A few weeks ago when I was biting into that crisped pork belly at Northside Social, I saw something you don’t see much these days at casual eateries — real, honest-to-God matchbooks. You know, to light those cigarettes that you can’t smoke in restaurants anymore.

The matchbook got me all nostalgic for those days when you could choke down your dinner — and your neighbor’s cigarette smoke — right at the same bar. It also got me nostalgic for my old matchbook collection, which I started as an earnest attempt to keep fire sticks in the house for my old, two-pack-a-day habit. Those days are long gone.

But my habit of picking up matches has continued, and still continues today wherever I can find them, more as an effort to snag small flammable souvenirs to help me remember the many places where friends and I have dined over the years.  Who knew that, one day, someone would create a small restaurant chain around matchbooks?

A snapshot of my matchbook collection after the jump.