Right this minute, the future of ten of America's great food cities is being decided.
By readers of the Huffington Post.
No, seriously. This isn't a joke. As you are reading this, the highest-rated, single-most popular story at HuffPo is a poll for the ten best food cities. Denver is on that list. And we are currently getting our asses kicked.
By Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Also by New Orleans, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, New York, Minneapolis and Chapel Hill, North Carolina (though not in that order). The only city we are currently beating in the poll? Washington, D.C. And that is not acceptable to me.
I mean, okay. San Francisco? Yes, it's a better local food town than Denver. Same with New Orleans. I've heard great things about Seattle, and as I mentioned a few days ago, I am giving serious consideration to pulling up stakes and moving to Portland myself just for the grub.
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But I still think Denver can make the top five, at the very least. We love our local-this and local-that here, congratulate those houses that grow tomatoes on their roofs and cure their own bresaola, sometimes elevate chefs far beyond their due simply because they have committed themselves to using what's here and spurning what's not, starting their own farms and growing microgreens in their underwear drawers.
And while I am not the hugest fan of this sudden mania for all things local and organic (a chef should cook what's good, period -- absent all discussions of politics and sustainability), if it were all to suddenly go away? Jesus, all these sudden, knee-jerk locavores would have nothing to talk about on their message boards, chefs would have to go back to discussing the merits of Lyonnaise snails and Italian salami, and Michael Pollan would have to write his next book about something that actually matters. Like cheeseburgers or the inevitable zombie apocalypse.
So anyway, rise my minions! Get out there and vote Denver up that list! Show a little pride in the 303 and the guys who daily labor to make sure your pork belly and melon balls are as good (and as local) as they can possibly be.
And in the meantime, I will go back to looking at Portland real estate...and wondering if our reputation will improve once Denver gets its very own edition of the HuffPo, to be edited by Ethan Axelrod, the 22-year-old son of Obama advisor David Axelrod.