Welcoming a new taste to Suffolk

Published 8:47 pm Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Now it might not be obvious looking at me, but I love food. And I’m not sorry for it either. In fact, I’ve been known to unapologetically groan with happiness while digging into a particularly delicious dish. But I have to admit that I find that this most often occurs when I’m eating food from a locally owned restaurant.

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy a meal or two at chain restaurants, but I am always more satisfied when I get my food from locally owned family businesses.

Part of the reason is the food. When you invest your entire life savings (and often your whole life) into a business, you make sure the food is great. At least that is what I’ve concluded after tasting some incredible food right here in Suffolk.

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I have had the juiciest burgers, spiciest jerk chicken and most creative sandwiches of my life right here in Suffolk. That is because of the hard work and love the owners of Plaid Turnip, Island Krave Caribbean Bistro and C3 Vino each put into their culinary creations.

Another thing is that when you spend your money with a Suffolk-owned business, you are supporting Suffolk. With all the great things the community offers, I am more than willing to do what I can to funnel that support back to the community.

So it’s with great excitement that I welcome news of restaurant openings. I can even get excited about the most recent announcement — the opening of a hot dog restaurant in North Suffolk.

I don’t really like hot dogs. Even as a kid, you had to burn the dog in order to get me to even think about consuming it. But I’ve grown adventurous as I’ve grown older, trying hot dogs from various restaurants and finding that I enjoy hot dogs that are high quality and cooked perfectly.

Judging from the reviews, that’s exactly what you’ll get at Poppy’s Top Dog. But you don’t have to be a hot dog lover to support this local business. The menu sports a variety of options, including sandwiches and burgers, and even includes a varied breakfast menu.

John Sumner told the Suffolk News-Herald that owning his own restaurant has been great.

“I’m a people person. I get to talk to many different people,” Sumner added.

And that’s perhaps the best thing about a family business: The owner will most likely be there and be excited to talk to you. If you’re lucky, you might even visit the eatery so often that you’ll be greeted by name and your standard order will have already been rung up by the time you’re through the door.

So, while I welcome the business clout chain restaurants bring to the city, it’s the family restaurants that make this city truly great.