Ok, we can't do much better than this tagline: "Beads! Boobies! Booze! Burlesque!"
In honor of Mardi Gras, Vaudezilla is taking over the Blue Bayou this month, offering free burlesque shows every Thursday at 10 p.m. Red Hot Annie hosts, but the other performers rotate (tonight's roster includes Wham Bam Pam, Bonny Babs, Paris Green, The Honey Buns, Lady Jack and Salome Slaughter).
Blue Bayou also offers plenty of classic New Orleans food and drink, so go ahead, enjoy yourself. But before you sip that fifth Hurricane, try to remember what happened last time, hmmm?
1. Monotonix and Turbo Fruits 9 p.m. Sunday at Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia; $12
One of the most exciting live rock bands out there, Monotonix is known for performing on the floor among the crowd, setting instruments on fire and stealing drinks from audience members. When the members found themselves banned from most venues in their hometown Tel Aviv, they decided to take the show on the road. Touring the U.S. and Europe since 2006, theirs is a concert you experience, not watch. Catch Monotonix's stage antics and Led Zeppelin/Thin Lizzy-inspired riffs, as well as opening act Turbo Fruit's Kinks-esque neo-surf/garage rock for a night your eardrums won't soon forget.
For more of this weekend's music, including Jeff Tweedy, Cheer-Accident and Buckwheat Zydeco, check out the calendar.
Here are some recent restaurant/bar openings and closings.
Open Terragusto on Armitage – If you don’t think a restaurant making its pasta fresh every day makes a difference, you haven’t been to the original Terragusto on Addison. Seriously, go to either location if you haven’t already. It will change your notion of how pasta should be made. You can thank us later.
Pizza Fusion – This chain, which opens in Naperville, bills itself as an environmentally friendly pizza joint, all the way down to its hybrid delivery trucks. That’s all fine and dandy, just don’t skimp on the cheese and pepperoni.
Simone’s Bar – The bar is made out of an old bowling alley lane. No matter what else may come of this place, that one feature is pretty darn cool.
Chutney Joe’s – It’s traditional Indian fare served in convenient fast-food form. Now why didn’t we think of that?
Perry’s Deli on Maxwell Street – We love the original Perry’s, which is just a few blocks from the mothership. But we wonder how we always walk out of there having spent the high side of 11 bucks. We blame Bush and the economy.
Closed … for now
Bleeding Heart Bakery – Cupcake fans were no doubt surprised by the news that Bleeding Heart was shut down Monday by city inspectors. The owners state their case here, and promise to be open by the end of the week, and definitely for Valentine’s Day.
Bleeding Heart Bakery(Sun-Times file)
Open … then Closed … then open again? iCream – The revolutionary ice cream shop that makes its treats with some sort of molecular liquid hydrogen fusion process (we admit we were never science majors) was open for about an hour and a half last summer, but had to close down because of equipment problems (maybe they weren’t science majors either). Now they’re planning a mid-February re-opening in Wicker Park. We won’t hold our breath.
Check back here every Tuesday with more openings and closings (and snarky comments, of course). And be sure to check out Centerstage Chicago's list of new restaurants and bars.
Think Valentine's Day is a silly, manufactured holiday? It's probably the least ridiculous day of a month which also includes Plum Pudding Day (February 12), International World Thinking Day (February 22) and Public Sleeping Day (February 28). That's a lot of presents.
We were getting pretty tired of every day in the calendar having to commemorate something, but that was before we heard of the deals going on today for National Pizza Pie Day. Promotions like free slices at Frasca (4:30-7 p.m.) and a buy-one-get-one-free pie special at Dunlays on the Square sure got us in a celebratory mood.
If you can't make it to one of these spots, at least stop into your local parlor to celebrate with a slice or two. Just don't be surprised if your holiday greeting is met with a blank stare.
Frasca's pepperoni pizza tastes even better when it's free.
Every day, we'll be alerting you to five great food and drink deals around town, courtesy of Centerstage Chicago's comprehensive database. In this economy, you need all the help you can get, right?
200 East Supper Club, 200 E. Chestnut
$21.95 four-course prix-fixe menu
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Que Syrah Fine Wines will host a Chocolate, Desserts and Wine tasting on Feb. 13 from 8-10 p.m. The popular Lakeview wine shop will partner with Sensational Bites for decadent desserts to pair with wine and beers. Sounds like a perfect opportunity to add the finishing touch to a fine Valentine’s Day dinner.
It looks like the end of the road for one of our favorite Lakeview sandwich shops, Winston’s Market. After some sporadic closings during the day and early evening, there’s now a sign up that says the building, at 3440 N. Southport, is for sale. The place was definitely a breath of fresh air. Aside from a menu of fresh-made sandwiches, the deli also offered salads by the pound and a large (albeit high-priced) selection of micro-brews.
But the best (and most economical) entrée on the menu was the $5 pita special, which they advertised on a sign out front that you couldn’t miss when walking down Southport. What you got for your Lincoln was a hefty chicken pile of chicken on a fresh pita, topped with fresh veggies and accompanied by a hot plate of fries.
On our last visit, the sign had been down for at least a week or so. When the cashier asked for our order, we replied, “The pita special.” He hesitated for a moment before we gave him a knowing look and a quick wink. “Ah, the pita special. Coming right up.”
Missing out on slightly scary dance-rock ever since Chicago collective Ministry announced its "retirement" (at least until their "reunion" ...)? UR Chicago found this video of The Most Dangerous Race, a Chicago duo featuring Matt Walker — who's worked with Filter, Smashing Pumpkins, even Morrissey — playing Metro on Jan. 23 ...
1. The smell of baseball in the air on Clark Street, even when the Cubs aren't playing (or is that just beer?).
2. Playing the curve on the shuffleboard table at Toon's, one of the few shuffleboard tables in town (for the record, the rather warped table curves south — start your shot on the north end of the table).
3. Popping the cork on a bottle of wine in the summertime while waiting for a table at Tango Sur — a popular BYOB Brazilian steakhouse on Southport that doesn't take reservations.
Economy getting you down? Can you carry a tune? Head to Hydrate this Saturday and sing for your supper. The Chicago Gay Men's Chorus is hosting and judging an open-mic competition — winner gets $75, 2nd place gets $50. Free drinks available from 8 to 9:30 p.m. (well, for a $10 donation ... but that's 90 minutes of free booze!), the warbling starts at 9.