Live from the Wienermobile: Boycotting the Chains

Dispatches from the Road, Food & Wine, Lost Girls, United States — By on November 17, 2008 at 6:50 pm

Here’s the latest on-the-road dispatch from our Wienermobile girls. You can read more about their hot dogging adventures by clicking here

small business closing recession mexican foodMolly and Selena: CBS News reported last week on a trend that we’re noticing all too often as we criss-cross the country: struggling local business.

As often as possible, we hit up local restaurants. The food is usually tastier, the service more personalized, and we’re always happy to give our money to a community business instead of a corporate chain.

But as the economy sinks ever lower, there just aren’t as many of those mom-and-pop joints.

In Springfield, Missouri last month, we pulled up to Tortilla’s, a family-owned Mexican restaurant. The owners stepped outside to snap a photo of the Wienermobile – and tell us that they had closed shop two days ago, for good.

In search of espresso and pie in a Houston suburb in September, we detoured to a local coffee shop…only to meet the owners who were shutting off the building’s water and electricity that morning.

The CBS piece focused on a shuttered Elkhart, Indiana barbecue joint and spelled out just how troubling the situation is all around-for entrepreneurs, for their employees, for local culture. Least of all, it’s disappointing for travelers like us who want a bite of something authentic.

The silver lining? We’re more determined to skip the chains. Fellow Lost Girls, are you with us?

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    1 Comment

  • Sarah says:

    Totally with you. Unless I have completely no other choice, I only eat at non-chains while traveling. My thinking is: Why would you travel all that way just to live the same way you do at home? I just don’t understand traveling to a different place and then not fully embracing what makes that place different.