Sunday, January 24, 2010

Where have I been?

My title poses an excellent question. Why would I go four days without posting? Well, it wasn't intentional. Until today, I thought my last post was Thursday. So my bad.

On Thursday, ESDNM was still in town and after doing my physical therapy exercises, I headed out to dinner with Naperville Greg and Kleveland Kim. The destination was Cafe Bolero, a nice Cuban restaurant on Western. When LL and I got there though, NOBODY was in the place. Since we had our choice of tables, we (really LL) selected the table furthest from the front door. This was about 7:00, so I was wondering about the quality of food since my last visit over a year ago. About 10 minutes after we arrived, a homeless looking guy wandered into the still empty dining room and sat down at the head of a table for six. After a few minutes, he moved to a table for two....RIGHT next to us. Ugh. As it turns out, he was probably just down on his luck as opposed to homeless. Still, it was very odd and he did not smell nice. We did have a nice dinner though with some great plantains and sangria. The whole meal took over 3 hours! So that's why I didn't write on Thursday.

Friday was another office day for me and afterwards we drove to the suburbs for dinner with LL's parents. Their restaurant choice? The Olive Garden. If you know only one thing about me, it's probably that I'm against chain restaurants like Applebys, The Olive Garden, Chili's, etc. Why? Mostly it's because I have a bunch of great restaurants around me that are local, enhance the neighborhood's appeal and charge just about the same as those chains. Seriously, if you can't spend $18 on a good entree at a restaurant in Chicago, you're not even trying. But that's what they charge at these places. Fine, it's not my choice but I'm going along for the ride.

It was much larger than I thought. It seemed like several hundred people could eat there. Next surprise, salad served family style. Want more? No problem. Next surprise..want cheese? How about fresh grated parmesan? Really? Nice. Chianti on the menu? Not bad. Then my dish, short ribs in a chianti sauce with portobello mushroom risotto. The short ribs were tender and awesome. The risotto was maybe a little underdone, but not enough to ruin the dish by any means. I was pretty impressed. Maybe I'll have to rethink my chain restaurant position......

1 comment:

alexis said...

I think they will never be my first choice but they do reliable and consistent very well when you are somewhere unfamiliar.