Smile Politely

We’re just here for the food

A chicken cutlet sandwich at Dee Dee's Beef in Champaign, Illinois.
Alyssa Buckley

In case you haven’t noticed, food is crucial part of our work here at Smile Politely. We like to talk about food, you like to read about food.

It makes sense, really. We all have to eat, and in this city of Chambana it is a central form of entertainment. It’s a nice distraction from — gestures broadly — all the things. There’s something about sitting down and enjoying something that you didn’t have to prepare, perhaps paired with a nice cocktail, on dishes that you don’t have to do. But it’s more than that. Ordering takeout became a really important part of our family’s pandemic-era entertainment. Partly out of a desire to continue to patronize restaurants that had to completely pivot their business models to survive, and partly because it gave us something to look forward to in a time when there wasn’t much to look forward to.

Anyhow, I say all of this because we are preparing for one of our biggest food coverage weeks. The Super Bowl, the Olympics, March Madness…I’m struggling to find an analogy that isn’t sports-related. Experience Champaign-Urbana’s Restaurant Week begins tomorrow. All of our editors will become food writers this week, as we head out to area restaurants to try new dishes at our old favorites, try places we’ve never frequented, and take advantage of sweet deals on multi-course meals. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.

Restaurant Week is sort of the first major community event of the year. It’s something to pull us out of our post-holiday, weather-induced zombie-like state and get out into the community, and we’re ready for it.

In related news, did you know you could write about food and drink for Smile Politely? We’re looking to add to our roster. You can read more about that here.

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Managing Editor

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