Saturday, January 5, 2013

My Changing Manifesto

With the new year having arrived, I've decided it's high time to make an important announcement about my family and, subsequently, the direction of this blog. After much consideration, Mrs. Hackknife has opted to accept a very intriguing job offer out-of-state. Come late February, if all goes according to plan, the Hackknife Family will be relocating to the warm and sunny environs of Tampa, Florida (this explains the one-off posting about an Italian restaurant in Tampa last November - we were on a house-hunting junket at the time). Now, you might wonder, what does this mean exactly for what I've been writing over the past few years? Here's what's going to occur as best as I can gather:

On or around March 1, my main focus will now be on cuisine in the Tampa - St. Petersburg (or St. Pete, as the locals call it - gotta practice) area. Obviously, this is a no-brainer. Although I certainly can't expect the overall quality and variety of the food we find down here to match that of Chicago (which is, after all, among the best on the planet), there are some areas (specifically, seafood, Cuban, and Spanish) where my fellow Tampadres will have set the bar pretty high. I'm greatly looking forward to exploring and discovering the best offerings of nosh that west-central Florida has to offer (Mrs. Hackknife and I have already started this, by the way - you will soon be reading about in detail the wonderful meal we ate at a fine dining establishment called SideBern's last night, the equal of most any we've enjoyed back home).

This move will challenge my culinary sleuthing abilities. Unlike Chicago, where the foodie media coverage runs rampant, the dining scene is much more low-key, even underground in some cases. I won't have my usual myriad cheat sheets to mine for insight and tips on where to get the best bowl of ramen in town (if one even exists - after all, the hunt is part of the fun). I look forward to possibly even BEING the source of discovery once in a while (if I may be so immodest), something that wasn't likely to happen anytime soon in Chicago.

I expect that I'll be able to cover other regional cuisine hotbeds more frequently. Miami, Atlanta, New Orleans, and Charleston are all not terribly far away from Tampa. I greatly hope that we'll be visiting these locales and, you, my dear reader, will definitely hear about it.

I will still have some focus on Chicago. It goes without saying that I won't be able to cover the scene as before; however, I intend to stay informed as best I can on the culinary happenings of my old hometown. We'll be back to visit family several times a year and there will be much consumption of past favorite dishes on our trips (in case you were wondering, we're keeping our Next season tickets, by the way). That being said, I completely understand if you feel the need to stop reading due to lack of relevancy (I'm aware that my hack writing style alone probably doesn't warrant everybody sticking around - don't feel bad, I might actually be able to acquire a new follower or two down South).

At least at the outset, I'll probably be cooking more at home for a while. A new city means no babysitters at first, so our initial opportunities for eating out will likely be limited until we get a little more established in town (or until we decide to drag out the kiddos more often). The new kitchen will henceforth be christened as the "Canteen". I look forward to you following along as I slowly destroy it dish-by-dish.

Speaking of renaming things, the blog will soon be called "Hackknife South". I would like to change the name slightly to reflect my new environment, thus allowing me to reserve the original in case we ever move back to Chicago (entirely possible at some point).

Now that I've established the new particulars, I sincerely hope you'll choose to continue down the path of culinary adventuredom with me - there's lots of room on the lanai out back...

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