Synopses & Reviews
For Julia Pandl, the rite of passage into young-adulthood included mandatory service at her familys restaurant, where she watched as her father—who was also the chef—ruled with the strictness of a drill sergeant.
At age twelve, Julie was initiated into the rite of the Sunday brunch, a weekly madhouse at her fathers Milwaukee-based restaurant, where she and her eight older siblings before her did service in a situation of controlled chaos, learning the ropes of the family business and, more important, learning life lessons that would shape them for all the years to come. In her wry memoir, she looks back on those formative years, a time not just of growing up but, ultimately, of becoming a source of strength and support as the world her father knew began to change into a tougher, less welcoming place.
Part coming-of-age story a` la The Tender Bar, part win- dow into the mysteries of the restaurant business a` la Kitchen Confidential, Julie Pandl provides tender wisdom about the bonds between fathers and daughters and about the simple pleasures that lie in the daily ritual of breaking bread. This honest and exuberant memoir marks the debut of a writer who discovers that humor exists in even the smallest details of our lives and that the biggest moments we ever experience can happen behind the pancake station at the Sunday brunch.
"A witty and affectionate debut from Pandl, an occasional standup comic who first self-published this book in 2011, is rife with colorful recollections of familial adventures at home and at her parents' Milwaukee restaurant, Pandl's. The youngest of nine, the author, now 41, began her restaurant career at 12, and she quickly learned the joys and horrors of working the Sunday brunch (hilarious depictions of panicked pancake-making and hungover fish-deboning are particularly memorable). Her parents, whom she calls Terry and George, are kooky for sure, but when George is in boss mode, he transforms into a twitching, tongs-wielding, dining-room tyrant. But it's all part of the lovable, unforgettable package that is George which makes Pandl's story all the more poignant as she writes of Terry's illness and death, and later, George's own illness and dependence on his children. Pandl shifts perspectives from daughter and sibling to caregiver and companion; she writes, 'Our parents are planted everywhere in us.' There's much to relate in this worthwhile read, from funny family and workplace tales to thoughtful musings on faith, mortality, and loyalty." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
“Pandl’s Restaurant in Milwaukee is a Midwest tradition: What makes Julia Pandl’s memoir shine is not only its charm and humor but also its insider’s look at how high standards and love equals extraordinary food. In Memoir of the Sunday Brunch, she cooks up a delicious story that deserves a wide audience. We thank her for the memories.” —Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of The Deep End of the Ocean
“I don’t use the word ‘charming’ often, but that is the word that kept coming to mind as I read Julia Pandl’s memoir. Funny, sad, sweet, inspiring, every page wrapped in genuine emotion and sharp-eyed wisdom, Memoir of the Sunday Brunch is the work of a writer we’ll want to watch.”
—Keith Dixon, author of Cooking for Gracie and The Art of Losing
About the Author
Julia Pandl was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she still lives and works. Memoir of the Sunday Brunch