Pink Gorilla

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We will get back to business as usual tomorrow, but first a fun recap of the “extra day” we were open for guests in town for the National Restaurant Association show:

Tom Skilling Blog Headline: Better get as many patio seatings as possible before the temperature drops 20 degrees.

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3:30PM Worked on “the Micros report” problem with Carlos and Jamie.  The problem is that, in the wee hours this morning, Micros generated an indecipherable report no one had ever seen before.  We restarted the system twice, and I placed a rabbit’s foot keychain on the hard drive.

4:30PM Feature fish is halibut, agua del dia is horchata.

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4:45PM Cleaned an unbelievable amount of dog excrement from the sidewalk directly in front of the Frontera patio.  Today I learned it was possible for a single dog to poop that much.  I asked the H.C. to be on the lookout for horse carriages pulling up on the sidewalk.

6PM  Walk-in guests were told tables were available at 5:30PM, but their party did not become complete until half an hour later, and tables were now all taken.  MVP Jonathan Huante who got them seats and took care of them at the bar until a table opened up on the patio.  They turned out to be an executive chef and pastry chefs from Colombia. I told them of my love for the Pandora station, “Cumbia Colombiana.”

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6:30PM  Pink Gorilla arrives for Facebook / Instagram party.  Pink Gorilla is a hit!

7PM  Chef Rick took photos with about twenty guests from 5 different tables in Frontera.  Mostly National Restaurant Association VIPs including a chef for the U.S. military who told me she serves 4400 people in 5 minutes Xoco-style, and that her team can execute table service for 4400 people in 11 minutes.  I called B.S.  Her partner’s phone is made by a manufacturer I am unfamiliar with, causing me to set off the flash multiple times.  A different guest comes up a minute later to let me know the photo I took of Chef Rick and him is blurry, and we reshoot.  I was under a lot of pressure.

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7:30PM  Guest at ten top in Pepe’s station claims allergy to jalapeno only.  Chef Lisa goes over jalapeno-free dishes for guest with Pepe.  I go to the table for the medical investigation.  Guest is confirmed to have had an allergic reaction (hives) when she consumed jalapeno gelatin.  Guest is confirmed to have since consumed shishito peppers with no adverse health effects.  Dr. Mullen silently diagnosed an allergy to horses’ hooves.

8PM  Chef Rick signed 4 menus and 1 cookbook for guests.  Mostly NRA VIPs including a guest whose husband makes smoked guacamole.  She had Chef Rick write, “I promise not to steal your recipe for smoked guacamole for my next cookbook.”  For the record, it is not legal to smoke avocado in the state of Illinois.

10PM  Mole Pozole.

Cats of Anime

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This was my first time at an anime / comic book convention.  I had a blast at ACen!

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My friend Ramon’s big little brother Alfredo warned me it would be weird and he was right. Bearded man stuffed into a Sailor Moon costume weird.

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The vibe from the attendees was overwhelmingly positive and everyone attending was beyond accepting of the weirdness: everyone, myself included, was (literally) geeking out!

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In the afternoon Ramon and I sat in on a panel discussing the role of cats in anime.  The presenters, husband and wife, brought in a treasure trove of anime cat clips from Sailor Moon’s cat Luna to the award winning soul-searching Cat Soup.

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Don’t let the guy with the, “Free Shrugs,” sign get you to buy into his cynical worldview. There is a lot to get excited about at ACen.  I’m excited about the fluffy cat head Gabi got me as a gift!

RIP Superdawg

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My favorite hotdog in the world. Having a Superdawg on a beautiful Sunday in May is like a spiritual experience for me!

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Today I drove my 3 friends to Anime Central in Rosemont and we had a Sunday late morning pitstop at Superdawg.   It was my first anime convention and he first time eating at Superdawg for Ramon and Gabriel.

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Ramon had a Super Chick and loves the BBQ sauce. His big little brother Alfredo had a Whoopsie Cheese and immediately craved another. Gabriel had a Superfish.  Alfredo remarked how cool it was that Superdawg has been continuously operated by Maurie and Flaurie and their family since just after World War 2. superdawg maurie flaurie rip acen anime central godzilla gabriel ruiz ramon eymar flores 3rdarm arthur mullen  

In the afternoon we heard the news: Maurie, founder of Superdawg, passed away this morning.  He was 89.  Thank you Maurie for the world’s best hotdog. My pure beef heart goes out to your wife Flaurie and the family.

Fifth Table

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Tom Skilling Blog Headline: Storm potential Sunday, temps cool down Tuesday.

