The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Not sure I agree, but I do love steaks

Bloomberg has released its list of the best steaks in Chicago for 2017. It leaves off my current favorite (Kinzie Chophouse) and my old favorite (Morton's on State, before they got bought out), but it's not a bad list:

If you had to name one quintessential steakhouse in Chicago, it would be Gibson’s, which serves expert, icy martinis at the bar and stellar beef from the grill. (It is the first steakhouse to be awarded its own USDA Prime Certification—USDA Gibsons Prime Angus Beef. Local hero chef Tony Mantuano is a fan. “Gibson’s is clearly a classic, the one that every steakhouse is compared with. The bone-in ribeye is my favorite cut, since it gives you different textural experiences. There are different types of muscle in this cut—the deckle, or rib cap, at Gibson’s is one of the most delicious bites of steak you'll ever eat.”

Situated in an old butcher shop, Boeufhaus looks more like a Brooklyn hangout than a classic Chicago steakhouse. For one thing, it’s compact, with only 34 seats; for another, it’s decorated with filament light fixtures. Also, the menu starters include fluke crudo with sea beans and Burgundy snails—no mac and cheese or seafood towers here. Chef Paul Berglund loved it all, in particular his steak. “Boeufhaus may not be the most traditional Chicago steakhouse, but I had an amazing celebratory meal there post James Beard Awards [he won Best Chef Midwest in 2016]. We ordered the 55-Day Dry-Aged Ribeye and 35-Day Dry-Aged Ribeye (market priced), served side by side on the table. This restaurant is doing great stuff with local, grass-fed beef. It’s a really cool place to eat meat.”

So for my next celebration, I'm going to try one of these places. I'm sure I'll find something to celebrate soon.

Articles to read this weekend

So many meetings today, so many articles in my queue:

Tired of all this Trump crap? Have some chocolate-truffle brownies. They look delicious.

Stuff to read, vol. 2,048

Still busy. So busy.

And now I have to set up a development environment.

Interesting morning news

Just a couple of tasty items today:

  • One of my favorite BBQ places in Chicago, Smoke Daddy, will be opening at Hotel Zachary, which is currently under construction next to Wrigley Field. Next season's chow options will be that much better, not to mention excellent ribs a 20-minute walk from home.
  • Republican US Senator Mark Kirk sparred with his Democratic opponent, US Representative Tammy Duckworth, at the Chicago Tribune's editorial board endorsement session yesterday.

That's it for now. Back to optimizing software.

The way the cookie crumbles

On our trip to Ravinia Park Sunday afternoon, we brought along a cookie White House "because it's a project," according to the person who purchased it. A team worked diligently through the pre-concert picnic and constructed this:

The concert included Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture," which is notable because the War of 1812 was not the best time for the Executive Mansion. (Of course, that's not the war Tchaikovsky was writing about.) So the trip home actually didn't go so poorly, but the South Portico suffered some damage:

We will not be eating this thing. But it was fun to put together, and only cost $4.

Later this afternoon, I'll have time to read...

It's right there in black and white

Chicago saw the end of an era today:

The final Chicago-made Oreo cookies will roll off the line Friday, ending the iconic cookie's decadeslong run of delighting consumers and providing good-paying union jobs on the Southwest Side.

The last Oreo line at the Mondelez International plant is shutting down as the global snack and confectionary company shifts some of its production to Mexico. As part of the move announced last summer, the company said it would be laying off about half of the plant's 1,200 workers; many of them are already gone. The Chicago plant will continue to make other products, like BelVita breakfast biscuits and Mini Chips Ahoy cookies. Oreo cookies will continue to be made at three other plants in the U.S. — just not at the brick bakery at 7300 S. Kedzie Ave.

In making the decision, Mondelez executives said they could save $46 million a year by installing the so-called "lines of the future" in Salinas, Mexico, rather than Chicago.

You can get a lot of Double-Stuf for $46m.

Sometimes, ribs are just OK

Chicago actually has more than one ribfest. There's the main one in Lincoln Square, the big one in Naperville, and the ugly stepchild going on right now at Lawrence and Broadway.

Yes, Windy City Ribfest, I'm talking about you.

The "fest" is tiny, with just 6 rib vendors, three of them in such close proximity that the lines get mixed up and people trying to walk down the street nearly step on dogs' tails crossing them. And of the 6 vendors, none is spectacular.

I tried two $8 samplers, one from Porky Chicks BBQ and the other from our old friend Chicago BBQ. They were both meh. Tasty, sure; but not as epic as the bones I had from Piggery last month, or Mrs. Murphy's. And the organizers are so disorganized they don't even have a website.

Parker and I attended really only because it's about a 15-minute walk from my house. Otherwise I would skip it, as I may do next year.

But hey, even mediocre ribs are tasty.