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A delicious memoir that takes us from Buenos Aires to New York to Berlin as the author, driven by wanderlust and an unrelenting appetite, finds purpose, passion, and unexpected flavor. After putting her dream of opening her own restaurant on hold, Layne Mosler moves to Buenos Aires to write about food. But she is also in search of that elusive "something" that could give s A delicious memoir that takes us from Buenos Aires to New York to Berlin as the author, driven by wanderlust and an unrelenting appetite, finds purpose, passion, and unexpected flavor. After putting her dream of opening her own restaurant on hold, Layne Mosler moves to Buenos Aires to write about food. But she is also in search of that elusive "something" that could give shape to her life. One afternoon, fleeing a tango club following a terrible turn on the dance floor, she impulsively asks her taxista to take her to his favorite restaurant. Soon she is savoring one of the best steaks of her life and, in the weeks that follow, repeating the experiment with equally delectable results. So begins the gustatory adventure that becomes the basis for Mosler s cult blog, "Taxi Gourmet." It eventually takes her to New York City, where she continues her food quests, hailing cabs and striking up conversations from the back seat, until she meets a pair of extraordinary lady cab drivers who convince her to become a taxi driver herself. Between humbling (and hilarious) episodes behind the wheel, Mosler reads about the taxi drivers in Berlin, who allegedly know as much about Nietzsche as they do about sausage. Intrigued, she travels to the German capital, where she develops a passion for the city, its restlessness, its changing flavors, and a certain fellow cab driver who shares her love of the road. With her vivid descriptions of places and people and food, Mosler has given us a beguiling book that speaks to the beauty of chance encounters and the pleasures of not always knowing your destination."


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A delicious memoir that takes us from Buenos Aires to New York to Berlin as the author, driven by wanderlust and an unrelenting appetite, finds purpose, passion, and unexpected flavor. After putting her dream of opening her own restaurant on hold, Layne Mosler moves to Buenos Aires to write about food. But she is also in search of that elusive "something" that could give s A delicious memoir that takes us from Buenos Aires to New York to Berlin as the author, driven by wanderlust and an unrelenting appetite, finds purpose, passion, and unexpected flavor. After putting her dream of opening her own restaurant on hold, Layne Mosler moves to Buenos Aires to write about food. But she is also in search of that elusive "something" that could give shape to her life. One afternoon, fleeing a tango club following a terrible turn on the dance floor, she impulsively asks her taxista to take her to his favorite restaurant. Soon she is savoring one of the best steaks of her life and, in the weeks that follow, repeating the experiment with equally delectable results. So begins the gustatory adventure that becomes the basis for Mosler s cult blog, "Taxi Gourmet." It eventually takes her to New York City, where she continues her food quests, hailing cabs and striking up conversations from the back seat, until she meets a pair of extraordinary lady cab drivers who convince her to become a taxi driver herself. Between humbling (and hilarious) episodes behind the wheel, Mosler reads about the taxi drivers in Berlin, who allegedly know as much about Nietzsche as they do about sausage. Intrigued, she travels to the German capital, where she develops a passion for the city, its restlessness, its changing flavors, and a certain fellow cab driver who shares her love of the road. With her vivid descriptions of places and people and food, Mosler has given us a beguiling book that speaks to the beauty of chance encounters and the pleasures of not always knowing your destination."

30 review for Driving Hungry: A Memoir

  1. 5 out of 5

    exncgal

    Meh. I get that she was restless and wanted to travel, and eat and live like a local. The Buenos Aires section of the story was great! I want to go there, and learn the tango, and eat steak and everything else... But then she went to New York, and it all went downhill faster than you can say "tourist trap" or "Burger King." I didn't like her friends. I didn't like the restaurants. I didn't like her decision to drive a taxi (which came out of left field). Then on to Berlin... which made even less Meh. I get that she was restless and wanted to travel, and eat and live like a local. The Buenos Aires section of the story was great! I want to go there, and learn the tango, and eat steak and everything else... But then she went to New York, and it all went downhill faster than you can say "tourist trap" or "Burger King." I didn't like her friends. I didn't like the restaurants. I didn't like her decision to drive a taxi (which came out of left field). Then on to Berlin... which made even less sense. By the end of the story, I was eager to be done. I think the part I enjoyed most was reading her bio inside the back cover and seeing that she lives in Berlin - hooray, she's settled down!! The verdict: yay Argentina, boo everything after that because it felt like a distracted wannabe "Eat, Pray, Love" or "Wild" but with better eats.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Narfy

