Thursday, January 15, 2009

Eating out and Yelping about it

For us, food is a celebration, and eating out is a privilege, a sort of special occasion, and we try not to take it for granted. We eat out only once a week—sometimes twice if we have a weekend breakfast out—and we mix it up between old favorites and new tastes. For a Google addict and OCDer like me, choosing a place takes careful research and deliberation. I search for new places, looking at reviews, menus, prices, driving directions—trying to learn as much as I can about a place and the food I’ll have there. Sometimes, I’ll be inspired by something I’ll catch online or on TV. Serious Eats’ hot dog review and nod to the elusive Sonoran hot dog had me combing the streets for hot dog street vendors—not common in the blazing Arizona heat, and it figured that the one I eventually found and came to love—a van that comes out and parks in the lot of a keyboard/synthesizer store after it closes for the day, serving these savory bacon-wrapped, bean-adorned dogs late into the night). Anthony Bourdain’s Columbia episode had me scrambling, trying to find a place (alas, the only place I could find in the Valley had closed down several years ago). Someday, I’ll find one, and there will be meaty, cheesy, potatoey empanadas with the thin, crispy shells!

While eating out is a big deal, I rarely write about it. I’ve never aspired to be a restaurant critic (or even a food writer—just a food writing editor!). Still, just like an oenophile takes notes (I took copious ones when I was still a big wine drinker), I’ve decided to start trying to do so, too, as someone who loves and appreciates good restaurants.



Thus, you can read my often verbose and somewhat scatterbrained reviews on Yelp at onewall.yelp.com. I’m "retro reviewing" now, so time willing, might be adding a lot of reviews over the next week or two. It’s been a good way to remember places I want to revisit, like the Lumpia Factory!

Lumpia Factory
Hun and I have dinner at the Lumpia Factory

I'm going to work on not being verbose. I don't often write for other people, just letting whatever's in my head spill out, so this will be an interesting challenge. And most likely, a good one!

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