My mother is famous for saying, “I’ll make a list.” This can mean anything from a shopping list to a contents log for boxes stashed away in the attic. For Mom, there is a list for everything, and everything belongs in a list. Though I’m not quite as dedicated to organization, I do find lists to be handy for keeping track of some of the essentials in my life. Things like restaurants.
The concept is very simple: whenever I hear about a restaurant that piques my interest, I add it to my “Must-Try Restaurants” list. The List hasn’t quite reached spreadsheet proportions, but it’s definitely heading in that direction. Because there are a lot of different reasons why I go to restaurants, The List includes some vital statistics, plus some additional goodies that I find to be helpful in deciding where to eat on a given night. If you’re just starting out, here are the basics you’ll want to include in your restaurant list:
- Name of restaurant
- Address (also include the name of the neighborhood if the address isn't immediately familiar)
- Phone number
- Type of cuisine
For the hardcore among us, you may also want to include the following:
- How you heard about the restaurant (If it turns out to be a good lead, you’ll want to remember where you got it from. And if it was a friend who referred the restaurant, they’ll be flattered when you thank them for such an expert recommendation.)
- Hours of operation (This may require some initial research, but it will make future referencing very efficient.)
- Website address (for quick menu perusal)
- A brief description of the atmosphere and scene (Am I in the mood for intimate conversation or people-watching?)
- Price range (If you’ve had a starving-artist month for income, you don’t want to mistakenly book yourself for dinner at the Four Seasons.)
The List has been incredibly valuable to me, since I am notoriously indecisive and have an unreliable memory to boot. Now when I’m asked, “Where should we go to dinner?” finding the answer is a snap. There’s no more brain-wracking, trying in vain to remember the name of that 7-syllable Greek restaurant somebody once told me about during a choppy cell phone conversation. Instead, I simply whip out The List and check out my options.
Looking for a hot new restaurant to try? Check out TasteTV’s profiles and chef demonstrations to see what America’s greatest kitchens are cooking up.