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Valentines day recs... Again...

Valentines day recs... Again...
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  • Post #121 - February 12th, 2018, 2:46 pm
    Post #121 - February 12th, 2018, 2:46 pm Post #121 - February 12th, 2018, 2:46 pm
    After many years of making special plans and dressing up and traveling we decided to keep it simple and close to home...

    Barclay's American Grille
    1120 Pleasant St, Oak Park
    http://www.barclaysamericangrille.com/home-m/
    29B91C26-DAE4-4524-8F63-CD3784EC09A7.jpeg

    Nothing exotic, very nice bar and drinks. Dimly lit for the most part and while not a 5 Star restaurant they always put out a good product.

    Actually one of our top choices for an after movie drink and appetizer.
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon
  • Post #122 - February 12th, 2018, 2:53 pm
    Post #122 - February 12th, 2018, 2:53 pm Post #122 - February 12th, 2018, 2:53 pm
    annak wrote:it feels like there should be something festive for valentine's dinner that is not the heavy red meat most food mags feature ...but borscht isn't quite it either. red sauce? what are you cooking?

    Shrimp de Jonghe
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #123 - February 12th, 2018, 3:25 pm
    Post #123 - February 12th, 2018, 3:25 pm Post #123 - February 12th, 2018, 3:25 pm
    And allow me to pass along Dan Savage's excellent advice:

    https://www.thestranger.com/slog/archiv ... -card-ever

    Giovanna
    =o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=

    "Enjoy every sandwich."

    -Warren Zevon
  • Post #124 - February 12th, 2018, 10:36 pm
    Post #124 - February 12th, 2018, 10:36 pm Post #124 - February 12th, 2018, 10:36 pm
    Giovanna wrote:And allow me to pass along Dan Savage's excellent advice:

    https://www.thestranger.com/slog/archiv ... -card-ever

    Giovanna


    Thanks for sharing. Read his column every week in The Reader, but missed that.
  • Post #125 - February 13th, 2018, 5:32 pm
    Post #125 - February 13th, 2018, 5:32 pm Post #125 - February 13th, 2018, 5:32 pm
    stevez wrote:That sounds like the saddest Valentine's Day EVER.


    White Castle keeps the fire burning:

    About White Castle - Carol Stream
    Prepare yourself for a one day only Castle experience! With the sweet scent of sliders steaming in the air, the romantic environment makes for an evening of delicious dining, complete with tableside service and an exclusive menu. It's the same exceptional crave-tastic cuisine, but with an oh-so-steamy twist that'll give you all the heart-eyed emojis.

    So go ahead and give the special Cravers in your life the royal treatment at White Castle on the 14th. Because everyone wants to hear those three little words: We're. Getting. Sliders.

    P.S. Here are a few lines to help set the mood - FREE OF CHARGE:

    "I only have fries for you"
    "Mozzstix & chill?"
    "You're my crave-orite"
    "I'd put a Chicken Ring on it"
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #126 - February 13th, 2018, 7:39 pm
    Post #126 - February 13th, 2018, 7:39 pm Post #126 - February 13th, 2018, 7:39 pm
    Hey, I get the ironic kitsch of it all. The problem for me is that you have to eat the food, for which I do not have a Crave. Plus, if I ever took my wife, or any girl I have ever dated, for that matter, to White Castle for Valentine's Day, well, let's just say it wouldn't end well for me.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #127 - February 13th, 2018, 9:45 pm
    Post #127 - February 13th, 2018, 9:45 pm Post #127 - February 13th, 2018, 9:45 pm
    stevez wrote:Plus, if I ever took my wife, or any girl I have ever dated, for that matter, to White Castle for Valentine's Day, well, let's just say it wouldn't end well for me.


    Steve,

    They wouldn’t put a chicken ring on it?
  • Post #128 - February 14th, 2018, 3:24 pm
    Post #128 - February 14th, 2018, 3:24 pm Post #128 - February 14th, 2018, 3:24 pm
    Final menu:

    • Artichoke with drawn garlic butter
    • Caesar Salad
    • Shrimp De Jonghe
    • Creme Brulee

    It helps when the Mrs. works late on Wednesdays.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #129 - February 15th, 2018, 11:00 am
    Post #129 - February 15th, 2018, 11:00 am Post #129 - February 15th, 2018, 11:00 am
    Hi,

    Arrived 25 minutes late for my 4 pm reservation, alas it was not a problem. The check-in station, which was the top edge of the garbage containers turned toward us, swiftly handled us. This little bit of re-purposing was a nice creative touch.

