard. He pursued her. She said no –she told him she had cats. What she didn’t tell him was that she also had a secret. Over thirty years have passed since Alice revealed her secret. The young man is no longer young but he still pursues her. She calls him hubby. This is their story of a shared love for travel and history, for food and for their sweet and wily cats Munchie and Tuffy.

You might also say the book is unusual in that it totally engages the reader from the first page without a hint of violence, bloodshed, graphic sex, drugs or language. The author's main character (besides the two cats) Alice, does say "you bastards" once. Alice is supremely self-confident and comfortable in her own skin as we learn early on when she promises the author a vehicle of his dreams if he will join her in a multi-state road trip from Mexico across the South and help wrangle two cats into restaurants, diners, cafes and hotels. He expects to find a Suburban or maybe an Escalade in the drive. Alice surprises with a Japanese sub-compact - a Honda Fit. She says it's "flexible". They drive - Scott La. & the Boudin War. They dine - New Orleans at Gautreau's, Clancy's, and Herbsaint. They laugh - the Carousel Bar. They cry - tragic death. If you come along on this moveable feast you will find yourself caught up in a romantic love story that involves the Other Woman and a secret that Alice cannot keep. You will dine on scrumptious creations from America’s most acclaimed chefs from Austin and New Orleans to the Procope and Odeon Relais at Buci Market in Paris. Along the way you will laugh at cats stuck in boxes, fight with a Pirate, terrify a US Vice-President, discover cat smuggling, and learn how the Other Woman persuaded Alice to accept the author's ring. So what’s keeping you? Hop in ‘cause these cats don’t bite. Besides, “The Get In Here and Eat” pop-up food truck is waiting just up the Austin highway.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780998792224
Publisher: IonPublishers LLC
Publication date: 06/30/2017
Pages: 262
Product dimensions: 5.51(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.59(d)

About the Author

I was Raised in the South by a pack of wolves - good wolves with a pack leader and lifetime mate that protected the young and taught the three male pups how to survive in a chaotic world without losing the gift of kindness and love for fellow wolves. After college and grad school and a two year stint as a Lieutenant in the Field Artillery I fell into the computer trap. My years in the computer industry span the lengthy period from the day Jobs introduced the Lisa computer until Zuckerberg announced his IPO for Facebook. Along the way I was honored as co-creator of the "fuzzy search algorithms" in use as the de facto standard by all of today's major search engines. I am best known as one of the pioneers of DRM (Digital Rights Management). My innovative Digital Rights Management product for delivering music, photos and video won my company "Best New Start-Up" at the 1998 Internet World Conference. My company was the first to release Julian Lennon's No. 1 Hit "Day after Day" for Internet only distribution. Six of my patents are currently in relicense to a diverse group of hi-tech companies including, Microsoft, Apple, Sony, Valve, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Zynga, Audible, Intuit, Symantec and MacroVisio. My "541" patent is industry famous as the iTunes Patent that was licensed by Steve Jobs to provide digital rights management for all the artists and musicians on the iTunes platform. Now most of my days are spent telling Alice how much I love her while trying to avoid stepping on hairballs that our wily cats cleverly hide around our apartment in Arlington, Virginia. We recently returned to the US after a few years spent with Riley down in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. It is good to be back on American soil where Alice and I spend our evenings searching out the best in regional fare in and around this very cosmopolitan city known as the Nation's Capital. Our vote currently is a tie between Jose Andres and our little Cajun bistro hideaway known only as RT's.

Bryna Kranzler is a graduate of Barnard College where she studied playwriting, and received the Helen Prince Memorial Prize for Dramatic Composition. Her first play, a finalist for the Eugene O'Neill Memorial Theater Competition, was scheduled for production twice: The first time, the theater owner died and the season was shut down. The second time the director committed suicide. For the benefit the arts community, she decided to get out of playwriting. She earned an MBA from Yale University, and spent 15 years in marketing for health-care, high tech and consumer products companies before returning to writing.

THE ACCIDENTAL ANARCHIST, her first book, was the winner of The USA "Best Books of 2011" Awards for Biography: Historical, and a finalist in ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year competition in the Biography category. She is also the daughter of the late Shimon Wincelberg, the first Orthodox writer in Hollywood. Bryna was named for the young girl who saved her grandfather's life in the true story that is told in The Accidental Anarchist.

Table of Contents


Alice Draws a Route

Lupita Educates Alice

The Great Compromise

The First Big Surprise

America the Delicious

“Are Those Mexican Cats?”


Pop-Up Nirvana at Garbo’s

Texas Tower as History

Pigs Ears, and Bacon Root Beer Floats

Cats Hate Leftovers

The Road to Java

Cat Scares, Capitols, and Hotels

It’s Always Bigger in Texas: The State Capitol

Next Stop: Driskill

Monte Cristos in Paris

Finding Heaven in a Little Dish at Lenoir

Bring a Cat to Dinner


A Change of Plans: Houston Detour

A Little Boy and BigLig

Enter the Italian

The Secret Recipe of How to Make a Child Smile

Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover

Char-Grilled Sprouts

Dinner, Continued


Gusher that Changed the World

Next Stop: Mildred Ella


Munchie and the iPad

The Road to Billy’s Boudin

Boudin Wars


A Cat’s Primary Mission

Finding Alice

Alice Has a Spy

The Other Woman

A Night to Remember

No Cats Allowed


Ralph and Kacoo’s

Dining with Pictures

Clifton’s Zydeco

Two Cheniers


Cat Claws

Baton Rouge Surprise

Monteleone or Bust

The Great Cat Caper

Ride the Carousel

Eulogy for a Cat

A Meal Too Far


Breaking Bread at Gautreau’s

Alice Has a Nose for Greens

The Secret of Life

Alice Discovers Grandma’s Chicken

Return to Tuffy


Breakfast at Tiffany’s — Sorta

Johnny Horton Sings a Tune

Jefferson Buys a Bridge

‘Second’ to a Pirate

A Pirate Victory


Telenovela Beauty

Alice Makes her Mark

Clancy’s vs RTs

Celebrity Diners at RT’s

OJ Meets the President


Marge’s Gift from Scottie

The Three Little Pigs and The Eagles

Alice Tells All

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