Forest Dining Is In; Gawker Wants Your Kitchen Nightmares; Best Restaurants in Rome; Most ‘Offal’ Ingredients Ever; Seventies Food Was Better(!)

"We've been forest dining long before it was trendy. You know, back when folks just called it camping."

* Reality bites. Gawker wants your true-life kitchen nightmare stories. [Gawker]

* Into the woods. Forest dining is the next big thing. If you live near a forest, that is. If not, the next big thing will probably be something else. [Metro]

* Rome if you want to. These are the 10 best restaurants in Rome, according to Diane Seed. [The Guardian]

* From the “Strike that. Reverse it.” files: Delia Smith says food in the U.K. was better in the 1970s. I can only assume she’s kidding. Or that she hasn’t eaten since the seventies? [Daily Mail]

* Truth in headlines: The world’s weirdest restaurants really are weird. [NY Daily News]

* Is it a sign that food writers are running out of content if they’re writing stories about chefs’ wives? Perhaps, but since this story’s wife is Liz Symon, a partner in hubby Michael’s ventures, I’ll let it slide. [GourmetLive]

* Pig’s lung, sow’s udder, and whale’s liver, oh my! Yep, this is the most offal cookbook ever. [Daily Mail]

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Pay What You Wish at a Restaurant: Geordie’s at The Wrigley Mansion

Here’s one from the feel-good files: The New York Times “Freakonomics” folks called readers’ attention to a restaurant in Phoenix that is allowing diners to pay what they think is fair for lunch. Geordie’s Restaurant and Lounge in The Wrigley Mansion isn’t pricing its lunch entrees, instead letting patrons decide what they’re worth.

Being a bit of a cynic, I wondered how this pricing experiment was going, so I phoned Celeste Nichols, the general manager. She says, “It’s been very well received. We’re getting lots of local diners as well as people from out of town.” In terms of the value diners are placing on their entrees, Nichols reveals, “We’re pretty much getting $13 or better. People are loving it! They think it’s a great idea.” Nichols, who championed the concept, said she’d seen a restaurant in another state do it and thought it might be something that would be fun to try at The Wrigley Mansion. She admitted she was a bit skeptical at first (after all, someone could just wish to pay a quarter), but, Nichols says, “It’s turned out that people pay fairly, if not better than we anticipated.”

Available at lunch, Tuesday through Saturdays, the “Pay What You Think Is Fair” promotion at Geordie’s in The Wrigley Mansion has been going on for more than six months with no end in sight.