A Look Back

2015…Seriously? Clichés and me have a real love hate relationship, but time really does fly. The sprint to the end of the year has always left an indelible mark on me. Starting with the time honored tradition of giving thanks in November, then carrying that into December where we prove our thanks with gifts and gatherings (and oddly ugly sweaters) then January brings the warm, damp towel to drag across the surface of the year, wiping it clean to start again.

I have never been one to look too far in the future without realizing how I got to the present, so this month I would like to take a moment to adjust the rear view and recognize just how we got here.

In August of 2012 I was offered (I kind of begged) the opportunity to write for Eric and ALIVE Magazine. At the time, I was head long into my career, which had me traveling the globe, so naturally I thought it would be a travel article. I rapidly realized that not only was Harry Hubinger doing a smashing job on his Stamps In My Passport, but also we had oddly gone to many of the same places. Not wanting to squander the opportunity, I settled on the only other thing I knew at the time…restaurants. But I had no desire to write about food. I was going to suggest places based on their behind-the-scenes attributes that create return customers. A peek behind the scenes that I knew too well as a restaurant manager. Never a bad review. The places I didn’t agree with simply didn’t make the cut. Here then, is where we are today:

My Go-To’s:
If we need a patio and people we love, you can find us at Norms..always. Unless it is pizza night, then we will be at Jules!

Family:
There are places that are nestled in my heart for the rest of my time on this earth. Forbes Mill heads up the pack as my primary family, Incontro took me in and are the finest people I have ever known and Mi Casa is, well, my home!

Tip-Of-The-Cap:
What would memories be without a few fallen heroes? A few places are no longer with us but left their mark. The cowboy biscuits and gravy that started it all at Iron Horse Café (my first article) is now a Mexican restaurant, owned by an employee of IHC. Best in Show Hot Dogs had an ownership dispute. One guy took the cart and one took the truck, never to be heard from again. Pho Saigon is now Pho-Something Else and still very good, but not the original that fed me my first meal home from Africa.

Top of Their Game:
Rodney Worth wrote the foreword for my book What Seems To Be the Problem and promptly opened up two more restaurants. I can’t wait to see what’s next for him. Denicas is my wife’s finding, and the connection I made with her is real. Hopefully we work together one day (stay tuned). Yannis Greek Taverna is the finest Mediterranean food I have ever had, and you know I love Greek! Fudruckers is still the best business model I have ever found, even though my meat intake has slowed down. Sakura (Tony) will always be “our” sushi place, but your allowed to go…I guess. And I will never stop loving the salad bar at Round Table in Alamo.

Deli:
I found out I eat a lot of sandwiches. Ikes blew my mind with their menu and back-story, Brass Bear will always be family, but my latest discovery is Gary at Slow G’s. He cares about what goes into your body and it shows!

I won’t even mention the road trips we took, but I certainly hope there are many more of them.

Happy New Year Loyal Followers! I appreciate you all!