    I can see why some people would be drawn to a book like this, however, in the same vein as Elizabeth Gilbert, I found Layne Mosler to be exactly the type of person I seek to avoid in life. But hey, if you like erratic people with Peter Pan syndrome who look to crowd funding to fulfill their own agendas, then by all means, read this book and enjoy.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    Driving Hungry is part travel memoir and part foodie experience, as Layne Mosler chronicles her adventures of finding good, cheap food by asking taxi drivers in Buenos Aires, New York City and Berlin. I will admit that this is more of a travel adventure, with a few comments about food, but that was okay with me. I enjoyed seeing Argentina through Mosler's eyes, learning the tango and feeling romantically conflicted by her partner. I used to live in New York City, so I very much understood her cha Driving Hungry is part travel memoir and part foodie experience, as Layne Mosler chronicles her adventures of finding good, cheap food by asking taxi drivers in Buenos Aires, New York City and Berlin. I will admit that this is more of a travel adventure, with a few comments about food, but that was okay with me. I enjoyed seeing Argentina through Mosler's eyes, learning the tango and feeling romantically conflicted by her partner. I used to live in New York City, so I very much understood her challenges in getting cab drivers to open up. She eventually got her own hack license, and her experiences of being a New York City cab driver were both interesting and amusing. On the word of an essay she read, the author decided that Berlin was a city she needed to experience, and so we, the readers, also traveled there, experiencing a city that is in continual change. Driving Hungry is a must read for anyone interested in travel and adventure!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Biblio Files (takingadayoff)

    This is a tough one to rate. There's a lot to like about Layne Mosler's memoir. She writes about her adventures in three cities, Buenos Aires, New York, and Berlin. The hook for the book is that she writes a popular blog about her habit of asking taxi drivers where they like to eat out, getting a recommendation about what to order, going there and trying it out, and writing about it. It's gimmicky but Mosler is a good writer and often she ends up writing (at least in the book, I haven't checked This is a tough one to rate. There's a lot to like about Layne Mosler's memoir. She writes about her adventures in three cities, Buenos Aires, New York, and Berlin. The hook for the book is that she writes a popular blog about her habit of asking taxi drivers where they like to eat out, getting a recommendation about what to order, going there and trying it out, and writing about it. It's gimmicky but Mosler is a good writer and often she ends up writing (at least in the book, I haven't checked out the blog) about people she meets or events that happen. Still, after reading about fifty pages I found myself skimming the rest of the section on Buenos Aires, then skimmed through the somewhat bleak section on becoming a taxi driver in New York. Then Mosler decided to spend six months in Berlin and the story turns from black and white to technicolor. The people in Mosler's Berlin are more fully drawn, you get a sharper picture of what she likes and doesn't like about the city. Once her visa expired and she returned to New York, it became bleak again. For me, the Berlin section was the entire book. And evidently, Berlin was It for Mosler as well, since she returned as soon as she qualified for a new visa.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jo

    Just couldn't finish this one - seemed shallow and self serving Just couldn't finish this one - seemed shallow and self serving

