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Friday, December 30, 2005

All Aboard!
It's the end of another year of yummy lunches, though this time of year doesn't make me sad, it makes me giddy with anticipation of all the lunches yet to come! Venturing into the EIC's stomping grounds, I wound up having lunch at the underestimated Union Station's food court. I mean, this place doesn't even deserve the tag, "food court," which summons up nauseating images of stuffed potatoes and MSG-laden oriental food in malls. I did some comparison shopping and settled on a sandwich from Nino Panino. I had the North Side Sub minus onions and mayo. And it wasn't bad. Kinda wished I hadn't eaten there and saved room for popcorn and unhealthy snacks from Nuts on Clark, but I didn't. Happy New Year!
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Thursday, December 29, 2005

Shakedown, Breakdown, Takedown, Everybody Wants Into the Civil Penalty Life!


Shakedown, Breakdown, some defaulting dude in Northbrook is about to get busted, courtesy of the long arm of the Monz! For such a momentous round of legalizing, Monz heads home early for some of Monz' personal homemade chili! When we asked what goes into such a feast, Monz replied "All sorts of good stuff! Turkey, spices, beans, spices, tomatoes, spices, chilis -- oh, wait, the tomatoes and the chilis go in together."

The editors will be off Friday to watch the Sun Bowl. We're leaving Monz the keys to the blog to do with what he will. We wish you a very happy 2006, filled with lunch nimbus and nutrus each and every day!
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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Weiners Up, Wiener Schnitzel Down!

Chicago's venerable Berghoff's will be closing next month. Which saddens the editors slightly, but if there's one thing Milwaukee has always beat Chicago at, it's German food. OK, two things: since Chicagofest turned into Taste of Chicago, Summerfest gets the nod.

The editors took the day off to check out another famous Chicago eatery: Murphy's Red Hots on Belmont. And damn, they make a fine dog -- these were the freshest toppings we've ever put on a charbroiled Vienna Beef dog. And the fresh-cut french fries were stupendous. The only downside is that the place is small, in the heart of gentrified yuppieville, and pricey (the above cost over $7).

Monz must have figured that somebody had to eat healthy in Chicagoland: footlong turkey on wheat, hot peppers, no mayo, with a crisp and refreshing Diet Sprite.
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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

We've Got the Blues!

We've got the blues allright. Why? Because on Christmas night the non-Christian editors were visiting another non-Christian friend in a regular Christmas tradition of dinner and a flick. But the friend ate a late lunch with her father and was not hungry, leaving the editors to budget-theater popcorn to tide them over. After the movie the editors scoured the western Chicago suburbs looking for sustinance, only to find a suspicious looking burrito joint and a Dunkin' Donuts(tm). The latter was out of creem cheese for the bagels and Fred apparently isn't what he used to be because those donuts were stale.

We've got the blues allright, because at the main downtown branch of the Chicago Public Library, the feature in the theater features a history of Chicago women blues singers.

We've got the blues allright, because in a terse-yet-heartbreaking voice, Monz left the following voice mail: "No lunch today [click]."

Update!
Oh G_d, it turns out we weren't kidding!
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Friday, December 23, 2005

Miss a Little, Miss a Lot!

Monz steps off of the plane and into The Twilight Zone! The rock of downtown Waukegan eateries, Poppies, has changed its name to the Genessee Restaurant. The Waukegan Bank has been replaced by the "NS NorStates Bank." Unsettled, Monz calls up an old standbye: Kong's. But it's not the friendly guy he's used to talking to, but some strange woman. Monz fearlessly orders a Ma Pao Tofu and Maki combo and heads out to pick-up the order. The friendly guy is nowhere to be seen! Kong's is now Fong's! Unlike the movie, Kong sold out! But the Fong's woman promisses that once the new menu's are ready there will be "more chinese delicacy for you to choose!" Rust never sleeps.
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Thursday, December 22, 2005

The Friendly Skies!

"At the airport now. Today's lunch was french dip at the 5th Ave club. Very tasty."

