We’ve seen lots of restaurants shutter since last March, with the rest clinging to takeout and delivery. Chicago’s lost some icons in the fray, which keeps reminding me how restaurants balance on such a tightrope. Last month, Esquire came out with a list of 100 restaurants that a panel of contributors said America couldn’t afford to lose.
Some restaurants on the list have been local fixtures for what feels like forever. The picks chosen by these writers run from institutions, fine dining locations, to mom and pop places across the states. Many of them are places I aspire to visit. I’ve seen San Francisco’s Swan Oyster Depot on TV so many times I already feel like I’ve been there, along with Dooky Chase’s Restaurant in New Orleans.
I keep thinking of places that mean a lot to me, that I don’t think I could see the world without, and I’d rather stay quiet because I don’t want to jinx anything (but if we lose Hoagie Hut, I swear, someone is going to pay, goddammit). Which restaurant near you, big or small, could you not imagine this world without?