Mac rated a mecca for foodies
By KARL KLOOSTER
Of the News-Register
America's leading gourmet food magazine, Bon Appetit, sent its restaurant editor out across the land in search of the foodiest cities under a quarter million in population.
With New York, San Francisco, Seattle, New Orleans and the like out of the running, Boulder, Colo., a city of 94,268, took top honors.
And guess who came in number two? Our beloved McMinnville, which, at 32,760, boasts only about one third the population base of Boulder.
The spread appears in the magazine's October issue. Rounding out the top six are Big Sur, Calif.; Traverse City, Mich.; Louisville, Ky.; and Ithaca, N.Y.
Among foodie bloggers, the most vociferously voiced objection was the exclusion of Charleston, S.C.
In addition to a size falling somewhat short of megaplex range, criteria included quality farmers' markets, concerned farmers, dedicated food media, first-rate restaurants, talented food artisans and a critical mass of food lovers.
Those of us associated with the News-Register and its sister publication, the Oregon Wine Press, wholeheartedly agree with Mac's high rating in each of those categories. We certainly do the best we can to fulfill our role as part of the food and wine media.
In its comments on McMinnville's food scene, Bon Appetit paid particular tribute to the long-established International Pinot Noir Celebration and newly opened Thistle Restaurant.
IPNC deserves kudos for orchestrating the most up-market mass feeding anywhere over the past quarter century. And Thistle chef and co-owner Eric Buchard has quickly become widely known for his creative talents in the kitchen.
But one might wonder if recent publicity of a less tasty kind inspired the singling out of his restaurant for special mention among its bevy of highly regarded wine country competitors. One might also wonder if the magazine limited its look to dining establishments lying within city limits, or also considered those situated in the surrounding area.
In the case of Boulder, that would include some substantial suburbs, as it boasts a metro population of almost 300,000. But McMinnville's satellite cities of Dundee, Dayton, Carlton and, ahem, Newberg, would considerably increase its epicurean eatery count as well.
Wouldn't it be wonderful to be number one? Still, national runner-up is something to savor - for this year.