  6. 5 out of 5

    miteypen

    If this were fiction I would have said, "What a great idea for a book." Instead I can't help but think, "What a great idea for a life!" This isn't as polished as a novel, but it's well-written and interesting. What I particularly liked was that the author didn't present her story as some kind of spiritual awakening. It was just her life. What inspired me was her openness to listening to her heart and her willingness to do whatever it told her. She has a knack for capturing the atmosphere of a ci If this were fiction I would have said, "What a great idea for a book." Instead I can't help but think, "What a great idea for a life!" This isn't as polished as a novel, but it's well-written and interesting. What I particularly liked was that the author didn't present her story as some kind of spiritual awakening. It was just her life. What inspired me was her openness to listening to her heart and her willingness to do whatever it told her. She has a knack for capturing the atmosphere of a city as well as for describing food and people. I was a little disappointed by the end until I realized that, because a life is always a work in progress, there is no such thing as a pat ending.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    Quick memoir about a 30-something free spirit who's a bit of a nomad. While living in Buenos Aires she comes up with an idea to ask taxi drivers to take her to their favorite place to eat. And thus a blog and a book were born. She goes from Argentina, to New York, to Berlin using the same formula and tries a myriad of foods she never would have otherwise. She even gets a hack license and drives a taxi in NYC for a bit. I love her bravery. Great, descriptive writing too. Her food descriptions mad Quick memoir about a 30-something free spirit who's a bit of a nomad. While living in Buenos Aires she comes up with an idea to ask taxi drivers to take her to their favorite place to eat. And thus a blog and a book were born. She goes from Argentina, to New York, to Berlin using the same formula and tries a myriad of foods she never would have otherwise. She even gets a hack license and drives a taxi in NYC for a bit. I love her bravery. Great, descriptive writing too. Her food descriptions made my mouth water!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jeanne

    How unlikely would it be for an American "foodie," who writes a blog "Taxi Gourmet," to meet and marry a German cab driver in Berlin who has his own blog "Autofiktion?" Great story, right? After Layne begins dancing Tango in Buenos Aires, she asks Taxistas to drive her to their favorite restaurant and listens to their take on Argentine politics and culture. In New York, she takes a bite out of the Big Apple by getting a hack license to drive a cab. And in Berlin, she meets up with Rumen, who know How unlikely would it be for an American "foodie," who writes a blog "Taxi Gourmet," to meet and marry a German cab driver in Berlin who has his own blog "Autofiktion?" Great story, right? After Layne begins dancing Tango in Buenos Aires, she asks Taxistas to drive her to their favorite restaurant and listens to their take on Argentine politics and culture. In New York, she takes a bite out of the Big Apple by getting a hack license to drive a cab. And in Berlin, she meets up with Rumen, who knows as much about Nietzsche as he does about sausage, and well, you know the rest. A fun ride~

  9. 4 out of 5

    Barbpie

    I devoured (right?) this delightful story of Layne's eating and taxi-driving and -riding adventures in Buenos Aires, New York City, and Berlin. In the process, I discovered Layne's (Taxi Gourmet) and Becca's (Eating Berlin: From A to Z)Berlin blogs, which I have really been enjoying. I want to go to Berlin! And eat! I devoured (right?) this delightful story of Layne's eating and taxi-driving and -riding adventures in Buenos Aires, New York City, and Berlin. In the process, I discovered Layne's (Taxi Gourmet) and Becca's (Eating Berlin: From A to Z)Berlin blogs, which I have really been enjoying. I want to go to Berlin! And eat!

  10. 5 out of 5

    PaulaJ

    Different cities, cultures, lots on FOOD combined with personal encounters. So much love for this book!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    This one popped up in the “recommended reads” in the library ebook app. It turned out to be a really good read. For a non-fiction book it read almost like a fiction book at times. There were parts of the story that seemed impossible and there were parts that I feel many people have felt. The desire to find where you fit the world. The desire to find the people that fit in your world. To find the intersections of interests and attraction. To explore and learn about the world through culture, food This one popped up in the “recommended reads” in the library ebook app. It turned out to be a really good read. For a non-fiction book it read almost like a fiction book at times. There were parts of the story that seemed impossible and there were parts that I feel many people have felt. The desire to find where you fit the world. The desire to find the people that fit in your world. To find the intersections of interests and attraction. To explore and learn about the world through culture, food and conversation. This book hit home for me and I would love to try so many of the place that were documented in the book. The idea of asking a taxi (or now Uber) driver for a restaurant recommendation sounds like such a great idea. They always know a “spot around the corner”. If you’re a foodie or have an interest in learning about people, places and cultures this book will likely speak to you. I hope you enjoy it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tara Carpenter

