Mikey’s Spatula is way over-used.
Years of greasy food and grime had become infused.
Its dirtiness was beyond compare,
But Mikey kept cooking ‘cuz he didn’t care.
Until one day he contracted a nasty stomach virus from a burger made with the gross spatula. For 3 days and 4 nights, his body violently expelled all contents of the stomach ’till there was literally nothing left inside him but air. He is still unable to eat solid food due to his constant dry-heaving. He’s lost 28 pounds & his core is amazing.



Purple was the color of Ronald’s friend, Grimace,
Who’s life was full of lost chances and opportunities amiss.
Till he found a large sum of money,
And his life became full of milk and honey.
Until three days later when he suffered a stroke, likely resulting from a lifetime of ingesting saturated fats from McDonald’s. He now spends every dime of his money on healthcare to stay alive.

Home is where you Make It!

Last night, I made a little trip to Wrigleyville to get some late night Taco Bell (I have a weakness. Don’t judge.)  On my way to satisfy my cheesy gordita crunch craving, I made a little detour to check out 3541 N. Clark St., the previous home of the iO theatre.  Call it boredom, or curiosity, or nostalgia, though it might be a bit too soon for nostalgia, but I suddenly just really wanted to see it.  What can I say, I’m a sucker for living in the past.

Before moving on, a quick recap for the uninformed.  For 30+ years, 3541 N Clark Street was the home of long form improvisation in the City of Chicago.  Formerly Improv Olympic, the iO theatre boasted not only the distinction of training some of comedy’s greats, but also being the single flickering light of artistic expression amidst a pitch-black ocean of pig-headed, jock douchebaggery known simply as Wrigleyville. This long stretch of bar-lined, vomit-caked road basking in the glow of historic Wrigley Field is a bastion of comedic debauchery, filled with both college kids from Chicago’s various institutions of higher learning, as well as the loud, overbearing middle-agers that many of the aforementioned “kids” are destined to become. Wrigleyville is the Chicago hotspot for all the guys and gals that, though graduated, never really left college. They still yearn for the all-night keggers, the week-long beer pong tournaments, and the ever-pathetic 2AM “Booty Hunts”. On weekend nights, one could spend an entire evening just listening to the many native calls of Wrigleyville. These calls can range from the common, “Mikayla! Mikayla! Come get in the taxi!”, to the less frequent, “Oh my God, he’s such a jerk! I don’t know why we’re still together.”, to the increasingly rare, “No way, bro! We’re gonna be (HERP!) gonna be friends forever, bro!” I could keep spouting off examples until time stops, but I’m beginning to digress. The point I’m trying to make here is that the iO was the comedic receptacle that all of this human refuse fell into, yielding an unending battery of inspiration. If ever you felt stagnated, or just flat-out needed a quick shake of the funny bone, all you needed to do was step out the doors and take a 5-10 minute stroll through the bar-rio (see what I did there?) and take in all the rich sights. Hell, if there was a Cubs game going on, you’d get enough material for a whole show by simply walking from the train to the theatre, assuming you didn’t get puked on during the trip. 3541 N Clark was the protecting force for creativity in that ovum of opulence. Like the Spartans of old, iO provided a shield, for artists and writers alike, against the torrential onslaught of tasteless dick jokes and not-so-subtle racist remarks – yeah, I mean you, overweight bald guy in a Cutler jersey. You’re loud. But, again, I find myself digressing.

That was then. Now, the old blue brick building simply sits there, surrounded by dusty posters of shows long since gone. Well, moved, actually, to the new location in Lincoln Park. The majority of the shows in the old glass case are still in production BUT THAT IS BESIDE THE POINT! 3451 N Clark St is now a shell, an empty ruin of a proud comedy empire that has been reclaimed by the untamed masses. As I walk by the old place, I am greeted by the unbelievably foul odor of stale urine wafting through the air. It was as if the alley to the left of the theatre had become Wrigleyville’s unofficial toilet. It was sadly clear that, much like the prison at the end of Walking Dead Season 3, N Clark St had been reclaimed by the douche zombies of Wrigleyville.

