OK if you think it is still too early to be listening to Christmas music then you'll definitely think it is WAY too early to be making New Year's resolutions, so just skip this post...or pretend it is about unicorns, or apple pie, or kittens.
Let me preface this by saying, I think NYE resolutions are kind of pointless. I also think NYE is amateur night and you couldn't pay me to go out and "party" on that night. Been there, done that, have the social scars to prove it. The whole holiday reeks of desperation, sort of like Valentines Day but without the wrist slittingly depressing emphasis on relationships. I like to stay home with family and watch movies, eat good food, and just relax and have fun.
Several years ago, I'm not giving exact dates because I'm too brain dead to remember exact dates...besides this isn't history class so lay off...what was I saying? Oh yeah, so several years ago I made a New Year's resolution to eat only at local establishments when I was here in the valley. And I did it, I went a whole year without spending money at TGIMcfunday's mega corporation evil empire type restaurants. It did annoy the heck out of several of my friends and family, but they've forgiven me, right guys? Guys? Uh, guys?
Um, moving on. Cache Valley is receiving yet another chain restaurant (Buffalo Wild Wings is building on the pad that was vacated when Ruby Tuesday's tanked), and there are negotiations right now for a 5 Guys franchise as well, but that one isn't set in stone yet.
I am getting sick of hearing people gush about chain restaurants. Yes, they are good and consistent and have slick advertising to suck you in, I get it, heck I even eat at them sometimes. That doesn't mean I have to join the chain cult. These same people who are clamoring for a TGI Friday's, Applebee's, Marie Calendar's, and all other national establishments are usually the same people who give me a blank stare when I ask if they've been to Jack's, The Factory, or any of the local food trucks. Heaven forbid I suggest meeting for lunch at Sweetly Divine, Pupuseria El Salvador, or Kamin Thai, because none of those restaurants have mozzarella sticks, chinese chicken salad, or fajitas.
This year my New Year's resolution will be to vote with my dollar by eating locally when I'm here in Cache Valley. No homogenized chain restaurant fodder for me in 2013. When I choose to part with my hard earned money, it will be at a homegrown Cache Valley original. So if you ask me out on a date, be prepared to take me to a mom & pop restaurant. If you are planning a meetup or party at a big franchise, please don't be offended if I come but don't order anything.
Eating local isn't hard and it isn't restrictive. Cache Valley has amazing and unique eateries from Hyrum to Lewiston. You could eat out once a week at a local spot and not repeat restaurants for the whole year. I don't personally know a single person who has eaten at every local spot in the valley. Heck even I haven't made it to all of them, I still need to visit Paco's and Mundo's before I can complete the list. Don't forget that Jack's is almost done with their remodeling/expansion and will be opening soon (probably next week, but don't trust me on that). Also Savannah's BBQ is moving into the former Firehouse Pizza location in Providence and they are hard at work getting the building ready for opening.
The national chain restaurants won't be hurt by 1, 5, 10, or even 100 people taking this challenge, they won't even know you're gone. But the local restaurants can survive and hopefully thrive if you do this.
So, one question remains: who's with me?