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116 articles

Most controversial blog posts: a truculent top five (plus one).

With another year coming to a close, and ushering in what will be the start of my fifteenth year at this blogging venture, I decided to attempt something that is mostly good for a laugh: a ranking list.  A listicle, if you will.  Since this is a blog whose most loyal followers are relatively few

Adult-oriented businesses in the burbs: a veritable lion’s den for innocent impalas.

Several years ago, a perfectly ordinary drive-thru Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) in Indianapolis flourished, collecting business both from locals in the area (near the south side enclave of Southport), and, most likely, people passing through the city along Interstate 65, for which there was an exit ramp from Southport Road just a few hundred feet

Clandestine kitchens: restaurants that showcase their greatness by being obscure.

“Don’t be so humble.  You’re not that great.” ~Golda Meir Ever come across a business that seemed to go out of its way to hide its presence?  One that didn’t announce itself prominently from its front entrance, but instead seemed to downplay its own name, its logo, its fundamental identity?  It’s hard to understand why

Elmira after the flood: sewing together the tatters of a downtown.

A city the size of Elmira, New York isn’t necessarily going to have much in the way of a robust old downtown.  Its population according to the 2020 Decennial Census is a mere 26,523—nothing huge.  Virtually any major metro has at least a few surrounding suburbs of similar size that lack any true organized, historic

Temporary outdoor seating: bringing pep to parking lots when indoor dining was too risky.

I think the majority of Americans would at this point would agree that, in most respects, day-to-day urban life has deteriorated since COVD-19: higher costs to everything, escalating crime, visible vandalism, irregular cleaning and maintenance, and—perhaps this is just me (but probably not)—a general malaise that is either a cause or the effect of those

The Starbucks logo gets entrepreneurial elevation near the lowest point in the world.

It should come as no surprise that a successful brand, once vindicated through repeated growth and revenue amidst expansion, should explore its opportunities in other countries.  This tendency is such common knowledge that it influences global consumer culture almost unconsciously.  Long gone are the days where we might have pondered, “[McDonald’s] is everywhere I go

Cor blimey!  Manhattan’s Irish pubs continue to languish in purgatory. 

Surely I’m not the only one who remembers learning about the tragic story of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius onto the ill-fated Roman city of Pompeii in 79 AD.  I think it’s something many of us in the Midwest learned even in elementary school.  Our teachers described to us, in vivid detail, how it all