Monthly Archives: June 2012

In This House They Eat Iguana

whipped cream shortcake 3rdarm

Etta made pasta carbonara with six eggs and parmesan, chicken salad with heirloom tomato, cucumber and avocado, shortcake with peaches, strawberry, cherry and balsamic. It was all real good.

shortcake 3rdarm

Meghan came over on my sister’s birthday and we celebrated both my sister and our presidents big day- I danced to Hey Nineteen by steely dan with my shirt off and ate a burrito. Tomorrow Etta and I begin our drive around Lake Michigan.

Los Viejones

Topolobampo tasting menu 3rdarm

Sometimes the best part of working in restaurant is being around amazing chefs- but usually the best part is the food. Chefs Hector, Mark and Andres are all guys I look up to.

chefs frontera Topolobampo 3rdarm

The new tasting menu is about interpreting art into food. The Bayless’ paintings take form on the plate. I had a dream we were all on a bus stopped at a light under the highway in Chicago. Larry was trying to catch a cab- he danced for it.

Filipino Breakfast

Longanisa 3rdarm

We walked the .2 miles to Uncle Mike’s Place. It was a long .2 in ninety degree heat- felt like .3 or longer. The interior was cool in climate and design. Green ceiling, tiled walls, aqua cambro cups. They have half size plastic cambro cups for kids. The laminated menu reminded me of bad diner food, the coffee from Metropolis I don’t like and the waiters noticeably lagged after 7 hours of Sunday brunch. Etta ordered the steak and eggs only to be told ten minutes later by a tired waiter that uncle mike had run out of skirt steak. She changed her order to patty melt.

Hoosier mama banana cream pie 3rdarm

The surprise was the food had quality. First we received a lemony garlicky rice porridge called lugao. The waitstaff though understandably hobbled after the bulk of a ninety plus degree shift covered coffee refills and worked as a team. A second server brought mayonnaise for Etta’s patty melt. The French fries were hand cut. The potato salad was homemade. My sausages were sweet. My rice was garlicky. My eggs were cooked to perfection- over easy. I think there was fish sauce in the salsa. And despite leaving full I still limped to hoosier mama for a big piece of banana cream pie that I scarfed in its entirety like a sick dog.

Tocino and Longanisa

frontera tomatillo 3rdarm

First weekend of summer, Etta and I watched meatballs and wet hot American summer. Roly Poly pounced on the window where the pigeons coo and got my diet coke can. He thought it was a bird. It was dented and emptying by the time I reached it.

summer solstice Ashland ave 3rdarm

Etta made chicken breast with garlicky tzatziki, marinated cauliflower, and cherry crisp with vanilla ice cream. I ate half. We’re thinking about a Filipino breakfast.

Larry’s Lightbulb

yellowfin tuna 3rdarm

I went to the home of the tiger man, telling him the work was my whole thing. Don’t worry, he told me, I have bigger plans for you- I want you to run the place. In one week I make the jump to the third restaurant, Michelin starred, in the stratosphere of service expectations.

Larry changes lightbulb frontera 3rdarm

There will be good days and bad days. When a customer gives you a handmade business card and says she writes cookbooks- in fact has her own recipe for tortilla soup- you may be trouble. When folks say they are for
Texas or New Orleans you say you visited Texas and New Orleans- money well spent, while the chefs were in Mexico- and they tell you to go back.

Merlins’ Cave

effie etta roly poly 3rdarm

One leaves his leaves at home being a mullen and sends up a lighthouse to peer from: I will have my way, yellow–A mast with a lantern, ten fifty, a hundred, smaller and smaller as they grow more–Liar, liar, liar! You come from her! I can smell her-kiss on your clothes. Ha! you come to me, you, I am a point of dew on a grass-stem. Why are you sending heat down on me from your lantern?–You are cow dung, a dead stick with the bark off. She is squirting on us both. She has has her hand on you!–well?–She has defiled ME.–Your leaves are dull, thick and hairy.–Every hair on my body will hold you off from me. You are a dung cake, bird lime on a fencerail.–

pasta salad 3rdarm

I love you, straight, yellow finger of God pointing to–her! Liar, broken weed, dungcake, you have–I am a cricket waving his antennae and you are high, grey and straight. Ha!

-Great Mullen by William Carlos Williams

Fence Breaking Blues

effie etta montrose beach 3rdarm

Effie made the most delicious pasta salads I have had since my aunt’s. We put the bikes on the car and drove up to Irving Park Road, to bike to Montrose Beach. Etta saw hundreds of seagulls on one side and hundreds of children on the other and said no way. A full plastic cup of water blew into my face.

Riding bikes 3rdarm

That evening we met Meghan at Millenium Park for the downtown sounds concert. Meghan brought the best cheese. Effie returned to Denver the next morning. I returned to work.

Midnight Special

Effie in lake 3rdarm

The three of us drove to the beach on the South side. 31st Street was full, so we hit Promontory Point. The water was refreshing. On the way home we passed President Obama’s helicopters on Lake Shore Drive. He was at the lake with his family too.

Lime watermelon 3rdarm

Pierce came over that night and ate all of our coffee ice cream. Effie, Etta and I watched the season finale of Girls.

Old Timbrook Blues

Mikos italian ice 3rdarm

Days later Effie and Etta flew together to Chicago. On the cape it had been cool during the day and cooler at night- sweatshirt weather. The midwest was in the mid to high nineties- full blaze summer.

Pig driver 3rdarm

We got Greek salads, hotdogs, Italian ice, oil change, fruit, vegetables, and bloody mary’s.

Honest I Do

Chef goob 3rdarm

On the way back to Boston for my flight we stopped in my old neighborhood. The girls used the bathroom at Fresh Pond and got sandwiches at Hi Rise. The sandwiches took forever. Then on the Longfellow Bridge traffic backed up for thirty minutes. I was freaking out. Later on the news I heard there had been a shooting on Broadway, the perpetrator had raced across the bridge and wrecked their car, gotten onto the red line, and returned to Cambridge.

Hoota 3rdarm johnny boston

John met me at his apartment in Beacon Hill and we walked to the Rattlesnake to visit Chef Goob. I got on a plane and flew away.