Maybe I’m crazy, but I find such joy in recommending a restaurant that I love to a dear friend, and finding out that they had an amazing meal. It’s been an ongoing theme for me lately. I feel compelled to dig up local treasures and share the wealth to all who ask, and recently I find my search has become more vigorous. Until now, it’s been difficult to have hope in the local food scene. Although, a handful of bright spots have popped up in Central Florida that have renewed that hope. The sad, and honestly quite embarrassing part, is that some of these discoveries have thrived for a while. Some have been around longer than I’ve been alive! What have I been doing all my life? Why hasn’t anyone told me about them?
As a community, we should contribute to making sure everyone has an enjoyable time. That includes the times we’re apart. Times when we want an evening out with the misses or mister, but just can’t figure out where to go. We don’t want to waste that time. We should concern ourselves with getting the most from our wallets. So we all do the same thing, we call our buddy that knows the scene, who will always have your best interests at heart. He tells you about this great new farm-to-table restaurant that opened a couple of weeks ago. He had a chance to go there about a week before. He guides you step by step on exactly what to order. You thank him/her for the help, and they say something like, “Have a great time! Can’t wait to hear how you liked it!” The day comes. Time to go out to eat. You might be excited for this night out, but guess who is filled with nervous anticipation while you have the night of your life? The guy who’s sitting at home watching reruns of Iron Chef. No, not the one with Bobby Flay vs Susar Lee. That’s Iron Chef America. I’m talking about the one where Hiroyuki Sakai faces off against Alain Passard in Battle: Foie Gras! Anyway, I’m “that” guy and I want you to have an amazing meal, even if I’m not there to enjoy it with you ya jerk!
I go to bed early because I want to be fresh, and ready for a recap of everything you devoured. I call you the next morning around 10:30 A.M. This is the perfect time because it’s not too early that you can’t get the majority of your tasks done beforehand, and then spend half an hour discussing things over with me. Here’s how it goes more often than not:
Logan: “How did everything go last night? Please tell me you loved the crispy pork belly with sea beans and cipollini onion puree!”
Friend who should listen: “Yeah…so…here’s what happened. The thing is, umm…we just decided to go to (insert horrible chain) and then go see Journey to the Center of the Earth 2: The Mysterious Island”.
You make me want to cut my head off sometimes. Why do you do this to me? I almost feel the need to cut off communication for about a month, just so I can attempt to process the mental hardship you’ve put me through.
Here’s my point. When you’re having car trouble, you take your car to a mechanic, correct? He tells you that you need a new fuel pump. You say, “Thanks, but I think I’m just going to get a set of wiper blades. That should do the trick”. But you wouldn’t do that because you’re not a moron. The same principle applies to anyone whose opinion you supposedly value. Whatever their area of expertise, out of respect entertain them, they just might know what they’re talking about. Don’t take this the wrong way, you can order whatever you want, just please, have some faith and try my suggestion. I put forth a lot of effort to sniff out the best eateries, mostly for my own benefit but also so I can spread the word to my friends, hoping that they get to share my experience. I literally have nightmares about you sitting in an Olive Garden eating par-baked bread sticks and bastardized minestrone when I told you to go to Enzo’s and order the Dover sole or Penne Vodka, that’s something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. We’re here to inspire more adventurous meals, so live to eat my friends, don’t eat to live.