What I Had For Lunch Today

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Little Lunchy Foo-Foo

The original plan for today's lunch was to trek on over to Under 55 (which is basically a food court type thing on Monroe), but on the way there, Grr made a comment about the Berghoff.

We quickly changed plans, and decided to enjoy fine German fare for our midday feast.

But first, some background about yours truly. I love root beer. Root beer is one of my five favorite things in the WHOLE WORLD. In my mind, it is the most perfect of beverages. I am very particular about root beer, and I really do know what I like. One of my all-time favorites is Sprecher's (which, until recently, was only available at a few bars and restaurants in Chicago; now you can purchase it at Jewel or Binny's).

Anyway, The Berghoff has the BEST ROOT BEER EVER. This stuff comes from the friggin' TAP. It is so smooth, and so delicious.

I had two steins of it with my lunch. I think that equals about seven pounds of sugar.

For my meal, I really couldn't decide between the sauerbraten or wienerschnitzel. I finally decided to go completely nuts, and ordered rabbit.

Yes, rabbit.

It was served in a rich tomato-based sauce, with vegetables and shiitake mushrooms, with mashed potatoes on the side. I had only sampled rabbit once in the past - when I was about eight years old, my stepfather had some rabbit stew at "King Richard's Faire" (which would later become the Bristol Renaissance Fair), and I had a small taste of it.

I liked the Berghoff's rabbit. I don't know what I thought it was going to taste like; to me, it was reminiscent of dark turkey meat, but not nearly as greasy. I couldn't finish it (they gave me two pieces, which I assume you would call "haunches"), so I'll probably be enjoying the leftovers for dinner tonight. But since this blog is about lunch, and not any other meals, I guess you'll never know.

The Berghoff is located at 17 W. Adams. Today's meal cost approximately $22.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

The first re-run of this blog

I can't believe that we're already into repeats. I blame the fact that Fat Johnny has been out of work the past couple of days, so there's nobody strong enough to challenge the dictorial prowess of MC.

Anyway, lunch today was at Crepe Cliche again. This time I had a turkey BLT (minus the T), and a "caramel apple cider".

Holy cats, that was a good drink. Warm and toasty, and oh-so-sweet.

It probably had at least fifty zillion calories, I'm sure.

In keeping with the theme of hot drinks, today's lunch was definitely "hot stove" themed. Two of the guys I go to lunch with - MC and Nick the Greek - are the baseball trivia wonder twins. For example, Fat Johnny once said "Jeez, you two would have an argument over the backup catcher for the Expos in 1984."

And they both knew the guy's name.

Crepe Cliche is located at 300 S. Wacker Dr. Today's meal cost $5.91.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Carb overload at Venice Cafe

Today was a staple - Venice Cafe. I've been going to this place for years, although Italian is not one of my favorite cuisines. I mean, I enjoy good Italian food, but I probably have it ten percent less frequently than the average American (statistic source: National DEMAK Analysts).

The one thing that Venice does really, really well is mashed potatoes. These are some really good mashers - with a tasty rosmary gravy. My entree was a pork tenderloin, which, frankly, was disappointing. But I'm always a fan of the "swirly" rolls that come as sides for the pasta and chef's specials.

Speaking of chef's specials...today was a banner day. I received the ninth stamp on my "buy ten, get one free" card. That means that two Venice trips from now my tortellinis will be, as the French say, gratis.

By the way...the tortellini at Venice is probably my favorite dish. I don't really like pizza, and I've never had the calzones (but many of my co-workers swear by them).

Ultimately, the best thing about Venice is that one time, the girl behind the counter was wearing a t-shirt that said "I only support gay marriage if both chicks are hot."

I can't think of a better reason to eat there than that.

Venice Cafe is located at 250 S. Wacker Dr. Today's meal cost $8.72.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Something new - Crepe Cliche

We mixed things up a bit today - had lunch at Crepe Cliche. I'd never eaten there before, but used to get coffee there all the time with my "old" team. Apparently, MC had heard someone talk about the paninis on the train this morning. I guess that's all the recommendation you need.

