Sunday, February 17, 2013

Getting Caught Up

Dear Bang Bang, marry me.
A whole lot has happened in the Chicago food universe since I last regularly posted. So here's a quick list of some of the weighty matters I'll jump on... and others I'm just telling you about to testify:

1. Grant Achatz has expanded his empire with Next and Aviary, and I haven't been to either one because I'm the working mom of a toddler and don't have time for that Facebook reservation b.s. If I have to hire a personal assistant to make it happen, it's not going to happen.

2. Yes, now I sometimes cook in a slow cooker and have mastered freezer meals. But I don't drive a minivan, wear Crocs, or clip coupons from the Ladies Home Journal, so don't go jumping to conclusions, ok?

3. I took a job at Steppenwolf Theatre because it's an amazing, inspiring place run by great people who are making Chicago a smarter, better city with their courageous brand of visceral, passionate theater.... This has little to do with food except that it's now part of my job to regularly eat with my donors on that stretch of Halsted that holds the theater, as well as BOKA, Alinea, Balena, and the Rustic House. God bless the arts. They are my people.

4. After 15 years as a pescatarian, I returned to eating meat a year ago.This involved going off the rails for a few months at first (veal ragout on day 3, if memory serves) but I've got it under control now. I can't get used to bacon or pork sausage though, so I'll be the only person in all of blogdom not barraging you with pork, pork, pork, all day long, pork. Not even if it's on a doughnut with maple sugar sprinkles. Pass.

5. I started juicing this summer after having the absolute crap scared out of me by the documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead... in an inspiring sort of way. Juicing is fantastic. Juicing is awesome. If I had a personal assistant who could run to Stanley's and then scrub down my chunky juicer parts later, I would do it daily. As such, this isn't the case, but we do what we can.

6. My sister in law and her new husband have gone vegan. They're coming to stay for a weekend. And now I'm trying not to be one of those people who bitches about having to feed vegans.

7. Can we talk about places like Burger Bar and Epic Burger? Sweet Jesus. Yes, we can. Also there is Bang Bang Pie Shop, which probably requires a three-part investigative treatment, as they're obviously doing God's work.

8. My good friend Don Sritong had to close his Just Grapes wine store on Washington after seven years (booooooo), but is currently working on a few new concepts with investors. At least one will be a wine bar. Don attacks every project he works on with a singular passion that makes most hardworking people look like deadbeat stoners, so I'm excited to see what materializes. Also? I'm jealous that he gets to fly around the country going on research trips to wine bars in the meantime. College counselors should really ask you to consider these factors when you weigh your future, non?

9. Another friend, Michael Taus, closed his restaurant Zealous after over 20 years. The last night of service was on sub-zero New Year's Eve, during which a group of his biggest fans gathered for a final dinner. I can't show you the pictures from that night because a certain Mrs. Taus raided the bar's tequila supply on our behalf after dinner. However, I'm totally excited to try Michael's newest brainchild Da Lobsta (DA LOBSTA!), and will be happy share those photos.

10. I've become a fan of the Vivino app to keep track of what's stashed in my wine closet. We'll talk.

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