All We Want For Christmas ...

In case youre wondering what we want for Christmas here on Grub Street, weve actually gone to the trouble of making a list.

A Grub Street outpost in Las Vegas. Possibly built in conjunction with Hawaiian Tropic Zone, with David Burke as consulting chef.

A James Beard Rising Star Chef award. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE!!!!

A bar stool alongside Mario Batali and Courtney Love at the Spotted Pig. Then a hot ice pick with which to blind ourselves.

A new restaurant which brags about year-round ingredients grown all over the place, and bought from SysCo.

A menu that eschews subtitles, credits, translations, geography, or recipes in favor of big, detailed full-color pictures of every dish just like at Dennys.

The permanent destruction of the Cookshack smoker, the last refuge of mediocre urban barbecue cooks. (The Cookshack, a refrigerator-size device that smokes with the aid of a handful of electrically warmed chips, is a sad replacement for a real wood smoker, like the ones used at RUB and other major barbecue establishments.)

An end to soft openings. When youre ready to open, open. Come hard or dont come at all!

Three good new Jewish delis, five good new non-gourmet pizzerias, ten good new local Chinese restaurants, and no more gourmet-burger operations.

Unless, of course, its the White Castle on Avenue B weve always wished for.