Let’s Do Lunches!

Richmond bloggers review lunch every week.

Photo by Jay Paul

Adam Tabib and Ethan Johnson

      “Work can become a routine where you fall into the habit of going to the same places every day,” says Adam Tabib, 31. Then “suddenly 10 years have passed,” says his friend and colleague Ethan Johnson, 40. So in February 2010, the two Markel insurance business intelligence analysts decided to begin meeting for a weekly lunch. They took turns picking places and whoever “repeated” by naming a place he’d already been, would be declared the loser. “Ethan lost,” says Tabib with a grin. But from that defeat came the idea for 52Lunches.com, the popular blog (currently ranked second out of 58 Richmond food blogs by Urbanspoon.com) where Tabib and Johnson review their weekly lunch.

      “Not keeping a list is how I lost,” Johnson explains. “And my wife said ‘you should blog where you go and write reviews.’ I mentioned it to Adam, and 15 minutes later he had the domain name registered.” Since September 2010, the two have been reviewing a new restaurant (almost) every week, usually somewhere near where they work in Richmond’s West End. Whoever picks the destination pays—“motivation not to go somewhere too expensive,” explains Johnson—and the other writes the review.

     The blog features a refreshing lack of food snobbery—reviewing the food that people eat every afternoon, as opposed to upscale offerings. And with 113 Richmond-area restaurants already down, the pair is being careful not to end the game by “repeating” again. “It’s collaborative at this point,” says Tabib. “Neither of us wants the other to lose.” 52Lunches.com


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