The Good, The Bad and The Tasty

May 3, 2015 at 2:33 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )



Um yum!

My favorite sushi place is closing.

You may wonder how a vegetarian has a favorite sushi place so let me tell you about Grand Katachi. This unassuming restaurant is between my apartment and the el so I pass it at least two times every day. Their décor featured everything from anime porcelain dolls to a pond of koi fish to a stuffed Tweety Bird in a cage, so I obviously appreciated it. They also offered a very good selection of vegetarian sushi rolls, including avocado and cream cheese and sweet potato. Plus it was a BYOB place and what’s not to like about that? Anyway, Scott and I have made this our go-to sushi place and we have had some great meals there. In fact, it’s where I had my birthday dinner just last year! We’ve brought friends and family there and, as far as I know, everyone always had a tasty time. And now they’re closing, with more no notice than a handmade sign on their door that reads “Closing, thank you for the support”. I couldn’t believe it when I saw it two days ago and went into mourning right away. However, life must move on and so must decent restaurant spaces. I walked by again last night and there’s a sign advertising the place moving in and – GUYS – it’s a Vegetarian Express!  AN ACTUAL COMPLETELY VEGETARIAN RESTAURANT WITHIN MINUTES OF MY FRONT DOOR! AND THEY DELIVER SO I DON’T EVEN HAVE TO LEAVE THE HOUSE OR PUT ON PANTS!!! I was on the phone with my mom when I passed by and I stopped to do a happy dance on the sidewalk. She thought I was having a seizure or something but my joy just could not be contained!

But this is going to be a problem. There is actually already a Vegetarian Express not terribly far away and Scott and I have been there many times as well. Their sandwiches are amazing, their guacamole is handmade right in front of you and they have a juice bar with more selections than a Starbucks. It also delivers but we’re just outside of the right radius so we’ve limited our trips to when we’re in that area. But now, with one so close? I’ll basically be moving in. And also subjecting anyone and everyone to meals in the glorious company of seitan and tofu goodness. In the event I have no takers, I’ll just have to eat all of their food myself. Luckily there are still a couple of sushi places within walking distance so I guess we’ll just have to try them out. But honestly, with the Vegetarian Express right there I may never eat anywhere else again!

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October Book Club Review

October 22, 2013 at 2:25 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

We had a smaller group than normal because one of our regulars was unable to make it but the three of us who showed up managed to have a really good time.  We went to Jaiyen-Sushi n Noodle in Boystown because we all had a hankering for some sushi – and we were not disappointed!  I made a reservation just in case and we were seated next to two really large aquariums, which was a nice touch and gave good ambiance.

Oh, you guys!

The restaurant is BYOB so we all pulled out our beer and wine and enjoyed not having to pay a corking fee.  I know that as a vegetarian my views on sushi experiences are somewhat limited but I enjoy the heck out of a good roll and this place provided lots of those.  I had a sweet potato roll along with one full of avocado while another gal had one stuffed with asparagus (those were the only ones on the table I tried).  They were all really good but the sweet potato took home the cake.  It had cream cheese and other vegetables and I seriously almost ordered a third roll but I didn’t want to keep us there all evening.  Which translates as: I will be going back with my own bottle of wine to keep myself there all evening sometime soon.

To get us in the Halloween spirit, we read Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice.  The only other Anne Rice novel I’ve read before was the series The Witching Hour.  I really enjoyed that first book but by the time I was three books into that trilogy, I was over it.  Interview was based in the same world and a lot of it took place in New Orleans, which I always appreciate.  I’ve seen the memorable movie with Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt and Kirsten Dunst but it’s been many years so I didn’t really remember specific plot points.  The story is based on a vampire telling his life story over the course of an evening to a journalist who records their talk on tape.  It’s a good premise and certainly was fascinating to read about the early life of this vampire but to be honest, I felt the vampire himself was a little…boring.  He retained a lot of his humanity and it made it hard to remember he was supposed to be this monster who preys on human flesh.  The story he told really dragged on towards the end and some of his moral issues were honestly a little dull to me.  I did like some of his interactions with other vampires and his “daughter” especially and I also liked how the setting took place in a few locations.  I enjoyed the ending too and can see how it set up for the next books in the series.

All in all, another good book club night.  I think the next place we’re going is BYOB too so that’s just something else to look forward to!

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Whirlwind Weekend

March 29, 2010 at 2:38 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

I was busier this weekend than I’ve been in a long time.  Friday night was spent with a new friend at her place, eating a delicious dinner and drinking wine.  She lives in an incredibly nice building right on Lake Michigan (it’s the tallest one in this photo).  When she moved to the city earlier this year, she didn’t really give herself a lot of time for apartment hunting and wound up signing a lease without much research.  That’s why she’s living in a place half the size of mine but paying twice the rent (I seriously doubt she’ll be renewing her lease).  I will admit, though, that’s it’s an impressive building with an amazing view of the lake.  I actually called her when the cab dropped me off because I wasn’t sure I should be going in anyplace so fancy.

