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Plan: 2008 Heartland Gathering in Chicago Aug 8-10


Alex
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I think some sort of crawl or dinner in Chinatown or on Argyle would be great.  Anything else is going to be completely dependent on how many people will ultimately be coming.

Correct me if I'm wrong. My interpretation of a "crawl" is a somewhat unplanned stroll down a street or in a neighborhood, where you look at menus in the window and decide what sounds good, and that's where you go. With maybe the possibility of visiting several places in sequence, like a "progressive dinner" (even though it might be for lunch).

If that's correct, if the numbers expected for the crawl are large, it might be best to break the overall group up into smaller ones (of maybe 10-15 people each), so that we don't end up with 40-80 people walking into one restaurant at the same time without any advance warning. We could even have different groups in different neighborhoods, so one group might do a "pizza crawl", another a "Vietnamese crawl" (Argyle), another a "Chinese crawl" (Chinatown), another a "Mexican crawl" (Pilsen), etc., all going on simultaneously. Each attendee could choose the crawl with the food that most appeals to him/her.

Edited by nsxtasy (log)
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Or, say if we were doing a "pizza crawl" Maybe we could get all the menu's ahead of time and order from each place and have it delivered to where we'll be cooking.( assuming you can book the space for Fri/Sat). Then, we can all try everything and relax and chat amongs ourselves.

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I think the big thing we're going to have to worry about for this meal is having too many people to do much of anything as a whole group!  There are a lot more local eGulleteers in Chicago, and lots of people who want to visit.  So this could get really big, really fast.

Yes, it could be more like an eGullet Society convention than a Heartland Gathering -- not that there's anything the matter with that! We come from the City of the Big Shoulders, and more importantly, Hog Butcher to the World. We have a year to plan this thing, and ronnie I am at your command.

We'll find a way. It's gonna be beyond.

:cool:

'Beyond.' No kidding. Tenor15 and I have been doing some Sunday restaurant exploration in the last couple years, mostly in the city but some suburban stuff too. PM or email me...I've got some gems up my sleeve for our resto crawl(s), and I haven't written about most of 'em. And: I know a professionally-stocked and licensed kitchen we might arrange to use, if needed.

:biggrin:

Me, I vote for the joyride every time.

-- 2/19/2004

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Correct me if I'm wrong.  My interpretation of a "crawl" is a somewhat unplanned stroll down a street or in a neighborhood, where you look at menus in the window and decide what sounds good, and that's where you go.  With maybe the possibility of visiting several places in sequence, like a "progressive dinner" (even though it might be for lunch).

Not that this group can't do anything it wants to, but I've mostly heard "crawl" in connection with pub crawls, which often have a pre-scheduled itinerary, like this.

The trouble with catch-as-catch-can explorations is that you can wind up with bad food as often as good. So it depends on whether visitors want to be danger-seeking urban explorers or whether they want a map to circumvent likely pitfalls and highlight treasures.

LAZ

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Not that this group can't do anything it wants to, but I've mostly heard "crawl" in connection with pub crawls, which often have a pre-scheduled itinerary, like this.

The trouble with catch-as-catch-can explorations is that you can wind up with bad food as often as good. So it depends on whether visitors want to be danger-seeking urban explorers or whether they want a map to circumvent likely pitfalls and highlight treasures.

Thanks for the explanation.

I suppose, even with a pre-scheduled itinerary (presumably with reservations along the way), that still leaves open the possibility of multiple crawls going on in different neighborhoods simultaneously, if that's what folks want to do. Or, of doing one big crawl as a group of 40-80 (although then we would be limited to places that can handle groups that size). Lots of stuff to figure out, either way. (For example, would we have an all-day crawl like the pub crawl in that link ? If so, I could envision lots of folks dropping out after the first couple of hours, because they're stuffed to the gills.)

At this point, I assume we've got the proverbial blank sheet of paper, and all ideas are welcome!

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This is already starting to sound exciting, and it just might be vacation time for me when it happens. Yep.

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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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 to end up with a big mess that's going to do nothing more than disappoint our visitors.

Does that make sense?

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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I think the big thing we're going to have to worry about for this meal is having too many people to do much of anything as a whole group!  There are a lot more local eGulleteers in Chicago, and lots of people who want to visit.  So this could get really big, really fast.

Maybe we can make a deal with a hotel that would include guest rooms and the use of a hotel kitchen, too. :wink:

=R=

If I get enough advance notice, I'll be able to make it. I'd like to come, sounds like a blast. I think Avenues should be considered for dinner, it was phenomenal! Maybe the Red Room at Moto? I'd be game for whatever.

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Maybe I've missed it reading through this thread, but has a date been decided on yet?

