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OP: Jane and Michael Stern's Coast-to-Coast Cookbook

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by Jane and Michael Stern

Jane and Michael Stern might understand the vast and idiosyncratic nature of American regional cuisine better than anyone. Best known for their book Roadfood (1978 with many subsequent editions), a guide to local dining destinations and hidden gems, the duo spent decades frequenting big city diners, roadside stands, and backwoods barbecues, discovering what exactly American cuisine, shed of any pretense, is all about.

In an era when haute cuisine increasingly meant the food of “elsewhere,” and American food was snubbed as low class and devoid of culture, the Sterns successfully demonstrated the value of regional dishes and gave legitimacy to street food, cafes, country stores, and dives. 

1986’s Coast-to-Coast Cookbook is the logical companion to Roadfood, offering hundreds of recipes and, better yet, good stories to go with them. Many of the haunts the Sterns mention are long-shuttered by now, but the preservation of recipes and histories keeps the spirit alive.

A stick-to-the-ribs broccoli casserole side dish at Mama Lo’s Florida soul food restaurant, permanently closed in 1995, lives on with her original recipe here. Or you might try the beer battered and fried brain sandwich of The Haven in St Louis. Or the Ozark ham and beans with a side of scalded mush balls—leftover cornmeal mush rolled into balls and fried until crispy. Really, the delicacies and possibilities are plentiful and delightful.

We are pleased to be offering a Near Fine first printing, showing minimal shelfwear to the case. The jacket is clipped but otherwise Near Fine, also. Adorned by Jane Stern’s lively illustrations.

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