Friday, September 16, 2005

Restaurant Reviews

Al Chapara's (or whatever the hell it's called).
State and Dearborn

Even a framed Urlacher print couldn't save this place from biting it. I can see why Mike Ditka and Michael Jordon would use their first and last name in the title of their restaurant; their names are the selling point but who the hell is Al Chapara? I don't even think I got the name right and I just spent an hour there.


I had the portabello mushroom sandwich. Tmuch mushroom. Like all normal people I like mushrooms but this was way out of proportion to the bread and lettuce leaf it was sandwiched between. Inconsistent toasting of the bread too. I don't like different sections of my bread to be in different stages of toastedness. I prefer a nice even toasting. Very inconsistent french fries as well. I noticed from glancing at my fellow Clubbers fries that they all varied in doneness, mine being a little less done than most which made them flaccid as well as greasy. No pickle? That's fucked.


Our server was friendly and attentive and Al served our food with a smile and brought not one but two varieties of mustard. Unfortunately this small touch did little to counter the sub par cuisine


The paper table coverings were a tacky attempt to appear upscale, perhaps this was to justify the price increase from the Dearborn Diner days. Very limited and unattractive menu. Would it kill you to laminate the thing for chrissake? How much could that cost? I understand that it may only be a temporary menu but it sends an immediate signal to the customer that you don't care. I'm sorry Al, but ordering off a food stained menu isn't appetizing. You order food off the menu not on the menu. And why such a limited menu? Only one type of burger? How hard can it be to make up a bunch of different burger names; "The Al Classic," "The Big Al with Cheese," "The Al Junior," "The Southwestern Al with Blue Cheese Dressing" etc, etc. How hard was that? They don't even need to make sense. I know that it's a brand new business but it comes in a long tradition of failed Diners however, customers wouldn't necessarily know this, especially guests of the hotel above. The place has a sort of a not-quiet-together feel to it. Perhaps a sign along the lines of "Pardon Our Dust" which businesses use when remodeling would be in order. Something like "We Just Opened And We're Working on Ways to Serve You Better" or "Still Tryin' to Get Our Shit Together, Be Patient". It seems like Al's doesn't even know if it wants to be a diner. It should either commit to being a diner which serves American food or completely change the decor and the menu.


Al's is struggling with its identity and I don't have time for restaurants with complexes. Although the conversation was captivating as usual, all in all it was not a very satisfying Lunch Club experience. I give it a spork.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Trade Me New Zealand

Would somebody please tell those kiwis The Reglar Wiglar ain't a comic book!

Divorced from Reality

"And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this - this is working very well for them."--Barbara Bush, commenting on conditions in the Houston Astrodome

I think Babs is onto something here. If Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent flooding has improved the lives of the underprivileged, why don't we flood all the poor neighborhoods in all of our major cities. I think, in the long run, the benefits would outweigh the short-term struggles of no home, no job, no future.

As a Fox News commentator optimistically observed this weekend, some of these displaced flood victims (or refugees) are getting medical attention for the first time in years and they're finding out they have chronic conditions that have until now gone undiagnosed. Too bad they still won't have health insurance. But at least they'll know how fucked they are.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Bush Finds Silver Lining in Hurricane Disaster

"First we're going to save lives and stabilize the situation. Then we're going to help these communities rebuild. The good news is, and it's hard for some to see it now, is that out of this chaos is going to come a fantastic Gulf Coast, like it was before. Out of the rubble of Trent Lott's house, this guy lost his entire house, there's going to be a fantastic house and I'm looking forward to sitting on the porch."--George W. Bush

Thank God Trent Lott is going to be able to rebuild! Thank you God. Thank you, thank you, thank you.