Localvore Challenge Update: Uh-oh…


I think the title of this post says it all, don't you?

And you know what? I don't feel a damn bit guilty about it. The seeds for breaking my participation in the challenge were sown with a Facebook chat, of all things:

Friend: You wanna go to Kuma's before the Hideout Block Party Saturday?

Me: Can't. I'm taking part in the Green City Market Localvore Challenge.

Friend: But they re-listed the Pantera on the menu.

Me: Bullshit.

Friend: Really, they did.

Me: Liar. J'accuse!!

After that chat, I penciled in Saturday as the day I was going chow down on 10 ounces of burger served with roasted poblano pepper, bacon, cheddar cheese, Monterrey Jack cheese ranchero sauce and tortilla strips. And I still will.

But I broke the challenge the night before, instead.


I was at Martyrs for the Little Cow/Chicha Libre show and needed something in the belly after a night of dancing and, um, drinking. Walking down Lincoln, there was the Burrito House (3547 N. Lincoln, 773-975-6060) calling out like a beacon. At a wedding a couple weeks back another friend highly recommended their fish tacos. "You won't find them on the menu or specials boards," he said, "but if you head to the counter and ask for fish tacos, they'll make them."

That conversation was in mind as I sidled to the counter. After texting my friend to make sure I was at the right place and receiving confirmation, I placed an order for three fish tacos and two bottles of Pineapple Jarritos Mexican soda. The tacos? As good as he said. I finished one in three bites, took a long pull of the soda and, as the drunken kids started to fill the Burrito House, let out one of the most satisfying belches I've had in recent memory. It was loud, obnoxious, completely inappropriate and wrong, and I didn't care. For a couple moments after that belch I thought to myself, "this must be what it feels like to be a neo-conservative all the time.".

I suspected that dining out would be my downfall in this challenge, and the wonderful thing about falling off the wagon (as it were) was that I was no longer concerned about where the food was sourced and got down to the business of enjoying what I ate again. At the Hideout Block Party the next day Willie Wagner of Honky Tonk BBQ was doing brisk business with his pulled pork and briskets, as were the folks selling ćevapčići.

It wasn't like a weight was lifted off my shoulders now that I've backslided. I wasn't pacing the floor of my apartment craving orange juice. Breaking it reinforced for me how hard it is to actually commit fully to a localvore lifestyle and why that isn't necessarily such a good idea.

I'll have more on that Wednesday.

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