Following is my weekly column that appears in The Devils Lake Journal http://www.devilslakejournal.com/homepage where I work as a writer/ad sales rep.
May 3, 2012: There’s a Food Network Show called “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” in which Food Network chefs share some of their all time favorite dishes, usually from restaurants throughout the U.S.
I love the Food Network shows, because I like to cook, and of course, eat. Who doesn’t? Actually I have a friend whose husband doesn’t care much for it. He says he kind of views it as a chore, and that he could take it or leave it. Huh? I think he must have some kind of eating disorder or mental health issue. Needless to say the man is a stick and probably has never had to worry a day in his life about his weight being an issue.
However, since I am a foodie, I’ll no doubt write at least a few columns related to food. First let’s talk about restaurants. When I was growing up in Devils Lake, I worked at several local establishments, including the Dairy Queen and Hardees (where as a teenager I remember being mortified when the employees had to wear Micky Mouse ear hats as part of a special promotion!) However, I began my DL restaurant career around the age of 14, working at the now defunct Barrel drive-in restaurant along with a bunch of my gal pals. For those of you who weren’t familiar with it, the building was shaped lake a Barrel, and if I remember right, was white with wide root beer colored stripes. Some of my favorite Barrel dishes included the pizza burgers and the ice cream.
Back to the present. Needless to say in any small town the size of Devils Lake, restaurant choices are more limited than a large city. Since I was either unemployed or underemployed the last couple of years I lived in Denver, I didn’t dine out much, unless it was somebody else’s treat. If I did, it was generally to order from the $1 menu at McDonalds or some other fast food joint. That being said, I do miss the wide range of choices available in a larger city or at least the idea or option of more choices.
One of my favorite local restaurants in Denver is Tokyo Joe’s, a local quick service chain restaurant that serves Asian-style food. I love their out-of-this- world tasty Spicy-aki sauce. Denver also has lots of excellent local Mexican restaurants. In Washington D.C., the large ethnic population equated into a wide variety of restaurant choices with cuisine from all over the world. I remember a wonderful Vietnamese restaurant whose name escapes me now. And there used to be a little hole-in-the-wall place just a few blocks from the White House that made a mean Spinach calzone. And quite frankly that’s what I really enjoy – the local joints where the food is homemade, such as those profiled on the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.”
So now that I am gainfully employed again and can afford to dine out occasionally, I’d love to hear from all of you about your favorite local restaurants and menu items, so I can add them to my “Best Thing I Ever Ate” in DL list!