    3.5 stars I didn't think Mosler was an excellent writer but you have to admire her wanderlust, openness, and passion for food and for people! She is certainly a solid writer though - and draws you in! I loved hearing about her experiences, good and bad, in Argentina, New York City, and Berlin. Even though she seems like a very different person than me, I loved hearing about her experiences - especially the food. I'd like to make a whole list of all the restaurants she tried, although hopefully so 3.5 stars I didn't think Mosler was an excellent writer but you have to admire her wanderlust, openness, and passion for food and for people! She is certainly a solid writer though - and draws you in! I loved hearing about her experiences, good and bad, in Argentina, New York City, and Berlin. Even though she seems like a very different person than me, I loved hearing about her experiences - especially the food. I'd like to make a whole list of all the restaurants she tried, although hopefully someone has already posted one online. And I had never thought much about Buenos Aires or Berlin before and they sound great! In different ways. I'm happy to read a bit of non-fiction, travel books written as a story are always fun!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Booktart

    I really enjoyed this! It was a fun way to get to know more about Buenos Aires and Berlin, two cities I've never been to. I enjoyed the NYC parts too. Having lived there, I was able to recognize some of the restaurants and areas she mentioned and it was valuable to learn about what taxi drivers go through to survive and make a living. I think the fact that the author drove a taxi made this whole thing more believable and feel like a two-way street with taxi drivers rather than something one-side I really enjoyed this! It was a fun way to get to know more about Buenos Aires and Berlin, two cities I've never been to. I enjoyed the NYC parts too. Having lived there, I was able to recognize some of the restaurants and areas she mentioned and it was valuable to learn about what taxi drivers go through to survive and make a living. I think the fact that the author drove a taxi made this whole thing more believable and feel like a two-way street with taxi drivers rather than something one-sided and self-serving.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sabina

    I'm a sucker for memoirs and I'm a sucker for travel stories, so this was the perfect combo for me. A little Eat Pray Love in the best way with half as much eye rolling. I often write in these reviews that amazing memoirs make you want to write, and this one has me yearning to break out the notebook for sure. I'm a sucker for memoirs and I'm a sucker for travel stories, so this was the perfect combo for me. A little Eat Pray Love in the best way with half as much eye rolling. I often write in these reviews that amazing memoirs make you want to write, and this one has me yearning to break out the notebook for sure.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey Adams

    This book is a book after my own foodie soul! You're not just given a taste you're given a buffet! Plus a real encounter of life as some of us will never see! I highly recommend this as a fun book for a long plane ride (I read mine on my vaca in Mexico) because it's entertaining and captivating in so many ways. But don't read on an empty stomach!!! This book is a book after my own foodie soul! You're not just given a taste you're given a buffet! Plus a real encounter of life as some of us will never see! I highly recommend this as a fun book for a long plane ride (I read mine on my vaca in Mexico) because it's entertaining and captivating in so many ways. But don't read on an empty stomach!!!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Cj

    I like memoirs. I like food. I didn't really like this. She mentions food a lot and talks about her blog etc. but she doesn't really talk about food--it's much more the driving which just isn't that interesting. And neither was her personal angst about it. I like memoirs. I like food. I didn't really like this. She mentions food a lot and talks about her blog etc. but she doesn't really talk about food--it's much more the driving which just isn't that interesting. And neither was her personal angst about it.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Caroline

