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david coonce

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Everything posted by david coonce

  1. It's wicker park- lots of places suck but people go anyway - see Bite, Rodan or the Pontiac Grill for further examples. Or Filter, Romeo Romeo, Earwax, Flying Saucer, Smartbar, Santullos, Papajin, Salud, etc. for more examples.
  2. I know I won't be the only person to ask this but, dude, if the pizza place is only five minutes away why not just go pick it up? And if you get a pizza and it's not warm enough, just toss that sucker in the oven. The quality of most delivery pizza isn't amazing enough that reheating it will detract. In high school I worked at a really, really busy pizza place, and delivery times were really tough to judge - was it raining? Was there a big game on? (I have no idea where Union County is). My suggestion - pick it up or bake your own. Relying on delivery is a crapshoot. Carryout pizzas are always done ultra-fast.
  3. If you're looking for Thai cheap, star of Siam is way, way in the distance compared to the glorious and absurdly cheap Mr. Thai. It's not close to downtown - North ashland, but it's ridiculously cheap, amazingly good, and BYOB to boot. It's by far the best non-Arun's thai place in Chicago.
  4. Thanks for all the good advice. I've purchased cases of wine from certain wineries in California that don't distribute out hwere, and they used UPS - is it just that they are skirting the law, or do they have a special permit. I wonder. Unfortunately, where I live there are only a couple wine distributors and they don't carry a lot of what I want. It's frustrating, to say the least, although they understand their business better than I do. Thanks again, though.
  5. Well, did a little research...Sam's in Chicago won't ship to anyone who has a liquor license...I think probably some bars/liquor stores buy from other stores because in many cases it's cheaper to do that than buy wholesale from distributors. So that's out. Sherry-Lehmann is just too expensive for me. They have an amazing selection, though. At this point I think I'm just going to have to start lobbying my local stores to carry the wines I really like. Crazy laws.
  6. I once catered an outdoor wedding, which featured a blues band - the old white guy kind of blues. They played a long, long version of that Doors "Woke up this mornin', had myself a beer" song, which I hate anyway. This version was seriously, like 25 minutes long. While it was playing I was grilling bruschetta, and to this day I can't make bruschetta on the grill. It brings back too many bad memories.
  7. Thanks all for your help. I actually work for places that have liquor permits (I'm a chef) so I may try that route. Thanks again, David
  8. Hey y'all Does anyone know a good and creative way around the draconian laws that disallow wine sales to Indiana? I have ordered wine by the case from Vintners, and the smaller ones are able to obtain some sort of direct shipping permit, but when I try to order from, say, Sam's in Chicago or the bigger places based in New York, they can't ship to us. If anyone has any suggestions, let me know. David
  9. Gotta admit, I always loved WTT - not quite Wicker Park, but very good, and decently priced. ← Ogh yeah, if you go there to WTT, the signature dish is the Zinfandel-braised pot-roast. It is every bit as good as you can imagine. One of the best dishes I ever had in Chicago.
  10. Gotta admit, I always loved WTT - not quite Wicker Park, but very good, and decently priced.
  11. I went to people's right when it opened. I thought the wine list was weak but I really liked the food (vodka-cured salmon, flank steak with chimichurri sauce and something else that was good - I think it was the calamari). I think, as far as Tapas places go, the Bin 36 wine cafe across the street is better. I've never been to Francesca's Forno (it's hard to get in) but heard it's good as well. Pretty much everything Mia Francesca does is good. Smoke Daddy is fine for the neighborhood, but if you don't mind driving to the southside there are dozens of better smoke shacks. At least dozens.
  12. I second Le Bouchon - it's always packed on Tuesdays, but it's a great deal - 3 courses for something like 25 dollars. The veal kidneys and the cassoulet are terrific. I have had some very bad experiences there with other customers being complete a-holes to the staff, but if you ignore them they go away. It comes with the territiry in that neighborhood. A couple other higher-end places in WP that I forgot are Scylla, which is a good, albeit pricey, restaurant specializing in fish, and Hot Chocolate, which is good for dessert. And south of WP, on Chicago Ave, is A Tavola, which is a hidden gem and one of my favorite places in all of Chicago to eat. Not cheap, but not a wallet-buster either.
  13. Oh yeah, Pizza metro rules. Like I said, I am probably forgetting something. But that place rules. I like to just sit in there and absorb the atmosphere - all old school Italians. And the pizza is awesome. And cheap. When my then-fiancee (now wife) was in the hospital, the food she most wanted me to bring her was Pizza Metro pizza. ← Would we be ok going with two little kids? (two LOUD little kids?) ← Definitely. there's always kids there.
