Tuesday, August 08, 2006

More on Eating Local

As we pulled away from the motel in Florence during vacation, my son located the local Subway restaurant in the Rite Aid shopping center on Highway 126.

"Hey, we could go to Subway," he said.

"You forget my rule," I responded. "Remember, we only eat local on the road."

"But Subway is local," he countered.

I drove straight through the Highway 126-101 intersection down 9th Street to Old Hickory's (1565 9th Street, Florence, Oregon, 541.997.9739).

My son's right. All restaurants are local in a sense. I'm sure the Subway is owned and operated by a local business operator.

Even the chain stores hire local residents to staff their establishments. They depend on local patrons and travelers for business.

So, yes son, they're local only in the sense of the patrons and employees.

The cuisine is dictated by some distant headquarters. In many cases, the food is only heated on site -- it's actually cooked elsewhere at a large commissary.

Subway has some good sandwiches. I enjoy a BMT at the Subway near my office each week. But I save quick-serve restaurants for my work-a-day week.

Local restaurants -- like Old Hickory -- give us a chance to experience some of the local cuisine. Local chefs bring their ideas to the table. Each chef has his own take on a dish.

Although I didn't detect any unique preparation at Old Hickory, it was a pleasure chowning down on tender baby backs and chicken that was cooked just right. And the cole slaw was not too sweet -- just right in my book.

Plus you know that the food is usually cooked from scratch, especially at places like Old Hickory. It's fun to see how local chefs treat the same food we all love and enjoy.

I figure I can eat mass-produced food 50 weeks of the year.

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