    It is rare when I pick up a book with zero expectations. I don't even recall when or where I purchased "Driving Hungry" but so glad I did - loved it from start to finish! And now I want to be a lebenskünstler. Lovely read. It is rare when I pick up a book with zero expectations. I don't even recall when or where I purchased "Driving Hungry" but so glad I did - loved it from start to finish! And now I want to be a lebenskünstler. Lovely read.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    My review could be titled "Reading Hungry" because that's Mosler's descriptions of food were mouthwatering! I enjoyed her Taxi Gourmet adventures and wish there had been more of them and less tango and failed romance. My review could be titled "Reading Hungry" because that's Mosler's descriptions of food were mouthwatering! I enjoyed her Taxi Gourmet adventures and wish there had been more of them and less tango and failed romance.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Brynn

    Buenos Aires nostalgia (food! tango! taxis!) kept me going through the first third, but could not sustain me through the rest of this book. I ended up stopping somewhere in the second part. This was a little more Eat, Pray, Love than I was hoping for.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Carol Dix

    I enjoyed hearing her love of Berlin, a city I've never visited, made me want to go there. The whole turning a blog into a book is a little weak, as well as her premise of dining based on taxi driver's recommendations - but still, I liked her love of travel, interesting food, and her gumption. I enjoyed hearing her love of Berlin, a city I've never visited, made me want to go there. The whole turning a blog into a book is a little weak, as well as her premise of dining based on taxi driver's recommendations - but still, I liked her love of travel, interesting food, and her gumption.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth R.

    The NYTimes blurb about this book is the best way to describe it: “a weak narrative.” There were many parts that felt overwrought and insincere. I found it hard to believe that such deep, philosophical discussions were had with such frequency - it felt like it was trying too hard.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Becca

    I liked it ok enough. I enjoyed reading about her food adventures at first but it got a little old by the end.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Robin Randolph

    What a delight! I especially like how she nailed the German guy’s dialect. Took a lot of guts to do what she did. I so enjoyed this book.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Dorene

    Reminded me of Eat,Pray,Love...

  25. 4 out of 5

    Katarzyna Binder

    3.5 - additional star for the Argentinian section

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kim Brown

    Similar to Eat Pray Love. Just not captivated by this book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    BK

    Fun foodie and travel book that shares the trials and tribulations of woman in search of a good meal. I loved her stories and her writing style. Highly recommend!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Read this and other reviews at Ampersand Read. This book is less about getting into taxi cabs and asking the driver to take the passenger to their favorite place to eat, and more about one woman’s search for who she is in three different foreign countries. In Buenos Aires, we get a lot of Mosler desperately wanting to be great at tango dancing. More than just a hobby in Buenos Aires, our Mosley attempts to get to that effortless, sensual level that tango dancers who have been dancing for years ach Read this and other reviews at Ampersand Read. This book is less about getting into taxi cabs and asking the driver to take the passenger to their favorite place to eat, and more about one woman’s search for who she is in three different foreign countries. In Buenos Aires, we get a lot of Mosler desperately wanting to be great at tango dancing. More than just a hobby in Buenos Aires, our Mosley attempts to get to that effortless, sensual level that tango dancers who have been dancing for years achieve every night of the week. Unfortunately, she suffers heartbreak and setback after setback, having a brief flame with her tango teacher, and leaving several nights from the tango club in tears and blisters. While I understand that being seen as the clumsy American who lacks the skill and history to ever be good at the tango, and to see every dancer in the place as better than you to be discouraging, I found some of Mosler’s complaints to border on the whiny. Being a tango prodigy takes time and effort over years, sometimes lifetime, and her frustrations and departure from Buenos Aires to find herself in some other way seemed flippant and childish. The New York section was the darkest. In a city that is often portrayed as The Best City in The World, with so much going on at once, with so many people doing so many things, Mosler bottoms out. She rather inexplicably decides to drive a taxi in New York City (why? Whyyyy?). The stories of the passengers she carries, the overwhelming hardships she faces as a new taxi driver, and even details about how hard it is for even accomplished drivers to drive and own a piece of their business in the city, are fascinating and eye-opening. She has her typical impatient businessman screaming at her to somehow change gridlock traffic. In a particularly low point, she has to use a Starbucks cup to go to the bathroom because she doesn’t have the means (or the parking spot) to find a place outside of the car to do so. While it was the saddest and darkest (not that the book ever really gets that dark) part of the story, I found the bit on New York to be one of the more interesting sections. I don’t read a lot about the down-on-your-luck New York. Or if I do, it is only so that fictional characters can triumph and Find Their Way in the city. Again, Mosler leaves New York rather defeated, and makes her way to Berlin. Taking an instant liking to the city, Mosler paints Berlin in a decidedly more positive light. Or maybe it’s just so sparkly because New York sucked so much. She loves the streets, she loves the place she’s staying, she loves the food. And she loves the taxis! In fact, she meets and falls for one of the drivers. For a few chapters, this book is all about their meet-cute (he takes her on a taxi adventure to eat a dish called Dead Grandma, of all things), their differing personalities, and how that throws some bumps in the road (pun sort of intended) for their relationship. Berlin is undoubtedly Mosler’s favorite city (and continues to be, apparently – She married that driver and now lives in Berlin). But overall, the book left with me with the impression that flighty Mosler is hard to impress (maybe not food wise – she did try the Dead Grandma and liked it) and for me, hard to relate to. I do love to travel, but Mosler seemed to be constantly trying to find something and not succeeding, bringing the mood down in the process and making her seem whiny sometimes.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Fiona

