Letter from the Dine–In Guide Editor
Thoughts on Zoom, restaurant reviews, and the Dine–In Guide
When beginning to plan for this semester’s Dining Guide, never did I think it would be like this. Cliché, I know; but I really was envisioning timid freshmen with their first work–study jobs passing copies out on Locust Walk, scarfing down the hastily–assembled plate of takeout I’d be eating in the windowless Stroffice (ed. note: Street, office, get it?) on the night of publication, and enjoying the free dinner I’d be reviewing at a really nice restaurant.
But there’s no Locust Walk exodus every half hour during the school day to pass copies to. Better yet, there is no paper copy. Instead, the United States has reached 200,000 coronavirus deaths and counting, and we’re cooped up in our childhood bedrooms or off–campus apartments watching our teachers struggle with Zoom and wishing we were back in that jam–packed and sweaty frat house basement.
While we could have written reviews and acted like everything was normal, it just wasn’t right. If we were to maintain our journalistic integrity, we’d inevitably be giving someone a bad review—which felt really icky given the intense financial losses so many of our beloved Philly restaurants and restaurant workers have faced over the last couple of months.
So we decided to turn inwards and reflect on our collective relationship with food. How does food influence art and media? How are restaurants adapting to this new normal? Where the hell do we go grocery shopping if we don’t want to get extorted by Heirloom’s sky–high prices? These were just some of the questions we set out to answer with this semester’s Dine–In Guide, and we had a lot of fun along the way.
Even if it’s not the guide we initially wanted, it’s still pretty damn good. I hope you love browsing this virtual issue as much as I’ve loved editing it.
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