A year of dining ahead

As has become standard practice, I expect to continue these Restaurant of the Week posts in the coming year. I like doing them, they get me out to new places and you folks seem to like them too. I’ve been writing them since September 2007.

Let me use this first of the year post to explain how I pick the 45 to 50 restaurants a year that are featured here.

Some come recommended, but many are simply places I drive past or hear about. I may eat there on my lunch break if it’s near our office, which is in Rancho Cucamonga. If on I’m assignment in a farther city, I often make a point of going for lunch or dinner while I’m in the neighborhood. If I’m meeting a friend for lunch during the week or on a weekend, we often pick a restaurant that would be good for the blog.

The restaurant might be new or it might be old. Wherever I go, I’m eating there anonymously and buying my meal without introducing myself. To my mind, I’m just a guy eating lunch or dinner — but taking notes and photos. I have no training to write reviews and don’t consider these blog posts to be reviews. They’re just my take.

If restaurant reviewing were actually my job, I would work harder at staying atop what’s new or popular, or seek out certain restaurants, such as a couple of Mexican restaurants in Rialto recommended by a taco expert. But it’s not. This is just a hobby.

Another note: I try to hit all 10 of our cities at least once in a calendar year. That means at best I may get to only a half-dozen restaurants in any city in a year. So my list of potential restaurants has a big backlog. (A few of them have no doubt gone out of business.)

All that said, I’m always open to your ideas. If there’s any restaurant you’re surprised I haven’t written about, tell me in the comments. If you have any questions about my approach, ask away. Next Thursday I’ll be back with a fresh Restaurant of the Week.

As always, past posts can be found by scrolling through the category listings on the right-hand side of this home page, where they’re organized by city. Or you can search for names in the search feature.

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  • SAWZ

    Last week I received a phone call from my neighbor–she began her conversation by saying she had some really bad news for me. I braced to hear that a friend had passed. Then she gave me the horrible news–Home Town Buffet just closed. Talk about how to cushion a blow before you deliver it! I’ll take it, compared to a human loss.
    This must be “Ground-Hog Day”! We have been through this before. Hometown Buffet was the meeting place for the RPEA Chapter that I am currently responsible for leading. The meetings had been at HTB in Montclair ten years before I came into the picture. Then, after three more years, it closed abruptly without any notice–I had reservations for my group a year in advance. Then the HTB management in Rancho was very welcoming, and I had begun to look forward to my routine meal there every two months. Now here we are again. At least I heard this “horrible” news two-weeks before I need to begin writing a newsletter (the first time it happened II had already gone to the copier). The fact that our usual meeting date this year falls on Valentine’s Day did not help the situation–I would have thought the “powers-that-be-” could have waited until we got over that hump!
    I am now in luck! I met with the very nice manager at the just-opened Golden Corral in Ontario. I made my bookings. The food looks yummy!. When your next book comes out, I hope GC will still be operating, so you can be our guest.

    • davidallen909

      I haven’t yet tried Golden Corral, but it’s got to be better than (ugh) HomeTown Buffet! I did think of you and your group immediately and sympathetically when I heard the HTB shut down.

  • DebB

    I always look forward to your ROTW and have enjoyed the restaurants I’ve tried!

    • davidallen909

      Thanks for the support, Deb. (And your recommendation of Mr. Fish is among the restaurants on my to-try list…)

  • Megan Gearhart

    Over at Pinnacle Peak this week for lunch I had a great french dip made with thin sliced prime rib. Also there was a cut tie near the entrance with the tag “Roy Moore, Alabama” dated the night he lost the election. It made me chuckle.
    Enjoy your eats! Your reviews are always appreciated.

  • Bob House

    Didn’t realize I’ve been dining vicariously in the IE for 10 years, while living 300 miles away. Really enjoy the reviews, and your photos are good enough to make the subject of a “meh” review look delicious.

    • davidallen909

      Any plate of food in a storm, right? Thanks for following along all these years, Bob.