Today marks the first anniversary of Hurricane Sandy’s devastation. Of course, this is just the day the storm hit; it spanned a couple of days here, and the recovery has been long and frustrating for many. I don’t know about you, but I can all too easily relive the sense of panic in the days that followed – hoping for power, hoping to find a gas station with gas, wondering if friends were doing okay. And that in spite of limited damage to most buildings in our area. Once Princetonians realized they could plug in at the Princeton Library or McCaffrey’s Market, we traded war stories with a sense of wonder at our survival. And I still smile when I remember how McCaffrey’s made their big new generator their Employee of the Month for November – I’ll second that!
Of course, things at the shore were the worst, and while many restaurants throughout the region were devastated, those chefs who could open, or get to a working stove, did yeoman’s duty feeding their neighborhoods and first responders in the weeks that followed.
Smaller independent restaurants, without a big company to back them up, always suffer the most at times like that, so I encourage you to patronize your favorite locally owned restaurants, be it a pizza joint or sub shop, nice bistro, or more upscale fine dining establishment. Of course, you’ll find restaurant reviews by yours truly and others on the Packet dining site. For a very useful list of local eateries, be sure to visit Princeton University lecturer Kevin Wayne’s site, or to look across the state, visit the Dining Guide at the New Jersey Restaurant Association’s website. And of course, don’t forget your local bloggers! We try to eat out as much as possible. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it.
I liked this reminder about local restaurants to the rescue during the Sandy Blackout. The kind people at Cafe 44 provided my husband and me with coffee, hot food, warmth, power outlets and companionship all 6 days we needed it. They were so generous and welcoming!