When I began this journey almost 3 years ago, I was in a major food rut. I was such a creature of habit: I almost always went to the same restaurants, ordered the same dishes, and even cooked the same rotation of meals for lunch and dinner. I had been doing that forever, and it became extremely boring. So I finally decided it was time for a change. On the way to a caravan in Bartlesville, OK we came up with the name: Karyl’s Kulinary Krusade; and the premise: in 18 months go to 100 restaurants I’d never been to
In the beginning I really just blogged for myself. It was kind of like a personal diary. I created the page, but didn’t put much thought or effort into the page design. But then something happened…a few of my friends were reading it! I was really pleasantly surprised. So then I started putting each post on Facebook, which got me a few more readers. I’ve also noticed that I have a reader in Russia, one in India, one in China, and a couple other really random places. Weird, but oh well. Maybe my reviews are helping them plan a trip to the US! On the recommendation of a friend, I also started tweeting the restaurants. Most don’t respond, but I have gotten a few retweets and favorites. That’s really pretty exciting.
I’ve been really lucky, because I have yet to have a horrible restaurant experience. And even on the few occasions when something negative does happen, I always try to find positives. The only exception was a place in Minneapolis where our table of 5 left after being completely ignored for about 15 minutes, when the restaurant was almost completely empty. And as we left, the same hostess that sat us said goodbye like she didn’t even remember we had practically just walked in.
Recently I found out that my friend April has a blog called uncookiecutter.com. It’s perfect, because she lives in Stillwater so we can work on our blogs together over wine. She has been a fantastic resource for me, and has gotten me in a Facebook network of 300+ bloggers from around the country. It’s been a little overwhelming keeping up, because I think a lot of them do this for a living, and their blogs are REALLY well designed. For me this is just a side thing. But I’m trying.
To be honest, I would love to be a food writer/critic. So I’m hoping/thinking that if I can get this blog where it needs to be, that could be my “in”, even if on a small scale. So now I’m on a mission to upgrade my blog. It needs work. April and I created my Facebook page last night, so I’ve got to work on that as well. It seems like every day I find out there’s something else I should be doing to get myself out there. I’ll get it all figured out…eventually.
What I really like about this journey is that it’s expanded my food experience so much. I’ve found dive restaurants that I probably never would have considered otherwise. Restaurant.com and keepitlocalok.com have been great resources, and are also a source of discounts so I don’t go broke doing this! My dad thinks the restaurants should be giving me a free meal since I’m doing a review. I had to remind him that only happens if you’re a pro. I’ve been able to use Pinterest to really grow my recipe book, and if I stopped pinning new recipes today, I could still make something new once a week for probably 18 months.
So my journey continues…more restaurants…new recipes…and expanding my social presence. I better get to work!