After having criticized Old Navy last year at this time for their "Christmas Carolers" commercials, the editors want to give props to them for one, and only one, of this year's ads. We refer to the "Gifties" spot (is that that Chinoweh (sp?) actress from "The West Wing"?) where they are doing a musical number, and the paranoid hostess grabs the director and issues a litany of complaints, including "I think Mock Turtle is mocking me!" (which, the camera shows) is the case. But we find those Radio Shack "Red Chair" ads (where the people line up to tell loved ones what they want) even more strangely compelling. "Suzy-Q, where are you?!"
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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

It's Lovely Weather for a Car Ride Together with You!

Monz interrupts a family drive down the Florida coastline to check out homes of famous people to report on lunch:

"Went to ritzy-titzy Palm Beach, the Island Palm resturaunt, more info available at www.islandpalmresturant.com...this truly was a yummy lunch. I had the pizza de jour, well, we started with baked garlic and bread. The pizza dejour was roast prime rib of beef thinkly slicesd with swiss cheese and tomatoses (aside to Hon: "this is where you want to turn left if you want to go home...what are you parking for? ...but it's not fun!...there's some lawyers over there why don't we talk to them!...look at them, they're from highland park, il...the old jerk!) No-longer-a-child had some kind of wrap dejour, Hon had Moraccan meatballs and pasta or something (muffled voice heard) Moraccan sweet and sour meatballs with feta cheese (muffled voice heard), oh, fetacini -- no cheese at all."
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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

You Could Dip Their Face in Some Dough and Make Gorilla Cookies!

Monz and clan head to the Ugliest resturant in Ft. Lauderdale for some buffalo shrimp in "ugly sauce" appetizer and ugly crabcakes for ane entre, with sweet potato fries, beans, rice and an ugly margarhita madness "to help get through the rest of the day." Monz, you dirty old fool!
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Monday, December 19, 2005

It's a Family Affair!

Blood is thicker than mud, Sly. Its back to Old Calypso!

Monz: Crawfish Pie and Fried Green Tomatoes ("very yummy")
Mrs. Monz: Crape Claire ("chicken with some French-y sauce")
A no-longer-a-Child Shall Lead Them: Chicken Baguette ("she ate it.")
Papa Monz: Coconut Shrimp
Mama Monz: Tuna Burger with a couple of Beefeaters (tm)
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Friday, December 16, 2005

Friday Night Memories!

Monz calls into the myl office voice mail but his cell phone is hard to make out. It sounded like he set out to go to the previously mentioned Florida Wendy's, but made a last second detour into a Denny's and ordered...chicken fingers? We couldn't make it out. But the mention of the name Denny's brings back fond high school memories for the editors, who would frequently hop into KT's car, go to a movie or miniture golf course, then head to Denny's (where some of the editors would have a burger and others went for a pregnant-like combo of french fries and chocolate cake).
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Thursday, December 15, 2005

Tragic Update!

This just in: "Arrived mid-afternoon after no lunch. Had a spoonful of mom's chili for "lunch" and went over to the middle eastern place for dinner."
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Continuity!

Monz had planned to return to Florida for more sunshine, CLE and visiting with the P's (in reverse-order). We don't know what he had for lunch. The editors had an onion-y (but not unpleasantly so) meatloaf with mashed potatoes and Faycurr's Urban Cafe ($3.99, which is pretty good for the Chicago loop). We don't know anything about this.
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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

In-COMP-arable!

Monz wanders over to the County Cafe for a chicken caesar salad (W/ black olives!) and an apple. "Pretty good."

