Going over those "Best Of" listings is a soul-sapping activity. Trying to write something new year after year becomes ever more challenging, and of course there's the matter of making sure the entity we're celebrating still exists. We've been caught before, and you tend to be merciless. As you should be.
As I confirmed the vitals of eatery after eatery, making me hungrier and hungrier, I began to fantasize about the meal I'd award myself once my listings were finished and filed. And I'm not ashamed to say that the reward involved pizza. Thus it was with a big, gloppy pie in mind that I wrote my Best Pizza listings, and, with a vision of the Fireside Pizzeria's 12-cut dancing in my head, I wrote the restaurant's listing WITHOUT CHECKING IN WITH THE PLACE.
Why should I? It's been there as long as I've lived in this area -- over thirty years. Places like that -- places in which I have both a culinary and a sentimental investment -- don't die.
Yes they do. This one did. Quite a while ago, in fact.
To make it worse, after I finished my writing task, I didn't go out for pizza. It was too late at night. I went to bed. And so I found out the Fireside's fate the way most bad news is delivered these days: through a snarky e-mail. Keep 'em coming, friends.