July 17, 2011
March 11, 2011
The concert started at 7:30 pm, but we got there around 8:30, and Girl Talk came on stage around 9:30. We caught the end of the second opener (Max Tundra I believe?), who was alright, but I was not feeling it. I was pumped for Girl Talk though, and same with everyone else in the venue. Boy, did he not disappoint. I was dancing the entire time (with Max), Max kept nudging us closer to the front, Girl Talk improvised (and didn't just play everything straight off his albums), I was smushed against the crowd, people smelled like butt, I was too short to see everything on stage, everyone was drenched in sweat, and the list goes on. It was crazy. I had a blast.
Definitely going to more raves in the future! If you get the chance to see Girl Talk, I would highly recommend it. Insist, even.
Check out these pictures I took at the concert:
January 24, 2011
I can't tell if this is intentional. Maybe you're a genius (for all I know, everything you've said so far could have been for this album), or maybe you're just an eccentric musician with too much time on his hands. Is POWER nothing but a constant stream of braggadocio, or is it a commentary on the socioeconomic status of the United States (and the world for that matter)? Is it both? I have no idea, and I'm fine with that. What I do know, though, is that your latest album has (almost exclusively) been playing on my iPod since its release. While I'm not sure whether I should think of your work as that of a power-crazed madman or spawned of a brilliant manipulator of the public eye, I see its merit nonetheless, and hope that my readers will take my suggestion and give your album a chance.
Keep doing what you're doing- whatever it may be.
January 23, 2011
Hot Chocolate. These two words in unison invoke thoughts of cozy, wintry nights spent huddled around the fireplace- a traditional scene. Chicago's chic, new-age inspired Hot Chocolate takes this old, family-centric image, covers it in underground art, gives it a cow-skull hat, and a single strong spank. Based on a high Yelp score and the desire to find out how remix-ready a staple of my winter diet is, we spent an hour or so at Hot Chocolate.
Clara and I met up with her brother and his wife, both of who live in Chicago, and got a large shared table in the back of the restaurant. If you're one who relies heavily on first impressions,
1) Let me know so I can prepare if we ever meet, and
2) You'll agree with everything I've said so far upon setting foot in Hot Chocolate.
The walls of the small, dimly-lit restaurant are covered with odd, progressive artwork and surround an environment fueled by loud, pulsating ambient music and the constant chatter of the hipster elite.
In order to better understand the restaurant's allure, the four of us ordered the following:
-Two hot chocolates (Mexican and Affogato)
-Warm Brioche Doughnuts
-a banana-themed dessert (I don't remember its exact name, but it was good)
Our initial reaction was that all of it was extremely rich, and that the amount we ordered was perfect for four people to share. The hot chocolate was (appropriately) excellent, and even though the anti-cinnamon activists at my table rejected my Mexican Hot Chocolate, that just meant that there was more for me. The accessory elements in each dish were there for a purpose: the super-salted thin pretzels with the Chocolate #1 complemented the semi-sweetened chocolate-lava that filled the souffle, and the Warm Brioche Doughnuts' chocolate dipping sauce made a soft, warm delicacy even warmer and more gooey.
Oh, and I almost forgot- they do brunch, lunch, and dinner as well (but I have no experience with any of these things, so look elsewhere for info!).
If you ever feel like releasing your inner hipster but just can't shake the hot chocolate blues that come with the bite of midwestern winters, I heartily suggest Hot Chocolate for relief.
Piccolo Sogno, originally Italian, when translated to English means “little dream-” the perfect descriptor for this marine blue star of a restaurant. I made reservations for the two of us here for our night out on the Windy City, and would jump at the chance to eat here again. This restaurant sets itself apart from the mafia meeting-place, family-run Italian restaurants generally associated with Chicago in a few big ways.
