There is something severely fun about going to restaurants whose reviews you've read, either in a newspaper, a magazine, or online. Not only does it give you more reason to go, but while you're there, you can have stimulating dinner conversation about "this article I read" about the place. Suddenly, you transform from average diner into locale connoisseur.
Even more exciting, though, is going to a restaurant you've seen on TV.
The summer show The Best Thing I Ever Ate was absolutely incredible. Let's just put it this way: when Guy Fieri tells you what the best burger he ever ate was, you're just going to have to eat it. You have no other option. I mean, I even wanted to eat a plateful of shrimp heads after hearing it described by Duff. Unfortunately, most of the places featured are in New York or down south because that's where all the Food Network personalities are from, but I did go to Bi-Rite to get Sam's Sundae (items in picture are larger than they appear), and it was even better than it sounded.
The other day, I went to Tom Colicchio (head judge on Top Chef)'s sandwich place in San Francisco. Five years ago, people didn't know who Tom Colicchio was. Now, people (read: me) eat at his restaurants just so they can say they ate at "that Top Chef guy's" restuarant. And that's why it pays -- literally -- to be a TV personality.
If you're into food and you're into television, which should be the case for every breathing human, definitely read this article: It's long, and I hate it when people send me long articles and then I feel obliged to read them instead of watching TV, but it's definitely worth it, so please feel obliged.