Monday, April 30, 2007

Coming soon... "The List"

As you can probably tell from reading this blog, my girlfriend Karen and I enjoy eating out. We are truly fortunate to be in a situation where we are able to go out and enjoy so many of the culinary delights that the Bay Area has to offer.

One evening a couple of summers ago, Karen and I were talking about the various restaurants that we had visited together, both in the San Francisco area and during our travels. At that time, we had been dating for about nine months and had checked out quite a few places around town. I asked her if she had any idea of how many places we had dined. She did not. I was a bit curious and started combing though my old credit card receipts (yes, I'm a bit of a pack rat) to jog my memory on the places that we had visited. I opened an Excel spreadsheet to help me organize this information. Thus, on that warm evening a couple of years back (July 6, 2005 to be more precise), "The List" was born.

As you can imagine, "The List" has grown quite a bit since it was first created. We came up with a few loose rules to determine whether or not a restaurant qualified for inclusion in "The List":

  • Both Karen and I must have eaten a meal there at the same time; therefore, a restaurant does not get included if we have each eaten there separately but not together;

  • No national chain restaurants (e.g. TGI Fridays, Chili's, etc.) - not that we go to those places very often anyway; smaller or local chains, like Il Fornaio are okay, but we'll make a judgment call;

  • No fast food places (perhaps redundant due to the national chain rule).

I should mention that there are a couple of restaurants where the service was so gawd awful, we have banned them from inclusion in "The List". If any of you want to know the restaurants-that-shall-not-be-named, please let me know; hopefully you can be spared from experiencing the crapola service that we received. Also, despite my best efforts, I know that the list is not complete. I'm sure that I've forgotten a few places that we've visited over the years. In fact, if any of you could tell me the name of the little place about a block away from the Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof that we visited on November 20, 2005, I'd sure appreciate it...

Over the past couple of years, a number of friends and colleagues have requested access to "The List", which I gladly shared with them. While most of them have been happy just to have "The List", a few people have complained about the lack of restaurant ratings. So, attempting to meet this need, I have tried to go through the exercise of assigning ratings, with an emphasis on the word tried. Actually, I've tried several times to do this, but have yet to be satisfied with the set of ratings. You can probably imagine the difficulty of assigning ratings to a collection of restaurants you have visited over the past two and a half years well after the fact. Well, assigning the ratings is quite easy, but assigning them in a consistent way is a tad more difficult.

Nevertheless, "The List" is nearing a milestone, one that will probably be reached in the upcoming weeks. Once that milestone is reached, I plan on publishing "The List" on the blog, with or without ratings (most likely without). So, stay tuned and keep your eyes open for the grand unveiling of "The List".


Charlotte said...

Looking forward to The List! Does it include any restaurants in Heidelberg?

Loren said...

Hi Charlotte,

Unfortunately, we didn't get a chance to hit any restaurants in Heidelberg proper when we visited Germany. The closest place was Heitlinger.

Harry said...

Loren - looking forward to seeing the now-famous List as well. By the way I was just about to send you a link to that NYT article about the dining scene in Minneapolis, but you were already all over it. Nice one!

Loren said...


I didn't know that The List was famous - hopefully it will meet your expectations!

Jeremiah said...

Oh, it's famous all right!

I can't wait to see what kind of rating you give to St. John's.

Loren said...

St. Johns? Dude, while I like their half-price burger night and the availability of Fat Tire, they are but one in a list of many restaurants on The List.

Like I mentioned in the post, I probably won't have ratings done before I post The List. However, I plan on sharing a bit more than just a name and address. Stay tuned.