Hunger games


It’s Restaurant Week in Wakefield, as proclaimed by the Chamber of Commerce. My Facebook friends would tell you that based on my check-ins, every week is restaurant week for me.

Hey, at least I’m supporting the local economy.

In my defense, I probably average one meal out per day, so I’m still eating two-thirds of my meals at home – or even better, at someone else’s home.

phuket1And before you judge me a profligate gourmand, let me stipulate that my dining out more often than not consists of a bowl of soup or a small salad. (For those who demand documentation of every assertion in opinion columns, my lunch receipts are available on request.)

I admit, I’m not a foodie by nature, but I do identify as one.

Still, there are people on social media who are far more food-obsessed than I. One of the favorite pastimes on the local forums is to discuss what types of ethnic restaurants should open in Wakefield. Or more specifically, what types of restaurants someone else should open in Wakefield. (On social media, we’re not about risking our own cash or sweat.)

The consensus on the forums seems to be that, a) we need a Mexican restaurant, and b) we don’t need any more Italian or Asian restaurants. (It’s perfectly acceptable to talk about limiting certain ethnic businesses in town. Just don’t badmouth drug dealers.)

In spite of such epicurean enmity, Wakefield has many fine eateries, including several new ones, offering a diversity of cuisine to appeal to all tastes. Even with its well-known parking problems, Wakefield has become a dining destination, and for good reason.

phuket_sign2Some bemoan the fact that the only new businesses we seem to be attracting lately are restaurants. They would like to see more cute little shops selling adorable items. The problem is that in 2016 people tend to buy their adorable items online, so the cute little shops can’t survive.

But people still like to go out to eat, and until someone devises a way to dine out on the Internet, we will continue to have restaurants.

And there are more coming. Wakefield resident Leanne Wheeler will soon be offering pub food at a new sports bar called “Caryn’s” in the old Duck Walk location. A Caribbean style restaurant is looking at half of the old Ristorante Molise site on Main Street. And for ice cream lovers, Kara Conley will be relocating her popular “Heavenly Licks” from Melrose to her home town of Wakefield, opening on North Avenue by summer.

That’s a lot for foodies to look forward to!

Bon appetit!

[This column originally appeared in the March 3, 2016 Wakefield Daily Item.]

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