Starting a small Tavern in rural Northern California. Barley and Hops Tavern catalogs the trials and tribulations of the restaurant biz, and teaching wine country to love beer.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Good food is good.

I've learned, through grueling research, that dining out involves dining. This has lead me to further research, and importantly, conclusions.

First and foremost, we've eaten at a lot of restaurants to see what it is that works; why we are drawn back like Pavlovian subjects, salivating at the mere thought of the perfect hot wings (The Sweet Spot, Santa Rosa), the perfect burger (The Counter, Menlo Park), and the perfect beer to accompany the perfect meal.

It's astonishing how much bad food there is out there. Ranging from pre-packaged microwavable atrocities, to pseudo-haute cuisine which cruelly distorts a comfort favorite with silly embellishments, overly technical cooking and plating.

There is nothing inherently wrong with experimental and efficient cooking. The problems arise when a chef complicates for the sake of complication, or sacrafices quality for laziness.

Great tavern food is:
1. Whenever possible, grown locally and organically, with love and care.
2. Balanced in flavor, in texture, and in presentation.
3. A great value.
4. Different seasonally, weekly, and at times daily, depending on what is fresh and delicious.

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