At lunchtime on Tuesday 20th June author Steve Braunias graced Unity Books with a visit while Unity Books graced Steve with arguably Wellington’s best hand cut chips (thank you to Ti Kouka Cafe, Willis St). All this was in order to find out more about Steve’s latest venture, the odyssey which would become The Man Who Ate Lincoln Road. Steve set a challenge for himself and he achieved it. Lincoln Road runs 3Km through West Auckland and at the time was host to 55 food joints. Over the course of 2016 Steve dined and reviewed each of these eateries. Originally published in the NZ Herald these reviews, plus footnotes and index (excellent and important additions both) have now been gathered together and published in a beautiful little tome by Luncheon Sausage Books.
Steve found the endeavor a very local experience but also an experience that happens throughout NZ on that one long street full of restaurants that runs across every town and through every city. And although it is a very NZ story it has grown out of an American experience. It is the story of fast food, of franchises and of mega-sized chain restaurants. It is the story of that family sitting around a table at Valentine’s, eating their meal and loving it. Steve ate alone for virtually all his meals on Lincoln Road and found himself slipping into another character, a lone wolf attaching himself to happy people. He lost his name and became known by Lincoln Road proprietors and strangers in far flung towns alike as The Man Who Ate Lincoln Road.
As time went on and writing progressed Steve found himself a character in what was turning into a quest and as with all quest literature a quest ends in death. Happily Steve just gained weight (now lost) and though the quest has concluded he finds himself drawn back, making excuses as to why it would be most convenient to dine tonight on Lincoln Road. Steve no longer enjoys the subtle flavours on a fine dining menu. What Steve craves now is the opportunity to be one part in a happy family unit on the bright side of the glass on Lincoln Road.
Copies of The Man Who Ate Lincoln Road can be purchased from Unity’s online bookshop here