My last name is Harms and I enjoying eating at family owned restaurants that have a bit of character. I have talked about blogging my experiences at these restaurants for many months. So, as I start, here is a short description of the kind of family owned restaurants that I like:
- A small, hole in the wall, restaraunt that serves international food is my kind of place.
- A place where you are likely to spot the owner and better yet even get to know them on a first name basis is my kind of place.
- A restaurant that has a bit of a cult following where you might even get to know other patrons on a first name basis is my kind of place.
- It must serve good and unique food.
- The service must be good, unless poor service is a part of the character and is easily overlooked.
- It is my kind of place when the feel, decor, menu and smiling faces reflect the values, story & culture of the family that owns it.
I am working on some clear descriptions of two key factors: hole in the wall & story. The hole in the wall factor is critical. A big, nice, elegant place that is family owned will still get mentioned in this blog. It will also get mentioned on most restaurant review sites. But were is the adventure in that? A hole in the wall is small, you might share a table with another customer, many times in a strip mall, has very simple decor (a poster and a picture and probably very little theme), is not pretentious, you can smell the food when you enter and you are greeted by the owner/operator.
The story is a bit more complicated in defining in clear terms and may not always be available depending on owners willingness to tell their story. This will be subjective on how interesting I find the story. Where is the family from, how long have they been in the restaurant business and how did it all get started.
I want this to be a participative blog. Your input on places, hole in the wall factor, story factor etc. will definitely guide this blog along.
Most of all, it is about enjoying people, good conversations in familiar yet unique, simple surroundings with quality international food. Let the conversation begin!