Lost Island Found


In Detroit, there are a pair of hundred-year-old hot dog stands known as the Lafayette, and American, “Coney Islands”. Though this is basically what they serve, they are not known as the Lafayette and American “chili dog” parlors. The alleged reason for this unconventional New York-area naming of hot dog spots located in Michigan is that the Coney Island Chamber of Commerce banned the term “hot dog” in 1913 because they feared people might assume the sausages were filled with the carcasses of cute puppies.

Gyros at the Parthenon


The Parthenon may never have been born if it weren’t for some delinquent car payments. In the ’50s, fresh from serving in the army during the Korean War, The Parthenon’s owner Chris Liakouras was living in Detroit. His buddy Petros was three months behind on payments for his car, so the pair fled to Chicago so Petros could avoid collection agents.

You’ve Been Served


So much depends on a server. But it wasn’t always that way. Except for high-end restaurants, I was so resigned to receiving mediocre service in Chicago that I’d sort of stopped using it as any kind of bellwether in a review. If the service was inspired, that might change a rating, but otherwise it was kind of white noise.

Greek Island


Four years ago, when the small Wicker Park storefront that houses new Greek restaurant Taxim was a dingy dive bar and middling taqueria called Big Horse Lounge, I often found myself there after wearisome nights of drinking, in various states of inebriation and usually dribbling burrito grease down the front of my shirt. Tonight, as a rivulet of pomegranate- flavored sauce from Taxim’s duck gyro spreads across my crisp white button-down, it seems that very little has changed.