    Mom2 and I sat down to a two-seater with a red plastic tablecloth carefully trimmed to fit just right. There was a lit votive candle, silk flowers with beaded hearts in a tall vase and mini-card stand wishing us a Happy Valentine's Day.

    There was a reddish hue to the restaurant from red inserts in the light fixtures and well as heart shaped doilies. Festive helium balloons were tied to at least one chair per table. The atmosphere was humming with happy chatter.

    Mom2 and I ordered a sack of shrimp, two crabcake sandwiches, a Coke (with free refills, I asked) and coffee. Later I added a fish sandwich costing 50 cents more than the crab. If anything, I am quite decadent.

    While we waited for our food, we talked to the couple next to us. They had tried for several years to get reservations on Valentine's Day at White Castle. The first time, they stumbled upon it and unfortunately White Castle was booked solid. Last year, they called to late and could not get into their preferred White Castle location. These things happen with the hottest ticket in town. While they offered to find another location with openings, they did not want to travel far. This year was their lucky year, because they made their reservations early. Just like me, they signed up for the first time with OpenTable to get those precious seats.

    I asked if they told anyone about their arrangements. They said all their friends laughed. I recounted SteveZ's comment, "That sounds like the saddest Valentine's Day EVER." I guess I may have been a bit loud, because laughter came from a few tables over that one.

    Dinner was divine. When we had some shrimp leftover, they brought a takeaway bag. The bill was totaled, paid with a nice tip. It was the best $20 White Castle meal without any over-stressed waiters or food slippages due to an overwhelmed kitchen.

    Just like at the Pump Room, we could have our picture taken at our table or against a special White Castle Valentine's Banner.

    Afterwards, the festivities continued at the three dollar car wash. I extravagantly upped it to six, because I wanted the undercarriage cleaned, too.

    Culver's flavor of the day was chocolate covered strawberries, which did nothing for me. Instead we shared a concrete of vanilla ice cream, raspberries, Heath bar chips and pecans.

    I recalled for Mom2 about the article Giovanna had linked to. She thought it was wonderful advice on how to make Valentine's Day less disappointing.

    This was one fun Valentine's Day, which completely fulfilled our wishes.

    Regards,
    CAthy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #130 - February 15th, 2018, 12:26 pm
    Post #130 - February 15th, 2018, 12:26 pm Post #130 - February 15th, 2018, 12:26 pm
    Thanks for the detailed recounting. I can almost picture myself there. It may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it sounds like a great time was had and, hey, isn't that what it's all about? (Pictures next time, please!)
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #131 - February 15th, 2018, 1:10 pm
    Post #131 - February 15th, 2018, 1:10 pm Post #131 - February 15th, 2018, 1:10 pm
    Afterwards, the festivities continued at the three dollar car wash. I extravagantly upped it to six, because I wanted the undercarriage cleaned, too.


    Cathy2, your whole post made me smile but when you threaded Valentine's Day, White Castle AND the car wash all in one narrative bow - well, bravo. And the evening really did sound fun. My girlfriend, who had kid stuff to do, woulda loved it.
  • Post #132 - February 15th, 2018, 1:26 pm
    Post #132 - February 15th, 2018, 1:26 pm Post #132 - February 15th, 2018, 1:26 pm
    Panther in the Den wrote:After many years of making special plans and dressing up and traveling we decided to keep it simple and close to home...

    Barclay's American Grille
    1120 Pleasant St, Oak Park
    http://www.barclaysamericangrille.com/home-m/
    The attachment 29B91C26-DAE4-4524-8F63-CD3784EC09A7.jpeg is no longer available

    Nothing exotic, very nice bar and drinks. Dimly lit for the most part and while not a 5 Star restaurant they always put out a good product.

    Actually one of our top choices for an after movie drink and appetizer.

    8E5A7EDF-6E5E-4313-9BC9-677B4CA49ED7.jpeg

    That was a nice meal.
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon
  • Post #133 - February 15th, 2018, 3:43 pm
    Post #133 - February 15th, 2018, 3:43 pm Post #133 - February 15th, 2018, 3:43 pm
    We kept it simple, picked up king crab legs and Greek salad from Boston Fish Market, bialy loaf from NY Bagel & Bialy and a bottle of nice, but not crazy, champagne. Dark chocolate candied orange peel for dessert.

    VDay1.jpg V-Day. The bride likes king crab and champagne, I like the bride.


    I had a morning meeting in Des Plaines, was at BFM right at 11am, just starting to get crazy both with V-Day seafood buyers and the lunch crowd. The heated tent dining area to the East is Huge! I chatted a couple of minutes with Louie, he has no firm date for opening in Wheeling.
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow

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