Sunday, January 26, 2014


OK so what exactly am I craving? Cajun and Creole, Eastern European, Caribbean and Greek, Middle Eastern and especially Vietnamese. I'm even thinking about British and Irish food though I've never craved either one of them. Does this sound like a mixed bag? Well, according to Trip Advisor - which I never look at in the states but it's the bible down here - San Miguel does not have restaurants in any of these ethnic categories. "0" to be exact.

How is that possible for the Best City In The World? OK Stop. Now I'll be having dreams in Spanish about dolmades and canh chua cá lóc.

They also gave the big "0" to soup restaurants but we all know there is plenty of good soup all over town since most of us have been eating it religiously since our own version of the polar vortex hit late last year.

I went from having 8128 restaurants in Chicago to 225 in San Miguel...not that I'm comparing or even complaining for that matter but given the fact that I have some rather large ethnic gaps to fill I'll either have to bribe some of my favorite chefs to come down here to cook or I'll just have to make it at home - which is Plan B and as all good cooks know, Plan B is usually Plan A.

If I had seriously checked it out and found that there were no Cajun, Greek or Vietnamese restaurants in San Miguel, would I have still come? Maybe... but I would have changed my departure MO and indulged in the likes of Greektown and Argyle Street and been to Le Colonial and Saigon Sisters at least a half a dozen times before I left.

Why do I suddenly feel deprived? Isn't it true that you always crave what you can't have?

Over the years, I've come to specialize in some of these cuisines but I'll admit that it was always a restaurant that inspired me to master the recipe. In my opinion, restaurants are the best motivation for would-be chefs. They give you a starting point with which to run.

I've also been lucky to find remarkable recipes that I seldom have to change up to perfect. Again, I attribute that to selecting first-rate restaurants to begin with.

So if the world is suddenly separating you from some of the best ethnic food on the planet, try cooking... 

and guess who’s coming for dinner tomorrow night?

Buen Apetito!