Food & Wine

Food & Wine
Home Theatre

Denise and I have started enjoying wine more lately.  We just have a small collection now, but have been trying different varieties to broaden our horizons.  I definitely prefer Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon at the moment, and my favorites are from Chile.  (with California and Australia sharing runner-up)  (Denise likes Italian reds)

My plans for this page include some personal favorites, some recipes, and some restaurant reviews...

Had probably the best steak of my life last night (May 5, 1999) in Toronto at Ruth's Chris Steak House.  I've heard of their reputation for years, but had not sampled it myself.  I ordered the "petite filet"--medium.   Wonderful flavor.  The onion soup au gratin (starter) and the shoestring potatoes were good, but would not earn a recommendation themselves.  I also had some Chilean wine that was excellent--a Merlot/Cabernet blend...  Wish I could remember the winery!

The best prime rib of the last decade was at a place called "Gulliver's" in Irvine, California.  October 16, 2001.  I've had better crème brulee, but the prime rib was fantastic!  (yes, better than any I've had in good ol' Nebraska...  although Gulliver's may have procured their meat from here)

Old Chicago {keep reading to the bottom for the updates...}

I'm really not a beer drinker at all, but for some reason Old Chicago's "Original World Beer Tour" was a challenge I could not pass up.   Drink 110 different beers, get your "name immortalized in our famous Hall of Foam".  I finished up the tour right before Christmas '98.  My name still isn't up all the wall, though. 

Even though the tour is finished, Old Chicago is still one of my favorite places to go for a drink or snack.  I'm sure part of that is because it is so familiar, but I also really enjoy some of their offerings!  Their "Italian Nachos" are fabulous!  Pasta chips with mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, Italian sausage, pepperocini, and marinara sauce.  Many a time I would have a half-order of these and knock a couple more beers off the list. 

I am still not impressed with their full-sized pizzas, though, which is what they are supposed to be known for!  I have not had their deep dish, so maybe those are better.  Same with the calzones--just not enough flavor. 

UPDATE:  Denise and I had a large "Taos" pizza last night (Oct. 7).  It was excellent.  Deep dish, with refried beans, cilantro, chiles, tomatoes and chicken.  Definitely earns a recommendation!

I definitely prefer DARK beers (such as Guinness and Dixie Blackened Voodoo Lager--how's that for a name?), but my taste Bud's were definitely expanded during the tour.  Two Dogs Lemon Lager is very good when the weather is warm.  I'll see if I can remember or find some of my other "beer reviews"...

April 25:  Now up to 21 on second tour. 

After sampling Buffalo wings at a few more places, I've discovered that I tend to like wings pretty universally .  Old Chicago's may not shine as much as I'd thought...  It was probably just the atmosphere--and the fact that they were cheap!!!  I do prefer Bleu cheese over ranch, also. 
After having the wings a few more times, I think that this location has switched suppliers -- the wings themselves don't seem to be as good.

October 8, 1999:  Now at 41 on second tour.  Had a "Snakebite" last night = combo of Guinness and cider.  Interesting, but doesn't rate a repeat in my book.  (it's a waste of a good Guinness!)  Also had a Doggy Style Ale and something-Copper-something, both from Colorado and both very good.

February 25, 2001:  Finished my third tour.  I'll be taking a break now!!!  Old Chicago has become both Ben and Erin's favorite restaurant!  My favorite food items:  Italian Nachos, Black & Bleu Burger, Buffalo Chicken Sandwich.  Erin likes the pasta with fire-roasted marinara.

For dessert, the cheesecake is very good; but my favorite is definitely the freshly-baked deep-dish chocolate chip cookie!!!

So much for a break...  In October 2001 I'm at around 67 on my fourth tour.  On my way back from Texas, I stopped in an Old Chicago on TYLER STREET in Wichita -- to much of a coincidence to pass up!

It has been awhile since I updated this...  I finished TOUR #6 mid-January, 2003.

As of March 25, 2007, I am at about 80 on TOUR #10...   Only 30 more, then I will have my very own stein maintained at the restaurant (!!!), and can drink any beer I want to (Guinness?!?!?) and have it count towards future totals.
10 tours in 10 years...  That's about right, isn't it?

Summer 2008:  Finished tour #12 a month or so ago.  The personalized stein holds about 30 ounces.  Can only drink 1 or 2, so unless I'm drinking bottles for a mini-tour, I don't accumulate many new beers this way!  The Black & Bleu Burger and Buffalo Chicken Sandwich have not been on the menu for awhile, but the cooks might make them anyway -- just ask.


Revised:  July 27, 2008.