There's many disadvantages to living in a small town, but one of the biggest would have to be the lack of variety in restaurants. In the entire valley, there are only three restaurants that I eat at with any regularity... the rest either don't interest me, or have disappointed me badly enough that I don't want to go back.
Tonight the last thing I wanted to do was go shopping for groceries or pull something out of the freezer for dinner. I wanted to hop in the car and go out to eat. Problem is there was nothing that I felt was worth going out for, so I ended up eating frozen pizza. Again. And it sucked. Again.
It got me to thinking about the restaurant chains out there that I would love to have set-up shop locally...
- BURGERS: Johnny Rockets. Oh how I love their "Streamliner" veggie burger with no grilled onions, no mustard, and add American cheese. I would eat there at least once a week... probably more... if there was a local franchise. Wenatchee has a Red Robin which I like, and a local drive-thru called "EZ Burger" that's great, but nothing compares to Johnny Rockets.
- SANDWICHES: Panera Bread. Their Mediterranean Sandwich is heaven on earth, and I don't get to eat them nearly often enough. We have a Subways which I loathe because of their spokes-whore Jared, and a Quizno's which I am boycotting after they killed the veggie sandwich. I need me a Panera Bread!
- MEXICAN: Qdoba. Their signature burritos are awesome and, though we have many decent Mexican restaurants around, I'd trade them all for a Qdoba just so I can get their veggie burrito.
- PIZZA: David's Pizza. They make the best pizza on earth, and what I wouldn't give to be able to have a slice of "DaVinci" without having to drive over 3 hours to Spokane to get it. I'm counting this as a franchise because they opened up a second location at the city's Geiger Field Airport.
- ITALIAN: Il Fornaio. I actually would have chosen Cucina! Cucina!, but the entire chain has been gutted until there's only one restaurant left in Issaqah, so I guess it's not a chain anymore. Il Fornaio probably wouldn't be able to survive in my area, but their Cappellacci di Zucca is freakin' amazing, so I'd have to choose them anyway. We do have one local Italian restaurant which is decent (and one that sucks total ass) but nothing really inspiring.
- INDIAN: Maharaja. Actually, I'd settle for ANY Indian food but, alas, there isn't a single Indian restaurant in the entire valley. On top of that, I don't know of any Indian restaurant chains to pick from. The closest I can think of is a series of Maharaja Indian Cuisine restaurants in Seattle, so I guess that's my choice. They make an Eggplant Bharta that is orgasm-inducing good.
Gah! Now I'm hungry, even though I just ate.