Friday, October 29, 2004

Old Chicago - Blogger's Paradise

Inspired by Chumley's restaurant reviews at Plastic Hallway, I have one of my own to offer. Sort of.

Anyway, I am currently sitting at the Old Chicago restaurant in (actually in the parking lot of) Northtown Mall. And I have discovered a blogger's paradise.

Check this out...

I stopped in for lunch with my laptop, thinking I ought to format a document I wrote for work this morning. I pop out the laptop and a free wireless network announces itself. Would I like to connect? Why, yes. Yes I would.

The bartender, a clean-cut fellow with a professional demeanor quickly rounded the bar to come to my booth. Would I like a beer? Why, yes. Yes once again, I would. Let's check the list. Great googily-moogily! The list of draft beers is over 20. By the bottle we go into the dozens at least. I ask for information about an unfamiliar one, and the bartender is able to describe it perfectly. I'll have one of those thanks. And a menu.

What to order? I had eaten at an Old Chicago ages ago, and generally thought of it as a pizza place. But what I was really in the mood for - the reason I stopped in here in the first place - was buffalo wings. My recollection was that they were good here.

And indeed, a platter of 10 arrived (half traditional, and half "firehouse jalapeno" by my request) shortly. Another pleasant surprise. These weren't merely wings. These were 10 big fat drummies. The traditional style were as good as I recalled. And the fire house jalapeno were truly fiery and jalapenoey. Another nice surprise. They came with both bleu cheese and ranch sauce, the former of which I prefer as that's the way God and the Anchor Bar intended it. Delicious.

While I dined, I perused the blogosphere. And that's when I realized. I may never leave here again.

Well.. okay. Maybe at closing time. (Imagining call home: "Dear, I'm going to be late tonight. Work is just too much to finish before... oh... 1am or so. What? What's that music and raucous revelry in the background? Umm... the... marketing department? Hello? Hello?)

Ok, one limiting factor. No electric outlets, so I suppose my stay is limited by battery life (I knew I needed a spare battery!).

On a side note: The Summit Seasonal beer on tap is their Oatmeal Stout. To my knowledge this is the first time Summit has put out an Oatmeal Stout. It's thick. Chewy. And halfway into it, I still can't tell whether I love it or loathe it. Guiness is my benchmark for stout. But Guiness is smoothe with a capital S. This is rough and assertive. If Guiness is Gayle Sayers, this stout is John Riggins (football analogy for those going Huh?!). This is one unique beer in any case. But I'd only recommend it to the adventurous. Check that. The bartender informs me this beer is especially popular with non-beer drinkers. I am totally puzzled how that can be. But he's in a position to know.

Anyway, back to the restaurant. It's also not very crowded at lunch-time. So I have this nice big booth - let's call it Blogstation November (This is the fourth booth, in a row of five. I've dubbed the preceding ones Delta, Romeo, Uniform and the one after this is Kilo. I went a long way for a weak joke there if you're in the mood to search for it.). - all to myself. And an attentive bartender to keep the drink and food coming as often as I'd like.

Eventually, I'm even going to get around to formatting that document (and incidentally, no, I'm not on the clock. What do I look like? A lawyer?).

Need a place to blog, eat good food, and drink good beer? Old Chicago is your ticket.


Blogger Kurt (aka Noodles) said...

I frequent the Old Chicago in Minnetonka but never thought of bringing the laptop with. (Mrs. Noodles frowns on too much computer time and does need some attention!) Not sure if they have the wireless network but I intend to find out. I can think of nothing better than wings, beer, and a good post in the making. Depending on the quantity of the quality beers I might consider "save as draft" as opposed to "publish post".

7:54 PM  
Blogger PolicyGuy said...

Glad it works out for you. I've never tried a wireless setup at Old Chicago. The beer selection is fine, but I've given up on the place; the food is just lousy. The fried appetizers (chicken finger, cheese, or whatever it was) was only so-so. As for the pizza, I've had better luck from stuff out of the frozen foods section. And THAT is a sad statement.

9:57 PM  
Blogger R-Five said...

I agree with Mrs. Noodles - there are times and places to leave the laptop home. And I must also agree with Policy Guy about the food. Edible, typical of bar food today, but Keegan's it ain't.

10:23 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Keegan's with wireless?! D*mn, that is one dangerous idea.

As for the food at Old Chicago, I truly only had their buffalo wings. But I don't judge a place like this on the same scale I would Goodfellows, D'Amico Cucina, or La Belle Vie. I have certain expectations about a restaurant like this, and Old Chicago definitely exceded them.

But good beer, wireless, and buffalo wings is a scary-good combo. Plus... they broadcast Vikings games live. I'm sticking with my endorsement.

9:37 PM  

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