The Caldonia Café is road trip for a lovable loser. Benny, our hero, has a girl who loves him but she’s annoyed by Benny’s lack of direction. After Benny left LSU for a break, which appears to be stretching well into the future, he moves from one menial job to the next. But when he returns to New Orleans to visit his mother, the lightly used old VW van of hers and discussion of basic culinary treats puts an idea in Benny’s head to use the van to create a food truck. With Mom’s blessing and a little cash from her,
Benny hits the road to explore simple roadside restaurants for the best of basic fare.
Frey does a fine job of pacing the road trip and introducing interesting characters along the way. At the same time, he mixes in a misunderstanding on the use of the van and the cash Mom gave him. Frey uses a simple premise to put Benny on the road without a cell phone, returning communication to the old days when postcards sufficed and further stirring up the misunderstanding.
Caldonia Café is a fine, light read. Recommended.