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May 12, 2011

The Home Stretch

Saveur's 2011 Best Food Blog Awards  

The upside, both for your reading pleasure and my amount of self-loathing, is that today's the last day I can shamelessly campaign.

The downside is that time runs short. If you're so inclined, vote today!

(Winners announced on Tuesday... which will be the actual, real, honest-to-god last time you hear about this......... I'm going to go take a shower now.)


I would vote for your blog, if it stayed focused more on Restaurant/Dining coverage instead of the Top Chef TV cooking show. When you post about dining, you are very good. Perhaps Phoenix doesn't have a big enough (or good enough) restaurant scene to justify the scrutiny?


Well, I started the Top Chef stuff a loooooong time before we moved to Phoenix, so the two have nothing to do with each other. And as a born and raised Chicagoan who also lived in L.A. for six years, good food is where you find it. And the blog is actually more restaurant-focused now than it was when I lived in Chicago. But if the only way to write anything interesting about dining out is to live in one of a handful of U.S. cities, I think that says unfortunate things about the way we view dining out. I think this post captures the spirit of what I'm trying to say. It could be written about anywhere. And that's exactly the point.

In any case, the Top Chef stuff was something silly and fun that kind of took on a life of its own, and I see no reason why it should end as long as I'm enjoying it. I'm never going to limit myself to writing about restaurants unless I discover at some point that that's all that interests me, and that time isn't now (nor do I have any reason to believe it will be anytime soon). This blog is and always has been about anything food-related that I found interesting and/or fun. It's a journal that I share. For better or worse, that makes it what it is and not whatever else is out there, and I don't ever want that to change. If that means nobody ever reads it, so be it.

If you feel that makes this less of a blog, then you should most certainly vote for one of the other supremely deserving nominees :-)

Nicely written--both your post and your comment. :)

I will say, I came for the Top Chef (I wonder how many other came via Ted Allen's plug) and stayed for the food and intelligent discussions.

I will say that I do find your review intresting. Sure, I started reading them when you lived in Baltimore and I would sometimes be near one of them, but only infrequently. (Or I choose to drive 45 minutes out of my way because it sounds that good (See, Grace Garden))

But, even though you live in Phoenix and I've eaten at exactly one restaurant you've reviewed there, I still read them because I think they are well-written and thoughtful.

Congrats on the nomination! You definitely deserve it. The dining reviews here are awesome!


Same here, started reading because of Top Chef, the discussion is the best I've found on the web.
However, your reviews are good enough that I read and enjoy them even though I have not and probably will never eat at most of those restaurants.
(Voted already, good luck with Saveur!)

@Skillet Doux

So you know, I went through all of your reviews for Boston restaurants before I went there for New Year's Eve last year. I picked Craigie on Main for the group, which was probably the high point of the whole trip and one of the best food experiences I've ever had. Thanks for that...

Skillet Doux: It's your blog and you should certainly follow your own vision for it. I am not attacking here. I just feel that an award for 2011 Best Dining/Restaurant coverage should be for Dining/Restaurant coverage in 2011. As the Baltimore post you link shows, you are very good at that kind of coverage. I greatly enjoy reading and viewing the photography in your posts. I just wish there were more of them in 2011 and in Phoenix.

Ross... Fair enough. I thought covering 56 local restaurants (plus 22 more in Chicago, Las Vegas, Mexico, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Napa) since landing in Phoenix 16 months ago was a pretty good pace for a single writer, but I don't read food blogs (really -- long story), so I have no idea what's typical :-)

I wasn't under the impression you were attacking. Just providing a little context. The thought of going restaurant-only has flitted through my mind once or twice, but if I were to do that I'd be doing it for others, not myself, so I quickly dismissed it. And I've always assumed that the Top Chef stuff leads people to believe I'm writing a lot less about restaurants than I actually am (I wonder how many you would have guessed I'd written about in the past year?), but again, as far as I'm concerned, when I start tailoring this thing to people's impressions, that's when I should hang it up.

In any case, thanks very much for the compliments!

If there's one great thing about this magazine hoopla (besides the recognition you definitely deserve for your writing), it's that it seems to me there's been uptick in the regularity of reviews you've posted since vs. pre-hoopla, which is greatly appreciated.

But, after the pageant ends, and the posting go back to their regular level, I'm still cool with that. I'd rather read a well written intelligent post than diarrhea of the keyboard for postings sake

In homage to your Chicago roots, I did try to vote early and vote often.

Sorry, but I don't vote for blogs that relentlessly ask readers to vote for them. Despite your supposed reluctance to campaign, this is the 4th or 5th time a post asking me to vote has popped up in my RSS feed. I'm going to check out your competition and vote for one that doesn't spam their readers.

Teresa... okeydokey! I wouldn't have thought a single post and tweet on the day the nominations were announced and a single post and tweet on the last day of voting would qualify as "relentless," but everybody has their limits. You should probably unfollow if you haven't already, since there'll probably be one more post and one more tweet on Tuesday.

Seeing how there are exactly three posts on the awards, and exactly two on voting, I might guess that there's something wrong with the RSS feed as opposed to Dom spamming anyone.

Jesus, strangers, you people are intense about your fake internet balloting on fake magazine website awards! So intense as to go back to the blog, read it, going thru the captcha process in order to leave a comment...and ding it for being proud enough of the nomination as to make mention of it and link back to the balloting (a practice the nominating magazine encourages because it brings more eyeballs to their site).

I support this blog as a fan of Dom's and his writing, and I was going to do that regardless of the amount of promoting he did. But now! Boy! You've really made me reflect on the shallow commercialism Dom has delved into! I'm going to go ....aw screw it, I can't maintain my righteous anger.

Well, you know Jon, we do pay good money for... oh, right.

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