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Chiang's and other beloved restaurants only stay in business when we eat there. (Image: Naomi Tomky)

Resolution Reboot: Eat More Good Food

Next year, perhaps, my resolution should be to get my resolutions done by the beginning of the year. This year, it’s to eat more good food around Seattle: more of the foods that make Seattle diverse and special, more food from the chefs who toil anonymously, more dishes that are new to me, and more dishes that I’ve never heard of. Want to be a better eater — and help Seattle be a better food city in 2017? And just because it's almost February doesn't mean it's too late to give your resolutions - any of them - a good reboot.

And if you want, you're happy to steal mine...to Eat More Good Food in 2017.

Put in the Effort on Off-Nights
Monday nights can be slow for restaurants. Many are closed, sometimes the head chef has the night off. But that makes it a prime night for deals, pop-ups, and just a nice, quiet night out. Find less harried staff, industry nights, and all-night happy hours around town. I know my main goal is to rally myself to get out the door to some of Seattle’s Monday night pop-ups, including Yalla, in which Taylor Cheney tours the Arabic world.

Drive to the Suburbs More
Seattle has thoroughly priced out most small restaurateurs, including many of the hole-in-the-wall spots where immigrants cook the foods that remind them of home. Crossing bridges and braving I-5 can be a hassle, I know, but the Indian restaurant Aahar in Snoqualmie and Kent’s Fil Cuisine have been on my to-eat list for too long to keep staying in the city.

Talk to Chef/Owners — Listen to Stories
Talking to chefs is a big part of my job — I do it all day. So, if I’m going out to dinner, I often just want to talk to my food — and maybe my husband or daughter. Yet, so often a dish is best seasoned with a story. Now, when I’m excited about eating kitfo at Jebena, it’s also about talking to Martha about how she’s doing and when I sit down at Wataru, I know Kotaro will catch me up on the Japanese celebrity gossip in Seattle. This year, I’m going to spend more time listening while I eat—even off the clock.

Try More New Things
If there is something I haven’t heard of on the menu, I want to try it. Instead of eating what I know I like, I want to try something new — perhaps introduce myself to a special new treat. It’s easy to go through life (and menus) eating the same old dishes — the noodles and burgers we love. But every once in a while you branch out to a sabich or blue-cheese and tahini sauce and it turns out amazing. So this year, I’m going to take a few risks.

Support the Restaurants I Love
Every time a restaurant closes in Seattle, there’s a chorus of complaints — but often, when pressed, those same complainers admit they haven’t been there in years. If Sichuanese Cuisine, Chiang’s, or Café Munir were to close, I couldn’t let myself be one of them: if one of my favorite restaurants shuts down, at least I hope to have a recent experience to remember it by — and hopefully, those routine visits will keep it from closing.

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