I had resisted reading this library book for quite a while; it'd been an impulse grab from the new books shelf. What more could the author really have to say about an "over-hyped cuisine"? Well ... lots ... and nary a mention of any "blackened fish" to boot! Roahen has selected topics (gumbo, red beans and rice, etc.), explaining the variety of experience within each from native (and some not-so-native) points of view.
It'd be missing the point, however, to classify the book solely as a food guide - the people and places covered are as important to the story (there is a well-developed narrative thread here) as the discussion of roux thickness and red bean selection. Matter of fact, if you aren't that interested in "foodie books" call it "memoir","regional interest" or even "humor". Just read it and have fun!
I've given it five stars, though I suppose I could nick a small piece off one of them for Roahen's mentioning a "pupusa hunt" in passing, but not including a chapter on the Latin scene (as she did the Vietnamese).