From simply browsing the website, you can safely assume that the restaurant is fairly invested in its own style and outward appearances (it's got a really refined, web 2.0 kind of setup- kudos to whoever designed it). This assumption holds true on-site as well, as all the design aspects contribute to a cozy, comfortable vibe that's perfect for romantic outings and dinners with family.
How about the food? Well, if you like seafood, you're in luck (I feel like all I've written about is fish). Piccolo Sogno specializes in food from Southern Italy, serving up a fishing village's worth of the sea's fruits. Clara ordered the black (squid-ink) spaghetti Frutti del Mare, and I got a similar dish with more seafood and no pasta- their seafood stew. Both dishes were delicious, and I can only assume that most other seafood-inspired dishes on their menu are of similar quality.
Our waiter was helpful, if not a bit passive in helping us decide which entree to order. At first we thought he had a fake Italian accent, but it wasn't until we took our time and listened to the wait staff's conversations with one another that we realized it was probably just an over-eccentric Spanish accent. Nonetheless, he helped make the dinner successful, and for that he gets my stamp of approval.
For more information, or if you simply want to see the website's cool, refined design, check out Piccolo Sogno online at piccolosognorestaurant.com.
January 11, 2011
Upon entering the Grand Lux Cafe, you are enveloped by a whirlwind of orange, yellow, and dark red that gives a casual (yet still somewhat refined) sensibility to the entire restaurant. It's not entirely convincing, but hey- I'm willing to put aside my critiques if it means I can enjoy a good, solid meal. Clara and I were seated in a circular room overlooking Michigan Avenue, lined with artwork of a decidedly modest style. The view was nice, the ambiance was welcoming, and our waitress was eager to help.
As I'm familiar with both the Grand Lux and Cheesecake Factory menus, I decided to order one of my favorite standbys: chicken enchiladas (boring, I know, but hey- they're good). Clara, more adventurously, ordered the restaurant's DeLux Breakfast Sandwich, which promised all the protein-rich fixings of a home-style breakfast (and then some) sandwiched between two slices of brioche. Both dishes were, as expected, above average, and were perfect fuel for the day ahead.
1. Lunch (Grand Lux Cafe)
2. Sightseeing (Navy Pier)
3. Shopping (Michigan Avenue)
4. Dinner (Piccolo Sogno) (spoiler: yum)
5. Concert (Chicago Symphony Orchestra)
6. Dessert (Hot Chocolate)
7. Brunch (Tweet)
In the following days we'll bring detailed coverage of our time and our thoughts on how The Windy City treated us!
January 7, 2011
Leave thoughts in a comment below and we'll make sure to check it out.
Stay tuned tomorrow to see how our trip goes!
A few of my girlfriends and I decided to go out to lunch today. We decided to go to Bella Vita, a new restaurant on the west side of Madison, WI. In a building that previously housed the Tilted Kilt, this new restaurant has surely undergone a serious renovation. The interior has a warm, cozy, and family-friendly feel.
January 5, 2011
If you happen to:
1) Find yourself in Milwaukee, WI
2) Enjoy seafood
3) Have a comfort food craving
I suggest you take the time to visit my new favorite southern-inspired culinary retreat: Maxie's Southern Comfort. The restaurant opened in 2007 and has consistently been rated among Milwaukee's best since.
My meal at Maxie's orbited around an entrée recommended by a friend: the simply titled Shrimp and Grits. Below a buttery helping of perfectly cooked grits rest a school of shrimp, seasoned to invoke feelings of Creole incarnate with each bite. I also managed to sample the Blackened Catfish Creole, which sustained the restaurant's propensity for quality.
Maxie's atmosphere went hand-in-hand with its food, delivering a classic, comfortable setting conducive to conversation and friendly get-togethers. I would definitely suggest Maxie's for anyone looking for a good date restaurant- it's casual, trendy, the food seems to be consistent throughout, and it's not overly expensive (I paid about $15 for my meal).
For more information, visit Maxie's Southern Comfort's website at www.maxies.com