I’ll have the Special.

Most people like to eat. Most. We all need to do it, certainly. But one can experience tremendous pleasure while eating. Conversely, it could go completely the wrong way.

Because of this, good people try to help other good people with their food choices. The Food Industry, and its many branches and off-shoots are big. Gargantuan Big.

No matter how, what, or where you like to eat, someone is there, trying to guide you along. Every restaurant on the face of the planet, toots it own horn, no matter how good, bad, or in-between, it may be.

I had the luxury of living in Charleston, SC. Of all the cities I’ve visited, this one packs a pretty big punch in the way of excellent restaurants. There must be more worthy choices in a 2-mile-radius than anywhere else in the United States. I miss that appetizing abundance.

Eateries aside, for a moment, there are also myriads of magazines/websites devoted to food. And, even if a publication is about hard news, there always seems to be a section apportioned for food.

If you love to cook and create, the help is endless. There are entire websites devoted to bringing you the most popular recipes of all. And the collaboration therein is mind-boggling. Joanne Tumbafrocker, “adds cracker crumbs and a few shakes of Parmesan to improve that Jeb’s. Hometown Meatloaf.” Not to mentions the shows on TV, devoted to cooking and dining. You can flip through the channels, any time, day or night, and find someone, with something, in a pan. And they always have an accent which brands them like no other.

While many people love to cook, it seems the majority like to go “out” to eat instead. Oh, the quest to find the very best spot. Once again, the help is consistently on the way. Just this week, I saw three “Best Of” lists concerning restaurants.

Money Magazine just posted the “best place to get BBQ in every U.S. State.” Here in Ohio, it is supposedly “The Midwest BBQ and Creamery” in Camp Dennison. I’ve never been there, but I heard of this spot about 15 years ago, from our pool guy, Pat. Now I might have to take the road trip.

Another list came out this week, from Eater Magazine. The 18 Best New Restaurants in America. Here is the list.

Bavel, Los Angeles | Bywater American Bistro, New Orleans | Canard, Portland | Carnitas Lonja, San Antonio | Cote, New York | Dialogue, Los Angeles | Elda, Biddeford, ME | Frenchette, New York | Kamonegi, Seattle | Hai Hai, Minneapolis | Hello, Sailor, Cornelius, NC | Majordomo, Los Angeles | Nyum Bai, Oakland, CA | Maydan, Washington DC | Suerte, Austin | Theodore Rex, Houston | True Laurel, San Francisco | Pacific Standard Time, Chicago |

Not too many in Ohio. Or Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia or Kentucky, Ohio’s touchy-feely States.

In fact, California has five of the spots. NY and TX have two and three, respectively. Which is a drag. I’m not going to California. Between wild fires, mud slides, and earthquakes, my chances of leaving the state unscathed are minute. And the other two? It takes a great deal of mental preparation to visit NYC. And. Given my political leanings, the same could be said of TX.

As for the rest of this list, it has to be a place where I am absolutely SURE of the pronunciation. It is quite embarrassing to tell everyone you are going to Siam’s Bar & Grill, when all along it is pronounced, SEE-ums. I just won’t have it. No way. No how.

So that leaves Hello Sailor in NC. I can say that. And. Their chef is Craig Deihl. He moved over there from Charleston’s Cypress Restaurant. So, it is a pretty good bet. Well. Until I called them, and asked about wait times. Two to three hours. So if you go for lunch, you might get in by dinner.

So it all boils down to this. I just pulled a pack of Corn Dogs out of the freezer.

I will have them with both ketchup and mustard, all swirled together.

Clearly, my discernment of fine dining is extraordinaire. Bon Apetit’


One cannot think well, love well and sleep well if one has not dined well. — Virginia Wolfe


The secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside. — Mark Twain


Never eat more than you can lift. — Miss Piggy