To be more precise, they didn't exactly pour the beers. They put some kegs out, along with a bunch of plastic cups, and let people fend for themselves. Which seemed like a reasonable way to do things. The kegs were labeled, for the most part, though the fact that one keg of the Three Floyds/Off Color collaboration beer was labeled Thundersnow and the other Tonnerre Niege (French for "thundersnow") may have caused a little confusion. And one label was just a drawing of a mouse with the words "Off Color"—but a look at the top of the keg revealed that it was Beer Geek Mus, a collaboration with Mikkeller.
Unsurprisingly, many of you took the opportunity to get a bit cheeky with your selections. Take, for example, the person who voted Goodwill the Best Boutique for Men. Kudos to the person who considers the Best View of the City to be My apartment . . . Ladies? And a shout-out to the dollar-menu-naire who voted McDonald's the Best Fancy Restaurant—I'm sure you keep those Snack Wraps on lock. (By the way, you need to link up with whoever wrote in I'm too poor to eat at fancy restaurants—give 'em a taste of the good life.) My personal favorite vote for Best Gay Bar: Wrigley Field.
Bang Bang Pie Shop The Smoke & Whiskey Chocolate Pie proprietress Megan Miller devised as a Father's Day tribute to her dad—featuring a "bourbon smoked spicy black pepper & smoke bomb salted meringue," whiskey caramel, and bacon brittle—will be available for the next couple of weeks, along with rotating selections currently including key lime and cherry lattice pies.
• Over at From Belly to Bacon, Mark makes lamb ham, the third in a series of alterna-hams.
• A Cook County judge squashed the city's motion to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the food truck ordinance, reports Crain's.
• The Lincoln Park Binny's is growing by 17,000 square feet, according to DNAinfo.
• Eating the World checks out sfincione in Palermo.
For a very different example, consider the sequence in Frederick Wiseman's documentary Meat (1975) where beef-industry salesmen in Colorado make phone calls to potential clients. It's a brilliant piece of social portraiture, showing men who dress and talk like cowboys even when employed in bureaucratic work. Wiseman, a great listener, is keen to their jargon and cadences—he illustrates how every office place develops its own particular music.
There comes a time in every professional athlete's life when she begins to realize she can only take so many moonsaults and Mongolian chops, and she must start looking at the future. For Lisa Marie Varon, who wrestles professionally under the name "Tara" and has been known to torment vanquished opponents with a living tarantula, that means parlaying a still popular career into a Jake Lamotta-style front-of-the-house gig at Squared Circle, the wrestling-themed pizza and burger bar she owns with her husband. Actually, the wrestling aspect is pretty toned down—just some framed photos and memorabilia, live wrestling action on the flat screens, and the charismatic Varon herself, working the snug room, posing for photos, kissing babies, and chatting up the fan club.
The menu, dominated by 11 specialty pizzas and eight Juicy Lucys, is characterized by a level of bombast and excess that peaks on a deep-dish pie cooked in pans greased with duck fat, and a burger stuffed with peanut butter and topped with bananas, bacon, and ricotta. One needs to train for something like that, so I started with the fundamentals. Both the traditional and thin crusts are decent enough, but nothing earth shattering, and not too terribly different from each other. The former is a bit doughier, but they both could use a hotter oven to crisp things up, particularly on overloaded pies like the proprietress's namesake Lisa Marie, with port-caramelized onions, blue cheese, prosciutto, apples, and arugula, or—God help you—the "Kentucky Bourbon," with mashed potatoes, barbecue sauce, and pulled pork.
Canadian Mist has actually released three flavors—peach, cinnamon, and maple—but I only tried the peach variety. It's Canadian Mist whiskey blended with peach liqueur, bottled at 70 proof, and it smells absolutely terrible. While I was still trying to muster the courage to try it, my friend tasted hers and declared it "the worst thing ever." I held my breath, took a small sip, and found it—not that bad. Slightly sweet, but not too unpleasant. But then I tried it without holding my breath, and the syrupy, fake-peach flavor came through more strongly, reminiscent of bottom-shelf peach schnapps. To mellow out the sweetness I tried adding sparkling water, then some lemon, but somehow that just made it worse. Bitters might have helped but I didn't have any handy—and I doubt they could have disguised the slight chemical flavor that became more obvious with every sip.
So naturally, it's time for Chicago to get its own version of the cronut. Except it won't be called the cronut since Ansel has already trademarked the name. It will instead be called the "croughnut." And it won't be in Chicago. It will be in Elmhurst, at Gür Sweets Bakery.