The idea for my blog came from my father.
We were at Mediterranean Deli (“Med Deli”), behind a waxy wooden table, piled high with plates of scraped hummus and pita bread crumbs when he told me I should make a food blog.
“It could be a bucket list of all the food you want to eat before you graduate.”
I didn’t know at the time, walking back to my dorm room on one of those perfect November nights, that it would be the last memory with my dad in Chapel Hill. If I had known, I probably would have tried harder to remember the food I ate, the things we talked about, the way it felt when we walked, elbows linked, supremely unaware.
He died, suddenly, a few weeks after that night.
But there’s a strange connection for me between taste and memory. It’s why I think of high school soccer practices when I eat Jolly Rancher chews. Why I think of my sister whenever I eat chips and salsa. Why the smell of McDonald’s takes me back to the days when I used to dance ballet. The smell of French fries lingering in my friend’s mom’s minivan when she drove us home.
Some of my most visceral memories involve food. I even wrote my college admissions essay for Carolina about macaroni and cheese.
And maybe this blog won’t be entirely food-centric, but for the most part, I’m going to try to explore all of the restaurants, dives and drunchie-destinations in and around this incredible college town I’m about to leave. Hopefully, by the end of this 12+ week adventure you’ll get to know me a little through food and my relationship to it. You’ll probably hear a lot about my dad, my friends, and other important people in my life.
So, more than three years later, Dad, this blog is for you.