Hello readers, my name is Justin Choate. Maybe you know me as the host Reading Magazine’s Emmy-nominated hit series titled Bites of Berks. Then again, maybe you don’t because Bites of Berks has never been nominated for anything, and we have, like, eight episodes. That’s beside the point, and now you know who I am.
I’ve been tasked with a very important job here at Berks Weekly; this position comes with tremendous pressure. I will now be taking time out of my busy schedule to review Berks County restaurants in a written, blog-like form.
It’s going to be grueling—I must eat copious amounts of food that has been purchased for me, put my thoughts and feelings about the food and the restaurant and the atmosphere and…yatta, yatta, yatta… into words, and then publish it for all of our loyal readers to tolerate.
Please, somebody save me from this torture.
Now, you might be wondering what type of qualifications I have to even be critiquing food and restaurants in the first place. Well, I’m here to confidently tell you that I don’t have any (insert snarky political comment about qualifications here).
My culinary education is credited to Alton Brown, the Food Network, and teaching myself how to cook eggs in the microwave at the ripe old age of 5. My grandparents did own a homemade ice cream parlor for 30 years, and I did work there growing up, so I guess you can say I have SOME culinary experience.
As I got older, food became more and more of who I am as a person. I became entranced with the science behind food and flavor profiles. I told myself to never stop trying new things, and I still hold true to that commitment today.
Honestly, the only qualification I need is my palette. I know what tastes good, and I will tell you right now, I am snotty as hell about it. I want to eat quality food, and I want it to be an experience; the dish needs to tell a story. I want flavor. I want passion. I want vibrance. I want to tell you, the reader, where you can find the best of the best in this beautiful melting pot we call Berks County.
I just want people to understand that food is more than just something you eat. Food is an art. The artists—the chefs—work so very hard to put the most amazing ideas and flavors into their dishes every single day, and it’s important that we shine a light on them.
Let me tell you right now, not every place I review will receive high marks from me (remember, I’m snotty). I want to provide you with my honest and real opinion on every review I write. Ultimately, you and your families will be going out of your way to spend your hard-earned money at these establishments, and I don’t want you to be disappointed.
In case you’re one of the six fans who enjoyed Bites of Berks, don’t fret, we’ll have new episodes for you soon. Tell your friends, maybe we’ll have 10 fans by the time the next episode premiers.
It is important to me to be as transparent as possible when writing these reviews for you, and I hope you enjoy reading them as they are published. If you don’t, oh well. You’re probably arguing with your family on which chain restaurant to eat at tonight.
Oh, I almost forgot. Follow me on Instagram @choatesnotes. Lots of foodie pics if you’re interested in that kind of stuff.
Until next time, Happy Eating.