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ad.mich

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About ad.mich

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  1. lekkerwijn, if you're reading, you may want to proceed with caution. The executive chef at BoB left at the start of the year, they have not replaced him yet, and the current menu looks as uninspiring as you'd expect given those circumstances
  2. Oh Don. This is not a great article. Plenty of others have torn into it but I can't let this just fester at the bottom of the Chicago page like the fart it is. From the opening premise that winning Beard Awards and gaining Michelin Stars are a proper barometer for judging the current state of a city's food scene (which I'd think any Washingtonian would challenge) this piece is loaded with questionable and contradictory takes. Chicago needs more locally resourced restaurants but we also need... better mid-level priced sushi? He seems to have issues with the fact that we don't have a one stop shop street of international restaurants similar to Buford Hwy or Wilson Blvd? That's more an indictment of how this city grew up and evolved (and by that I mean thoroughly, completely, ruthlessly segregated), but it doesn't mean the food isn't out there if you want to look for it. The claim that there' aren't second generation Americans pushing forward their native cuisines (because these are apparently the only people allowed to do so?) is proper BS. Restaurants like Mi Tocaya, Haisous, SKY, A Place by Damao, Passerotto, Parachute, and Bayan Ko are/have been doing that for a while now (and many have racked up national attention while doing so). If Devon Ave isn't pushing things forward for Indian food (a fair statement even if the quality is still there), a 20 minute drive to Schaumburg can blow his damn mind. The food he describes is definitely happening here, leading me and others to think there's a questionable subtext here of what the author seems to think these sorts of restaurants have to look like to make an impact. Lost in this bullshit are a few valid points: our street food scene is crippled by regulations and the represents a real missed opportunity. A good banh mi is hard to find (and pho, which he doesn't even go into, is even harder). The West Loop is fading in relevancy, but whether that's really a bad thing or not is debatable. New restaurants are now opening elsewhere. Our media is loathe to criticize, which might have inspired this piece in the first place. A lot of his critiques seem to come from the perspective of his time in Atlanta, which has embraced "New South Cooking" fully and completely. No one will confuse for Chicago for Atlanta, or vice versa. Chicago restaurants don't typically name every farmer or heirloom veg variety on their menus as is more common in Atlanta, but that doesn't necessarily mean everything is coming from Sysco. It's a regional difference. I would humbly suggest that he should be taking his points of initial frustration as an opportunity to dig deeper, because the answers to most of his questions are out there if he really wants to look. If this is what a town looks like when the party's over, I'm pretty pumped for when the next one starts.
  3. No one responded the last time this was tried but I'll bump it up. Heading to VA Beach for work for a few nights and would love suggestions on any new good places to eat.
  4. Good lord, that Chicago Trib "story" makes the Forbes one look Pulitzer-worthy. They better be paying their employees those final paychecks because they are obviously paying their PR still.
  5. I"m torn on this one. In Chicago, there are several local breweries doing traditional styles only (or the overwhelming majority of their output) and doing quite well. They are decidedly not trying for national market domination though. That being said, there's a real market for traditional beer done well, even if it just means you're a medium fish in a large pond. If anything, I'd say the biggest hurdle is that making a damn good kolsch is waaaaay harder than dumping a shit ton of hops in your batch and chasing the dragon. Sours and stouts have their place in the food chain but there's always going to be people for each who just can't get into them for various reasons. I know too many people who love one and can't stand the other.
  6. Junebaby is like Roses Luxury was a few years back - peak hype and no reservations, meaning people lining up well before they open. That's about as kid-unfriendly as it gets. Eduardo's other spot, Salare, takes reservations and has a kids menu. It's also awesome, just not the simulation glitch that a restaurant like Junebaby is up in the PNW. Just seeing the words Un Bien has me salivating, for what it's worth.
  7. I would *love* to read that. The hop insanity kind of is what it is. There will always be trends, but Big Hop comes back wave after wave. I always compare their overuse to the bacon fetish of early oughts chefs - an easily understood concept for customers that (in lesser hands) also has a convenient side effect of smoothing over less than perfect craftsmanship. Otherwise though, I'd actually say the American beer market is in the sulky teenager phase. Confused, excited, spastic, and prone to spontaneous anger and wild mood swings. Not a girl, not yet a woman. I guess that means in a few years we'll have reached the shaved head, barefoot in the gas station bathroom phase.
