Picking a Restaurant Has Become an Emotional and Social Minefield for Diner and Chef
I recently began keeping the kind of list I used to make fun of. It’s a rundown of restaurants I want/need to visit, and it resides in the Notes field on my iPhone.
I used to mock other people’s lists as foodie enthusiasm run amok. Shouldn’t choosing a restaurant be more organic and instinctual, based on mood and appetite, or–if planning far in advance–on the occasion, company, and geography? And didn’t lists like these contribute to the now-prevalent mindset that regards restaurants as disposable–to be checked out, then checked off, like movies or whatever series Netflix dropped for your bingeing pleasure this morning?
But a flurry of openings and closings, and the slow-dawning realization that I’ve been inadvertently neglecting certain friends and acquaintances, has driven me to create a catalog of must- and should-visit restaurants that, within days, expanded sufficiently that, to make it manageable, I had to divvy it up into categories.
Self-awareness demands that before going any further, I acknowledge that this undertaking, and my conflicted feelings about it, is what I refer to as an FWP, or Food Writer Problem. (And I don’t even consider myself a food writer.) It’s not really a problem–not in the grand scheme–but in my day-to-day life, both personal and professional, it looms large and omnipresent, inflicting no shortage of angst.
I can tell you the exact moment I decided to begin keeping The List:…