  14. ← It's about time. Processed foods are the foods that are killing us - not Foie Gras or Carbs or fat or Raw Milk cheese or anything - the less processed foods we consume the better. ← "processed foods are the foods that are killing us" really! First--the Times in positioning this issue as a "war" is engaging in a bit of hyperbole (gets attention and sells papers--a common media ploy these days). We have the AMA (a group also seeking some attention) making an assertion and a demand that would lead to more regulation (do we have enough regulations?). The AMA has an agenda and keep in mind no group has been infallible. It was not too long ago that the Doctors and Scientists were saying salt was not bad for us. Then the Times did a piece about how salt was becoming trendy. We heard how bran was the answer then we were told bran was not the answer. La Di La Di Life goes on! I prefer that people get information and all sides of the story. Then make their own decisions. I am for reasonable product information and labeling. Seems to me that regulating salt may not be the best solution/answer. Maybe it is education. I also do not look at the food industry as an evil empire out to kill us via salt. I believe in moderation. and awareness. not bans or regulation. I prefer to save myself thank you! so here's how it should work. The doctors and scientists have their say. The food industry has theirs. The Time reports the facts. We make the final decision. I gotta go now--cable news is reporting that some group has declared the board of directors for MacDonalds are war criminals! The revolution is at hand!!!! They're coming for my charcuterie!!!!! ← I don't really want to get into it too much, but you and I both know that the salt used in carcuterie doesn't end up in the finished product at anywhere near the proportion salt ends up in the finished product of processed foods. I don't want to argue with you about processed foods - I just want you to take a look at the labels on processed foods and then claim, with a straight face, that processed foods are fine.
  15. Oh yeah, Pizza metro rules. Like I said, I am probably forgetting something. But that place rules. I like to just sit in there and absorb the atmosphere - all old school Italians. And the pizza is awesome. And cheap. When my then-fiancee (now wife) was in the hospital, the food she most wanted me to bring her was Pizza Metro pizza.
  16. ← It's about time. Processed foods are the foods that are killing us - not Foie Gras or Carbs or fat or Raw Milk cheese or anything - the less processed foods we consume the better.
  17. Wow, you have an unlimited array to choose from. Nearby you that is cheap and ethnic: Pasadita (there are three of them on Ashland, just south of division. The one that is furthest north on the west side of the street is the best.) Taqueria, ultra cheap and very good. The carne asada there is perfect. On Division there is Milk and Honey, good breakfast and Lunch. Further West on Division there are several decent Puerto Rican places - Maiz, south of Division on California, is very good. As is Feed, just a couple blocks south of that, although it's a soul food/comfort food place. In Wicker Park proper, you can't go wrong with Sultans - cheap middle-eastern, justifiably famous for their falafels but the Lentil Soup and Schwarma is great too. Bon Bon is south of Chicago on Ashland, a really awesome authentic mexican taqueria. Also on Chicago, a couple blocks west of Ashland, is Tacos Veloz, which has a great carne en su jugo. Wicker Park's restaurants are mostly trendy, hipster spots. I would avoid all of them with the exception of Spring and maybe Bin 36's wine cafe. Everything else in the hood - Salud, Mas, Papajin, Earwax, etc. is over priced and sub-par. However, the New Haven Pie at Piece is terrific. Just get it to go. The service there is terrible and the atmosphere is loud and awful. Letizia's on Division is pretty good for a coffee/pastry shop, but their wine cafe next door is highly recommended. The best coffee in that hood can be found at Atomix, at Chicago/Ashland. Avoid Filter like the plague. As far as more expensive places go, Cafe Matou, on Milwaukee, is awesome. They change their menu daily and offer a 3 course menu for 22 dollars Mon-Thursday. across the street from there is Irazu, very good and very cheap costa rican food. Get the garlic tostones and the veggie burritos. I'm sure there are plenty of places I'm forgetting. But, in all honesty, if you're looking for cheap and ethnic and good, you need to jump in that car of yours and get way the hell out of Wicker Park - head down to Pilsen or further south to the chicken shacks, or up north to Devon and all the Indian/Paki places. Or to Chinatown. Wicker Park is probably the least diverse neighborhood in the city.
