The job that seemed perfect for me in the persona of both of my primary blogs was eating out every day for a year in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada. Psychologically and gastronomically, I was ready for such an adventure.
But as we know, I didn't get the position. Richmond hired Lindsay Anderson to assume the role. And last week, Anderson finished up her 365 days of consecutive dining.
Will Richmond be an eating destination thanks to Anderson's work? Nothing personal to Anderson (other than she got to do what I wanted to do), but the setup seemed pointless. Were people going to go out of their way to eat in Richmond's restaurants?
From Anderson's blog entries, she learned a lot about different Asian cuisines. This exercise felt more like showing those who might not know much about this kind of food and making them more comfortable about ordering in Asian restaurants.
Lindsay Anderson brings too little attention to Richmond, BC food scene (CanadianCrossing.com)
You could do the same in Vancouver, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Toronto, and other major North American cities. But no major city would have pulled off this exercise since tourists come to those cities anyway.
If you did eat 365 days in one of those cities, you can enjoy a different cuisine each night. That would be a fun exercise, especially if you were new to the city. Anderson had some idea about Richmond where I had no experience at all.
The Travel Channel had a comparison between Chicago and Toronto. The show wasn't meant to judge a city overall in only a few minutes, though in the Chicago example, one of the 3 highlights isn't even known for its food. But I could have picked better places in Chicago (where I live) and Toronto (where I want to live) than they picked.
If I had to pick a major North American city to eat in 365 days in a row, Toronto would be a great place since you can get every kind of food under the sun. San Francisco would knock your socks off, and that is true even if you limited yourself to "the City" itself. New York City is a place where I haven't sampled a whole lot, so that would be a new adventure. Los Angeles is similar to me, but might not be as exciting. Montréal would be fun for the unique dishes you wouldn't get as good anywhere else.
Chicago would also offer a lot, though I'm likely biased in that I've eaten a lot of meals in Chicago. But if Chicago wanted me too, I would try some places I might have missed from living here.
Cincinnati and Milwaukee have produced some great meals for me, so they should get a mention. Boston would also be an eater's paradise. I don't know New Orleans, but that city could be fun for a year of eating.
I would gladly choose Paris or Rome for eating 365 days in a row, but the line would be long to join me in that adventure.
If you've lived in a place long enough, you've likely eaten 365 meals in restaurants, though not in a row. But you've likely done a few places multiple times. The joy in the challenge of eating 365 days in a row in a city is trying places where you never would have eaten otherwise.
Since most of us won't get that financial incentive to eat in a city 365 days in a row, utilize some of what Anderson did for your own eating individual. Try a place in your city that you always wondered about, but never stopped in before. Sure you might get a dud, but you might get a joyous surprise. And you won't have to travel or get a blogging gig to make that work.
photo credit: 365 days of dining