Cab, you say?  Yes, I know I usually shun that pricey mode of transportation.  However, I got myself a bit turned around downtown and figured it was easier to hail a taxi than to walk another 30 minutes.  This was after I had mentally patted myself on the back for feeling so much more comfortable getting around downtown – guess it served me right.  Hubris is a dangerous thing.

After my fun evening, I made my way back home on the train.  It was somewhere between 1 and 2am and the trains were crowded, but mine was even more so because some drunk had sicked all over one of the seats.  Of course, everyone was avoiding that particular area, making the rest of the car feel like a sardine can with a slightly less pleasant smell.  Gotta love public transportation.

I woke up Saturday and went to the library, where I downloaded a program on my laptop that will allow me to connect to the internet using the wireless on my cell phone.  You have no idea how nice it is to actually be able to get online in my living room again.  It’s been roughly two months since the connection I was pirating began using a password, so I’m pretty stoked to be able to peruse the internet in my underwear once again.  In all fairness, I could probably do that at the library, though it might be frowned upon.  You just never know with those public institutions.

After the library, I made my way back downtown to meet up with an old friend from high school.  She was in the city with a friend of hers for a mini vacation and since we hadn’t seen each other in, oh, eight odd years, a drink was in order.  Many drinks, as it turned out.  I found her at a bar quite easily and gave myself yet another pat on the back (hubris be damned).  Then the drinking began.  We stayed at bar #1 for a while (Dublin’s, seen here on the left) and enjoyed drinking overpriced beer.  After that we meandered to bar #2, which is here on the right.  We weren’t there long enough to catch any live music but we did manage to have a conversation with a group of middle-aged women about the practice of bedazzling female nether regions.  Guess I have Jennifer Love-Hewitt to thank for that one.  If you’re confused by any of this…well, it’s best not to ask.  Those ladies were having a good time though, that’s for sure.

A buddy of mine met us at the second drinking establishment and so we had a few more rounds.  He was nice enough to pick up our tab, even after my high school friend tried to get him into a controversial political discussion.  I managed to bite my tongue while she raved about the merits of Sarah Palin (it’s fine if you like her but well…I don’t) so I was quite proud of myself for that.  Religion and politics aside (yup, we hit on both subjects), it was another fun evening.  After we left bar #2, we stopped at a sushi restaurant whose name I cannot remember or else I’d insert another photo.  I had never had sushi before and ordered some vegetarian thing with cucumber and avocado – and it was awesome.  I guess I can finally understand what the big deal is about, even if I didn’t have any raw fish in mine.

Raw fish?  Really?  *Shudder*.

My buddy and I walked the out of towners back to their hotel after our meal, as they had an early flight the next morning.  Not he and I, though.  We made our way to yet another place whose name I’m blanking on, and imbibed in just a few more beers (is it any wonder I’m spacing on specifics?).  We also found our way to the pool table, where we surprisingly dominated.  We played against a team that had been sweeping the table all night and we promptly knocked them off of their throne with a pretty sweet win.  I even made the winning shot, which pretty much never happens.  They weren’t going down without a fight, though, so there was the rematch to end all rematches.  We were neck and neck for a while but alas,  it wasn’t meant to be.  My partner was pretty hard on himself (he accidentally knocked in the blasted eight ball a bit too soon) but I was honestly pretty impressed with of our pool playing abilities, especially given the fact that it had been eons since either of us had played.  Perhaps this guy and I should create a formidable hustling team and start taking people down left and right?  It could be a nice way to supplement our incomes.  Thoughts from my fellow pool shark?

Saturday night ended on a high note, not in the least because we didn’t encounter any puke on the commute home.  I woke up bright and early (for me) on Sunday and, after finding a spectacular deal on two pair of shoes (I’m not much of a shopper but I do appreciate a great price) I topped off my eventful weekend with an afternoon at my all-time favorite place in the city.  That’s right, the Field Museum.

I won’t get into a huge description of my trip there, mostly because I already did that in a post back in November or December.  I will say that I was able to catch the Diamond Exhibit once last time before it closes tomorrow and of course, I managed to hit all of my favorite spots in the museum.  That includes the mummies, who for some reason will always have a special place in my heart.  I could literally stare at their disintegrating wrappings for hours on end (and I almost did on Sunday, until the workers started closing up the museum and kicked me out).  The shrunken young boy you see to the right is there and he’s one of the mummies I always pay a visit to.

As I made my way home from the museum, I was able to help a few families who were obviously tourists find the correct bus route to get them back to their hotel.  I will admit, I administered another self-pat on the back for that.  Hopefully by the end of the summer I’ll be an old pro at getting around downtown.  It won’t be for lack of trying, that’s for sure.  I’ll master this city yet!

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