Friday, March 27, 2015

Sushi Time Elmhurst: Now Open


Sandwiched right between Fitz's Spare Keys and the York Furrier on York Street in Downtown Elmhurst is a 'new' place called Sushi Time.  3 Years ago, I posted about how this same restaurant changed over from Elmhurst Chop Suey to the Pagoda Bistro.

Now, they're (I think?) trying to give the Sushi Nest a run for it's money by focusing on Sushi.  The reviews - thus far - on Yelp seem pretty positive.  With all the vacant storefronts in the City Centre, it is good to see another entrepreneur try to make it.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Sticker Shield - For Your Vehicle Stickers


Out in Elmhurst, we're required to put vehicle stickers on our car every year.  That could be a pain if you had to scrap and scratch to get them off each year.  But, since I found this Sticker Shield product at the check-out line of Menards, I've kinda secretly enjoyed pulling off and putting on the stickers in the cars each year.

Sticker Shield just feels like something I would have posted about here on the blog, but a quick look through the archives doesn't turn anything up.

This stuff is pretty great - if you use it right.  You take your vehicle sticker and 'stick' it to one side of the Sticker Shield.  Then you cut the Sticker Shield to just a bit 'bigger' than your vehicle sticker.  Then...apply *that* to the inside of your car window.  Basically it makes your vehicle sticker into a super-strong 'window cling' that can be peeled off with your fingers pretty easily.

Wouldn't think about putting a vehicle sticker on my cars without this stuff any longer.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Soupman Soup: (No) Soup For You, Menards!


The Soup Nazi has shown up at - of all places - Menards.   And it is on sale.

But, either the package designers are lazy or they're super savvy.  Why?  Because...check out the photo below:  they mention the show, but call it "Sinefeld", not "Seinfeld".  Typo or purposeful typo so they wouldn't have to deal with royalties/copyrights, etc?  Guessing....just plain 'ole dumb mistake.

You can see from the photo below that the Soup Nazi's real name is Al Yeganeh - and it seems he's growing!  There's the ability to franchise his stores and he's signed up Shaq as his spokesman.

Will admit, we passed up these cartons of soup from Menards mostly because I don't normally *think* of Menards as the place to get my soup.  But...maybe we missed an opportunity?


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

New Illini logos On Coors Light Coasters


We were out at Fitz's on St. Patrick's Day and I spotted these coasters on our table.

Good to see the 'new' Block I out there being used (notice the inside curves on the top/bottom of the I).  Too bad that the squad not only missed the Big Dance, but also got run out of the gym in the NIT.

Winning the Chicago market for the team means being in/around sports bars.  This small touch - these coasters - is a nice move for the team and the brand.

Guessing this is coming out of the relationship that was established when the Illini named Coors Light the 'official beer' of the Fighting Illini back last fall.  Nat got me a shirt for Christmas with the new branding on it, but I still have LOADS of the old stuff in my drawers/closets.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Senator Mark Kirk At Elmhurst College - April 9th


Elmhurst College - here in Elmhurst - have posted their latest posters around town inviting the public to a session as part of their "Government Forum" series featuring Senator Mark Kirk entitled:  America's Challenges: At Home and Abroad.  It is going to be moderated by the Chicago Tribune's Bruce Dold.   I took this photo of the poster in one of the storefronts in the City Centre.

I posted another of these back in 2013 that featured (now Governor) Bruce Rauner coming to Elmhurst College here.

The series is the creation of former Illinois House Speaker/Minority Leader Lee Daniels.  Daniels started the "Government Forum" at the College.

Senator Kirk's session, however isn't taking place at the college.  Instead, they've moved it to Drury Lane.  Guessing they're expecting a much bigger crowd?  Also...the Rauner event was 'free' where-as this Kirk event costs $40 and includes lunch.  From the Elmhurst College site:
The Elmhurst College Governmental Forum brings together the state’s foremost governmental and civic leaders, business experts and policy analysts to discuss the most important economic and governance issues facing our state and our nation. In previous years, the Governmental Forum has welcomed former Illinois governors James Thompson and Jim Edgar, Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives Michael J. Madigan and Business Roundtable President John Engler, among many others. 
The 2015 Forum, titled America’s Challenges: At Home and Abroad, will take place at the Drury Lane Conference Center in Oakbrook Terrace on Thursday, April 9, at 11:30 a.m. Tickets are $40 and include lunch. 
This year’s featured speaker is U.S. Senator Mark Kirk, who has been the Republican senator from Illinois since 2010 and who serves on the committees for appropriations, banking, HELP (Health, Education, Labor & Pensions) and Aging. Senator Kirk also is the ranking Republican on the Appropriations Subcommittee for Military Construction and Veterans Affairs. 
This year's moderator is Bruce Dold, editorial page editor of the Chicago Tribune. Dold has been reporting and writing about city, state and national politics for the Tribune since 1978 and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1994. Since he became editorial page editor in 2000, the Tribune's editorial board has received more than a dozen awards and a Pulitzer Prize.
You can buy tickets by visiting the Elmhurst College site here.  

Sunday, March 22, 2015

We Met The Mayor Of Disney World's Main Street, USA


Christopher George Weaver is the Mayor of Main Street USA at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom.  "Pull the lever and vote for Weaver!" is his slogan.

Did you even know that Main Street, USA at Disney World had a Mayor?  I'm not sure I did.

