The Art of Eating In by Cathy Erway

The Art of Eating In

In the city where dining is a sport, a gourmand swears off restaurants (even takeout!) for two years, rediscovering the economical, gastronomical joy of home cooking Gourmand-ista Cathy Erway's timely memoir of quitting restaurants cold turkey speaks to a new era of conscientious eating. An underpaid, twenty-something executive assistant in New York City, she was struggling to make ends meet when she decided to embark on a Walden- esque retreat ...

Details The Art of Eating In

TitleThe Art of Eating In
Release DateFeb 18th, 2010
GenreFood and Drink, Food, Nonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Cooking, Cookbooks, Health

Reviews The Art of Eating In

  • Emma
    I thought the book started out interesting enough. Being in roughly the author's age demographic, I know the excitement of trying to cook on your own while being brought up in an eating-out culture. Some things she points out- people whose parents didn't cook usually don't cook at home, the price of grocery store shopping vs. eating out, urban foraging were interesting to read. The memoir style writing of it is fine as well, but she quickly loses...
  • Emma Kaufmann
    Only in America could a book be based on the premise of the author going on a fast - and guess what the fast was - it was nothing remotely difficult like living on soya beans - it was not going to restaurants for two years and cooking for herself!! WOW!! lolOkay and even if that premise is flimsy at best a better writer might have made something of it that was astute or insightful. But all Cathy's observations were trite and obvious and read very...
  • Dina
    The premise of Erway's book is a simple one: she's a broke-ish twenty-something who is getting bored with the monotony of restaurant hopping around her city and figures not eating out in the capital city of eating out would make pretty good blog fodder. She's not necessarily looking for enlightenment, just a challenge and way to save a few bucks. This is all well and good, however, it also ends up being the biggest downfall of the book, a drawn o...
  • Oriana
    My brilliant friend Leila is a garblogger -- I think she may have even invented the term. Go to her blog, everydaytrash, which is a trove of insightful and unusual and fascinating things about garbage, here, there, and everywhere. She is amazing! When this book came out, they sent her a copy to review, which she kindly loaned me, saying that if I wanted, I could post a review on her site. So naturally, being a good friend, I fucking forgot all ab...
  • Rachel
    I wish it was good. It suffered from giving too much detail and then not enough. She treated us to word for word dialogue when it wasn't needed and overly flowery prose but then didn't give us much detail about her relationship, every day cooking or any real insight.
  • Marci
    I had such high hopes for this book. With a teenage son and a soon-to-be teenage son, plus three other kids, I'm trying to find ways to cut back on my food budget and was hoping to find ways to make eating in an easier experience (not being so fond of cooking and all). The book started out promisingly enough with a young lady in NYC looking to cut expenses and deciding to eat in and blog about it. In the course of blogging she decides to delve in...
  • Stacy
    I think I was expecting more practical tips for less eating out when I picked this up. What I got was a memoir of a twenty-something New Yorker who gives up eating out for two years and starts a blog about it called Not Eating Out in New York. I did a lot of the same things she gets into when I was that age - the supper clubs, trips to the Farmer's Market, cooking classes, cook-off contests, hanging out with friends. At my current life stage with...
  • Sara
    Cathy Erway loves food. Which is good, because she lives in New York City, which is paved with excellent restaurants. But after one too many lousy, expensive midtown lunches and unsatisfying, greasy late night snacks, Cathy decided to give up restaurants. This book is a chronicle of how she spent two years of her New York life trying new recipes, competing in chili cook-offs, packing picnic lunches and making do, even when her apartment has no co...
  • AnnaBnana
    There were parts of this book that were interesting, and I confess that I added Erway's blog to my feed reader after reading it (mostly for the recipes). That said, the lower star rating is because this book is not what I thought it would be based on the title or the marketing. Erway did indeed embark on a quest to stop eating out in NYC and she learned to love the stove. I thought the book (and its tips) would be more practical. I wanted to read...
  • Sally81ha
    I chose this book as part of a desire to change some poor eating habits. I am just now taking what I eat more seriously, at age 33, but better late than never. I eat out more than I would like to, mostly due to laziness and poor planning. The author describes a brief history of how restaurants came to be and how eating out is so expected and normal in our lives. Overall, it is not positive for our health, our bank accounts, or the environment. Th...
  • Tonya
    I'd give this negative stars if I could. Utter twaddle. Not compelling reading, tedious writing, and the author is insufferable. I literally threw this book across the room after reading where she said she "understood" why Chinese restaurants might cook cats after dealing with her roommate's cat. What utter crap.But, the cat bashing aside, it's just badly written and so overly "Wow! let me name drop" and "I can cook anything!" I didn't even get t...
  • Jenny Bunting
    This book was an utter slog for me and it's a little bit my fault and a little bit the book's fault.I'm not a cook and I cook for pure survival and because I'm not rich. I went into the book hoping that it was more "I did this for the frugal" rather than "I learned to cook better and I LOVE COOKING" memoir I got. This memoir, in my opinion, would only work for people who love cooking and not people like me who are simply not interested.Still, tha...
  • Carly Ellen Kramer
    (As posted on“…people will say that the world of restaurant food is vast. But the world of cooking and eating in far exceeds it in scope, even in a city as seemingly disinclined toward home cooking as New York.” -p. 317As someone who used to have an (almost) daily restaurant habit and slowly became a (mostly) scratch cook, I truly loved this book. In The Art of Eating In, Cathy Erway tells the story of both extremes...
  • Gaijinmama
