Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Charlotte 500, Lap 22: Hotel Charlotte

Hotel Charlotte is not actually a hotel. It's a restaurant with a focus on cajun, seafood and beer. I won't say much else other than that the food was okay - I had salmon and Tiffany had chopped steak - not great, just okay. The service was slow and weird. Over the course of a long race, not every lap is going to be all that exciting. So it is with lap 22 on my list - not bad, not great, just kinda there, though there was a train that ran overhead on a track suspended from the ceiling. It's like one of those laps that are run during a commercial break, which is a good description for Hotel Charlotte since I don't have a picture for you!

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Saturday, February 02, 2008

The 2008 Bob Miller Memorial Super Bowl Eat-O Festival

The Super Bowl - the first major food holiday on the calendar after New Years Day - has arrived, and, with it, a Chicago tradition I'll miss the most.

The first time I really paid close attention to the Super Bowl was the Bears victory in 1986. I remember that I got out of bed about a half hour before kick-off, just in time for a breakfast of frozen pizza, Totino's I believe, which was, in those days, the greatest treat imaginable. Since then, I have taken part in a number of what were intended to be annual Super Bowl traditions. First was watching the game at a sister's house. That lasted two years. Then it was with a group from Des Plaines Bible Church - one year. Then a co-worker's house - one year, but it would have been two were it not for a last-minute trip to Houston from which I came home feeling a little groggy.

Finally, one of our traditions stuck - watching the game, and eating way too much, at my brother-in-law Bob's house in Fox Lake. Every Super Bowl Sunday since 2001, when the Ravens beat the Giants, I made the long, usually cold, trek up Illinois 59 to watch the big game, and eat, with Bob and my sister Rene, who also lives up in the far reaches of Lake County. Although I'm not a big eater, it just isn't the Super Bowl if you don't have a food injury by half time. And Bob is the best host for that kind of party, providing a wide array of snacks, including crackers, cheese and sausage, fruit, nuts, shrimp, and, of course, every kind of eat-o you can think of - Doritos, Cheetos, Fritos, etc. Oh, and don't forget the Diet Pepsi!

Sadly, the tradition comes to an end tomorrow. Although I won't be spending this Super Bowl Sunday at Bob's, I am prepared! Bob and Rene will be foremost in my mind as the Patriots and Giants square off in Arizona.  So, in memory of the great Bob Miller Super Bowl Eat-O Festival, keep the Mylanta and the Pepto near at hand, and go Bears!

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