We’re all in this together. How many times have you heard that phrase over the last few months? If you’ve shopped at a Winn-Dixie recently it may have felt like 1,000 times in the space of half an hour. But as many times as we’ve heard it, does it seem to have lost some of its meaning?
Today marks the start of Alabama Restaurant Week and it’s going to be very different this year than in years past. New protocols and new guidelines mean a new way of dining, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t have an impact.
Over the course of the last few months, I don’t know as I’ve ever felt closer to my Foley community, even when staying at home. My family made it a point to order takeout from a local restaurant once a week and I think I had the opportunity to see the true passion our restaurateurs put into each and every meal.
One owner did it all himself. Sometimes you’d call to place an order and when he didn’t pick up you’d have to wait five minutes and try again because he was literally cooking everything from scratch. You can’t prep he explained when you don’t know if anyone will call.
I was told by one owner that when trying to enforce state guidelines she would get cussed out or that people would ask her if she was angry at all the new stipulations. Her response was that if it meant she could open her doors she’d do whatever it takes because her place was her livelihood.
Food is an absolute necessity, yes it will nourish your body, but if you allow it, it will also nourish your soul. We live in a community of so many beautiful people who dream of sharing their passion with you and nourishing your soul. When you sit down to taste something they’ve made it’s more than just the last ticket they threw together, it’s a vulnerable moment where you decide anew if you’ll be back, if you’ll continue to help them keep their doors open. Every meal, every bite, is a new review, even for the person that’s eaten there a million times.
This time has been hard on everyone, especially our local restaurants, some of whom have already had to close their doors. If you can this week, commit to enjoying one meal from a local restaurant. But don’t let it be something you simply check off the list. Savor it. Allow it to nourish you in one of the most challenging times in recent history. Let your food comfort you. That’s what Foley restaurants want more than anything, to comfort you in this time of the unknown. The beautiful thing is by allowing yourself this comfort, you are helping to keep these wonderful people in our community.
To the restaurateurs who are doing it all themselves, or doing whatever it takes to keep your doors open, this week we honor you. Thank you for all you do. Thank you for doing so much more than feed us. Thank you for nourishing us, giving us something to connect over, and being such an integral part of making Foley the incredible city it is.
This year it may be over take out with friends via a video chat, but we will find a way to nourish ourselves because it’s time we really heard those words- We are all in this together.