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Everything posted by ronnie_suburban

  1. Harold's does a pretty solid rendition and they have locations all over the city -- from Roseland to Rogers Park. When I was a kid, I used to love Brown's Chicken's version but it's been years and I don't know if they're still any good. =R=
  2. Definitely no consensus on Boka, as I've read accounts from both side of the fence. I'd still really like to try it, though. Thanks, for the report. BTW, there is another Boka thread already running. You can find it here. =R=
  3. Sadly, I have to completely and officially withdraw my support of Mazos. I'm not sure of all the details, but back in February of 2006, the place underwent some sort of 'grand reopening' and made some substantial changes that have just sucked the charm and the quality completely out of the place. Without knowing this, I went to Mazos today and was so shocked and disappointed to see how the place had been ruined. Above all else, this sad text now appears in print on a large vinyl sign, which hangs on the wall as the "menu": All burgers are cooked to medium-well The burger I was served today l
  4. Speak of the devil. Michael Ruhlman just posted a nice piece about The Velvet Tango Room on his blog . . . "The Best Bar In the World" =R=
  5. No. History suggests that it will likely be sometime between mid July and mid August. =R=
  6. I think anything's possible as far as prospective crawls go, with one condition: they must be well-planned. And that means, among other things, that someone will have to organize and lead (each one of) them. I posted an idea above about one that I thought would be fun and I'm happy to lead and organize it (or an alternate one if the consensus goes in that direction). But I can only be in one place at a time. So, while other ideas are most certainly welcome, each proposal should come with its own host who's willing to do the organizational work behind it. Otherwise, we're probably going t
  7. The clear highlight of the weekend for me was the group meal, which we prepared together on Saturday afternoon and evening. It was so great hanging out with everyone, working together to produce the meal and getting to know each other better in the process. The venue, which was secured by Nancy H, was a great commercial kitchen in a large church near her home. As was posted above, Nancy's friend Angie, who is a member of the church, played no small part in making this happen for all of us and for that we are truly appreciative. While I've become somewhat proficient at eating and shooting, I'
  8. After we shopped for the group meal at Cleveland's West Side Market on Saturday morning, a bunch of us decided to have an impromptu lunch together. Sweintraub came up with a great idea to have lunch at Phnom Penh, a Cambodian restaurant just around the corner from the market. As was posted above, the restaurant handled a surprise visit by over 2 dozen of us like clockwork and the lunch they served us was extremely tasty. I'm not really sure about everything we specifically ordered but I'll post the images below -- with descriptions where I can -- and let others who are more familiar with the
  9. Maybe we can make a deal with a hotel that would include guest rooms and the use of a hotel kitchen, too. =R=
  10. LOL! Well, I was drafted but it's my pleasure. Beyond posting here, any locals who'd like to help with the planning should contact me via pm or e-mail. As for Vie, it would also be very high on my list (obviously). I think that pub trans getting out there is one option -- and a good suggestion -- but an 8 pm dinner there on a Friday night would probably make a non-issue of traffic. =R=
  11. Yes, it's a long way away but I'm thrilled that the "show" is coming to Chicago next year and I'm more than happy to head up the planning effort on behalf of all my eGS friends, who've made these Gatherings wonderfully enjoyable since their initial inception. It'll be a pleasure to reciprocate. As for the specific venues, etc., I think the best thing is to start listing and aggregating ideas here and let the concensus play a major role in what ultimately gets scheduled. Of course, those of us who live in Chicago will -- I hope -- be happy to make suggestions, offer ideas and help answer ques
  12. Friday night's dinner at Lola scratched an itch for me that I'd had since first reading about it -- and Michael Symon -- in Michael Ruhlman's Soul of a Chef, several years ago. Now, this wasn't the original Lola -- it occupies a beautiful new space and Symon's Lolita now operates in the original Lola space -- but the experience was very satisfying, nonetheless. Our group had 3 tables sectioned off in one of the front corners of the restaurant. Some of us had a great view of the street (which is closed off to everything but pedestrians) and others had a view of the open kitchen. In either c
