Craig Carlson set out to do the impossible: open the first American diner in Paris. Despite never having owned his own business before—let alone a restaurant, the riskiest business of all—Craig chose to open his diner in a foreign country, with a foreign language that also happens to be the culinary capital of the world. While facing enormous obstacles, including convincing French banks to give him a loan, finding “exotic” ingredients like bacon, breakfast sausage, and bagels, and dealing with constant strikes, demonstrations, and Kafkaesque French bureaucracy, Craig and his diner, Breakfast in America, went on to be a great success—especially with the French. By turns hilarious and provocative, Craig takes us hunting for snails with his French mother-in-law and their attempts to smuggle them past U.S. Customs. We encounter a customer at his diner who, as a self-proclaimed anarchist, tries to stiff his bill, saying it’s his right to “dine and dash.” We navigate Draconian labor laws where bad employees can’t be fired and overzealous inspecteurs can pop in at any moment and close down your business and battle antiquated French bureaucracy dating back to Napoleon as Craig tries to purchase an over-priced Paris apartment the size of a shoebox. When Craig finds love, this debonair French man makes clear he won’t be satisfied until Craig learns how to properly use a knife and fork. For all those who love stories of adventure, romance, and over-coming the odds, Let Them Eat Pancackes will satisfy your appetite and leave you wanting even more.
Craig Carlson is the New York Times bestselling author of Pancakes in Paris and the owner and founder of Breakfast in America, the first American-style diner in Paris, which has been featured in The Lonely Planet and Frommer’s Paris travel guides. He lives in Paris with his partner.