October Book Club Review

October 26, 2012 at 10:49 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )


For our book club meeting last week, we read Lord of the Flies by William Golding and ate at Vapiano in yuppie trendy Lincoln Park.  There were a couple of girls in our club who had never read Lord of the Flies before and since I own it (having read it in high school and again in college), I was all for reading it again.  For those who aren’t familiar, this book is about a group of elementary school British boys who wind up stranded on an island, sans adults.  As the reader comes to find out, there was some sort of atomic bomb (this book was written in the ’50’s) and the plane carrying these kids to safety crashed and burned en route.  So no one knows they’re there.  Cue melodramatic music here.

You know you have a classic when The Simpsons do a parody

In the beginning, the boys see this as an opportunity to run things the way they want and enjoy the freedom that those pesky grown-ups always seem to try to take away.  It doesn’t take long for them to nominate a chief and create grand plans of shelter, feasts and frolicking on the beach.  Of course, this doesn’t go as planned and soon kids are sick from the massive amounts of fruit they’re eating and their lack of protein, they’re living in shoddy huts and spending more time fighting and having nightmares than anything else.  They also manage to light the island on fire not once, but twice.  Kids I tell ya.  The fighting continues to worsen as the chief and the head hunter don’t always see eye to eye and before you know it, boys are being killed in barbaric ways as most everyone struggles for survival.  I realize that this is a bit depressing for some people but this book is really just a forefather to things like The Hunger Games.  I thought it also provided really interesting social commentary and while I won’t ruin the ending for those of you who might want to give it a go, I will say it was better than I had remembered.

Our dinner was also one of the better ones in my memory and was an interesting experience overall.  This restaurant looks swanky and super nice and when I walked in I was surprised at how large it was.  Wooden tables were arranged throughout with little lamps and greenery on each one and everyone sat on stools (not uncomfortable but not the nicest thing my butt’s ever had the pleasure of encountering…and that sounds much dirtier typed out than it did in my head.  Oh well).  The model of this place is unlike anything I’d ever seen and we were all given little menus with our own personal plastic cards upon entering.  There were various stations set up around the restaurant – the bar, pasta, pizza, appetizers etc. each had their own stop with their own respective bartender and chef.  I hit the bar first and enjoyed a rather large glass of $3.95 red wine, which can’t be beat (unless you’re buying a bottle for that price at Trader Joe’s).  After I ordered, the bartender swiped my little card and my purchase rang up on there.  Same thing for dinner – I had pizza and my card just kept accruing the charges until it was time to leave.  At that point I just walked up front and turned it in, then paid the balance.  I thought it was pretty cool to eliminate the need for a large tip (though there were jars for dollars at the various stations) and I don’t mind carrying my own food so it worked out.  I split two pizzas with a friend and both of them were huge and delicious.  I could’ve probably saved some for lunch the following day but once I started I just couldn’t stop.  At the end of the night (one big pizza and two large glasses of wine later), my tab was just over $16.  Not bad for an evening on the town!

I read some Yelp reviews and some people complained that such an upscale-looking place shouldn’t make its patrons carry their trays and use a soda fountain but you know me – I’m much more frugal than foodie and I honestly thought it was kind of cool.  The whole evening was fun and while we’re skipping a meet-up in November due to the holidays, we’ll be back on track in December with new books and new restaurants to check out!

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