One of the most challenging aspects of a food writer’s job (next to sinister editors and abysmal pay) is that we have to eat in work-enforced binges. So, while a normal diner might enjoy a semi-annual chili dog purchased from a wind-swept truck, the food writer might need to visit 15 hot dog trucks in two days, only to emerge with a fully-endorsable top three. In the last few years, we’ve powered through scores of single subject binges for articles, including short-duration benders of chicken wings, lobster rolls, sandwiches, fried desserts, and chili dogs, among other solitary foodstuffs. While each story represents an endurance test of sorts, these marathons give a unique sense of perspective: only after eating 15 chilidogs in two days can one fully appreciate the idiom.
But, let’s face it, it gets time-consuming, so we often rely on the research of specialists. These are folks in the already-obsessive foodie community who live to dispute the charms of a single item — say, ribs, burgers, or pizza, for example. These enthusiasts would be content to eat their favorite dish three times a day, stopping only to ponder the infinite shades of difference observable in each tasty version. A little odd, maybe, but handy…we’ll talk to one of the guys before we try to dine our way through the phone book.
One of our favorite foodie monomaniacs is Adam Clyde Christensen, who came to our attention through his regular posts on Chowhound.com. We always noted his thoughtful presence on the site’s Tri-State Board (which covers Westchester, as well as CT, LI and NJ), where Christensen focuses on Latino food and, especially, tacos. In fact, we’re such big fans of Christensen Chowhound work that we tapped him for our Westchester Magazine Port Chester round-up. Then, caught indisposed, we reached out to him again, asking him to guest blog here at Eater when we were laid up in the hospital with a gourmet buffet of opiates. He took up the Eater challenge con gusto, sampling 30 White Plains tacos within a single week. Lying on our deathbed(ish), our muzzy-headed hat was off to him.
Now we learn that Adam Clyde Christensen has his own site where he’s collected all of his erudite Chowhound posts. He writes about social networking, too, which is apparently very hot right now. (That’s what Christensen does for a living at IBM.) Anyway, we usually skip all the computer stuff and head right for the goodies, although we really appreciate his essay on how foodie websites are the gateway drug to social networking. Okay, Christensen doesn’t actually use the term “gateway drug,” but you get the point.
Anyway, pay a visit to Christensen’s site for the collected opus of classic Adam Clyde Chowhound posts, like this one on the El Charrito taco truck in Stamford, updated on Christensen’s own site with photos and menu definitions. And, as special treat for Eater’s faithful readers, Christensen has revisited his WM Eater post on White Plains tacos. He’ll be evaluating Westchester County’s empanada scene as a sort of extension. We, for one, can’t wait. Plus, we know that the next time we have to eat 30 empanadas in three days, we’ll definitely check out his list first.