It isn’t that I HATE big chains. Starbucks got where they are by being REALLY good at what they do and ya can’t cuss that too loud.
But when it is time to get our grub on, Chili’s just isn’t where we gravatate. The thing is, our old urban hood was loaded with local when it was time to eat. LOADED.
It was the chains that were scarce and we weren’t seeking them out, for sure.
Local in the burbs? That takes work.
None of the “falling out the door and ending up at your fave wine bar or sushi place depending on which end of your block you want to head for” thing.
It takes a bit of faith, frankly, too. Because in a land where the Red Robin seems to always have swarms of people holding vibrating wait list notifiers falling out the front doors while the local (and awesome) joint across the way sweeps cobwebs off their chairs, you may just face the untimely closing of a place you grow to love.
(Then again, rising rents had the same affect on a few places I loved in the city, so maybe that’s a wash, eh?)
It’s harder here, finding the places you will love and feel “at home,” you don’t stumble on them, you have to seek them out – a funky droplet in a sea of Applebee’s.
(And by “you ” I ALWAYS mean “me,” but ,duh, so anyway…..)
It means spending time stalking strip malls, ( ick. Icky. Ickiest.) doing recon to find places that MIGHT become your fam’s satellite living room.
A quick aside, mom-and-pop places: you have to have a liquor license to have “Brunch.” Otherwise that jazz is just Breakfast or Lunch, and not worth this fam parking their patoots for the party. Mmm’kay?
I have discovered, however, that all of this rigamarole yields actual results.
For instance, I am writing this from the bestest little coffee and wine bar (Yes. Both. Amen.)
If there is a place like that out here, it was worth the epic tour of parking lots it took me to find the damn place.
(But that is after the second glass… and I’m NOT having coffee.)
Screw you, Peaberry.