What’s all this then?
Two people from South Jersey (we’ll call them ‘John’ and ‘Lisa’) who share a love for food and things South Jersey posting their thoughts and experiences.
It might make you laugh.
It might make you think.
It might make you hungry.
And, if you have a laptop and are reading this suspended upside down, it might make the blood rush to your head.
Let’s face it: the little eatery that only you know about will soon be the little eatery with a CLOSED sign hanging on its door – permanently. It does not do anyone a bit of good to discover a great place to eat and not mention it to everyone you know. And not in a ‘look-how-smart-and-cultured-I-am’ way, but in a ‘I-hope-you-will-enjoy-this-as-much-as-I-did’ way. I always get a nice warm feeling when someone eats at a place I liked and comes back to me saying ‘Thanks so much for the recommendation. I loved it!’
Now I don’t get paid by anyone to write this blog, and the amount of money we’ve earned in ads from Google and Foodbuzz might pay for Lisa and myself to go out to eat – once. And we’d have to skip dessert. And maybe share an appetizer. So restaurants are not buying my praise through financial means or via free meals. I want to give restaurants another voice to get their message out because I want them to succeed. I want these places to stick around so that I and others can enjoy them again and again. After all, many restaurants are just getting by now and may not have the money to promote their business as much as they would like. This is where food bloggers can fit in nicely.
Pssst – restaurant owners and chefs, work with us. You don’t have to give us free meals, just some time and cooperation.
I like being an advocate of the South Jersey region
The first reason segues nicely into my second reason. Living in an area that’s close enough to two major cities makes it hard for our voice here to be heard. And when it is heard, we get the ‘Oh, but it’s not New York’ or ‘It’s nothing like Philly’. Well, duh, of course South Jersey isn’t like those places – we have actual farms and beautiful bays and large forests of trees and a shoreline with a real beach.
And – we have great food here as well.
By what authority do I have in calling myself an advocate? Well, I live here – have lived here for the majority of my life, have eaten in many many places here, enjoy the farms, bays, forests and beaches here, and I really appreciate the bounty we have. The many wineries. The roadside barbecue stands. A good cheesesteak. Panzarottis. Snapper soup at a diner. Fresh produce from a local farmers market. Blueberry festivals. Chowderfest.
There’s lots of things to talk about here in South Jersey, and I want to be part of the conversation. Not the final authority, mind you.
I enjoy meeting other food bloggers
At the end of September 2009, Lisa and I hosted a little potluck barbecue and invited some of our food blogger friends to come on over and share some yummies and drink some choice bottles of wine and beer. As we were organizing this little event, a thought came into my head: Hey, this would be a great thing to blog about, wouldn’t it? But then, another thought followed quickly: How lame is that? Create your own event so you can blog about it? Pah-thetic.
Sure, I could have pumped out a blog post splashing all these food pics, gushing about each and every item – sounding like someone who enjoys messaging his own ego.
But no – I wasn’t going to do that.
Why? The reason we decided to throw a get together was simply to enjoy the company of people we have met because of the blog. I think about the folks who came that day and realize that we would not have met any of these people (and one person even lives in our town!) if it were not for the blog. Was the food good? Yep. Good beer? Yep. Good wine? Yep again. But the most important part of the day? Spending time with people you’ve come to know as friends.
By and large, I have found food bloggers to be good people – and people that you feel like you’ve known for years. When Lisa and I finally met Robin Shreeves (aka SJ Locavore) at the Tortilla Press Tweetup some months ago, it was as if we were long time friends picking up where we left off. And I could say the same for Deb Smith (Jersey Bites) or Chef E (Cook Appeal). Not so much for Jen Miller (Down the Shore With Jen) – she’s friendly and all, but I think being a South Jersey celeb has gone to her head a bit. (Heh heh – just kidding, Jen. She’s really good peeps as well).
I also have to make mention of the chefs, wine growers and other folks in the food industry that Lisa and I have gotten to know as well. Chef Mark at The Tortilla Press is not only a good chef but a good man. Ed Hitzel has been nothing but kind and generous towards us. And I can’t say enough good things about Stephen and Jill from Sweet Life Bakery.
Yes, we don’t really make any money from our blog, but we have been rewarded with some really great personal connections – and we are the richer for it.
My blogging adventure is very much like what you would want in your life’s adventure: enjoying the experiences along the way, meeting interesting people as you go along, and being able to give back to the rest of the universe your talents.
Want to talk about one of our posts in length? Want to let us know about a food event that we’ve overlooked? Want to give a shout out to a restaurant that’s really good? We really do want to hear from you. Feel free to send us an email at eatinginsjersey AT verizon DOT net.