Yesterday the editors wandered over to the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond Indiana for a little pre-EIC birthday fun. We must say, we were mightily impressed with everything about Horseshoe...except the casino itself. We loved the needlessly long driveway to get to the place, the way it looks so big and opulent from the outside (with only a hint of faux-dom, like the set on a big Hollywood production), how parking was teaming with security people, how all the staff were exceedingly friendly and helpful. Most of all we loved the buffet! (Our original plan was for the steakhouse, but we were priced out of that) We've been told that casinos tend to have good buffets, but this spread made the Old Country Buffet look like a box of store-brand macarroni and cheese by comparison. Beasts of all description, including ox tail, lamb, dry rub beef ribs -- you name it, and all that we tried was pretty tasty (and didn't make us yak!). The pizza and desert bar (which included a variety of sugar free deserts had we taken a diabetic friend) were aces too. We were too stuffed to try the salad bar or the Chinese food section. But then it was through the ominous ropes, onto the boat and into the casino for some "gaming." First we had to sign up for a multipurpose ID card (the "Winners Circle") so we could "earn" valuable comps. They asked us if we would be playing tables or machines. We said machines, and they said we would earn comp points at the machines but not the tables (though we were free to play at the tables if we wanted). With that, we went in. Our first impression was that it was awfully smokey for the handful of smokers we observed. Our second was that these slot machines are wayyyyyy too expensive. Nearly all the machines were $1, with the default spin costing $2. We had planned to spend a good part of the evening spinning $.25 slots and drinking comp diet colas. Ha! We got through one diet cola and before we knew it the budget was blown (which, according to the gaming editor, is way out of wack with what they claim the house advantage was). We took one last look at the crowd of action-seeking somebodys and decrepit-looking nobodies and left the room, strongly smelling (if not reeking) of cigarettes. We waited in line to check our comps. Didn't earn any! The editors resolved to go to another casino at a later date to compare buffets and comps -- maybe Trump -- but not until a sufficient period of time has passed to reassure us that we're not going to become a tragic tale of addiction.
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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Blog Alive with Live Blogging!

First, Monz ventures into new wrap territory by trying to wrap some smart chili in a sprouted wheat tortilla. Alas, the tortilla is kinda dry and not wrap-friendly, and the chili spilled all over the place. A banana, carrots and cottage cheese helped make up for it. While gathering this report, the entertainment editor mentioned plans this evening to travel to a nearby casino and as a result he was distracted, appologizing for not being more fun. Monz taunted the EE that something mean and funny ocurs to him, but it's "too mean to say." At this the EIC jumped-in and insisted, as we are now going to press, as we type these words, that Monz reveal the wit. "You're not being fun, uh, I didn't notice, uh, or I didn't notice the difference, look, the moment is gone!"
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Monday, December 12, 2005

Bolder on Your Shoulder, Feeling Kinda Older!

Who'd have thunk it? Aging (and maybe other) folks can achieve a host of health benefits merely by walking on cobblestones. Apparently this practice is rooted in ancient Chinese medicine (and we have been informed by expat friends of the blog that there are such walking paths in China). Had we relayed this news to the Monz earlier, he might have gone to Kong's. But we didn't, and Monz likes to transcend time anyway, so he brought together a smartmenu texmex with a wheat tortilla for a yummy lunchwrap, topping it off and bulking it up with a bag of carrots.
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Friday, December 09, 2005

Worth the Wait!

The food editor heads up to Waukegan for a lunch with a travel-weary Monz (back-at-home time from yesterday's flight: 3:00 AM!) at the new old fave, Obie's. The FE goes for the fried trifecta: chicken, mushrooms and potatoes (with diet coke, for irony's sake). Monz has the grilled catfish, brown rice with shrimp, and the, the...durn it Monz, I told you I'd forget!
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Thursday, December 08, 2005

Contagion!

Monz, dealing with airport hassles of his own while stranded at a Florida airport while Chicago's O'Hare is under a ground stop, calls-in to catch us up on his lunches! Tuesday he lunched with the folks: Mom's Danish meatballs on bagels. Yesterday, while on CLE seminar break, Monz walked over to Wendy's for a take-out Mandarian salad. But they forgot the fork! So Monz took his cue from an old Kentucky Fried Chicken tagline ("it's f----- ------' good!"). Today he visited Delray Beach's Old Calypso for a tunaburger with corn and crab chowder.
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Why We Are Doomed!

