(It's easy--just send in your hotspots on a postcard!)
I want to create a national directory of places where you can go to eat real food, made from scratch, from fresh, local ingredients, offered by the owners themselves in settings which you will find noteworthy. Also, I want to tell you where you can sleep cheap and ...interestingly. I even want to point out things to do. But good, cheap, fresh food will lead the way. All across the country.
There's no good guidebook for this presently. Sure, there are all kinds of fine guides, but nothing...OYB. It doesn't have to be huge, just a little something.
And I want you readers to do it all!
It's a cinch. You send in your favorite eating spots and such, I'll put you on a list to get a Guide. I'll print it up when we've got a start. And keep adding to it.
Presently, if you take a trip, or visit a new town, you won't know where the tastiest spots are. Even if you live in the boonies, I bet that within 50 miles there're real, affordable restaurants and other hard-to-find attractions you'd be pleased to find.
Right now all there is the Stern's books "Good Food" and "Road Food," with their list of 5 places per state. These are good, but a little off; they direct you to both $50 dinners and hot dogs inside of roadside dinosaurs. We can do better!
These noteworthy restaurants, bars, cafes, sleep-spots, sights, don't need to be fancy or even beautiful. They should be owner-operated. And offer *huge* value. Not just monetarily either. Location counts. Let's include natural food co-op type kitchens and predictable festival feasts, too. Get the picture? If not, make up your own. The guide is what you make it.
Hey, don't you think there should be regulations for the words "homemade" and "home-cooking"? Right now, drive anywhere and you'll see a dozen shanties boasting "homemade" and not a one will offer any such a thing. It's all out of a can! All across the nation! Is this a crime or what? This small-shop abuse of quality is why chain restaurants are taking over the world. No one knows who to trust! But every now and then you find the real McCoy.
To help us all find the real thing, send me your hot-spots on postcard, paper or disk. I'd love to do an Internet version of this too. (Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.) This "you give me a hot spot, I'll give you a guide to everyone's hot spots" concept is perfect Net material. But postcards work just as good!
(Of course, this might all be a bad idea. Maybe guides are dumb. Maybe we want to find our own hotspots, find out about others from friends, and keep 'em to ourselves. There's magic in luck, secrecy and privacy, too, as we all know. We'll just have to see.) - JP.