    Driving Hungry is Layne Mosler's account of her life in three of the world's most vibrant cities - Buenos Aires, New York, and Berlin, seen through the eyes of a woman learning to find her way in life and in love. It's a great read for those with a sense of adventure. It would be underselling Driving Hungry to call it a food book, although food is pivotal to her search for self. There are many wonderful encounters with incredible foods from all over the world, and I loved the way in which the tax Driving Hungry is Layne Mosler's account of her life in three of the world's most vibrant cities - Buenos Aires, New York, and Berlin, seen through the eyes of a woman learning to find her way in life and in love. It's a great read for those with a sense of adventure. It would be underselling Driving Hungry to call it a food book, although food is pivotal to her search for self. There are many wonderful encounters with incredible foods from all over the world, and I loved the way in which the taxi drivers she meets and works with are like a condensed United Nations, introducing the author to foods from all corners of the globe. Driving Hungry is really a travel memoir, a love letter to the three cities Mosler lives in. Buenos Aires, New York and Berlin come alive in the pages, full of colour and fascination. From the front, or back, seat of a taxi we also get to vicariously experience a different side to these cities as Mosler asks taxi drivers for food tips and then becomes a taxi driver herself. This gives us an insight into the difficult and at times lonely life of a taxi driver. Mosler is a wonderfully engaging writer who I found fantastic company through Driving Hungry. I could quite happily have left the meter running to hear more of her stories.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    I shouldn't have liked this as much as I did. I was not a fan of "Eat Pray Love," and this has a similar format: one-third in Argentina, one-third in New York, and one-third in Berlin. The difference is, this woman *does* things, things that would terrify me (driving a taxi in New York?!). I got a real sense of Buenos Aires and Berlin. She describes New York in a way that is far from romanticized--this New York has you dealing with one dispute after another for 12 hours or more, and coming home t I shouldn't have liked this as much as I did. I was not a fan of "Eat Pray Love," and this has a similar format: one-third in Argentina, one-third in New York, and one-third in Berlin. The difference is, this woman *does* things, things that would terrify me (driving a taxi in New York?!). I got a real sense of Buenos Aires and Berlin. She describes New York in a way that is far from romanticized--this New York has you dealing with one dispute after another for 12 hours or more, and coming home to a litterbox apartment. She gives her tango man more credit than he deserves--I don't buy into his philosophizing about tango and life. Her German-Bulgarian taxi-driver boyfriend at the end has a more interesting voice, was fun to read about. The book is not as much about food as I expected. I liked that the food/restaurant descriptions are about real food, not the fancy restaurants that most people can't afford. These are little ethnic restaurants and quick street food. And not every meal turns out well. Nice armchair travel. She has a very good ear for dialogue.

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