Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Everything's Better With Bacon And/Or Prosciutto

Especially sushi. You are being mocked by the "five-o" roll at Sushi X. I and two others stomped a mudhole in this bad boy's ass and walked it dry last night. I've posted a review of Sushi X on Chicagoist this morning.Between the "five-o" and the "pollo loco" (made with panko-crusted chicken) I was floored.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Originally uploaded by bridgeportseasoning.

A few weeks back Gabriel Magliaro of Half Acre Beer e-mailed me and said he wished to nominate me for the Michael Jackson Beer Journalism Awards at this year's Great American Beer Festival.

I was flattered, actually. As is my nature, however, there's that niggling though in the back of my brain that thinks I'm not deserving of the nomination. Sure, writing about beer is my freelance bread-and-butter, but confidence level writing about it (hell, freelance work in general) ebbs and flows. Even though I've written about it for so long now that breweries, distributors and other beer geeks now come to me with tips and suggestions for stories. I feel that some editors might take a look at the AP style errors I miss, realize the jig is up and stop giving me work.

Due to the nature of the rules, I had to grant Gabe permission first, sign a waiver acknowledging this and provide clips for submission Naturally, I waited until the last minute to sort through my clips. Found a couple pieces on Chicagoist that might pass muster, Googled another Sun-Times story that I wasn't displeased with and printed that out at work. I'll probably have to root through my Sun-Times clips at home to find another one I think isn't cringe inducing. Ultimately, it's a nice problem to have, I assume, to have someone think enough of your work that they want to recognize it in some form.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Classic Cool...

from none other than Bill Withers. This is just too sweet.

The Weekend in Cliffs Notes

Random Goodness 020
Originally uploaded by bridgeportseasoning.

Graham Elliot on Friday: Wonderful. Proof that maybe we as food writers should probably wait two months or so until doing a full review.

Saturday: Margaret Lyons celebrating her birthday with karaoke. Did a very off-key rendition of this song, the last documented moment where Gene Simmons realized the music than the money worked hand-in-hand:

"Domino" by KISS from "Revenge" (1992)

Stopped by Pontiac on the way to the train. Ran into a friend whose show I missed while I was waiting my turn at the mic. Invited me to join her and some of her friends for beers in the backyard of some Australian guy who just got back from the Mackinac sailboat race, claiming he sailed to the island on the Stars & Stripes. Dude was blitzed out of his mind, even for an Australian.

He kept telling stories about how he used to rustle cattle in Brisbane while trying to start a fire. Had no reason to doubt him. After all, he was waving a scorched and sharp piece of kindling in my face as he said it. A quick mention of Victoria Bitter and we were fast friends.

Extricated ourselves from that predicament and headed to the Note. Yikes. Walls decorated with work from some of the city's best graffiti artists. Wasn't impressed. Said my goodbyes and hopped in a cab to Bridgeport. Three blocks from my apartment a Denali pulls up beside the cab and asks the driver something as two girls hop out of the truck and into the back of the cab with me, flush with the glow of clubbing. One of them lives a couple blocks away from me.

Yay Chuckles!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Maybe He Was Aware of the Current Weak Value of the Dollar

We really are raising a generation of idiots:

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sorry, "Anonymous," I'm Not Moving Anytime Soon

Polo Cafe
Originally uploaded by bridgeportseasoning.

Especially after nine years in the neighborhood. I've grown accustomed to it.

As for your contention that I'm a "faggot ass bitch," are you asking because you'd like to blow me?

JImmy Sabbia Talks Politics

Jimmy Ethyl 2
Originally uploaded by bridgeportseasoning.

I stopped at Freddie's this evening on the way home from the White Sox game for a bite and saw Jimmy Sabbia standing around. He's not getting around as well as he used to, folks. He's also not feeling as well as he usually does - he didn't go through the whole "You know Gene?" routine. So help him out if you have a chance. At the very least make sure he's okay.

Which is what I was doing. Anyway, he took a look at my t-shirt with the '83 Sox logo and "Obama" written underneath. Turns out Jimmy's up to date on the current political landscape.

"Oooohh-Bah-mamamamamamama," he croaked.

"Just, 'Obama,' Jimmy," I replied.

What followed shocked me, even knowing Jimmy's outbursts all these years. "Why are you wearing that shirt? This is Bridgeport, you know that?" He asked.

"It's 2008, Jimmy. Get with the times," I said.

Jimmy continued, "This is Bridgeport. We don't don't vote for..." I cut him off before he could start dropping racial epithets while the black family in front of me waited for their Italian ices.

"It's okay, Jimmy. the 11th Ward Local Democratic Organization endorsed Obama."

That set Jimmy off. "The 11th Ward? Where's that?"

"Here, Jimmy. This is the 11th Ward."

