Review Revue: Manly Trib, Boozy TOC

We promised we’d fill you in on the rest of today’s food section happenings, and we will not fail you on this front. Of especial note is the Tribune’s theme, “The man issue.” Phil Vettel and Kevin Pang must have sat down together
to brainstorm how to focus their coverage for this issue and said “meat” at the same time.

Did Mr. Pang come up with the title of his article, “6 degrees of Kevin’s bacon”, on his own? (It’s such a weird innuendo!). Regardless, good eaters of either gender can appreciate this run-down of six top Chicagoland bacon spots, ranging from bite-size bacon buns at Healthy Food Lithuanian (a misnomer; three for $1.75) to the lobster club with applewood-smoked bacon at RL ($20, and we don’t bat an eye). In a similar vein, Mr. Vettel gives the nod to three of his favorite burgers in town: the new (Hop Haus), the old-school (Rosebud Steakhouse) and the classic bar burger (Poag Mahone’s).

The last article in this feature is bizarrely subversive, which may explain why there’s no byline: it’s about “5 safe spots for a man-date,” and it sells itself as a guide of where two men can eat dinner together without appearing to be “together.” But since this is a family paper in a big city, we knew there had to be something going on aside from blatant homophobia. And sure enough, the conceit of the list is that it’s constructed to make fun of its own supposed mission. On Hooters: “If your dinner is misinterpreted, you can set the record straight with some waitress ogling. Or you can simply announce: ‘Boy, do I like Hooters.’” On Gibson’s: “Gargantuan portions of steak – albeit enjoyed by men who like big cigars.” And most preposterously, on Hamburger Mary’s: “Fellow diners have best gaydar in the city.” Yes, we get it; it’s funny. Subtle, but funny.

Rounding out the section (we mean, aside from the reviews that we discussed earlier), is Steve Dahl on pre-tipping for better service, and a little blurb from Vettel on Alhambra Palace about their recent chef changes, which we will detail tomorrow (new menu alert!)

Okay, time for TOC. As we were saying, there’s a lot of alcohol in this week’s edition. Heather Shouse has some advice for a homesick Irishwoman (unless “Kelly M.” is a man, which is possible), who misses her Bulmers cider on draft. Evidently, it’s called Magners, stateside, and it’s available all over town at places like Grace O’Malley’s and the Hidden Shamrock.

Hard cider not for you? Maybe a wine that’s reminiscent of grapefruit juice? Or perhaps Naomi Watts? (Yes, you read that correctly.) If we had our druthers, we’d be drinking a pear-cucumber martini right now - helps the blogging go down. Actually, that’s exactly what we’re going to do. See ya!

[Photo: A Chicago man, with bacon - WhipTheDo/flickr]


Review Revue: Manly Trib, Boozy TOC