Whither Restaurant of the Week?

My regular Thursday account of a meal(s) at a restaurant has been on hold during the pandemic, for obvious reasons. Although one reader did suggest modifying the concept to Carryout of the Week, ha ha — which I didn’t pursue.

The break has been welcome on my end. During the first part of the pandemic in particular, I was in something of a state of shock and relieved to just get columns done under these crazy circumstances. Not feeling obligated to write RoWs was one burden I was delighted to shed.

After restaurants reopened, a bit prematurely in my opinion, they had to revert to takeout and delivery, or offer outside dining, now that no inside dining is allowed.

Before the shutdown, I had two RoWs written and scheduled. Because the restaurants were closed, I put the posts on ice. In late June, as restaurants began opening up, I scheduled the posts for early July. Then restaurants were ordered closed again July 1 and the posts were put on ice again.

At this point, with the two posts not getting any younger, I may as well run them. At least the two restaurants are kind of open. The posts are scheduled for Aug. 6 and 13.

After that, we’ll see if the RoW continues. There’s a lot riding against it.

My eating habits have changed for the better, the result of which is that I’m less omnivorous than before. (I’ve almost entirely given up bread, for instance, which would make it tough to review a sandwich shop.)

For the foreseeable future, there are obvious logistical issues in writing about restaurants that are only half open and from which food might be taken to go, but taken only so far. Whether I’m working from home or the office, I’m not traveling with hot food more than 5 or 10 minutes, which has tightly limited my choices.

One possibility is to drop the now-venerable name Restaurant of the Week and simply use the restaurant’s name for the title. That way I can skip weeks if necessary and no one can cry about false advertising. Or I could come up with a new name completely.

Suggestions are welcome — as are your thoughts on the whole matter, including about dining out during the coronavirus era.

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  • Hugh C. McBride

    I’m guessing “Restaurant of the Who Knows What Day Or Month It Even Is Time Has Lost All Meaning During This Pandemic Oh Lord Will It Ever End” might be a bit unwieldy as a standing headline?

    That said, you could probably dominate the #RotWKWDOMIEITHLAMDTPOLWIEE hashtag.

    I’m an idea man, is what i is …

    • davidallen909

      There might be shorter variations of that, Hugh. Like, Restaurant of Time Has No Meaning. Which would then be followed by a colon and the name of the restaurant.

      • SAWZ

        My husband has takeout from Casa Jimenez every Friday night. Its just about time for me to put in that order now. A week goes by each time, but it feels like the last order was yesterday.

  • Bob House

    Culinary tip: Never re-freeze posts.

    • davidallen909

      That’s sound advice, Bob. I kind of wish I had run them on schedule in late March even though both places were closed. Who knew this would go on so long?

  • SAWZ

    It is has really been frustrating not being able to hold scheduled meetings at the usual places. As irritated as I am, I keep reminding myself that my problems are a drip in a bucket compared to what the businesses are going through–some of them are never going to open again. I can attest that for a small group meeting (4), the patio area at Walter’s is very pleasant for breakfast. The service is good; my oatmeal and the coffee cake that came with it was delicious–(I won’t mention the price of coffee).

  • Doug Evans

    “Restaurants of the Apocalypse,” maybe?

    Whenever and wherever they show up, we will enjoy them! It makes sense not to be posting them weekly, and to emphasize when you do write one up that these are unusual times, but on the other hand, you’ll be doing your part, however small, to keep these places going!