Pancakes in Paris is a funny, inspiring, moving, and provocative story. Reading how Carlson navigates through a French legal, social and economic system (which, say the least, is very different from America’s) on his journey to success is no less than fascinating." — The Huffington Post "If you are a foodie and Francophile, and if you like rags-to-riches stories, you should curl up on an armchair with a strong cup of coffee and a croissant and tuck into Craig Carlson’s memoir: Pancakes in Paris...a quintessential American tale, big and brash and filled with charm. " — Powell’s Book Blog "Finding American-style bacon and breakfast sausage in France wasn’t easy, nor was the diner’s opening in the middle of a snowstorm or fights over Heinz ketchup: Carlson’s book is full of amusing tales." — NorthJersey.com "In Pancakes in Paris: Living the American Dream in France, Craig Carlson shares how he came to open a successful American diner in one of the world’s culinary capitals. Having never started a business or even worked in a restaurant before, he admits his goal was a long-shot, but that just makes his story all the more inspiring. His adventures are full of interesting characters, delicious food, and charming sites." — Bustle "With Carlson recounting hurdles from amusing...to serious, this memoir makes for a delicious read." — Booklist "The author demonstrates that no idea is too crazy if one has the determination to pursue it to its fruition. A light, entertaining story of how a man turned his pipe dream into a profitable, highly respected business." — Kirkus Reviews "[A] sweet and entertaining memoir details how a former Hollywood screenwriter opens an American diner in Paris and lives happily after…Carlson’s narrative is an inspirational, tasty trip through one man’s delightful and hard-won success." — Publishers Weekly "Craig's book is cheerful as his diners, and as satisfying as his pancake breakfasts." — Stephen Clarke, author of A Year in the Merde and Paris Revealed "A hearty and delicious serving of adventures about starting the first American breakfast joint in Paris." — Jennifer Coburn, author of We’ll Always Have Paris "I loved reading this book. Craig Carlson tells his story with an openness and an ironic sense of humor. Pancakes in Paris is a great success story and will inspire readers to never stop trying to achieve their goals." — Roger S. Christiansen, Director, Friends and Hannah Montana "Anyone who fantasizes about selling everything and moving to France should read this refreshingly honest memoir about what it really takes to operate a successful business in Paris. The real takeaway is how Craig's love for his adopted city and its people is stronger than ever despite or perhaps because of the Kafkaesque ordeal he went through to make his dreams come true here." — Heather Stimmler-Hall, editor of the Secrets of Paris newsletter (www.secretsofparis.com) "What makes this memoir stand out though, is that he structures the story in such a way that the reader can’t wait to find out what happens next. We learn about him, the man, in the same way that he does. " — Underrated Reads " Pancakes in Paris is the tale of how Carlson turns his dream into a reality. And unlike many books of this type, it does a wonderful job of telling it like it really is.
eat.live.travel.write. "The author’s depictions of France as a living organism with which the industrious foreigner must learn to make peace in order to survive—one that is nonetheless responsive and eventually, even welcoming to having its tastes influenced through the right stimuli—will appeal to Francophiles, gourmands, and restaurateurs alike. Carlson’s France, warts and all, is one that I hope to taste someday.
Flavorful World "Carlson's background as a former scriptwriter is evident in his writing style: The book reads like a TV series where you can't wait for the next episode, or in this case, to read the next chapter. It's almost like a reality tv show is playing in your head.
The Paris Readers Circle
How the author created the ultimate American diner experience in Paris.Carlson's love of all things French began when he was required to take a foreign language in high school. Learning French changed his perspective on the world, and it was only natural to choose France as his destination for his collegiate study-abroad program. When his year overseas was up, he returned to America to continue pursuing his screenwriting career. But it was while eating an American breakfast complete with buckwheat pancakes that Carlson had an epiphany that changed his life. He realized the food he was eating wasn't available in Paris. "Suddenly, I could see everything so clearly….I realized all those twists and turns, all those ups and downs....They really had happened for a reason. And at that moment, I knew exactly what I wanted to do—no, had to do next: open an American diner in Paris! I even knew what I was going to call it—Breakfast in America." With nonstop enthusiasm, the author details the many obstacles he faced to make his dream a reality. He needed to secure money from investors, create a viable business plan, find a good location, hire employees, create a menu, and find sources for American foods, all while on French soil and following French rules, which turned out to be vastly different from those in the United States. Despite all these setbacks, the exhaustion that comes from working almost every minute, and the difficulty convincing Parisians that American food and coffee are actually tasty, Carlson's desire to bring American diner food to Paris paid off (there are now three locations). The author demonstrates that no idea is too crazy if one has the determination to pursue it to its fruition. A light, entertaining story of how a man turned his pipe dream into a profitable, highly respected business.
In this heartwarming memoir, Donald Corren’s engaging performance highlights Carlson’s roller-coaster experience of getting Breakfast In America, a diner in Paris, from concept to actuality. Corren’s spirited narration captures Carlson’s struggle not only with French bureaucracy and other cultural differences but also with creating a following for the diner. While most of the accents and pronunciations are spot-on and capture the nuances of the French people in the book, some deliberately imperfect pronunciations add an authentic flavor of an American trying to fit in. Ever entertaining are Corren’s perfectly delivered comments on the sometimes passionate, sometimes laissez-faire Gallic responses to the various situations that make Carlson’s journey both difficult and rewarding. M.F. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine
SEPTEMBER 2016 - AudioFile