With notes in hand for three restaurants, I was going to write my weekly restaurant post on Wednesday to appear this morning. But I came down with a cold and took yesterday off. I’m back at my desk today with hopes of scraping together a column by deadline. Look for a Restaurant of the Week next Thursday, and sorry for missing a week.
For Sunday’s column, I look back at a year of Restaurant of the Week posts to choose my favorites from 2018. Those of you who follow the ol’ blog will feel ahead of the curve on this one and can pat yourselves on the back.
Chevys in Ontario has closed, as has Acapulco in Montclair and two of three local El Torito locations. I wasn’t a fan of any of ’em, but their loss is an interesting development. Along with a Culture Corner and a Valley Vignette, that makes up Friday’s column.
While I have notes from two restaurant visits in the past week, I spent Wednesday at the Fair and didn’t have a chance to write one or the other up into a Restaurant of the Week. I’m still getting back in sync after vacation, frankly. Look for a restaurant write-up next Thursday, and thanks for your patience.
Friday’s column pays tribute to food critic Jonathan Gold, who died last month and who will be the subject of a public memorial event Sunday. He had a big impact on Glendora’s Donut Man. But sadly, he appears never to have reviewed an Inland Valley restaurant.
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.
For Wednesday’s column, I name my favorite restaurants of the ones I tried in 2017, while also tossing in some Culture Corner items and a Valley Vignette.
It’s not that I don’t have notes for a Restaurant of the Week, or even two or three of them, but I’m leaving today for vacation and didn’t have time to compile one. I’m off next week too. This feature will return June 22. In the meantime, columns will appear Friday and Sunday before going dark for a week.