Home / About
Photo by Pablo Mehanna
Photo by Pablo Mehanna

About

Photo by Pablo Mehanna
On the corner of Borges and Guatemala Street, Buenos Aires – Photo by Pablo Mehanna

My name is Layne Mosler, and I live in Berlin. Wherever I go, I get in a taxi, ask the cabby to take me to his/her favorite place to eat and document the adventure, culinary and otherwise.

The Back Story
In May 2007, 18 months after moving to Buenos Aires, I left a tango club, hailed the first cab I saw and asked the driver to take me to his favorite restaurant. When I ended up at Parrilla Peña, face to face with a plate of transcendent bife de lomo, I knew I was on to something.

In June 2009, I moved to New York City to see how the taxi adventures would translate in one of the greatest cab cities (not to mention one of the greatest food cities) on the planet. Before long, the cabbies of New York started to lead me to some truly delicious food: souvlaki in Queens, Ghanaian in the Bronx, and Russian deliciousness in Brooklyn, among other things.

Still, in confining my adventures to the back seat, I started to sense I was missing something, especially after I met Iris and Constance Marie, two lady cab drivers who love their jobs as much as they love to eat. In 2010, I became a yellow cab driver myself.

When I read a Lonely Planet piece about Berlin cab drivers who allegedly know as much about Nietzsche as they do about sausage, I took the Taxi Gourmet®  blog to Berlin, where there’s more good food than you might imagine. Here, I met a cab driver named Rumen, who danced on the Wall the day after it fell, who introduced me to the wonders of East German cafeterias and Vietnamese curry, who’s been chronicling the transformation of Berlin since he started driving a cab twenty years ago. In 2014, we got married.

Press
The Taxi Gourmet® blog has been featured on ABC News and MSNBC, in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Guardian, and in major media outlets in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany and Italy. Serious Eats called it “a great concept” and VenusZine recognized it as “randomness at its most delicious.” To see additional press mentions, click here.

My background
I grew up in a southern California family of butchers, bakers, failed farmers and great cooks, started working in restaurants at age 17, and was inspired to major in cultural anthropology after my first overseas trip to Russia.

I’ve written for The Guardian/Observer and NPR Berlin, reviewed restaurants for New York magazine, served as a New York editor for Not for Tourists, written a food column for South American Explorer, reported on restaurants for The Buenos Aires Herald, and contributed to The Travel Channel’s worldhum.com and Time Out. My stories about taxi adventures around the world have also been anthologized in The Best Women’s Travel Writing 2011 and The Best Women’s Travel Writing 2012.

My first book, Driving Hungry (Pantheon/Random House, 2015), is the story behind the story of the Taxi Gourmet blog. It’s a memoir about food, wanderlust, tango, taxi drivers, Buenos Aires, New York, Berlin, the beauty of chance encounters, the pleasures of not always knowing your destination, and the possibility of creating a life well-lived.

To see a list of my published food writing, click here. To get in touch, email me at layne(at)taxigourmet(dot)com.

Photo courtesy Spiegel Online

 

* TAXI GOURMET® is a trademark of Layne Mosler

33 comments

  1. What a wonderful blog! Please continue this great work I will be sure to check back regularly…

  2. Hey Layne,

    I saw a write up about you in the United flight magazine, and I was so proud!!! I also see that you have a series in the works. Mira vos!

    Hope that everything is going well in NYC and you’re not working too hard. I love your new layout and look forward to seeing the evolution of your interactive site. Abrazo fuerte!

    -A.

    • Amanda, thank you! So you’re still lifeing it in Southeast Asia now? I hope you’re having a great time (and eating amazing things).
      Un abrazo,
      Layne

  3. Absolutely love the new website. Can’t wait to read about more fantastic adventures. You are amazing my friend.

    – MB

  4. Layne,

    As your weekend dispatcher at Team, welcome to the NYC taxi industry. Enjoy (??#*) your adventures serving the NYC public and shortly you will have many stories to tell–enjoyed your blog very much–keep it going!!

