Archive for September, 2012

#77 – Pig Roast at Frontier


2012
09.27
Pig Roast @FrontierChicago

Pig Roast @FrontierChicago

Roasted pig is a fine delicacy taken to great heights at Frontier – recently, I was fortunate enough to feast on the beast on a fine autumn afternoon.  Entering Frontier in the early afternoon we were the first people in the bar but there was roasted pig waiting for us.

Caesar Salad

Caesar Salad

Start off with a caesar salad with your leafy greens except add in one small twist: add fried thingermerbobbers filled with cheese.  I couldn’t tell you what these things were but they were a perfect replacement for crouton and were stuffed with pure deliciousness.  We housed this salad with great ease.

Mixed Vegetables

Mixed Vegetables

Next up was a mixed vegetable bowl cooked in lots of oil and/or butter.  Being polite, I took one giant serving spoonful and dabbed some on my plate.  The buttery deliciousness of these veggies became apparent quite quickly and the food glistened and left a fine buttery trail on my plate.

Johnnycakes

Johnnycakes

Next up were Johnnycakes.  What are Johnnycakes (besides tricky crossword puzzle clues)?  Never having a Johnnycake before they looked like mini-pancakes which confused me since it definitely was not brunch. The cornmeal flatbread was just what the doctor ordered and it was hard to resist engulfing the johnnycake one-bite one kill style.

Mac n' Cheese

Mac n' Cheese

Macaroni and cheese is a tried and tested recipe that we’ve all learned how to make by reading the directions on the box.  At Frontier, they serve up a golden crusted mac n cheese served on cast iron and the cheesy deliciousness can’t be denied.  The combination of appetizers and craft beer was making for the perfect afternoon.

Pork Belly

Pork Belly

While watching the carving, I never knew how much oil and grease could flow out of a freshly roasted pig. The first plate off the pig was the pork tenderloin, which was soft tender and chock full of flavor.  Luckily my dining companions were all-in on the pig and we feasted vociferously as pork tenderloin, pork shoulder, pork leg, pork ribs, pork jowl, pork tongue and pork cheek were all rolled out. My favorite was the pork belly and ten of us barely put a dent in the giant amounts of roasted pig.

In summary, if ever you and a group of friends are looking for a fun dining experience, take a stab at the pig roast at Frontier.  It will be a feast for the ages if you can finish an entire roasted pig and your taste buds will thank you for it.


9/11 – A Look Back


2012
09.11
Johns Hopkins Quad

Johns Hopkins Quad

In the fall of 2001 I was enrolled at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, waiting for Statistics class.  Introduction to Writing & Fiction 1 just wrapped up and I was sitting on a bench writing in my poetry book on the quad.  The sky was blue and the sun was hot enough to make me break a light sweat.  Waiting for class, the only thing I was thinking about was the girl I stayed out late with the previous night in the president’s garden.  The president’s garden had water lilies and a giant pool of water and the moonlight cast a bright light down that night and I could see her reflection despite the water lilies.

Sitting in the quad that morning, I overheard a different girl sitting on the bench next to my bench on her cell phone.  She told everyone she spoke with that a plane had crashed into a building in New York.  I didn’t think much of her comment and she didn’t seem too bothered by it either and I kept writing into my poetry book trying to find the right words to capture just how I felt from the night before.

Eventually, it was time for class.  I packed up my poetry book, zipped up my backpack and headed to Mudd Hall.  While walking over another student and I saw a sign taped onto the glass doors of the hall.  The signed said that classes across campus were cancelled for the remainder of the day.  With much jubilation and excitement, I high-fived the other kid and yelled, “This is awesome! Can you believe it!?”  Cheery, we both went on our merry way and I had an even extra hop in my step.

What had started of as an idyllic day became much more sinister the second I reached the library. TVs were showing the ensuing disaster that happened in New York.  The plane as it turned out had been a terrorist attack and the situation was dead serious.  I thought of my parents and picked up my monochrome phone, but the lines were busy.  I went back Ivy which was my old dorm to pick up posters I had left behind so I could put them up in my new apartment.

In my old apartment I saw one of the tallest kids on campus sitting in a chair hunched over watching the news on TV.  He was crying.  He told me that he knew people in the building and that he couldn’t call them and he didn’t know what happened.  I had no words for this and we all stared blankly at the TV with words in our mouths but no voices to speak them.  Eventually I grabbed my things and headed to my fraternity house were everyone was on the couch shaking their heads watching as the worst terrorist attack in American history played itself through.

One thing that still worked was the Internet.  I was able to instant message a friend on AIM who said that she saw the Pentagon burning outside the window of her classroom.  Eventually my parents were able to get a hold of me and I am sure they were relieved to know that I wasn’t in DC surrounded by the madness.  Feeling drained, I turned on some Gregorian chant, curled up into a ball and put myself to sleep for the rest of the day trying to forget everything that I saw on TV.

Once in a generation a national tragedy strikes, freezing the entire memory of the nation once and for all time.  Our time was 9/11 and I will never forget.  As for the President’s Garden, every 9/11 I look back and read the poem I wrote on that quad that morning:

the president’s garden

the rippled waterlillies bouncing
on the midnight water
the floating face of me
stares at her moonlit visage

leaves drift from their branches
and crash gently on the ground
like hopes.

the ragebeast has flown away
without me.

and I am still staring.