Monday, April 30, 2007

Winged Exaltation

The best coffee in Chicago, now with a new look. They used to have a capital I, encaged in a French press, shooting out powerful, caffienated lightning bolts. All in a sort of subtle palate of blues and creams. It gave off an appropriate vibe for coffee. Enter new logo, which Tamalehawk approves of more than his hollow scapulars can express. The lines and colors are as bold as the beans inside, and the wings create a new vibe for the company: one of quiet dominance. The coffee cup is ascending to a plane higher than any mortal can reach. Towards the star of ethical, roasting supremacy. Plus, the bag has a manifesto on it. Wings + manifesto = success. And that shadow in the corner is not a photographic miscalculation. It is a coffee wraith so deal with it.

Today the Tamalehawk was both rescued and assaulted by a double-cheeseburger and chicken snack wrap from McDonald's. A heads-up play by Meador. Wrapping a chicken finger in a tortilla makes all participating food cultures sad and sheepish, but it made TH happy.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Allium Sativum In Aeternum

Arguably the cornerstone of the Essentials series. At the very least, a prominent keystone atop a main entranceway where all who enter can reverently nod. The Tamalehawk acknowledges the danger and delight inherent in the garlic manifesto. He adheres to its tenants tenaciously. He hopes it will conquer the fear he has of the Kale That Will Not Be Denied (KTWNBD) which is currently making itself comfortable in his fridge.

Highlight: Surprisingly good pork enchilada at El Jardin. Not the green one on Roscoe, but the white one a block north. Suspect service which he's willing to consider an anomaly. Weird beers at Sheffields, which will start serving food on Tuesday. Tamalehawk plied the bar staff for answers to his myriad menu questions. Answers: they will specialize in barbecue (you don't say?) and offer a limited but refined menu of sandwiches and salads. Odds are on some kind of wrap. Not knowing the setup they have in their newly outfitted kitchen, Tamalehawk couldn't accurately speculate any further. There is only one way to be sure.

With Everything

A critical installment in the Essentials series, Tamalehawk turns to hot sauce whenever the eatscape seems uncertain. He knows to confide in the rooster for versatility and flavor; that the rooster transcends condiment status, achieving a permanent residence on the lazy susan beside traditional workhorses salt and pepper.

For lunch, Tamalehawk ate Potbelly's, a Chicago staple. Meatball on wheat with everything, because anytime you get the option to say "with everything" in a restaurant you should quickly do so. Also their sugar cookies border on undercooked in the way that makes you feel bad and good at the same time. And their shakes, well, everyone knows that their shakes stand up to those from the finest malt shops. Dinner consisting of burger medium-rare with vintage stilton cheese and port caramelized onions from The Knot, an Irish place that always has a cupcake of the month, to which you should mark your calendars by. Clear your schedule for the month that has the cupcake that is entirely deep fried. You'll need time to prepare, reflect, and recover.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Silent Threat

They should have known better. Congregated there, unzested, unsquozen, in the brightest of colors, trumpeting their presence to all. He was incensed by their blatant visibility. They are like the man who rides the elephant idly in the tall grass of the Serengeti. Does he not see the tiger waiting to pounce but ten yards away? The Tamalehawk saw this on YouTube today and assessed it as the greatest 35 seconds on the internet. It made him hungry, as all tiger footage does.

Today he again feasted on zero breakfast. It creates a fascinating pit in his stomach. He ate pizza from Spacca Napoli on Sunnyside and Ravenswood and seriously, have you tried this place? The Tamalehawk stared the question straight into the souls of passers-by. He ate a Montanara pizza, which had salami, prosciutto, ricotta cheese, olives, mushrooms, and tomato sauce. For dinner he had a few beers, part of a discounted chicken quesadilla, a medium-rare burger with Swiss cheese, and pasta salad. And handfuls of popcorn that Martin thought cost money but was as free as could be.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Metal Embrace

Trying to locate Old Style in a bottle proved tougher than the time Tamalehawk air-raided a canopy full of common marmosets in search of coveted figs in Brazil. Not easy. The grocer seemed uninterested in considering this an impasse and thus circumnavigated it aloofly. Regardless, the aluminum cans do the trick in a utilitarian manner that pleased the Tamalehawk. After all, it is hard to beat the crack-splash of a cold one after a long day of being angry. And the price was right in his range.

For sustenance, the Tamalehawk ate zero breakfast but coffee. He had a turkey, baloney, arugula, and cheese sandwich for lunch, followed by an oversize and undersweet apple. He paused soberly to reflect on the role arugula was playing in his life. Produce is like a live grenade, sitting in your crisper waiting to explode if you don't eat it. For dinner he ate pierogies and a bowl of spinach leaf transfers. Followed by two cookies of the chocolate chip persuasion. Hunger temporarily neutralized.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Earth Provides

You may never master the parsnip. It lives in the dirt. It doesn't need anything to survive that doesn't happen naturally on this planet. The Tamalehawk is jealous of this fortitude. He ate them with reverence. The parsnip purveyor vaunted their delciousness when eaten raw, claiming them to be akin to carrot. Tamalehawk overlooked the unfortunate carrot allusion and purchased a small organic Ziploc bag full anyway. Raw, these brave root vegetables have a pronounced ginger-licorice flavor. Texture-wise, they are dense and take a little more determination to chew. Final assessment: Not for everyday snacking. The singular taste could be regarded as offputting and a child will most certainly abandon it in the hallway.

The Tamalehawk lost a battle with a granola bar that broke in half and plunged into the swirling black of his morning coffee. For lunch, he had a baloney, cheese, and arugula sandwich. For dinner, he had breaded porkchops, spinach salad, and braised parsnips in herb butter. Cooked, the parsnips adopt a far more mild flavor. Covered in butter and chives, this surreptitious vegetable gets its day in the sun.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Endless Hunger

The Tamalehawk had trouble sleeping last night. He couldn't decode the mysteries of arugula stems. Would they easily puree into a pesto like their leafy brethren? Or are they too fibrous? The condiment possiblities were incalculable. He tried to calculate them but the darkness eventually waited him out.

That day, he ate a turkey, arugula, pepperoncini, and cheese sandwich. Cooperation from the microwave made it an enjoyable respite from the bleak non-eating hours that proceeded it. Later, he ate ham, cheese, and spinach rolled into cooked lasagne noodles. The microwave complied again, bringing this feeding to a successful close. Moments later, the microwave completed a thankless trifecta by gently making a storebought cookie feel like home.