  5. Hey Layne,

    So glad to see your new format. It looks great, and very fun!

    Hope all is well.

    Take care,
    Taos

  6. What a fantastic idea! Love the blog concept… let me know if you ever decide to jump in a Vancouver taxi ;-)

  7. I just discovered your blog via Midtown Lunch. I read your small post on Pick A Pita (because I looooove hummus). Really? It’s better than the Hummus Place?? I’ve had too many medicore hummus that I’ve really high standards. I think Turkish hummus is a bit different as well, texturally.

    • Hi Kim – I loooooove hummus, too. No, I wouldn’t say Pick-a-Pita’s is better than Hummus Place – but I’d say it’s in a similar league. I’d have to taste them side by side to say which I liked better. Pick-a-Pita’s is heavy on the tahini (which I really love)…I’d be curious to hear what you think.

  8. Marvelous writing! I am loving it!

  9. I really enjoyed this post, especially the “examples in this post” portion which made it really easy for me to SEE what you were talking about without even having to leave the article. Thanks

  10. What a great life! Sounds like you are doing just what you want to do. How few people get to do that in life. I admire your spirit. Can’t wait to hear about your other trips. Hope you love NYC as much as me.
    Mazel!

  11. I Love your blog I’am an Orlando Taxi Driver AND I Can Tell You Us Cabbies really Know Where The Foods at !! and We Are On the Road So Much that What We Recommend We Have Usually Eaten out at Ourselves Come To Orlando I’ll put You On to Some Good Food !! Drew H. Orlando Taxi car 54

    • Drew, I have no doubt you could recommend some great places in Orlando – I’m not sure when I’m going to get there, but you’re always welcome to write a guest post about your favorite spots in town. If you’re interested, send me an email: layne at taxigourmet dot com and I can tell you more.
      Meanwhile, drive on!
      Layne

  12. Danke, Berliner Tagesspiegel, who made possible that I found your web page! It’s very nice and lovely. Too bad that I am not one of your taxi drivers in Berlin, I would love to show you around ;)

    I completely agree with you, that food is a great way to communicate. I learned so much Thai by eating, cooking and reading Thai food blogs. Better than any language class.

  13. Cool!You story is great, nice to know you share so many things with your passengers.

  14. Cute blog, how often do you drive? I am an American New York City Taxi Driver and I also have a blog that I’m working on here:

    http://craziestnyctaxistories.blogspot.com/

  15. You can’t beat the taxi driver for local knowledge. You sure are onto something. Spread those wing! Fly!

    • A belated thank you for your encouragement, Jay, and for sharing your faith in cab drivers – I really appreciate it and will do my best to fly…on wheels. :-)

  16. Such a great blog!

    Many times have I hailed a cab and asked for a recommendation getting some great ones in different cities! Amazing sushi place in Seattle, funky coffee house in Portland, OR!

    Once I even hailed a cab in Miami to get a hotel recommendation that blew me away!

    Can’t wait to read more!!

    • Tracy, thank you for reading – I’m glad the idea has led you to some good things to eat and drink. Feel free to tell us about your Seattle sushi and your Portland coffee, if/when you have time…
      Cheers!
      Layne

  17. As Americans living in Berlin, my wife (The Antiques Diva) and I are always searching out interesting food destinations. After stumbling across your blog, we feasted this afternoon at Hasir, the one near KaDeWe. So delicious, and now time for a short snooze…

    Thanks for the wonderful tips – keep ’em coming!
    BJ

  18. Great idea for finding the best local dishes!! There aren’t many taxis here in Provence but if there were- I’d give this a try.

  19. I recently finished reading Driving Hungry, and I absolutely loved it! I so admire your adventurous spirit and loved finding out that you and Rumen are now married. Wishing you both many years of happiness!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This blog is kept spam free by WP-SpamFree.