Aside from all that, you could make a damn compelling case that four cities (Austin, Houston, San Antonio, and, okay, maybe (!), Dallas/Fort Worth) are all destination-worthy when it comes to eating, with Houston and San Antonio only recently being given the props they deserve. Say what you want about the prolific talents of NYC, but once you get outside the boroughs, no one is exactly lining up to heap praise on the food/drink in Albany and beyond.
We didn’t want it to be California, friends. We wanted it to be some kind of off-the-radar spot like South Dakota or Texas, but we didn’t map the geography of this nation to favor the Golden State; God, or some kind of mapographer did. Let’s start first with some numbers. California has 80,000 farms; it produces HALF OF ALL US-GROWN FRUITS, NUTS, AND VEGETABLES. Half, friends. 50%. And you know about the wine, right? 800 miles of coastland with fog, wind, and rain to keep vines interesting, and all of that warm inland and hills to produce more of it than any other state. And who gives a sh*t if Paul Giamatti doesn’t drink Merlot? California makes 100 different varietals of wine. Have you ever heard of a Mourvedre?!? I have not, but those grape-stomping bastards make it. And we haven’t even gotten to the cities.