We are lucky to live in a city where good restaurants are in walking distance to movie theaters. One of my friend’s favorite places is Fat Willy’s Rib Shack on Western and Schubert with a huge cineplex for a movie after.
How lucky to find another spot with the same opportunity on the other side of the city. El’s Kitchen & Bar opened three years ago and is located at 1450 W Webster Avenue. BBQ and Rock ‘N’ Roll makes a good combo. Not only can you have good food but be entertained at the same time. With the weather changing this is the perfect time to enjoy the patio.
There are daily specials to enjoy including $2 tacos and $5 margaritas on Wednesdays but the deal of the century is for $50 one app, two entrees and one dessert plus two movie tickets to the Webster movie theater across the street. You can even add two drinks on for $60. Now that is a bargain.
While listening to a band on the weekends there is lots to devour. Start off with some spinach dip. The homemade chips are irresistible. If you can’t decide for an entree then try a combo like the brisket, ribs, and chicken that is smoked for 12 hours. For an encore the Ghirardeli chocolate brownie will stuff you to the gills.
With the convenience of entertainment, good food and atmosphere these hot spots have you covered! Visit www.elskitch.com for more details.
Chicago’s very own magician Luis Carreon brings a special two night show entitled Bending Minds and Bending Dreams to the Magic, Inc. stage this week.
This new generation of magician hails straight from Mexico City combining mental feats as well as old school card tricks. He has appeared on Tengo Talento, the Spanish language equivalent of America’s Got Talent as well as an upcoming episode of Sabado Gigante. Carreon has performed for Shakira, Jim Carrey, and even the master himself Chris Angel.
We visited the illusionist at the magic store to see what tricks he has up his sleeve.
Jerry Nunn: Hi, Luis. Where are from originally?
LC: (Luis Carreon) I was born in Mexico City. I came to the United States around the age of nine. I am 23 now.
How long have you been making magic?
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With over 8,000 restaurants in Chicago to pick from it is rare that there are two of the same to try. The great thing about Viaggio is the locations are drastically different in terms of clientele. For the 1330 W. Madison Street location of Viaggio Ristorante & Lounge fans of the United Center get a chance to have some great cuisine while enjoying their favorite concert or sports event. When there is a huge Blackhawks game like the night I was hungry then head over to Viaggio at the Park, 401 W Fullerton Pkwy. This is a much quieter intimate setting to enjoy top notch comfort food. It was freezing on the night I arrived and the place was immediately warm and cozy. The service was excellent and our server went out of his way to make things great. He even had the chef put together a sampler of the meatballs with romaine salad and eggplant stack because I wanted to try both. I am glad I did. Diners can’t go wrong with either dish.
After head over to the main entrees with veal ragu with imported parmesan or “Penne in the Park” with artichoke hearts. There were so many chicken dishes that it was almost impossible to choose once again. I went with the chicken parmesan and that cheese tortellini was to die for! There is a nice sized seafood section along with steaks and a variety of veal dishes. There is just so much to pick from in this restaurant. From the drinks, apps, main dishes, and desserts this is the place to have a complete experience and a perfect spot to have a romantic date.
Viaggio translates to “journey” in English so make the trip to either location and get your taste of Italy today. Visit www.viaggiochicago.com for directions and to make a reservation.
Lifetime’s Project Runway begins season 11 with teams this time out and 16 new designers. One of them named Katelyn Pankoke makes wedding dresses in Chicago with a southern Florida style. The judges include Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia and newbie Zac Posen added into the mix.
Let’s find out how Katelyn makes it work in The Big Apple and the Windy City.
Jerry Nunn: Hi, Katelyn. I can’t believe we haven’t met before. Are you one of those designers that works all the time indoors?
Katelyn Pankoke: I never get out. Have you seen how pale I look in those pictures? [laughs]
JN: I saw you wearing the side pony with your hair.
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Miami Nice: A Golden Girls Musical brings the ’80s to the Gorilla Tango Theatre, 1919 N Milwaukee Avenue for two weeks ending tonight on the 26th.
The creation of Jeff Bouthiette, who has tons of improv and sketch comedy under his belt, Miami has some hot flashes that will warm up audiences in the cold.
The television show The Golden Girls was a hit for seven seasons thanks to a wonderful cast and smart storytelling. It is ripe for parody although Miami Nice shines when the performers are getting to the heart of the characters. Some have more success than others. Eric Muller channels Bea Arthur to great effect possibly helped by the fact that she was masculine and now played by a man. He is able to improvise well just by his quick witted sarcasm and naturalness. Audience members are asked to keep things fresh by playing Mad Libs before the show by calling out nouns and adjectives that are used in later scenes.
Gender bending is all over the place with the three leads played by men in Golden drag and Stacey Smith being the one woman stealing scenes as Sofia. Grant Drager captures mannerisms of Blanche but could have upped the southern accent a hair on that feathered wig of his.
Matt Colton doesn’t get the innocence of Betty White but he has a difficult road to go (even to St. Olaf) with her being a mastermind in a drug deal that is totally uncharacteristic of Rose. Colton hits the “Sweet Spot” on the musical numbers though and with songs like “Let Her Put Her Finger In Your Butt” and “The Shit’s Going Down” how can they go wrong?
Don’t miss scenes covering the date with Dorothy and hanging on the lanai that will make you want to devour some cheesecake. Cocktails are served but I wanted to bring a box of wine to see one of my favorite shows parodied. Read my interview with the real Betty White interview in Windy City Times this week and thank you Gorilla Tango for being a friend!
Visit www.gorillatango.com or call 773-598-4549 for details as well as future productions.