But...as we entered the park one morning, Nat spotted him walking around Main Street.  We chased him down and asked for a photo.  He pulled his card out and gave us one.  Mr. Weaver said that this card would get us in the 'back of any line in the entire park'.  After a little chit-chat, we took a photo with him and the girls and he couldn't have been a nicer guy.

And who doesn't like his honesty, right?  All politicians should be so forthcoming with their intentions...



Saturday, March 21, 2015

Disney's 'Direct To Room Check-In' Worked Perfectly


We got back from our trip down to DisneyWorld in Orlando and I wanted to share some of the new 'things' that we experienced.  I'll do that over the next few days, but wanted to share one that impressed me quite a bit out of the gate.

We've been to Disney the past few years and wore MagicBands.  They're always worked flawlessly (for us!).  But this year, right before we went on our trip, we read about a new 'Direct-to-room' program where Disney will alert you via text and/or email that your room is ready and you can just arrive there.  The impressive part here is that your bands will just *magically* work!

So, we arrived in the mid-morning, checked out gear with the Bell Desk and then headed out to one of the parks.  Sometime in the mid-afternoon, I received a text and this email above telling me that our room was ready and what the room number was.  (I blurred it out...not sure why...but figured it was just better to not have it posted here!).

This worked perfect for us as my Mom went up to the room ahead of time and set up some 'surprises' for the kids while we were down filling in our resort mugs.

The crazy part is that this TOTALLY removes any necessary contact with the front desk.  And I'm totally fine with that.  If this was my first trip to Disney, I would probably want to talk to somebody and get that 'in person' treatment.  But, for us?  Things went perfectly.  Not only did we get the email and our bands worked to open the door.  Our luggage from the Magic Express and what we checked when we arrived as *just there*.

I think that this removes a layer of complexity and gives you and your family back just 10 to 15 minutes you can use at the parks or in the resorts.  Good on you, Disneynerds.  I want more of this coming from the MagicBand program!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Mixing Up The Toppings? Don't Mind If I Do

Just yesterday, I showed a few 'progress' shots of my latest Detroit-style pies.  While I'm pleased with how they're turning out, I think I've been stuck in a rut in terms of what they're made out of on toppings.  I go with sausage/pepperoni or soppressata almost everytime on one of the pies.  BBQ chicken is another common one.  I think I need to mix it up a bit.  

For the past two weeks, I've been staring at this post by Adam Kuban on Slice/Serious Eats from 2012 that shows a pie called the Saint Louie from a joint in Brooklyn.  It has provel on it - which all pizzanerds know about as a St. Louis exclusive.  And...I won't be copying that, but the toppings are interesting to me and I think there's likely a way to go a bit more "Chicago" by thinking about using giardiniera instead of the pickled peppers?  That kinda takes it away from 'nachos', though?  Ever had a pizza that reminded you of nachos?  The photos below tell the story.

From the story:
The nacho comparison should have come to me sooner, given that the Saint Louie is topped with pickled chiles in addition to a very good house-made Italian sausage (and pepperoni whose presence was barely discernable). It's a winning combo.
This photo is from the Serious Eats pizza here.



Thursday, March 19, 2015

An Update To My Detroit-Style Pizza (A Progress Report)


I took this photo a week or so back ago at my in-laws place.  I was able to make a few pizzas for our Sunday night dinner over there.  On the left (in portrait mode) is a sausage and soppressata combo and on the right (in landscape mode) is a half bbq pulled pork (on the left) and cheese/tomato (on the right).

A few notes:  The pie on the right was baked in one of my primary pans.  Meaning...it is well seasoned and has no trouble coming out of the pan.  On the left, that pie was cooked in one of my 'newer' pans.  I've been trying to rotate one of them in (I have 8 total!) on occasion to build up the seasoning on each of them a little bit at a time.  The problem is that I RARELY need to have all 8 going at once and usually only cook two pies at a time.  That means, my primary pans are in tip-top shape, but the other 6 go idle most of the time.  Unfortunately...when that once a year occasion arises and I have to cook more than 2 pies, I always stress about the shape of my 'back-up' pans and worry if I'll be able to extract the cooked skins out of them without trouble.

I'm really pleased with the progress I've made and they're starting to come out more uniform in terms of cooking level and taste.  Been three-ish years, so I supposed the progress should be expected.  But, still...to me, it is good to note.

This 'rotation' process is going to take A LONG time, but I think it is the right thing to do.  The 'second' pie might suffer a bit because it isn't being cooked in one of the most seasoned pans, but that's ok as I'm likely the only one to notice the difference.

As for the pulled pork:  Nat made a shoulder in a dutch oven earlier in the week so I figured it was worth trying as a topping on the pie.  It was great, but lightening won't strike twice, I'm guessing in terms of the availability of the pork.  In terms of taste, I think it was marginally better than chicken, but that's likely because of the liquid gold that it was topped with:  TJ's Carolina Gold sauce.

Both pies are topped with the same 'border' and interior cheese.  I'm not yet ready to disclose the 'border' cheese, but as always, the interior/top cheese is the BEST available:  Chellino Scamorza.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Shopkins Are The Devil


Have you heard of these little things called Shopkins?  You haven't?

Well, let me tell you:  they're the devil.  My daughter is obsessed with them.  Seriously.  O-B-S-E-S-S-E-D.  They cause the biggest smiles AND the biggest tears in my house.  Yet, I can't divorce myself from them totally.  I keep enabling her with them.  For shame, Jake.  For shame.

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