Booklist Reviews Hot Dog Taste Test

“Review: Hot Dog Taste Test” / Booklist / Annie Bostrom / June 1, 2016

More of a varied collection than a narrative work, Hot Dog Taste Test showcases Hanawalt’s (My Dirty Dumb Eyes, 2013) colorful lists, essays, and whacked-out illustrations, much of them food-based. (And when it comes to food, Hanawalt clearly knows her stuff: she’s won a James Beard Award for her comics and essays in Lucky Peach magazine.) Hanawalt’s media is mixed, too: pencil sketches, bright watercolors, and even photographs of her sculptures appear here. Food diaries and lists play a big part, with toilet humor in an important, supporting role. On lovely flights of fancy, bird-people go to the deli, try on bathing suits, and get overtaken by their houseplants. In longer, more confessional essays, Hanawalt spends a day shadowing and being fed by renowned celebrity-chef Wylie Dufresne, blisses out at a river otter sanctuary in California, and lives large during a buffet-fueled weekend in Vegas. A feast of images, formats, and general laugh-out-loud fun—there’s so much here and still, somehow, not enough of it.

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