All We Want For Christmas ...

In case you’re wondering what we want for Christmas here on Grub Street, we’ve 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 Denny’s.

• 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 you’re ready to open, open. Come hard or don’t 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, it’s the White Castle on Avenue B we’ve always wished for.