Door: Big Saturday to end the week! Nayeli and Saul both took charge of the Saturday line, with lots of out of towners and families. MVP today goes to Carlos, for leading the AM team, and getting Tonio to create the fifth Xoco patio table in time for this weekend. More innovations to come!

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Floor Seller: Today Miguel Cotorra worked as the floor seller, our second Saturday trying this out. Last week I had him come in at noon, today he started later because we noticed that beer and margarita sales don’t really take off until the afternoon. Miguel was awesome, a professional presence on the patio and extra pair of hands that made me feel like we gave a great Xoco experience to all, even given the fifth patio table. Miguel had $900 in sales and helped Xoco reach 16K in sales, a big help with our goal being as many 16K Saturdays as possible from here to October.

Guests: 2 Chicago police officers, who were jazzed to get a photo with Chef Rick. Jenny and Eric. Instagram regulars @ahshehadeh and @mah.moud. Diana, another Instagram regular, and her father wearing white. For me, a disturbing number of guests wearing all white or patial white outfits. We’re talking tortas ahogadas and hot chocolate here.

Underneath

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One of my favorite railwarz maps is Underneath, by marics. It’s the long cavern connecting 2 flag rooms. Housefly has mentioned he enjoys how this map brings out a team dynamic- if FC doesn’t have escorts he is probably not going to cap!

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What I enjoy is the teamplay from the defensive perspective. Depending on where teammates / enemy FC is either posting up more towards home base, or coming out towards enemy base to help out with flag escort. It’s fast, linear and fun!

THE by CoreyFeldman

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Etta and I signed up for a produce share through our local green grocery store. In addition to a huge kale salad (that Aunty would say helped me go poopies) Etta has also made me a brown smoothie.

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Kate and Peter took Aunty up to the wilderness of New Hampshire, so they could hiking (and Aunty could go shopping.) At least it wasn’t Mt. Washington in December!

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The most dangerous part of climbing Mt. Washington at the beginning of winter, other than falling off the lion’s head in 100+ MPH winds, was when Kate fed the wild fox.

Tribute

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WORM recently added a bunch of maps to the ACMECTF servers based on my request. We know have bloctf1 “Galactic Gibzone”, bubwater “Bubbling Water,” codctf2 “Strong Resemblance,” codctf4 “THE by CoreyFeldman,” lsdctf1 “LSDCTF1 – The First Dose,” stecki01 “Arena CTF 1,” stecki02 “Pivitol Arena,” and the low-grav map station “Space Station.”

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Beeno and I played a 2v2 against Angry and Bonkers on tribute late Friday night. Unfortunately it was past Bonker’s bedtime (ambien) and he left the match settings on for slow weapon switching and the time limit of 30 minutes. Fortunately, my team won and I posted the second highest score ever on the server!

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Sunday night we got to play codctf4 with CoreyFeldman, the mapmaker himself! You would think the mapmaker would be awesome at his own map, if just from so much testing alone. Unfortunately that was not the case!

Popol Vuh

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Im reading books about the history of the Yucatan because we are going there in July. During Raven Beauty’s training, I used the Maya as a metaphor showing the importance of building on tradition at Xoco. The Mayan writing system of glyphs was phonetic-based and could be used to express any thought, just like English.

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In the fifteen hundreds the Spanish burned ALL the books and persecuted Mayan writers and thereby dismantled and destroyed the entire written language. Imagine how training at Xoco would be if all the systems and standards set by leaders like previous manager Max and Chef Amado was suddenly gone.

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Would someone brand new to the restaurant look at the Bill Blair art and see the 7 dimensions of the Xoco experience? To illustrate my point I drew the 7 dimensions on register paper and crumpled it up and tossed my drawings in the wood-burning oven. But first I took this screenshot. The next day we used the screenshot to take a tour of the 7 pieces of art.

Crusher from DF

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Tom Skilling Blog Headline: Chicago under severe thunderstorm risk until Monday.

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Mood Scale (weather appropriate, from a 5 star yelp review today): “Best soups in town hands down. Warms up that cold Chicago wind with a little spice. Can’t go wrong with the menu and take out to go for a winning combo. Definite must for any foodie.”

Martin and Lionel

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Tom Skilling Blog Headline: Wet start to a wet weekend.

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Mood Scale: The father of a party that included six teenage girls approached me to let me know they were there to celebrate a 16th birthday. The young woman celebrating is a big fan of Xoco! I recommended The Bomb as being the dessert for the occasion, and they also got 3 churros with soft serve. Vanessa, Raven, Miguel and I brought it out with a candle and sang happy birthday, and the father had his wife take a photo of us presenting the dessert. That’s one for the family album!

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