In no particular order…
Punch Pizza. Where are you? Mama needs you… I know stupid covid closed you down. My heart broke when you shed tears on national television, but…. Can’t you open in some capacity for takeout? If you build it, they will come. Please come back soon.
La Madeleine Bakery. Why aren’t you in the Minneapolis area? I’ve written you with no response. You probably think I’m a nut. But no, I’m a superfan. There’s a fine distinction. Your caesar salad and croque monsieur are now only a memory from my hundreds of visits while in Texas, Atlanta, and New Orleans. I cry for your tomato soup. Minneapolis is a real city. Its got lots of suburban real estate where I guarantee people would line up to get in. Maybe not during covid, but come on, that won’t last forever. There is no parking available at a nearby little coffeehouse with badly made scones. Every pre-covid day, people fight for parking, congregate, and hang out. I could see you fitting in nicely. Why won’t you listen to me?
Decent Mexican Food. I’m talking to you Pappasito’s Tex-Mex. For the love of God, can we please inspire a few of you or your ilk to pop up on a corner of viable—empty real estate somewhere? There is no good family-style or date-night Mexican food around me. No great place for takeout. There are a few hole-in-the-wall places, but I need a fine selection of wonderful Mexican food on the regular! When Don Pablo’s closed my heart broke. Not only was it our destination takeout on Oscar night, but a favorite for the best fresh salsa around.
Food Trucks. You’re the coolest thing ever. You should always either roam the streets or publicize your pop-up destinations. Like the ice cream trucks of yore, I would run after you with my credit card, prepared to order dinner and smile my way home. There is a new covid-inspired wave of State Fair food trucks showing up around town now that the fair has been cancelled. The other day I spied a truck and did a hard turn to get there, but found a line three blocks long to get cheese curds, lemonade, and mini donuts. Are you paying attention? This could be a full-time thing!
Boar’s Head Meats. Stop right there. I know you are for-sale in my local markets, but why in the world did it take you so long to get here? I’m only throwing you on the list, because you’re an example of that slow-shoe sloth that grudgingly made its way to the Twin Cities. The day I saw the rep “introducing” the brand in-store was memorable for both of us. She probably didn’t expect the fawning/scolding pairing I blasted at her. Whatevs. Glad to see you.
Krispy Kreme Donuts. Dunkin Donuts. Mom and Pop Donut Shops. Where are you??? There’s a donut shop on every corner in Dallas and Houston. Right next to the used car lot and strip joint. Full disclosure, my little suburb had a Krispy Cream, and it shut down. There were too many uptight, healthy, prim and propers for it to survive in my miserable politically correct and afraid-of-their shadow town. Not me. No matter what time, day or night, I’d load the kids with their friends in the car for regular “emergency” runs for hot donuts and donut holes. Life was great on those trips. I wish I had video of the smiling faces and the anarchy we all experienced eating those delicious desserts while jamming out to Moulin Rouge. Life is hard…. a stinking metaphor which disappears with every savory bite of a fresh hot donut. Come back! Come back! Come back! (channeling the Wizard of Oz there. I can just see the Wicked Witch of the West mocking me).
Whataburger. What the hell. Another Texas chain that won’t look up and to the north. Helloooo. Minneapolis is an actual city! Your burgers are the cat’s meow! Why, why, why won’t you expand north! Winter is coming, we need you!
A Decent Deli Sandwich joint. I don’t care what you say, Subway is NOT IT. Yuck. Have you really looked at their meat and veggies? Hard, unripe tomatoes, fatty ham, blucky chicken, undercooked bacon. Boar’s Head is definitely not your supplier. Jersey Mike’s—another latecomer to our apparent Podunk town is not bad, but I’ve had better. The drive-thru at the Great American Hero does not exist here. Why? Why no deli drive-thrus at all? There was a heavenly place in Dallas years ago named the Vickery Feed Store. If you ate there, you’ll understand everything I’m ranting about. Travel and eat, folks. No kidding. You’re being denied!
Jack in The Box. Have you had their tacos? Their cheeseburger. If you have, then don’t whine to me. We’re all in the same boat here in the neglected upper Midwest. I’m crying.
Or maybe I’m hungry. Whatever. I’m definitely unrequited. Is that two adjectives? I don’t care. I’m using unrequited as a verb.