  18. I think you miss my point. I wasn't arguing that TT shouldn't share her experiences; indeed, the point of what I was saying is that everyone should say whatever they think about restaurants they dine at, no matter how good or bad. I was just explaining why I think a chef or restaurant might be upset, and how this is a different world than getting a bad review in a newspaper. And if you don't think people look to egullet for help in dining choices, well, you haven't been paying attention. Look at how many threads on here are basically "traveling to __, need a recommendation." There are hundreds of entries like that on here, at least, if not thousands. Like it or not, eGullet has attained quite a cachet over the years as a place where educated and knowledgeable people congregate to talk about food. It shouldn't surprise that the less-initiated would look to it as a reliable source for dining reviews. And I don't think it's fair for a restaurant to be judged by its worst night...or its best. Would you want to be remembered for your most embarassing moment? oR your most saint-like? I would guess most restaurants have far more good nights than bad ones. (Or else they wouldn't last too long). But it's the bad ones that people write about.
  19. TT, The huge difference between reviews here on egullet and ones in, say the NYT or any other respectable newspaper, is that their reviews are based on several visits to the same restaurant. I don't know how many times Frank Bruni, for example, visits a restaurant, but I have heard it is at least 3 and as many as 5 times, generally with three other dining companions. This is important - it helps to remove the inherent bias of a "bad night," which can happen anywhere, at anytime, and it allows him to sample as much of a restaurant's menu as possible. Of course, your review was based solely on one night at the restaurant. It's an unfair specific night that reflects badly on the restaurant, unbalanced with any return visits to see if the problems had been corrected. That's okay, since you were reviewing it not professionally but for egullet. But you know and I know that the public is easily swayed by the internet. So much of what people see online is gospel. And so a couple looking for a night on the town might google the name of the restaurant you went to, and, just maybe, your review pops up near the top of the matches. Hey, it's on the internet, on a "culinary" website, right? They must know what they're talking about! You see why the chef might have been upset? The internet has increased the "word of mouth" potential 10 thousandfold. And your review was bad and based on a small sampling size (one night, presumably one entree per diner, etc.) It's not fair to the restaurant. It's also not fair that your bad experience will be taken as the gospel truth by so many, but that's the nature of the internet. Look at how many people fall for Nigerian money-transfer scams etc.
  20. Actually, you can do it either way. Some times investors just know they want to invest in you and go for it. As for making a business plan, normally you just have to have several options for locations and budget the estimated cost (and you should probably leave a lot of room for it being higher) into your business plan. This is if you're approaching investors with a business plan. If you get the investors to invest, then it comes down to how much money you'll have versus where it'll fit and where you believe it'll be successful. Some Chefs just approach investors with an idea and several menus to see if the investor will actually put the money into it, and the investors will help in finding a location. If you approach a bank, you will need set numbers and I think a set location (someone correct me if I'm wrong) All in all, yeah, the whole process is a huge confusion after another. I do believe however that Bull here is his own investor. You could ask David Coonce though how he got his investors. But back to the Revolver-- how's the construction going and do you have a planned opening date? Also, do you have any menus designed that you could post here? ← My potential investors have all aproached me. I have cooked for them in the past and they are local entrepreneurs I know well. We have no locations scouted yet, and I just have the basic outlines of a menu, but I am in no big hurry, having just gotten married a week ago. I think I am fairly lucky, though, in regards to investors. Banks are skeptical of restaurants.
  21. Hello all, I'll be in Phoenix and Tucson in November for my honeymoon. What are the good restaurants - money is no object. I prefer new american-style cuisine, but will be very happy with a traditional mexican place that serves pig's head and brains. Let me know!
  22. That's a good idea - today I called in that the McDonald's was serving Foie Burgers and Bacci's was serving a foie pizza! They have to investigate every call, right? On a serious note, tho' , I wish the council would get serious about smoking.
  23. So anyway, Michael, how's it going with the restaurant? I have three investors now and will be working toweards a spring '07 opening
  24. Well, thanks, but we're all right about this, and we need to come up with a creative and smart way to oppose and eventually overturn this ban that doesn't bash chefs or play into the opposition's argument. I mean, this alderman, Moore, who pushed this legislation is so clueless it doesn't seem it would be hard to find a way to organize a credible and thoughtful opposition to his ignorance. Or as they say, Truth will out!
  25. Again, he didn't write the article, did he? A newspaper doesn't usually work that way. A reporter found out about Trotters personal opposition to FG, asked him about it, and he told the truth. He had nothing to do with it being on the front page, and if you read the article, he stressed that he didn't think FG should be banned nor did he think it should be a political issue at all. He even denigrated the anti-FG side of the debate, saying he had "no use for them at all." And I really don't believe Trotter, or his restaurant, which has been considered one of the 20 best restaurants in the world for the last decade or so, needs any "publicity."
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