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So what is there to write about on this Thursday after Thanksgiving. How about my Turkey food hangover, which persists to this day. Or my refrigerator full of more carbohydrates and leftovers than it usually gets in a month of Sundays. I could go on about Christmas food gifts, but I'll do that next week. Or how about my favorite restaurant of the year...no I'll save that for the end of the month.

But something does interest me enough to spend my weeknights thinking and writing about it, and that's how little people in this town really care, or talk about food. Now I'm not talking about me a my snooty foody friends comparing the pasta from Valentino and Tre, or where the best wine bar is......No I'm talking about our town's complete lack of any food culture. I mean even compared to something as arcane as art, food is a poor stepchild in this land of the lost. Look at downtown for example, where public art is everywhere, we celebrate our neon heritage and First Fridays (and the Ice House) have raised the hipster quotient to 'must see' levels for the 30 somethings (and the wannabe thirtysomethings), out there.

But people don't go to trendy restaurants here (or talk about them), because there ARE no trendy restaurants here. Unless of course you're counting the lines out the door at the Claim Jumper-where quantity trumps quality at every turn. Yes sports fans, we live in a town where The Claim Jumper and The Cheesecake Factory are our trendiest restaurants. And hey, maybe that's a good thing. I mean it works well in Omaha, and I'm sure Fresno would love to have one to call their own.

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Both these icons of overeating pack'em in and give good perceived value for all the salt and carbs they load into every item. And the hoi polloi can't get enough of it.....God Bless'em. And even the Red Robin, soulless as it is, is packed nightly while locally owned places with much better food (and similar prices), go begging.

What I've decided is that it's all about size, predictability, ......and cheese! Yes if you study the menu's at these trend-setters, you'll notice that they're big on smothering everything thing with cheese . At the Claim Jumper ... so cheese friendly is the menu that .i'm surprised they don't put it on the ice cream....

That's it ---- I've figured it out....Make food oversized, predictable, and melt cheese on it, and the world....or at least Las Vegans, will beat a path to your door. Other town's may have their celebrity chefs and famous recipes, but we've got our cheese. Now there's something to talk about.

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