Jimmy then proceeded to give me a lesson in Bridgeport political history you don't find in newspapers or textbooks. "I grew up in Chinatown. You know the Bertuccis?"

"I know of them." (In fact I think I may have written about them in regard to the Jimbo's saga.)

"They run this neighborhood, from Chinatown. They'll kick your ass for wearing your Ooooh-Ba-mamamamamama t-shirt." Then he staggered away south on Union.

If what Jimmy says is true, it looks like I might be donating to the Order of St. Rocco next month.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Feeling It

Fish Tacos from Lupita's Ristorante in Evanston
Originally uploaded by bridgeportseasoning.

Last night I saw Public Enemy perform It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back in its entirety at Pitchfork. I jumped around like a 20-year-old and this morning my 39-year-old body felt it.

I think the rest of the festival is going to be anticlimactic.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Chocolate cake with cascabel chile and raspberry basil sorbet

Chocolate cake with cascabel chile and raspberry basil sorbet
Originally uploaded by bridgeportseasoning.

Like that? That was the final course of the latest underground dinner by Efrain Cuevas' re-christened Clandestino Supper Club, held last night in a Humboldt Park loft. The kicker was the wine I brought for the dinner, a rosé from Solo Rosa vineyards in Napa, paired perfectly with every course.

I've written before that rosés are truly one of the more versatile wine styles and not completely deserving of the ugly "white zinfandel" stepsister burden they sometimes carry.

I Remember My First Beer...

and it wasn't at a Cubs game:

The video (via Deadspin)is also posted at Chicagoist right now.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

"Dirty South" Saturday at Sox Park

Ozzie Curses Out Contreras in Two Languages
Originally uploaded by bridgeportseasoning.

We occasionally get free tickets to Sox games at work. I mentioned to someone in an e-mail that I thought about attending the game last Saturday and she was all "IWANNAGOTOTHEGAMETOO!!" As luck would have it, tickets to Saturday's game became available and we met up at Bernice's for pre-game drinks that included an introduction to a Lithuanian liqueur called "starka" that tasted like scorched caramel, but in a good way.

Incidentally, I started off the evening with a shot of Malort.

So we're at the game settling into our seats and sitting next to me are two young girls who managed to smuggle beer into the game. But only one can each. One can each? Why go through the effort?

Carlos Quentin comes to the plate and the girl to my right screams, "You're an asshole, Carlos!" Apparently they were Annie Savoys in training and didn't take kindly to Quentin's rebuffing of their advances. Then Quentin stroked a double and they're cheering his ass. We looked at them and said, "Must be hell to have such conflicting emotions about someone."

It wasn't an invitation to start dishing about their experiences with White Sox players, but they used it as such, anyway. One of them said, "I'd love to have Joe Crede's baby. I'd tell my boyfriend it's his." Crede and AJ were their favorites, for those of you who are curious.

The highlight for me was when Alexi Ramirez came to the plate and the PA folks started playing some salsa. And not some weak-ass Desi Arnaz stuff, but some bone-raising salsa dura the likes of which we used to book at HotHouse.

When the music ended, the Annie Savoy closest to me screams, "What's with that salsa crap?" in her best Southwest suburban sneer. I told her that Ramirez was from Cuba. I wished I'd had taken the question to be rhetorical.

She said, "He's Cuban? I thought he was black!" Try as we might, we could not close the floodgates. She as rolling about how her fiance was Mexican, "but he has a brown ass. My fiance's a brownie!" She then said that she was going to marry her fiance and move to Mexico with him, with one reason for marriage being that she's "never been anywhere. I've never even seen the ocean."

It was the kind of ignorance that comes from not having been anywhere, although I suspect that she could probably travel the world and still ask why the Sox play salsa for Ramirez.

My friend asked her why she needed to get married to see the ocean, but this one didn't have an answer. Eventually, she and her friend worked their way down to the Sox dugout to tempt Crede and AJ, apparently. We leave our seats to grab food and beer, come back to find Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn and his family in our seats. Lt. Gov. Quinn got my boss started many years ago. I also think he appreciated my "Winning Ugly" white Sox logo Obama t-shirt. But he didn't say.

We didn't mind. The floor show was over by then.

Saturday, July 05, 2008


Good friend (and resident firebug) Jenny LoCascio threw a holiday barbecue last night, which eventually turned into a fireworks display once Mike showed up with the mortars. You don't need city-sponsored fireworks when you know Mike.

As pretty as the display turned out, the highlight for me came when Mike toasted Independence Day by quoting Jeff Spicoli:

"What Jefferson was saying was, Hey! You know, we left this England place 'cause it was bogus; so if we don't get some cool rules ourselves - pronto - we'll just be bogus too!"

You know what? In the context of the holiday, it seemed very relevant.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

...It's An Adventure

I'm pretty sure these were the same reasons I joined the Navy.