The sandwich I enjoyed is called the Tower. It is a panini featuring beef, turkey, and ham, with mayo and "a hint of celery". The bread was nice and crusty, and just the right amount of dressing. I forgot to ask them to eschew the tomatoes on mine, but their presence didn't mar my enjoyment more than just a trifle. The beef was a little dry, but the ham was superb. Rako had the potato, spinach, and bacon soup, which seemed tasty, but I'm not one to put words in someone else's mouth.

Crepe Cliche is a little frou-frou in decoration, but Rako decided that the free wifi more than countered the oddly-shaped tables. They really have to do something about the trash recepticles; the hinged door for the trash is far too narrow, making it incredibly difficult to deposit your refuse without having to actually put your hands into the garbage. Not good.

Crepe Cliche is located at
300 S. Wacker Dr. Today's meal cost $5.75.

Friday, November 18, 2005

The "Big Sandwich" Post

I'm actually a little surprised that this, only the second entry in this blog, covers Perry's Deli (or, as my co-workers like to call it, "Big Sandwich").

Perry's is, hands down, THE best place to eat lunch in downtown Chicago. Yes, I know that there's some survey that ranked Potbelly the top, but I'm pretty sure that survey was written by vegetarians. Don't get me wrong - I love Potbelly, but there's no way that Perry's takes the silver.

I feel very strongly about this.

Today's lunch was my new sandwich of choice - the "Combo Favorite". One of the items on the menu is the "Perry's Favorite", which is corned beef, cole slaw, Jack cheese, and Russian dressing. About a year ago, a friend taught me to order "off the menu" and get a "pastrami favorite', which is the same sandwich, but the corned beef is replaced with pastrami. Recently I thought I'd invented a new sandwich - which was to make a Perry's Favorite, but with corned beef AND pastrami. I was distressed to discover that they already knew of this glorious concoction, and referred to it as a "combo".

My boss really likes Perry's chili (apparently it has chocolate in it), but to me, going to Perry's and getting anything but one of their gargantuan sandwiches is kind of like going to a strip club just to listen to the DJ - sure, it might be fun, but that's really not what you're there for. The milkshakes, on the other hand, are sublime. However, attempting to consume one of the "triple decker" sandwiches (my favorite 3-D is "Toot's Temptation", which is brisket, fried onion's, Russian dressing, Jack cheese, and cole slaw) and a large milkshake should probably result in a special warning label by C. Everett Koop.

Perry's used to have a lot more charm, back when it was actually owned by the original Perry (it was sold to a guy named Boris a couple years ago) - announced by a ringing cowbell, Perry would offer up a "stale pastry of your choice" to lunch-goers who answered his goofy trivia questions. The recent addition of the plasma screen television showing bad (not good bad, but bad bad) movies is not something I'm a big fan of, but damn, the food still rules.

And they'll still yell at you if you use your cell phone.

Perry's Deli is located at 174 N. Franklin. Today's meal cost $9.25.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Turkey at the Atrium

Today, for lunch I had a Hot Turkey Sandwich at the Atrium (525 W. Monroe St).

The turkey special at the Atrium is one of my favorites. On days that they have it, they also offer it in a non-sandwich form. The last time I ordered it in non-sandwich, I immediately experienced buyer's remorse when I saw how good the open-faced sandwich form looked. I was sure to not make this mistake a second time.

Since it was ass-cold in Chicago today, I knew that I needed to get a cup of soup. Rako favors the Cream of Chicken, but I made the bold choice of the beef vegetable barley. There was certainly a lot of barley in it, but about two specks of beef. The broth was very heavy on the tomato, which I did NOT enjoy.

Rako and I used to eat at the Atrium all the time (when it was called the "West Egg"), because it is right accross the street from where we worked at the time. One thing we noticed was a very prevelent flavor in the vast majority of their dishes. We never have been able to identify what this flavor is - mostly because to refer to our palates as "unrefined" would be quite an understatement. We like to say that this flavor is "nutmeg", but that has more to do with our lack of understanding of nutmeg than anything else.

The mashed potatoes at the Atrium taste a lot like nutmeg.

If you are ever dining at the Atrium, you should really try the fruit cup. It's the largest fruit cup you can get in the city - or at least at any of the places we usually go for lunch.

Rako was pleased to note that the two hot twin waitresses are now wearing different colored uniforms. This is really helpful - makes it much easier to tell them apart.