An Economist Gets Lunch

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 27 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 27 May, 2012, 12:00am


An Economist Gets Lunch
by Tyler Cowen (read by Stephen Hoye)
Dutton (audiobook)

An Economist Gets Lunch will annoy some readers, and not solely because of the didactic tones of narrator Stephen Hoye. An economist by vocation, the author writes a blog called 'Tyler Cowen's Ethnic Dining Guide', which reviews restaurants in the Washington, DC area). Foes will not appreciate his arguments against the slow-food and eat-local movements. Neither will they concur with his views against expensive restaurants. He also advises against expecting 'food bargains and beautiful views in the same place'; tells readers not to eat at restaurants catering to children because juvenile palates will have influenced the recipes; and argues that the practice of using food to sell drinks continues. To which, doh. Interesting points are sprinkled throughout the book but not enough to save it: Cowen points out that in fine restaurants the markup on wine might be three times the wholesale price. He also advocates ordering dishes that sound the least appetising, writing, 'An item won't be on the menu unless there is a good reason for its presence.'