First we have Cirque du Savory, which I found after one of the authors was featured on the cover of CinWeekly. I am a burger freak; if you've ever been to a restaurant with me before, you'll find me searching the menu for the burger. Why? It's classic American cuisine. I would argue that it is definitive American cuisine. Every place specializes in something, but it is their hamburger that tells me how serious they are. When I went to Lavomatic for the first time with AmyInOhio and Kate_The_Great, I ordered the burger; my philosophy is that restauranteurs know that the inexperienced or less cultured eaters (or those of us who are hesitant to try new foods when you're paying for them at a restaurant) will go for the one thing on the menu they know -- the burger. Lavo's, btw, isn't bad. My taste and my feelings on the burger are so strong that I've often said that I should start a blog searching for the best hamburger in the city.
The ladies and gentlemen over at Cirque du Savory did that for me. They rate the city's hamburgers based on a rather amusing classification system named after the Huxtables a la the Cosby Show ("The Rudy" are burgers that score a 90-100, for example, where as failing grades until 60 get the demarcation of "The Sondra"). If you're looking for a good burger, their current top score (94) goes to Zip's Cafe in Mt. Lookout, while Fatburger in Oakley has the lowest score at 64.
Update: I have also added The Church Experiment to the blogroll. That blog was the reason for the above mentioned CinWeekly article and, though I am not a believer, it is an interesting read and a fascinating snapshot of the city that I have never participated in.
The second blog I have to offer you is an amazing tale of a woman who is blogging her emotional, spiritual, and physical healing after a botched breast augmentation and lift two years ago... appropriately entitled Boobcast (she is also a long time twitter friend of mine, @Herbwoman). She sought the procedure for purely personal reasons in her late 30s and was met with more complications than any individual should ever go through. After extensive, full-torso bruising and necrosis that left her without nipples (which had literally rotted off her body), compounded by a compassionless healthcare team who told her to calm down and take a valium (seriously), she has begun the painful and oft-times depressing tale of restoring herself and refinding hope.
I'm in nursing school, and I don't often hear about the experiences patients have. In fact, in my job, I have already developed the callous no doubt many people are aware of with nurses. Cold and professional, my interactions with patients are more often than not a reflection of a jadedness that has settled over my heart when it comes to the patient experience. School doesn't help, as the focus is more often than not on the medical issues rather than the psycho-social aspects of patient care (we spent only one class talking about active listening, and I have only once ever been taken seriously when I say the patient's major concern is body image, not his inactive gut that left him with a colostomy bag). Hearing her story, like working at the Ronald McDonald House, reminds me about why we do what we do, and what we strive to do in healthcare. Her story will touch you. I have, officially, read every single blog post she has, and it's an amazing tale. (The picture above is her after one of her most recent surgeries that left ... she's entitled it "The After Shot" :-)).
I'm still perusing the web this afternoon, so there may be more later, but I've had a good time on these two sites this afternoon, both have been added to the blogroll to your right.