No. History suggests that it will likely be sometime between mid July and mid August.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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I'm in this time! I wasn't able to go last year or when the gathering was in Ann Arbor, unfortunately. This will be a blast, for sure! Just to be around a bunch of foodies for a weekend, appreciating all kinds of food and nice restaurants and cooking together. I'm looking forward to it!

I was wondering about a place to stay...in past gatherings, have people gotten a block of hotel rooms?

I for one would love to have maybe the Thursday dinner or Fri at Avenues, Moto, or Alinea. All three chefs have been involved in this forum, maybe we can work something out where we can tour the kitchen, get a special dinner, etc?

Whatever is decided, I'll eat whatever is put in front of me and will thoroughly enjoy the gathering.

Edited by Elrushbo (log)
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Just a quick note if your looking to rent a professional kitchen with separate dining room think about Churches that have kitchens. Most will rent them out for a donation. The few I have seen are really well outfitted.

"And in the meantime, listen to your appetite and play with your food."

Alton Brown, Good Eats

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Just a quick note if your looking to rent a professional kitchen with separate dining room think about Churches that have kitchens. Most will rent them out for a donation. The few I have seen are really well outfitted.

Great idea. Plus the money would be going to a good cause.

"In a perfect world, cooks who abuse fine cutlery would be locked in a pillory and pelted with McNuggets."

- Anthony Bourdain

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  • 1 month later...
Maybe we can make a deal with a hotel that would include guest rooms and the use of a hotel kitchen, too. :wink:

=R=

I know this is premature, but while I was in Chicago last month, I kept thinking about our accommodations and this event. We stayed at a bed and breakfast that was run by Benedictine monks. They have two places available. One is a loft which has three bedrooms (2 each with one double bed, and 1 with a single bed), a kitchenette, large living room, small dining room, etc. The other is a little house with a complete kitchen. I can't remember how many people it holds, but I think it was fewer than the loft apartment. The loft includes a full breakfast, while the house includes all the fixings for your breakfast.

It was very reasonably priced ($145 for two, more for additional guests), and though was not centrally located, it was in an area (Bridgeport) very accessible to public transportation (bus). The two locations are very close to one another (the house has a garden from which the monks get their vegetables, so it must be very close), so people could easily get from one place to another.

I was thinking that if people wanted to stay at the accommodations, the monks may also be willing to rent out their own larger kitchen for the event. If not, the kitchen at the house may be adequate for the party. They allow alcohol on the premises, though they do not provide it, but there is no smoking on either of the properties at all (not even outside). There is also plenty of free parking available.

If anyone is interested in contacting them, they're the Monastery of the Holy Cross. They do take reservations up to a year in advance, so it wouldn't be too soon to contact them if you have possible dates in mind already. The website is a bit misleading about the accommodations they offer, so it's best to email them to ask. The loft apartment is called "St. Joseph's Loft" and the house is the "Garden House". I think parties would be OK at either location--Brother Edward told us we could have a party at the loft, and they wouldn't hear a sound! (the loft is actually attache to the church!)

If this reply was inappropriate, please feel free to remove it. I won't be offended!

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  • 4 weeks later...
I know this is really a long way off but I'm wondering if we're thinking about a date for this yet.  Suddenly, I have all sorts of plans being made for my summer and I really want to be able to participate in this!  I'll keep watching.

I'm thinking we should just extend this to the entire month of July! :biggrin:

Seriously, the first step should probably be to check with Kris on available dates, since she will be traveling the farthest.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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Hey kids! Tell your friends about this thread and ask them to check in here. :biggrin::wink:

The only way we'll be able to choose the dates that work best for a majority of folks is for everyone to post here and let us know which dates would work best. Obviously, it'll be hard to accomodate everyone, but as people weigh in, maybe a couple of weekends will become obvious choices.

Hopefully, in the next week or so, we'll be able to nail down something specific.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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What drove the date for this past year (mid-July) was that the Church where we held the Saturday festivities was mostly booked up by the time we committed to them, leaving us only 2 choices.

I'd suggest finding the facility and getting available dates from them; that will narrow it down.

"Life is Too Short to Not Play With Your Food" 

My blog: Fun Playing With Food

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Might i recommend http://www.meetomatic.com/ as a simple way to start getting consensus on potential attendee availability? It's simple and easy to use, and much more "at a glance" than a bunch of replies in an eGullet post.

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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I hope I can make it. I'll be working in San Francisco next summer, and I'm still unsure how my schedule's going to work out, but I'm definitely going to try my darnedest to get back to Chicago for the Gathering. Sounds like it might end up being a mega-event.

-------

Alex Parker

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