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Once the dust from her failed stint as a fashion blogger settles, a void sets in. A void that even episodes of Inside Amy Schumer, Orange Is The New Black, and New Girl can’t fill. A void that, despite her best efforts, can’t even be filled by rearranging her living room based on her “mid-century mod” Pinterest board. Emotionally, it’s a deep pit of despair that requires the utmost attention.
And when there’s nowhere left to go, when there’s no stone left to turn, and nothing left to watch on Hulu, where does one turn? Food.
“There’s this new restaurant in Wicker Park that I’ve been wanting to try – date Friday?” she group texts her friends while cooling down from her second Pure Barre class of the week. And when she instantly receives a barrage of “miss your face” and “loves” texts, the fashionista void begins to get wane. Dinner. Friday. All the girls. Book it.
Friday comes and the anticipation for the restaurant’s small plate menu mounts. Sitting at her desk fervently scrolling the PDF menu, she stumbles across the cocktail menu that includes a new take on the Sazerac, something simply called a “Brooklyn,” and the apple of her eye — the Bellini — because she obviously loves Prosecco.
Dressed in the cute leftover clothes she bought for the now defunct blog, she heads to the restaurant early to experience the bar. After all, the city’s food scene is abuzz discussing the restored crown molding around it that really solidifies its old-time feel. Once she sits down and orders the much-coveted Bellini, she understands why Urban Spoon has rated this 4.8/5. It’s majestic. Everything from the the bartenders chambray shirts right on down to Cole Porter vinyl playing from the strategically hidden Bose speakers.
All the other girls arrive and immediately lead in with, “Oh my God, is that a Bellini? I love those. I used to drink those when I was abroad all. the. time.” Once they sit down to order, the room goes silent as everyone peruses the menu and secretly Googles foreign-sounding menu items while pretending to text rather than risk sounding uncultured.
“I’m, like, so bad. I think I may get the burger,” she embarrassingly expresses to the rest of the table. “It’s one of the top-rated entrees in the city and they top it with… foie gras.”
And after a friend’s inquiry as to what foie gross is, she casually responds, “Duck liver.” Did she have to Google what it was and how to say it before the dinner? Maybe, but we’re not talking about that.
When it arrives in all of its glory, she reaches for her phone and swipes her camera up before half-crouching as to not look too obvious that she is, in fact, taking a photo of her meal. After importing it into a few different photo editing apps, she finds the absolute perfect filter for the occasion. While everyone else delves into their meals, she coyly uploads it to her Instagram with the caption, “Everything,” the local “#igers” hashtag for the city, and the most important one of all — #foodie.
After putting her phone away, she sits forward in her seat, cuts the burger in half, and finishes all of a third of it before expressing her extreme fullness. “Ugh, it’s so rich!” She wipes her hands on the white linen napkin so she doesn’t get any smudges on her phone, and to her surprise, the Instagram likes have piled up. Likes into the numbers within 10 minutes? 52 in an hour? Is this what heaven feels like?
Do her followers care that the photo has been taken a million other times by everyone in the city? No. Does it matter that if you click the restaurant geo-location on the photo that 90% of the other photos are of this exact same foie gras-topped burger? Absolutely not. Because her photo got more likes than all the others, and that’s what matters.
Walking home from dinner is surreal. It’s like Kathleen Kelly walking around New York City in the opening of You’ve Got Mail with “Dreams” by The Cranberries on. She’s found her calling. She understands her place in this wild world. It just feels right. Food is her calling.
The next few months are an absolute whirlwind filled with cooking classes that she’s scheduled with her boyfriend and another couple, testing the wine she’s gotten in the mail from Club W, and upholding her Instagram account which is now a healthy mix of entrees, small plates, and craft cocktails.
She updates her Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest bios to read something along the lines of, “Midwest transplant, obsessive planner, foodie.” And that period at the end of “foodie” is deliberate. It needs to be there for all the stylistic purposes ever.
It doesn’t matter that she has no culinary training, restaurant experience, or knowledge of the kitchen outside of making late-night Bagel Bites. She now reads local food blogs and passes the writer opinions off as her own in casual conversation. She stocked her bar with ingredients outside of vodka and soda, because those are so college. She even knows what “flash frying” is.
All that does matter is that her friends now defer to her before going to a new restaurant, she’s completed over fifty Yelp! reviews, and she recently overheard someone say, “Oh, she knows all the best restaurants around here” about her.
Because you know what? She’s a foodie. .
Image via Shutterstock