For those who scoff at the importance of lunch, we offer this cautionary tale. The Legal Editor was called into emergency service, ordered to fly to Washington D.C. and argue before some very important judges. Chaos ensued as the LE frantically prepared motions to substitute counsel, make his flight, and study for his appearance. Lunch consisted of a leftover Starbucks(tm) scone and a small bag of mini-tortilla chips on the plane. The next day the LE flew back to Chicago, his lunch consisting of an overcooked hamburger (always a risk when you order meat "well done") and some overseasoned french fries. No good can come from such lunches. After his plane landed and the LE was buying a ticket for the shuttle bus back to the city, an eccentric old lady standing next to him at the counter asked the LE if he would watch her bags while she took her little dog (!) outside for a moment. Of course, this goes against everything we are instructed, and there had even been a homeland security incident earlier in the day when someone at the Miami airport claimed he had a bomb. But the LE is a sucker for a dog with bladder distress, so he said "sure." Luckily for him, his lack-of-good-lunch didn't blow up in his face, so to speak... Coincidentally, Monz was also in the Eastern Time Zone that evening and contacted the LE, however the conversation had not yet turned to lunch when the call waiting went off and it was the LE's client.
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Monday, December 05, 2005

Doth Protest!

Monz takes umbrage at the editors' "lackadaisical (sp?) pursuit of his lunch," claiming they have grown lazy in waiting for e-mails or telephone messages to arrive and should hit the pavement and do some sleuthing of their own. Monz fears his umbrage will take away from the kickassnessity of today's lunch, as a new Subway (tm) opens in downtown Waukgean, and Monz graces it with an order for a footlong turkey and swiss (lettace, tomato, vinegary stuff and hot pepper). "Mmmmm."

Blogging the rest of the week may be chaotic, as the editors are away on business in Washington D.C. from tomorrow morning through Wed., and Monz is back to combining work and pleasure in Florida. Who knows what may turn up?
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Friday, December 02, 2005

Vicki Lawrence Yummy Lunch!

He was on his way out of his legal shop
Was feeling kinda hungry and he'd thought he'd stop
At the local county bar meeting 'fore he went back to work
Jeff Woah-Ho! said hello
Monz said "Hi Ho, what's new"
Woah! said "Sit down, I got some bad news that's gonna hurt."
He said, "Now I'm your real bud, and you know that's right,
But you allowed your lunch to get out of your sight
And since you been gone it's been scarfed by some dude named Seth
Well Monz got mad and he saw red
Jeff said "Monz don't lose your head, cuz to tell you the truth,
I've stole your lunch myself"

That's the day that lunch wasn't served in Waukegan
That's the day that they freed an innocent man
But don't trust your lunch to no backroom office fridgerator
Because the clerks have mustard stains on thier hands

Monz went off into that legal minds street
Scarfed down the yummy devilled eggs, stuffed mushrooms and mini-egg rolls for appetizers, roastbeef with cheddar on rye with pasta salad (vinegarry good!) and a tiny sweet thing for dessert,
Then did the Meet-and-Greet
Boxed Jeff till he was crying out for his mama.

Well the Waukegan patrol was making their rounds
So he waved hello, said "hey, you gained a few pounds!"
And a big-bellied sherrif looked at Jeff, then Monz, and said "Why'd you do it?"

The Judge said "free the Monz" when they brought him to trial
Told the DA "Jeff stole his lunch, you shouldn't even have filed!"
Then said "Supper's waitin' at home, Monz, could you spare one of those yummy wraps?"

That's the day that the lights went on in Waukegan
That's the day that they freed an innocent man
But don't trust your lunch to no backroom office fridge
Because the clerks have horseradish stains on thier hands
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Thursday, December 01, 2005

Spooky Circular Degrees of Separation!

Monz repeats his lunch of yesterday. Some describe repetition as “the same old song.” “The Same Old Song” is a song by the Four Tops. The Four Tops had soul. There was once a sharp soul act known as Sam and the Goodtimers. When Monz was a tike, Sam and the Goodtimers toured with The Monkees. In the summer of 1988 Monz and the music editor went to Monkeefest ( memorialized in the opening scene of the screenplay for the should-have-been-a-hit flick “Ink.”) While at Monkeefest, they had lunch at a Tex-Mex place on Randolph Street. Monz recently made a Tex-Mex wrap for lunch, samesourced as yesterday's lunch!!!
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