Chicago, IL-Sitting down and paying $50 for a glass of tomato juice with Popov, a sliver of translucent bacon and some sopping wet eggs you can see your reflection in, is a favorite past time for most Chicagoans. As is engaging in a war of attrition against a crippling hangover that is pummeling you closer to the pavement with every excruciating moment as you stand in a lengthy line, waiting to eat half of whatever slop you order before succumbing to booze fever and nausea.
Your eyes calculate if the water glass on the table could withstand a stomach sized load of bile.
Contributing to these feelings is the table adjacent, containing a smug looking man with a goatee and a summer scarf, a woman with oversized sunglasses dressed head to toe in luxury athletic apparel, and their diarrhea snowflake…Jake. Though never actually addressed as Jake, his behavior and look suggest it as the most likely name.
The idiotic salon styled Mohawk. The soiled little league jersey. The perpetual fart stream. The unmistakable look of complacency that accompanies being worshipped as a god and breast fed over the age of 10. Jake exists in every brunch, happening at any given moment, past, present or future. He doesn’t give a fuck about you or your hangover and he’s having a “me day”.
His parents will look on with pride as their perfect creation hauls ass around the restaurant, stomping toes, flicking boogers and ripping eye stingers. We all deserve to share in this prize they’ve selflessly delivered to the world. We all deserve to have an already idiotic morning ritual ruined by the likes of a privileged insect and his disinterested parents.
Chicago, IL-Bottled Blonde in River North is embracing the backlash experienced after the bar’s questionable dress code was leaked like a steady flow of asparagus piss down a pair of pleated khakis. The dress code, which banned things like Jordan brand shoes, sagging pants, bright clothing and other discriminatory items, has been celebrated by management, as they begin a transition to the new bar, owned by Last Man Standing’s Tim Allen, known as Blondes & Bigots Bar & Grill.
“A bigot is a type of super elegant French pastry,” said bar general manager Chase Wiley installing a new confederate flag glory hole in the bathroom. “The & is self explanatory, any restaurant worth a damn has a & in the name, but while we wanted to stay extremely classy, we also wanted to relive the glory days of segregation and give people hope that some day the South could rise again,” continued Wiley hanging a massive signed picture of Michael Richards.
Blondes & Bigots Bar & Grill is being pitched as a cozy speak easy where racists can gather without fear of judgement. With a cocktail program that includes something called David Duke On the Beach and more traditional horrible drinks like Vodka Mudslides, the restaurant and its piece of shit owners should go belly up in less than 24 hours, to be mercifully replaced by another Rainforest Cafe.
There have always been two significant problems with Mexican food; hearty delicious portions packed to the brim with delightful textures and spices and sensible, often breaching dirt cheap, prices. The biggest regrets I experience after eating a reasonably priced taco is the absence of feeling completely famished (the downright enchanting feeling of light headedness accompanied by stomach pangs) and a regrettably full wallet. Fortunately Cantina 1910 in Andersonville has heard the cries of the people and has created an imaginary authentic Mexican experience to render both stomachs and wallets charmingly empty.
I was uber pleased to see there weren’t any massive margaritas on the menu, because I absolutely despise the taste of fresh lime juice mixed with good tequila and couldn’t be more opposed to getting pleasantly drunk on the cheap. Instead I ordered what tasted like Parrot Bay mixed with Deans 2% milk. It had such a challenging flavor profile that I almost hurled instantly. The milk sat comfortably at the bottom while the Parrot Bay lingered on top like a finely hocked loogie. The harder it is to struggle down a cocktail the more sophisticated it ultimately is. Also milk goes with everything. My wife ordered a tequila flight that arrived in champagne flutes, the most interesting thing was they all tasted identical (mostly like a sopping wet campfire in which the logs were replaced by massive hotdogs and the kindling was aged donkey fur)…what a fresh interpretation on a tequila flight!
Fortunately when my wife clearly didn’t like the cocktails she was confronted awkwardly by the waiter who asked “You didn’t like the tequila flight did you?” when she politely said “No not really for me, that’s ok though,” he stood unwavering for thirty seconds, unblinking and with quivering lips before gleefully sprinting away. Excruciatingly awkward staff interactions are a vital part to any fine dining experience. This interaction was executed perfectly.
