• Speaking of the intersection of blogs and reviews! In his review today of Oak Park’s Marion Street Cheese Market (100 S. Marion, Oak Park, 708 752 7200) contains this bit of highly bloggery syntax: “Service, sigh, is distracted on a good day.” Sigh! Sigh! Bloggers are the syntactic frontier, friends. We are to grammatical construction what punks were to 80s fashion. But the real point here is the restaurant, right? Despite the sigh-worthy service, Vettel finds the food at this restaurant-inside-a-cheese-shop good — if occasionally overly simple and bland. Of particular note is the raclette, melted cheese with elk sausage, and some fried green tomatoes that are among the best Vettel’s ever tried. The restaurant lands one star, which seems sort of out of whack with Vettel’s review (this reads like a two-star), but hey, what the hell do we know. We’re just a blogger.
• Trine Tsouderos takes on a very important issue: weird food. No, seriously, the whole juxtaposition-of-expectations thing, once the bailiwick of hundo-a-head gastronomic temples, is now a bona fide populist movement in the culinary world — as we’ve said before, see also: cupcakes, Bacon-adorned. Which show up here, as the article highlights the BLT cupcakes from More along with the black pepper-and-olive-oil gelato from Forest Park’s Paciugo and the onion-and-spinach cake from Chaos Theory.
• Vettel takes a break from all that cheese-eating to get tipply at twoof the very high-up bars that the city has to offer. Namely, the very similarly-monikered Sky Lounge and Vertical Sky Lounge, presumably no relation, which are located in the Avenue Hotel and the Dana Hotel, respectively. Neither wows him — Sky Lounge gets a B-, while Vertical lands a B+ — but both pull off their schtick. A highlight: the servers at Vertical wear sci-fi-goth clothes: “If Barbarella were headed to a funeral, this is what she might wear.” Oh Phil Vettel, sometimes we want to give you a hug.
• We will give Monica Eng ten dollars if she eats an entire mini-banana-cream pie in one bite. No wait. Ten dollars in today’s economy is only like fifty-five cents. We’ll give her ten euros. Monica — call us. We have a video camera.
• Trine Tsouderos is back for another round, with a battle of the chain-restaurant pork sandwiches: Jimmy John’s vs. Potbelly Sandwich Works, each of which has introduced an overstuffed, megameaty sandwich of the “club” variety (“club” here is code for “it has bacon on it”). Jimmy John’s Ultimate Porker Club has bacon, ham, lettuce, tomato, and mayo, while Potbelly’s Clubby offers turkey, ham, bacon, provolone cheese, ranch dressing, lettuce, and tomato — but heated up. The winner? Potbelly, but just barely.
• Chris McNamara delivers a Primer on Diwali, the Indian festival of lights. Celebratory evenings are to be had at Indian Garden and Vermilion (with “hardcore traditional” food instead of their usual Indo-Latin fusion), plus a Diwali dance party at Funky Buddha.
[Photo via Drive Thru]