Saturday, May 5, 2007

First Night...not a sign of things to come

[Rob] You know how they say that IPods know what you're thinking? Well, our consierge doesn't. Serge is very nice, but when we asked him for a recommendation of a small ethnic restaurant, we weren't really looking for a fast food restaurant in WaterTower Place on the Miracle Mile.
[flashback moment]
Back when we lived in Indianapolis, I used to publish a restaurant guide for out-of-the-way ethnic restaurants. I loved finding the new dive that was striving to make it. Once they made it, I moved on feeling my work was done. So when I travel, those are the types of restaurants I seek out. There is greater risk of disaster, but there is a bigger payoff potential since they're new and trying harder to make it. Once a restaurant makes it, its so easy to fall into a pattern that degrades into mediocrity.
[but I digress]
Tyler and I spent much of the night talking about chains. We're not opposed to chains, but Serge had suggested to the couple in front of us at his concierge desk that they try Rainforest Cafe or Cheesecake Factory. While walking around we saw Hardrock Cafe. All are fine restaurants and you get what you get, but they're not what we're looking for. How could Serge know so little about us! Its not really Serge's fault, but when we returned we thanked him and told him about our great journey off the beaten path.
[back to the topic]
So, under Serge's direction, we went to Wow Bao - an Asian Bun restaurant. Interesting concept and decent enough food, but man o man! After I ate three, I realized I needed about 5 more if this was going to be my dinner. But with blood sugar up, we moved onward. We walked another hour, getting further from the Miracle Mile, and feeling like we were closer to a restaurant that would fit the bill. We never quite found what we were looking for, so we opted for Kerryman Irish Pub which was loud and dark, but had beer. We both scanned the menu and went for the fish and chips. Okay, so the Kumquat Guys couldn't do better than that on their first night in Chicago, but we have big plans coming! (Really, the whole point of tonight was to stretch our stomach in preparation for tomorrow at Alinea.)

By the way, we're both feeling plump with humidity and breathing like a team of oxes down here at sea level! Roar! I'm ready to run up the Sears Tower for a morning jog.


Anonymous said...

Has anyone told you about yet? If you are looking for small ethnic places, be sure to check out that site. I'd describe it as sort of a cross between eG and Chowhound...there is more of a focus on small places than you'll see on the Heartland board on eG but the posters are more sophisticated than what I've often seen on Chowhound. Just a thought.

bethanyjoy said...

I keep waiting for the Alinea post...I know you're busy today, but don't leave us hanging. By the way, the cyclist staying w/ us won the gift certificate on Saturday, and she bought us Quadratini. Yum.

(I swear I didn't rig it. Stina & Alana can both confirm that.)