Thursday, April 08, 2004

Mike G Chow Pics here
Mil-Walk-ee Open Thread

Please post in the comments, any suggestions, ideas, insight or advice on where we should stop on our walk along Milwaukee Ave on April 17th, 2004.
Odd comment by Chowhound Mod's on Decor

This thread on Chicago Chowhound dealt with restaurant suggestions based on decor. Soon, the "Chowhound Team" came along and said that, while discussion of restaurant architecture or decor was fine, the posts HAD to also include mention of the food. Otherwise, splat, a victim to laser-focus. What the heck?

One of the criticisms typically thrown at hounds is that the grungier the place, the happier they become. That they take immense pleasure in dining in hovels. Now, perhaps there ARE people like that, but I do not know them. People simple mis-understand the desire for great (or at least interesting or unique) food and the willingness to get it regardless of the circumstances as a desire for masochistic eating. Decor, atmosphere, service, noise level, these factors all effect the dining experience, and they seem quite worthwhile for discussion. I mean under the logic of the moderator's call here, one could not discuss the quality of service if one did not throw in a mention or two of the food too. That's absurb. Restaurant discussion should include all the factors.

And that makes for help in finding places to eat?

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Drooling Over Seoul

The Condiment Queen's good friend, who has found herself expatriated to Seoul has pointed me to this great web site. Fantastic pictures.
Oy Vay!

"And, much to his chagrin, they replaced fresh pasta with the frozen kind...In his 38-page counterclaim and response filed yesterday, Mr. DiSpirito, 37, told his side of the story. He said he was being unlawfully squeezed out of his 50 percent interest in Rocco's on 22nd Street, that his partners were abusing his name while benefiting from his notoriety, and that they have impaired morale at Rocco's. In addition, Mr. DiSpirito said his business partners failed to provide financial expertise and damaged the restaurant with "repeated and manifold breaches of contractual and fiduciary obligations."

The rest is here.

There's been 2 e-mails sent out on the event since Monday. There are tons of logistics to work out, and we need everyone's participation and ideas. If you are signed up, you should have received them. If not, please let me know.

Monday, April 05, 2004

Chicago Pizza Club (?) - This was on Chowhound today, but I doubt it will last. Anyone know more?
Mil-Walk-ee Update
For April 17, 2004

It's only a few weeks until the next 'athon, a mass of chowhounds trekking by foot on the angle, across Chicago on Milwaukee Ave. Milwaukee is not the most international street in Chicago, it's no Devon (Da'bomb) by a long shot, but it's dense and diverse, ranging from hip to square, old Polonia to off the plane Polonia. Wicker Park, Logan Square, Avondale, Jefferson Park, and Gladstone Park, if Chicago is still a city of neighborhoods, we'll find out.

There's plenty of people signed up already, too many really. We have about 30 yes to the event. The sidewalks of Milwaukee will be hard pressed to fit us all together. And those tiny shops, we'd over-run them with mass. Still, people will walk at different paces, and people will have different interests of where to stop. Thus, we have 3 choices. First, we all start together, then let nature drive the event, with the knowledge that we end up vastly strung out. Essentially, the initial 30 will break into smaller groups based on apparent interests. Likely, but not positively, the smaller groups will be able to merge with each other as the day proceeds. Second, we can do the Union Pacific method. We split in two (or 3, 4, etc) and start at each end of Milwaukee (or within parts of Milwaukee) and move to meet somewhere. Third, we use a staggered start, with groups starting in intervals--maybe the smaller groups could be organized by specific interests, a deli group, a bakery group, a bar group. Of course, most of the 'hounds I know will not want to be limited to one aspect of Milwaukee. They wanna see it all. Related, we need to decided on stopping. How much walking, how much parking. Should we schedule meet-ups at a few places along the way for meals/drinks (makes sense). I need suggestions and further comments on how to do this.

I've done a bit of scouting. See below. I welcome and encourage more suggestions. If what you want to say is too big for the comments (i.e., over 1000 words) "e-mail me and I will get it in the blog:

Superdawg - Super (but slow) possible starting point. It does not open until 11 AM. Waited a looooong time for carhop service the other day, but was rewarded with a beefalicious Whoopercheesie that became an ordeal to eat as the relish dissolved the bread. 6363 N. Milwaukee Avenue

Produce Center - Groceries for various groups in Chicago. Nice selection of jellies and jams for morning toast. I had a soupy, sour cherry preserves from Turkey for today's (the last toast for the week). 5820 N. Milwaukee

Il Sogno Cafe - It said open, but was closed mid-day Saturday. If open, this tile floor cafe may be able to fortify us with a bit of espresso. Looks Euro at least. 5820 N. Milwaukee

Cafe Stoa - They say, "destined to become a great sanctuary for today's lifestyle." I say, odd but worth trying, extremely RST like place that specializes in this Greek Nescafe, frappe type of thing. Typically, opens at 1 PM, but they said they'd open early for us. 5760 N. Milwaukee

Gladstone Park Bakery - Great neon sign. See here. Other than that, the ware looked mostly tired. 5744 N Milwaukee Ave

Prohibition Club - Polish gangster hangout? See link above for a photo of their sign. 5600 N. Milwaukee

Great neon, in disrepair - 4950 N. Milwaukee

Krakus Homemade Sausage - Small but complete selection. Great facade. UPDATE: Herring in cream sauce was this/close to being too salty. 4722 N. Milwaukee

Ideal Pastry - Another great sign, but more special stuff inside. More well rounded than the name suggests with a large selection of cooked good like pierogi, blintzes, cutlets, etc. 4765 N. Milwaukee

Nice Terra Cotta Building - 4800 N. Milwaukee

Chris's Billiards - One of the last "real" pool rooms left, not just in Chicago, but anywhere. Best described on the Internet, "Chris' is nice, good tables (gold crowns). The bangers play in the back. The good players there are "clicky" and some are not s friendly, and some are seedy. Be careful." 4637 N. Milwaukee

Modern Tuxedo - Another great neon sign. Scroll down here to see. 4360 N. Milwaukee

La Pena - Ecuadorian. Mike G sez, "carbon-y, accompanied by a very odd thing calling itself a potato pancake in peanut sauce-- the reality was more like mashed sweet potatoes with a thin Thai peanut sauce on it, minus the coconut milk." 4212 N. Milwaukee

Tobacco Room - Smoke break? 4020 N. Milwaukee

Peacock Lounge - Wide variety of Polish liquor. Beer served mit juice. 3394 N. Milwaukee

Various stuff around Logan Square - See here and here.

Galleygirl's Website

Galleygirl, a Boston 'hound of high fame, has recently launced a website to showcase her great commercial art. Check it out!

Sunday, April 04, 2004

The Blues

I used to consider myself quite the blues aficionado. I feel justly proud in bragging about seeing plenty of the immortals, with a few good friends in small clubs or with 1,000's of others at venues like Chicagofest. Included in my blues CV is a few shows by Zeus himself, Muddy Waters. When I had records, I had quite the set of blues records. I still have a fair amount of blues CDs, although I do not listen to them all that much. What has mostly disconnected me from the Blues is that triangle of married, with kids, and a job. Even when we have a baby sitter, I am hard-pressed to be catching a late starting set at one of the remaining Blues clubs. And...

Well, a long intro to a series I will be following this week in the Sun Times on the state of Chicago Blues.