Martha Bolton, known to Brio readers as The Cafeteria Lady, issued a challenge. She wanted to eat her way across America to find the best school cafeteria in America. Offers from students poured in. In The Cafeteria Lady Eats Her Way Across America (And Lives to Tell About It), Bolton describes her experiences in over twenty states.
Bolton's own cooking sounds like a cross between Russian roulette and Chinese water torture, so leaving home for cafeteria cooking was no great sacrifice for her. As a matter of fact, she makes her excursions sound delicious. In each of the twenty-two schools she visits, she introduces the girl who invited her, the principal of the school, and the school cafeteria director. She visits colleges, public and private high schools, junior highs, and home schools. After describing the visit, she invites readers to visit some of the interesting places in that state. She lists her winning cafeterias and provides recipes she obtained during the way.
She includes some chapters that are classic Bolton: her kitchen tips, a song parody she calls "Stand by Your Food," the "Cafeteria Lady's Car Songs," and others.
Though parts of the book are delightfully Boltonesque, after a while the jokes about how poor her cooking is grow as stale as two-day-old doughnuts. Brio readers might enjoy the descriptions of the states and the visits, but older readers will enjoy other parts of the book more. I found that after a while, reading about the visits got to be like eating another helping of lima beans so that you can have your cherry cheesecake. The cheesecake's there, but for older readers, so are the lima beans. It's not that eating lima beans are bad; it's just that many of us wouldn't eat them if we could find something more interesting to eat. This time The Cafeteria Lady served us lima beans and cherry cheesecake rather than her regular spicy spaghetti-and-meatballs with chocolate cake. – Debbie W. Wilson, Christian Book Previews.com
Join Brio's "Cafeteria Lady" as she goes on the road to find the best school cafeteria food in America. Her search took The Cafeteria Lady to many of our 50 states, small and large towns, junior highs, high schools, public and private colleges and home schools. Her criteria for visiting–a warm invitation (of which she received thousands), something interesting about the school cafeteria and food that is edible (unlike her own). This funny and fun book is packed with The Cafeteria Lady's trip details, food reviews, spiritual insights and interesting tidbits about the states she visited. Ready? Strap on your seatbelt and let's go.