Farewell Chicago

As some of you already know, I’ve accepted a job with Google out in Mountain View so this marks the end of our time in Chicago. Since moving to Chicago I’ve had one job, married my wife, bought my first house, lost 40 pounds, drank from the Stanley Cup, peed next to Will Perdue at Wrigley…the list goes on and on.

I never planned on living in Chicago. I mainly wound up here as a fluke of undergrad job recruiting. And after living here for the last 13+ years I didn’t really have any plans to leave either. But life happens, and now after being raised on the East Coast and spending time in the Midwest, it’s now time to give the West Coast a shot.

Of course, this space is mainly about food, so I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about everything I’ve eaten and loved here in Chicago. My first meal at Trio under Achatz was life changing. Chicago Mexican food totally changed my attitude on what that cuisine really is about. I learned that Thai food is about way more than Pad Thai and the sweet stuff you get from Joy’s. I’m so lucky to have been able to eat at Charlie Trotter’s, Everest, Tru, Spiaggia, Alinea, Grace, Les Nomades, TAC Quick, Maxwell Street Market, Paradise Pup, Hot Doug’s, Vito & Nick’s, Burt’s, and so many other great places.

I’m going to miss the people and the restaurants that made us feel so welcome and continue to do so today. Vera and Arami have welcomed us almost like family and I will be forever grateful. All of you should be eating at both of those restaurants.

Finally I’m going to miss everyone in Chicago who writes about food, both the pros and the regular folks like me. I’ve met too few of you in person, but I’m also fortunate to have made a lot of good friends within this group. I know we all like to poke fun at Eater and other outlets, but there are plenty of smart people writing good stuff about what to eat in Chicago, and I hope they write even more so they drown out all of the other crap.

All of that misty eyed stuff out of the way, I’m looking forward to the adventure ahead. For my first few months out west I’ll be living in Santa Clara. So look for lots of ramen reports and random strip mall dining. Eventually I’ll be making my way up to San Francisco, a city that I’ve always loved.

So farewell Chicago, and thank you. You were better to me than I ever could have imagined.

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