I’ve been blogging about restaurants non-stop since 2006. And it has been an awesome experience that has given me a very unique perspective about restaurants, food and the people who run them.
Over that time, my writing style and picture taking skills really have greatly evolved. But I have always felt that my reviews usually ended up as either being called “Rave” reviews or “Rage” reviews. Mainly because no one really cares about the stuff that falls in between; the food was ok, had some flavor that I’ve had many times before, was served at room temperature by a transparent wait staff with an ambivalent attitude in a unmemorable room with very reasonable average prices and an experience that left me feeling generally unnoticed, much like elevator music. See? Not too exciting right??
The crazy rage reviews were almost always without fail due to some gross negligence, poor quality or somehow due to no skills at cooking whatsoever. I secretly hated writing these reviews, and I always felt that I would be building up bad karma somewhere along the line for even writing them. But I also always felt that in order to be true, and have a sense of integrity to my readers, that the truth had to be told, no matter how ugly.
Which leaves me with all my gems. These are proudest moments that I loved the most. The real reason I starting blogging to begin with. The RAVE REVIEWS. These are the great ones, the food porn moments of flavor ecstasy. Those unexpected discoveries, or times that I wandered into a small business like Big Ed’s In North Chicago and met a sincere, honest man proud to be a new restaurant owner, who was laying everything he had out on the counter for the world to discover, and discover him we did! All the way to being right there with him when we were filmed together on the ABC7’s Hungry Hound, which forever changed the way Chicagoland thinks of Big Ed.
Or the time that I took a detour to avoid a lunchtime train in Mundelein, and by accident found some amazing Chinese food at Dragon Star. The many visits to Frank’s For Memories, Lomelie’s, Scotty’s Hot Dogs in Round Lake or when I found Big Jacks right after they opened, and how years later, after dozens of Italian Beefs and hot dogs, I still hold the Buttacavoli family in the highest regard for making some of the greatest Chicago style food in Lake County.
The same story goes for the countless great restaurant operators, bakeries, donut shops, that I have blogged about, become a regular customer at, or in some cases over time, I become trusted friends with the owners or staff. Guys like Rudy Garza of Rudy’s/Rio in Grayslake or Dave Raymond of Sweet Baby Ray’s to name just a few of the really wonderful people that I’ve had the pleasure to meet while blogging.
The restaurant world is full of the kind of guys that would give you the shirts off their back, that’s what I love about this business, people proud to do the best they can, make great food, and folks who never let you leave feeling unnoticed or like you were just a ticket number.
And thus my transition into this world. I have been inspired by all these great folks. And each has advised me in ways that I never fully understood until last month when I decided to open up my own restaurant in Kenosha WI, called Bad 2 Da Bone BBQ.
I’ll be spending less time writing about the other guys restaurants now, and I hope that all you readers and bloggers continue to let the world know just how great they all still are. But for now, my blogging pen will be silent from blogging while I myself go from being the reviewer, to being the reviewed.
If you ever find yourself in Kenosha, stop by and say hello. Tell me how things really are, and if I met your expectations or not. My goal is to deliver the best food experience that I can, and to try to do for my customers what the all the great restaurants that I’ve raved about have done for me.
So I leave you with some choice pictures of what I will be serving at Bad 2 Da Bone BBQ & Grill above, but most importantly I want to say: Thank you for reading, take care, eat well and please support small business!!
Bad 2 Da Bone BBQ
2311 Roosevelt Rd (Hwy Rt.50)
Kenosha, WI 53143