  8. Yes there is plenty of money in beer, but for years and years there was no need to spend it in a payola fashion (and very few outlets to do so even if you wanted to). Who would you even be trying to influence? Wine Spectator, Food & Wine, and Wine Enthusiast were all founded in the 70s, and there are dozens of smaller outlets that were established and grew below them in the decades to follow. If you add in the regular wine columns you see in newspapers and then all the micro coverage, and you're looking at an entire well established (and well fed) ecosystem of press coverage. What existed of the US beer world to cover in the 70s? The 80s? Hell, even by the 90s you had Michael Jackson's beer book and not really much else until the middle of the decade. In the 20th century the budgets spent in the wine world on buying off tasters and sham junkets could be spent in the beer world on building Bud Light Island or Spuds McKenzie's Whassupatopia. To some degree that's changing, but I don't think there's the same bang for your buck in the beer world (yet) because no one has really captured the eyes and ears of that market. The rise of the craft beer world coinciding with the downfall of print media didn't help things, and a lot of what passes for independent coverage are glorified blog postings and bearded half-in-the-bag Youtube 'content'. There are a handful of well done websites covering beer but it's a real scattered market with no real clear industry leader. Beer drinkers would generally rather post on forums. Sometimes drinkers like to hear themselves talk, I guess.
  9. You're goddamn right there is. It's nowhere near the wine world in it's sophistication (and budgets) but it's absolutely there and growing rapidly.
  10. That neck of the woods is kind of tourist central so the food closest to there is generally what you'd expect. Two places very close to you that are worth checking out are Tortoise Club (a buffed up, downtown Chicago restaurant doing Milwaukee Supper Club food) and Beacon Tavern (although maybe too similar to Publican). Your three picks above are all rock solid. I'd do Spiaggia over Sogno (and be very happy with it) but I'd do Monteverde over both. Imperial Lamian is pretty close and does high end dumpling focused Chinese. It's good if you don't have sticker shock. There's not really a ton of nose to tail going on in Chicago proper right now, but Purple Pig and Girl and The Goat always have it going on, and both are delicious consistent standbys I'd happily recommend for anyone. For lunch I'd think about Revival Food Hall (it has an absolute murderer's row of food options, branches of some of my favorite spots in Chicago all executing well) or Tempesta, which makes some of the best salumi in the city and then stuffs their own sandwiches full with it. I haven't had a bad thing there yet.
  11. I had a wonderful meal at the Il Mulino in the Swan a few years back as well and forgot to ever mention it here. The Swan/Dolphin is the hotel with the highest floor of all the WDW properties. I've been to all their fine dining restaurants at this point, every one was certainly pretty good, and I've never had a bad meal at any of them. Very few WDW locations can make that claim. Still makes me chuckle that one of the few competent Todd English restaurants in the country would be in a theme park hotel, but credit to where it's due - Bluezoo and Il Mulino are easily two of the best meals I've had on the properties in my last few trips.
  12. Not only do I object to this as the premise for an article, but she wasn't even particularly successful at being able to speak to anyone. What was left was a few conversations at Graffiato, and then several paragraphs of navel gazing and casting judgment. I don't blame the author for submitting what was essentially a failure of an idea, but an editor with some self respect would have spiked this story.
  13. Reading this all reminds me of when, many years ago, Don posted a less than flattering account of his first impressions of Graffiato. Sometime around midnight that night, Isabella went on a belligerent and spiteful twitter rampage in Don's direction that these days we'd consider nothing less than presidential. It was all taken down before morning and generally escaped the public eye, but I saw it and it always stuck with me (and made it pretty easy to find other places to eat). Independent of the result of the lawsuits, business fallout, and ego hits, I hope Mr. Isabella gets himself the help it appears he needs.
  14. The overestimation definitely happened to me last weekend. Got quoted 30 minutes and barely had enough time to order a beer next door before I got a text. As for the food... I'd say it was hit and miss but the highs definitely topped the lows. The whole hog was light on smoke and absent outside brown, hush puppies were undercooked and chewy. For a BBQ restaurant those are high crimes. That being said, the fried chicken sandwich bathed in pimento cheese and white bbq was a damn good time and really benefited from that crisp, thin coating they fry their birds with in this part of the country. Hash and rice is my jam, and this version really popped with a real balance of sauce, smoke and mineral tang from all the nasty bits. I could have eaten a second bowl. Not having it left me more stomach space for a second bourbon and Cheerwine slushie. Those slushies are Carloina in a tall glass and probably the best thing I tasted all weekend. So as long as I keep forgetting Buxton Hall is a pure BBQ restaurant and instead consider it a hash and slushie delivery system, consider me a fan.
  15. In a country with constantly expanding fancy-person ice cream options, Jeni's remains one of the best in the country. They really shine with their summer flavors, too. The peach jam and buttermilk biscuits flavor is take-down-the-whole pint good, but I fell in love with the buttermilk frozen yogurt options this summer. The blueberry-lemon and (especially) watermelon flavors were bright, fresh, and pleasantly tart. Not a lot of things like this on the market - it has the consistency and sharp flavor like what my brain wants me to think a Flintstone Push-Up used to taste like, but I know never did.
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