The WSJ reviews *An Economist Gets Lunch*

From Graeme Wood, the review is here.  It has the excellent title “From Invisible Hand to Mouth.”  Excerpt:

For authenticity, he awards points to Pakistani restaurants that feature pictures of Mecca, since they’re more likely to cater to Pakistani clientele. (“The more aggressively religious the décor, the better it will be for the food.”) Find restaurants where diners are “screaming at each other” or “pursuing blood feuds,” he says—indications that people feel comfortable there and return frequently with their familiars.

I liked this line:

These labor-intensive operations, Mr. Cowen writes, show “just how uneconomical true barbecue art can be”—which suggests that if you want to eat like an economist, you should find a chef who doesn’t cook like one.

Note, however, that if you have talent but do not wish to scale it up very far, running an excellent local barbecue restaurant still may be a good use of your time.  The last two lines are sincere flattery:

Mr. Cowen says to beware of scenic views, bevies of beautiful women, and well-stocked bars. “You want to see that the people eating there mean business,” Mr. Cowen writes. Food is a business he knows intimately, although his preference for delicious meals in windowless rooms with ugly women, pictures of the Kaaba, and active blood-feuds will not be a taste shared by all.

You can pre-order the book on Amazon here.  For Barnes & Noble here.  For here.  It is due out April 12.


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