But I don’t want this to be a sob story. I shed no tears, for iO has a new home at 1501 N Kingsbury! It’s bigger, with more performance spaces, allowing for many more people to get a chance to play. The bar is bigger, the food is better, and there’s even a fantastic Beer Garden outside!
Not only have we traded up in size, but we’ve traded up in class of douche as well. Before, we had the loudmouthed, overcompensating, fratty-esque, questionably employed, douche.
But now, we at the iO have OPTIONS! Option 1: Across the street from the new iO is, in fact, the largest Whole Foods in the Midwest. This gives us access to the refined, grain-munching, meat-denouncing, ironic shirt-wearing, hipster-esque class of douche. This is arguably the most preferable of the douche classes because, despite their blathering and general air of superiority, they at least try to improve society with their habits. Bravo, Hippy Douche! Bravo!
Then, of course, there’s option 2:
Next door to the iO theatre sits VIP, a notorious (*ahem*) Gentlemen’s Club. Here, we have the flashy, suited, cigar-puffing, spendthrift, fake mafia, objectification douche, also known as the “High Roller”. While just as obnoxious as the Wrigleyvillian douche, this one is much less pronounced about it, often claiming his reserved nature as “cool”. Often referring to the female clientele, or most females for that matter, as “The Ladies”, he possess what can be defined as “Old World Chauvinism”.
However you wish to call it, it’s look but don’t touch. And they let iO employees into VIP for no cover, which is a nice gesture. So I believe iO will have a bright future in Lincoln Park.

Plus the Whole Foods has wifi.

First FOOD review: The Billy Goat Tavern

I actually wrote this on facebook a few weeks a go, but I felt it would gain a better audience here.
The Billy Goat Tavern
I walk in to the unassuming hole-in-the-wall beneath the goat that graces the façade of the famous Billy Goat Tavern. I look around at all the satisfied customers chatting about as Tom Jones’ “It’s not unusual” plays on the jukebox. It had a decades-old den of deliciousness has been a favorite spot for Chicagoans to grab a burger and a beer since 1934, and it is easy to see why. In 80 years, this restaurant has changed very little. It has the same food, same friendly service, the same smiling customers that Greek Burger slinger Sam Sianis envisioned all those years ago. After taking a look around at the hundreds of photos of all the celebrities that have graced these seats, not to mention the countless newspaper clippings from Chicago columnist Mike Royko lining the walls, I stepped up to the counter to place my order, only to find out that the restaurant is cash-only. Fortunately, they have an ATM next to the jukebox. So, with cash in hand, I return to the aforementioned counter and I ordered a bacon double cheeseburger, chips, and a coke. My meal was ready within minutes. After the addition of some diced onions and a little ketchup, I sidled up to the bar, where they had “Wayne’s World 2” playing on TV. It was a great atmosphere for a meal.
Upon my first bite into the sandwich, I quickly realized what made it so great: simplicity. Nowadays, there are a lot of restaurants and food places getting creative with the hamburger. I’ve had Hawaiian-style burgers, turkey burgers, deconstructed burgers, and over-priced “specialty burgers” containing ingredients I’ve never even heard of. But the amazing flavor of the Billy Goat burger comes from the fact that it is exactly that: a burger, plain and simple. No frills, no special additives; just two beef patties with American cheese and bacon, saddled between two buttery kaiser rolls. You want pickles? Onions? Relish? You can add it on at your leisure at the stand next to the grill. With nothing extra to get in the way, it’s much easier to enjoy the mouth-watering flavor of the historically famous Billy Goat Burger. I finished my coke, and ordered a house beer, a Billy Goat Dark. It was incredibly refreshing. Bitter with a splash of caramel, it was certainly a great way to cap off a great meal.
On my way out, the friendly busser bid me a fond farewell, and I left feeling satisfied.
If you’re visiting Chicago, moving to Chicago, or have lived here all your life, The Billy Goat Tavern on Michigan Ave. is not to be missed. Sit down and stay awhile.