    The author was written up in one of my favorite magazines, and when I checked out her fabulous blog Not Eating Out in New YorkI just had to have her book. Not only is Erway a talented writer but her ideas are a real inspiration for those of us who, for financial, health, or environmental reasons are trying to prepare more of our own food ourselves rather than buying take-out or going to restaurants all the time. She is not a middle-aged homemaker...
  • Stephanie
    An interesting premise - giving up restaurant eating and cooking at home ... especially in New York City, home of awesome food. I didn't realize going in that the author had a decent amount of cooking background and history, and is comfortable eating almost anything. (Which, good for her, but if you've never cooked before or find it intimidating, this is not a guide to help you with that.)The chapters about supper clubs (illegal but fun), freegan...
  • Melissa Gans
    I was disappointed by this book. I had read the author's blog once or twice, and I thought this might be a fun read with some fresh recipes thrown in. It started out okay, but then fell quickly into a strange, disjointed bunch of stories, some of which were very long-winded with no payoff. Many of the recipes she includes with caveats -- oh, I personally made it a different way, but this should work. Okay....The author does not do herself any fav...
  • Rose
    The Art of Eating In chronicles the two-year hiatus that self-titled “foodie” Cathy Erway took from New York’s restaurants and eateries. She started a blog to keep friends and a growing fanbase apprised of her culinary journey, and condensed its highlights into a book. Eating out is so customary in the Big Apple that some apartments don’t even have kitchens installed. But for Erway, struggling to support herself as an underpaid executive ...
  • Molly
    This was one book that while based on a blog was still well-written. And while the author's lifestyle is incredibly foreign to me (several trips abroad just for fun, hipster friends, dance parties, and underground supper parties??)-- I still liked it. For two years she avoids eating out at restaurants- of any kind. Not too easy anywhere, but especially not in New York City. Not to say she was cooking every ingredient from scratch- which would hav...
  • Camille
    I didn't finish this book either. I hadn't touched it all week, and today I'm returning it to the library. I totally believe in the concept of this book - cooking your own meals is better for you and for your budget. Eating sustainable, seasonal food is challenging but feasible, and can also be fun (and colorful)! It is a wake-up call for everyone to think about how we eat, what we eat, and where our food comes from. However, this book is also a ...
  • Annmarie
    An enjoyable cooking memoir/narrative nonfiction mix. The author, a 25-year-old living in NYC, decides to quit eating out at restaurants and to blog about the effort. Her blog,, is evidently quite popular. She already knows how to cook quite well, so instead of a "I learned to cook" book, it's more a discourse on the social issues & history involved in eating out at restaurants, and then an exploration of the food movemen...
  • Monica
    I'm about halfway through, I think, and am not liking this too much so far. It's kind of a skimmer. Could have been a lot shorter. For instance, did the chapter about how much waste there is with takeout food have to be so long? Also, I guess I was hoping for some more easy cooking at home tips and recipes (quick and easy kind of stuff), but the author is kind of an obsessed foodie and, at least this far in the book, is spending most of her off-w...
  • Amy
    I liked the premise of this book, and it was interesting... but... I just wasn't all that impressed by the writing -- it felt stilted and missing some unknown quality that I can't quite put my finger on. I did pop over to her blog and see that in reading just a few tidbits that it's much better there. I'm guessing that the editing was the problem? Either way, it was still an enjoyable read overall for any foodie type. Oh, and this is just a perso...
  • John
    For the most part, the book delivered as expected with its premise that cooking at home can be as entertaining as going out. Erway writes well, coming across as a curious, interesting individual. However, after a while it was work to keep track of the cast-of-characters in this literary reality show. Talented and knowledgeable as she is, to me the author came off as slightly condescending at times - not deliberately so, as she seems rather self-a...
  • AJ
    4.5 starsI really enjoyed this book and wasn't sure what type of format it was going to take. Part memoir, part food diary, part cookbook, this book explored a two year span of not eating out without getting boring at all. I liked the parts about the supper clubs and dinner parties with hipsters, and some of the "characters" reminded me of people from Worcester. Ultimately, I can really relate to Cathy Erway. While I haven't gone on a complete re...
  • Jennifer
    Started out great but soon veered from funny stories about giving up eating out for a year to things like "exclusive" supper clubs and endless chatter about the author's friends and how much they could drink at any one time. By the time I got to the "OMG you can just eat out as a treat, not all the time!!!" revelation I was annoyed. I agree with the other reviewer who noted that by the end of the book it appeared to all be filler to get the requi...
  • Happyreader
    What really makes this book is that it started as an experiment in saving money by not eating out and ended as an exploration of creative self-expression. Loved her forays into freeganism and dumpster diving, urban foraging, supper clubs, and amateur cook-offs. Loved how her world expanded by leaps and bounds by her expanding her boundaries and exploring her passions. She admits she missed the whole urban ag, local food trend but it’s something...
  • Lynda
    I haven't been to a restaurant in almost a year. Over that time I have struggled to keep from being bored by food I made for myself, so I really jumped at this book when I heard about it.The only thing that kept me from giving it one star was the chili cookoff. I love those tales. The rest of the book was too "precious" for me.
  • Relyn
    I waited forever for this book to come from my library. It wasn't bad, but I'm not sure it was worth the wait. It wasn't very different from any other foodie memoir I've ever read. The differences were that it wasn't as interesting or well-written. Plus, Erway has WAY too much angst.