A SERIOUS EATER: It's a pretty established thing now, at least around the Golden State, that every major city or region has its own restaurant week. The bulk of them fall in January, which happens to be California Restaurant Month, but a few pop up elsewhere on the calendar, like LA's twice-a-year restaurant outing and Palm Springs offering the deals in the heart of June heat. It's probably impossible to enjoy every last dining deal throughout the state, but a serious eater could make a good try at a single restaurant week in a single city. Okay, LA might have its challenges -- the number of participating restaurants topped 200 long ago -- but Palm Springs or Santa Barbara and, yep, Riverside would be tasty and absolutely doable spots for being a cuisine completest, if you were so tempted.
IN FACT... We'd recommend Riverside as an excellent starting point on that eating adventure. For one, its Restaurant Week lasts more than a week, so you have eleven full days to try everywhere, and not just seven. Also? The participant list is long but absolutely coverable during that time frame. Names include Bella Tratoria, Gram's Mission BBQ, Lake Alice Trading Co., and, yep, the Mission Inn Restaurant.
THE MENUS... run the gamut, but here's one we're eyeing: Phood on Main, which is offering a Browned Butter Shrimp Sandwich, with chips, for ten bucks and ninety five cents. Sounds yummy, yes? Very.
NOW THE DATES... We said eleven days and we meant it: The Riverside Restaurant Week is on from Thursday, June 20 through Sunday, June 30. Bon appetit (several times over, if you do go the completest route).