Book Review - Author Craig Carlson signed Breakfast in Paris at Vroman's in Pasadena

By Dena Burroughs  --  August 31, 2016

Thom Rivera as Prospero and Erika Soto as Miranda star in the INDEPENDENT SHAKESPEARE CO. production of THE TEMPEST, directed by Matthew Earnest and now playing at the Old Zoo in GRIFFITH PARK / PHOTO CREDIT: Grettel Cortes

On Tuesday (Aug. 30) I attended Craig Carlson’s signing of Pancakes in Paris: Living the American Dream in France at Vroman’s in Pasadena. I’ve been reading the book for the past week - a cute, engaging, autobiographical tale of how Carlson moved to Paris and realized his dream of opening an American-style diner in the heart of the most romantic city in the world. To my delight, I was welcomed at Vroman’s with pancakes and coffee (“American sock juice,” the French call it, I now know) that was as delicious as our “sock juice” should be.

To a nice size crowd, looking a bit nervous, Carlson spoke about a life that started in Connecticut that from early on seemed to want him to end up in France. He told of his year as a student over there, of learning that food can and should be enjoyed for its quality and not only quantity, and of coming to the realization that, as delicious as croissants and pains au chocolate can be, the moment comes when you ache for a good American breakfast. It was like a light finally went on in his head, he said, when he finally figured out what he was meant to do – open a diner in Paris called Breakfast in America. By doing so, Carlson achieved his American Dream, except it happened over there - in the City of Lights. Today there are three Breakfast in America branches in Paris, where the French enjoy their hamburgers with utensils and sometimes even accept an American cup of Joe.

With his signing at Vroman’s Carlson started a 17-stop national diner and bookstore tour that precedes the September 6th release of Pancakes in Paris: Living the American Dream in France. The book can be purchased through Amazon by following the link posted below. It is of course now available at Vroman’s as well. I encourage you to get a copy. It is a fun book with a great story, and guess what - (I don’t think the author meant to give out this information at the reading until a member of the audience asked him) - he’s negotiating the rights for a movie! So read it before the movie comes out… remember that the book is always better.

And if you are going to France anytime soon and want to stop by the restaurant for an American breakfast fix, find out all about it at Breakfast-in-America.com.  

Timo Nuñez - Photo by Sari Makki

Andres Vadin - Photo courtesy of the Fountain Theatre