No Junk In This Trunk


“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions;” -Theodore Roosevelt



You are reading this review for free on the internet. This is because, one, I’m stupid, and two, because of the perceived and real pressures of a system. While you would take great pleasure from me counting the ways of my idiocy in depth, let’s examine that system first.

Dungeons, Dragons & Donor Kebab


I was afraid I might get murdered if I played Dungeons & Dragons. My mom, like so many other parents in the late 1980s, got caught up in a moral uproar about the popular role-playing game. She cited news accounts of dungeon masters supposedly committing suicide and murder as a result of playing the game and warned me I should stay away. So when I heard that Dungeons & Dragons influenced DMen Tap, a new Logan Square restaurant from Donermen food truck owners Shawn Podgurski and Phil Naumann, I was a little apprehensive to visit. 

Still Smoking


This article first appeared in Newcity Chicago Chicken Boti at Khan BBQ Khan BBQ was a smoky dingy cabbie joint, with cracked ceramic tile, red plastic bench seating bolted to the floor ala Kentucky Fried Chicken circa 1985, and no air conditioning. On a swampy summer day, with the clay tandoor ovens at full charcoal flame, the solitary rickety general-issue floor fan blew more hot air than a Chicago alderman and offered little relief. A year ago, when I first entered the restaurant, an old man with a prodigious white beard took one look, calculated me as a Devon Street day-tripper, nodded towards Hema’s Kitchen across the street, and said “our food is very spicy.”