Next up were a batch of microscopic tacos surprisingly unaccompanied by any beans or rice. Thank god because savory beans cooked in pork fat and plump, freshly cooked rice have no place in Mexican cuisine. The tacos were delightfully underwhelming and it took me six to remember what it was like to be marginally full. When the bill came I couldn’t have been more excited, I giggled uncontrollably for several seconds before subduing my excitement and feverishly laid down my credit card. 80 dollars for 8 tacos and two cocktails…the room started to spin and my consciousness quickly faded…was this a dream?
A glass of milk and Parrot Bay, no rice and beans, microscopic tacos and an unwieldy bill…this version of imaginary traditional Mexican fare is starting to grow on me.
It had taken a full month to get reservations at RPM, which I now know is a glorified Sbarro’s sans legendary Baked Ziti, Garlic Knots and friendly corporate atmosphere. I knew instantly I was out of place because my man cleavage was non-existent. Damn it, I knew I should have the worn belly button deep v-neck shirt I bought. My date, though beautifully dressed, was out of place as well. Her outfit not affording her the possibility of a well-timed nip/box slip like the rest of the proud restaurant attendees.
The building reeked of a perceived, imaginary exclusivity. Pushing through the revolving doors several future model/actresses/flight attendants stood around the check in table, none of which seemed to be actually doing any work. Alleged employees. As was the case with the rest of the restaurant, there were at least 3 employees to every 1 patron. Including an enormous shaved head security guard, that wearily eyed people eating mediocre pasta, every patron clearly a possible candidate to hit someone with a toothbrush shank. It was fascinating watching the different employees perform imaginary or otherwise pointless tasks, one woman’s sole job was to determine whether anyone had taken a sip from their water glass and promptly refill it. Most just eagerly did laps around the restaurant.
We arrived on time, and were told to sit down in the waiting area. Reservations are meaningless in this world. After 20 minutes I looked at my phone realizing the host, who had several times made eye contact with me and flashed a stupid grin, had texted me telling me my table was ready. Because we all stare at our phones during a date. Confused I confronted him and he smugly assured be the table would be ready momentarily. Hands down one of the most bizarre interactions of my life.
The food arrived all too promptly, leaving no mystery that Giuliana Rancic herself was in the back pleasantly microwaving her favorite Lean Cuisines. Manipulating the buttons with her ET fingers. There was a relentless battering about how every item on the menu required shaved black truffles (for an additional $22) to make it halfway decent. When we declined the waiter seemed perplexed and annoyed, clearly not ordering these had all but made us the bane of human existence. It’s not that the food was bad…it just wasn’t good. I think I chipped a tooth on the garlic bread that was clearly pilfered from the lady feeding pigeons off the Wilson Red Line stop. A true beacon of mediocrity. Long John Silver’s has a more esteemed seafood program. The portions were microscopic, sized perfectly for the sprites in FernGully, leaving any average sized human longing for more. The looming and hovering staff also made me feel like Joey Chestnut on 4th of July, shoveling the tiny morsels into my mouth to mercifully be relieved of their judging stares.
The over-hype on this restaurant cannot be stressed enough. I don’t know what moron first ate there and tricked this entire city into thinking it was good, but if I did I would give him a swift kick to the nuts.
The dim red glow was about as welcoming as it gets. That and the infinitely deep stare from the panda silhouette on the front of the building. The second “S” in the neon sign had a hypnotic flicker, it made the establishment feel dingy and cozy. A scent from a mysterious, and time old Chinese recipe wafted out of the doors through the cold and into my welcoming nose. This is what fueled Sun Tzu’s army. This is what turned Kanye completely mad. Double orange, half chow, half fried rice.
The paste that cradled the chicken could have been used as the adhesive to build The Great Wall. It’s sticky synthetic tasting goodness enveloped me making me momentarily full and happy. Lively conversations swirled about, politics, illuminati, love lost and the afterlife. The atmosphere was a catalyst for all things intellectual. The next president of the United States was eating a Panda bowl in the booth adjacent to mine. These are the building blocks of life. There are trace amounts of Orange chicken sauce on the Constitution.
After the last piece was devoured I felt an immense tiredness. I seemed glue to my seat, my arms glued to the table. I was talking to my friend though I can’t recall what about. I think it was a rather concrete plan to end world hunger, but I can’t be certain. I promptly stood up and staggered to the door. I walked dizzily back to my office and wrestled with heavy eyelids for the remainder of the day.