A trip down food memory lane

I've been on a surprise US recruiting trip for my company the last 12 days or so... all on a carry on suit case. And no camera. Needless to say, I am in pain.

But, it does give me a chance to chase food memories in Chicago (I just reread my post... good times!)... In four days, here's what transpired:

Arrived in Chicago on Tuesday morning. Went to Gibson's for steak. The 22 ounce Chicago Cut was a bit too much so I settled for the 10 ounce Filet Mignon. The surface was way too crusty and it seemed that the meat was simply sub-par. And the $14 Turtle pie for 10 people only came in one size. Arg!

Tuesday dinner, met up with b-school friends at new restaurant Gilt. Great restaurant with great food (Bone Marrow toast, pork belly, roast chicken, and some spicy pasta were all memorable and worth another try)... see? You want to see pictures, right? Me too.

Wed lunch. I was hoping to have Apple Pancakes at the Original Pancake House to honor 2R. It was not to be - I had lunch at the GSB cafeteria.

Wed dinner. Planned to meat up with Bainees at Frontera Grill. Wait was too long, so we walked pass Michelin 2 star restaurant NAHA, and ended up in Italian chain Maggianos. At least the lobster pasta was really good.

Wed night. After Maggianos, I met up with BSLW and PP at the Wit Bar. Drinks were okay. Conversations were great (I miss b school so much). And the best was the making out couple sitting across from us. Actually, not sure if they are a couple, if you know what I mean.

Thur lunch. Fogo de Chao with GSB friend. I had 10 pieces of bread, at least. Good times. Meat was great, but why do they insist of giving you double portions? I want to sample more meat. And more bread. Did I mention I ate 10 of those at least?

Fri lunch. Planned to pass by Hot Doug on my way to Kellogg. It was not to be with the super long line outside the restaurant. I had some left over turkey sandwich after my presentation.

Fri dinner. Joy Yee in Evanston. Nuff said... (not in the most complimentary way... it is Evanston afterall).

At least I caught a good movie in The Next three Days.


Red,Waiting for Superman

Oh, I forgot the best reason for going to theaters in the US of A: 2fers!!!

My only regret for this 2fer is that I paid for Red and didn't contribute to the box office of Waiting for Superman.

RED: As a rule, when Morgan Freeman and John Malkovich (and Helen Mirren!) are in the same movie, you should go see it. I had no idea this was a DC Comic movie. Bruce Willis is still Bruce Willis, doing his squinting routine and "I need to look both surprised and confident at the same time" look. Malkovich is absolutely off the hook funny. Oh, and there's that hot housewife from Weeds (she can't act - but the role she got was perfect for her... in fact, I'm pretty sure she's still playing the drug dealing house mom role in this movie, awed by all the acting talent that has surrounded her). Anyway, a rule is a rule. Recommended.

Waiting for Superman: Thankfully Red was actually funny. Waiting for Superman is a depressing documentary about the education system in the US of A. It is broken, and it doesn't want to fix itself. Thankfully the director offers a glimmer of hope with all the new types of schools that greatly expose the deficiencies of the US public schools. The only problem: there aren't enough of these new schools. Nonetheless, I hope public school administrators and teachers see this movie... they will become obsolete unless they start to address the problem: that education is about the kids and not about the adults.


The Next Three Days

I do miss theaters in the US of A. In Hong Kong, movie watching is complicated - you must first reserve tickets ahead of time. Who plans to watch a movie a week before it is released!?

Anyway, it's a lovely feeling when you can just walk up to the movies and have no idea what might happen in the next 2 hours. When the theater was filled with Wizard dressing Harry Potter fans on its first night of release, I chose to watch The Next Three Days starring Russell Crowe.

The story: Russell Crowe, a middle school teacher, insists that his wife is innocent of a murder that has put her behind bars for life. He is on a mission to break her out of prison. That's right, Wentworth Miller is replaced by Russell Crowe in Prison Break.

But it is a surprisingly good Prison Break on the movie screens. Instead of focusing on HOW Crowe is going to break his wife out, the movie follows Crowe's struggle to make ends meet and his commitment to the cause. The first hour is in fact rather slow as you can imagine... but quickly builds amazing tension entering the last half and hour or so. Does he do it? Does he not do it? How far is he willing to go? How is he going to pull this off? Is he going to make it?

Forget how realistic that a middle school teacher can break out his wife from prison. It doesn't matter. I enjoy movies like this one - more on the person and peoples involved and less on actions (See Unstoppable). Highly recommended.


Salt, Blind Side, Unstoppable

Now here is a trio of forgettable movies:

Salt: At the start, you see a naked Jolie being tortured by some North Korean agents. Well, you don't actually see it, cus she's in a very dark room (why does torture always happen in a dark room?). Anyway, she's released and 3 years later she is a Russian spy killing Russian presidents and US presidents and trying to launch nuclear missiles to wipe out the US... or was that Russia, I can't tell. WHAT!? Not recommended.

Blind Side: Arg, I had such hope to see a great Sandra Bulluck performance. I saw an average performance of a role that she should master. Otherwise, it was a simple feel good story that just felt okay with me. At some point, I want to see some real Oscar worthy movies! (Hurt Locker, An Education did not meet expectations). If you like predictable feel good stories, recommended.

Unstoppable: Well, classic Denzel movie. He's a 28 year railroad veteran trying to stop a train with dangerous chemicals running straight towards a populated town. The only thing missing is his drinking problem and family struggles and his angry side. Oh wait, he was asked to retire early at half benefits - yup, that's gotta be his fuel. Actually, forget about this movie. Not recommended.

You know, I really enjoy taking pictures and writing... it's too bad that I haven't done either for such a long time. Let me try to extend this.