  13. Friday afternoon a bunch of us (eGS members and locals) met for cocktails and chat at one of the coolest places I've been in a long time. The Velvet Tango Room provided a truly unique experience for me. It was a beautiful and elegant space -- inside a converted house -- that made me feel like I'd stepped into a time portal to the film noir era. It's a rare pleasure to partake in a cocktail lounge where just about every ingredient is made by hand . . . ginger beer, root beer, bitters, tonic water, etc. I know the cocktail scene is said to be emerging in Chicago but it has arrived in Clevela
  14. Going back to the beginning of the weekend, Thursday evening's dinner at Light Bistro was terrific. The food was delicious, inventive and fun. In a sense, the place reminded me of Schwa in Chicago, in part because of the food but also because of the vibe. Matt and Jeff were extraordinarily hospitable and there was such a tangible sense of pride and love in what they did. Their enthusiam came through loud and clear -- not only on the plate -- but also in listening to them talk about their craft. Unlike Schwa, Light Bistro is a larger and more polished space with dedicated FOH, but it was n
  15. I'll start at the end of this phenomenal weekend by saying I am truly grateful that Dominic Cerino forgot to serve the risotto . . . or maybe he was joking. In any case, if he had served it, I'm not sure I could have fit behind the steering wheel of my car and made it back to Chicago. As much as there was simply an obscene quantity of food served at Carrie Cerino's yesterday, the quality of that food surpassed the quantity in droves. I think FG hit the nail on the head when describing CC's. In many ways, it's a throwback to an era long gone. And yet, there is a major focus on current trend
  16. Wow! Jason, that looks amazingly delicious. Nice job! Great video, too! =R=
  17. I've been back to Vie a few times since my last post; most recently for a special, birthday-party meal for which chef Virant put together a custom, multi-course tasting menu -- with wine pairings. Of all my meals at Vie, this was, perhaps, my favorite. Below are some images and descriptions of the dishes we enjoyed . . . Wisconsin gorgonzola and thyme gourgere Light in texture, intense in flavor, these little bites welcomed the guests and activated their palates while cocktails were served. House-marinated herring with American sturgeon caviar, organic creme fraiche, pickled Chiogga beets
  18. Yeah, Chicago's a big market but that only makes it harder to stand out. In the Phoenix area, the market is smaller but it's still emerging. In fact, some would describe it as "wide open." There are a lot of higher-income families, retirees, etc. that make for a very receptive audience -- especially because of the relative lack of choices in the area. For a stand-out chef like RP, there's a chance to gain huge success in Scottsdale and also develop a loyal following much larger than could ever be possible in Chicago. And, from what I have heard, chef Poli will enjoy an equity share of the
  19. I've always been a fan of one sixtyblue but my last meal there was riddled with poorly prepared food . . . very fishy-tasting scallops, sinewy, undercooked lamb, undercooked potato wedges, cold potato puree. Not one person in our party of 5 finished their entree. Perhaps it was just a bad night but for now, sadly, I'd suggest going elsewhere. =R=
  20. Next time I am in... ← I'm there too. =R=
  21. Very cool, Geoff! I wondered, when I ate at Sea Saw, where some of those tools came from. Now I know. How long does it take to fabricate one of those cleavers? They look amazing. That bonito shaver is also a sweet looking tool. Is that designed by your father, or patterned after other, similar units? =R=
  22. I was eating dinner at El Celler Can Roca in early May with my wife. After the meal, one of the best in my life incidentally, I was visiting the kitchen on invitation from our waiter. He mentioned that they had an American chef from Chicago now working there who could show us around. The chef came out and I told him I love Chicago and in fact had wonderful meal at Butter. His face brightened and said "I opened Butter." I looked at him again more carefully and asked "what is your name". He said "Ryan Poli." I was so shocked it didn't even occur to pry into HOW he ended up there. I live i
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