Here we have a long-awaited new guest blog from none other than @RGspiegel. Catch more of his writing here.
Disclosure I: David Marcus, one of the owners of Smoke Shack, is my second cousin. Disclosure II: I’m starting a movement such that cousins are classified only as first or second cousins. How much better is that than trying to figure out your exact relationship to your dad’s first cousin’s son with somethingth-cousin-somethingths-removed? A lot. Disclosure III: Smoke Shack was legitimately awesome.
Now that my and Unvegan’s journalistic integrity are squarely intact, I can begin the review of my glorious Saturday lunch at Smoke Shack, a BBQ restaurant that opened up about a month ago in Milwaukee’s third ward.
Given that you are taking the time to read this food post on this meat blog, I’m going to assume that you enjoy eating delicious meals with great company. We all have friends and family members with whom it is an absolute pleasure to share great meals and last night I had the special opportunity to do just that.
My friend Raffi and I bond greatly over very important things like food and football. Last night, he, his co-worker, and I went to a pizza restaurant in Chicago called Bricks. Bricks is located on a stretch on Lincoln Ave. with few other businesses and, as opposed to having a window-front, simply has an arched red awning over a staircase that leads down to the restaurant. Raffi and I are firm believers that you can judge a restaurant by its cover and even though the outside of Bricks is inconspicuous, it calls out at you and makes you think and/or say, “DAMN, this place is going to be GREAT!”
We all cherish those moments in life where we have the privilege of basking in luxury and feeling like we are rich. Last night, I was extraordinarily lucky to eat with one of my best friends at Smith & Wollensky in Chicago and got to enjoy luxury without any of the drawbacks because, well, he has the hook up.
With seats outside overlooking the Chicago River and downtown skyline on a beautiful night, we were ready to indulge. Immediately after sitting down, our drink orders were taken (I ordered a Diet Coke because I prefer soda paired with food to alcohol), and we were brought a plate of warm, fresh bread. The bread was outstanding, seasoned with salt and garlic, and it took every ounce of our willpower to turn down a second round when we finished the plate. We were voraciously hungry and there for a feast but this would be a marathon, not a sprint. More bread now would come at the expense of stomach room for steak later, so we begrudgingly delayed gratification.
When striving to live the high life, there is nothing better than a good, honest unvegan meal at a tasty price. In Chicago, and I imagine in all other major metropolitan areas, knowledge of the specials around town allows us to fulfill our unvegan needs without crippling the budget, especially on weeknights.
On Wednesdays, Rocks, a bar with very good burgers and locations in Lincoln Park and Lakeview, has a special of $5.00 burgers and $5.00 24 oz. beers. The latter is a distinction in which I differ a little bit from some other unvegans. When I am eating, my first choice for accompanying beverage is cola and my second choice is water. As I tend to eat really fast, I really don’t like consuming alcohol with my food.
Once again, here’s a guest blog courtesy of @RGSpiegel.
This week, one of my good friends is on a week-long staycation as she transitions in between jobs. Knowing that I set my own hours, she asked me if I wanted to go to the beach. Given that it was 85 and sunny with a slight breeze, she didn’t have to twist my arm too hard to take some time off from blogging late on a Monday morning.
Perhaps one of the most uniquely puzzling marketing campaigns of the last year has been that of Domino’s Pizza. In extolling the virtues of their “new recipe” pizza and remarking on how much it has improved, Domino’s is tacitly admitting that their old pizza was not, for lack of better words, particularly good. Given that we were marketed to relentlessly by Domino’s back when their pizza was “not particularly good,” why should we give our valuable pizza dollars to them now? Even with their new recipe, Domino’s is only marginally better than upper tier oven pizzas. The answer, though, lies in their prices. Their special of three medium pizzas for $5.99 each is unmatched, right? Not so fast.
A few weeks ago, I was watching a Cubs game on WGN and, being too lazy and preoccupied with whatever the internet had to offer to change the channel after the game (presumably, the Cubs lost), a special about the best places to eat brunch in Chicago came on. Featured first on this special was Nightwood, a restaurant in the Pilsen neighborhood on the South side of Chicago that served up brunch on Sundays. Although I am not one to typically seek out special places to eat breakfast or brunch (which is really just breakfast eaten later in the day because of being too hungover to move any earlier), I knew I had to try Nightwood when I saw that they served up a special unvegan treat: the bacon butterscotch doughnut. When I saw that this creation even existed, I immediately channeled my inner Homer Simpson.
The following guest blog is courtesy of Ryan Glasspiegel. Check him out on Twitter: @RGSpiegel
After living the unvegan lifestyle in Chicago for the better part of a year, I am extremely ashamed to admit that I had never eaten at Kuma’s Corner until just recently. Located off the beaten path on Belmont Avenue near the corner of Belmont, California, and Elston, Kuma’s Corner is not easily accessible to me by either walking or public transportation. Further, there is a perpetual wait time of over two hours so in addition to knowing someone who has a car, you have to be willing to stake out the significant portion of a day in order to indulge in their renowned hamburgers.