I came across this article during my Sunday morning web-surfing ritual. I guess because I cook for a living, I’m not easily impressed by all the bells and whistles that come with most of the new restaurants. I’m a bit of a tightwad and it fries my patootie to go to a showcase restaurant and pay big money for “the experience and atmosphere” when I can cook the same food, better and cheaper, in the comfort of my own home. I’m a convenience eater. I work for three restaurants and I work a lot of hours. I eat out because I don’t really feel like cooking for myself after doing it for everyone else. Besides, food always tastes better when prepared by someone else. When I do eat out, I want tasty food, good service, and a relaxed, comfortable setting where it’s o.k. to laugh a little too loud. I want a check that won’t leave me eating ramen noodles for the next few meals. Most hole-in-the-wall, mom and pop places fit that recipe quite well. Places like Alejandro’s, Ernie’s, City Corner, Thai Continental, Cornerstone, Awful Arthur’s, Tudor’s (i’m going to miss them), Thelma’s, Texas Tavern, Libby’s, Hong Kong, New York Subs, Euro Bakery, Village Grill, Pop’s, and Surf and Turf. The list could on and on. Heck, even 7 to 7 Grocery downtown has good food and wonderful service (albiet completely take-out). Big chains and foo-foo eateries take note. You can keep the bells and whistles; give me good, simple food and service and I’ll keep coming back.