Hola. It has, indeed, been a long time since I have rapped at you here. Apologies. If eating and cooking is an excuse, then ok. As the years and responsibilities increase, it's harder to find the time and the energy to write blog posts, and harder still not to feel as if writing blog posts are more than a charmingly anachronistic quirk, like using a straight razor or having chickens in the back yard. Increasingly, the kind of 500-1,000 word post on a meal or an ingredient or an issue has given way to commentary of 140 characters max or 5,000 words minimum. Times is against both, (Longform is too long! Twitter is too short! Fishwrap is juust right!) But I digress.
The 13-14 Please Everyone Tour, in which Fesser and cinetrix drive around like idiots to see friends and family does offer a chance to check in on some food options not present in the back yard. Tack on a bonus lap to Chicago for the big English Professor Stampede, and you get some more choices By chance or predilection, a bunch (almost all, really) fell into a category of new resto I might call Serious Meats & c. We hit Kirkland Tap & Trotter, Worthy Kitchen, and Worthy Burger in New England, and in Chicago we insulated ourselves from the Polar Vortex at Two, Publican, Little Goat, and Trenchermen.
These spots are all very different one from the other, but collectively, they represent a new step in an ongoing interplay between fine dining and more casual spots. If we've seen in recent years efforts by chef X to "elevate dish y from its humble roots," we now seem to be seeing the opposite, where Beard-winning chefs are opting to do something with more barstools and Formica. KT&T Little Goat are both siblings of top-5 restaurants in their respective towns, and were the most exciting places I visited. Telling that on a short trip, I found a way to make return trips to both of these places. Little Goat is basically like if Steak and Shake died and went to heaven, via Seoul. KT&T is like Valhalla where there is food at River Gods or People's Republic you actually want to eat. Details TK -- in entirely unrelated news, I am on my way to the gym.