It started as a game. Of course it started as a game.

We (Adam & Ethan) work for the same company and had briefly worked together, but didn’t realize at first how much our interests overlapped. Cyclists, dads, gamers, geeks. We started a weekly lunch and on the way to the second one, Adam turned it into a game. “You know what would be fun? If we never ate at the same place twice.”

The rules were simple. One of us picked a new place to eat and also paid. The following week the other would do the same. The first to repeat a choice, loses.

We made it to somewhere around week 30 before a repeat (for the record, Ethan lost). Instead of giving up though, we started round two and doubled down. We added reviews to the mix. Whoever picks still pays, but the recipient of the free lunch has to review the choice. We’d both blogged with some regularity previously, so writing was something we already enjoyed. At the time, a years worth of new restaurants seemed like a monumental undertaking, so we went with 52 and were off to the races. We also started capturing our Lunch Topics. Regular readers know we’re very much into games.

The learning curve for restaurant reviews was surprising at first. Expanding our culinary vocabulary beyond “that taste good” took some time. Eventually we got our sea legs though. We know what we like and are more than happy to share it with our readers. When we finally hit review 52, we discussed briefly resetting the game. A season 2 if you will. We quickly did away with that notion however and are now on the brink of 100 reviews. At this point it looks to go on to the bitter end, neither of us yielding until Richmond runs out of restaurants. And given the turnover in the Richmond restaurant scene, that doesn’t seem imminent.

Adam & Ethan @ 52 Lunches

You can check out all their reviews of Richmond restaurants on their blog, but here are some of our favorites (all pictured above):

Anyone have some suggestions to pass along to Adam & Ethan?