Sweet Exile in Cancale-ville


At the corner of Armitage Avenue and the Kennedy expressway, some only see a Volvo dealership and a neo-Georgian red brick office building, a bland dereliction of architectural duty. Though it has long been demolished, I instead see myself at 3 a.m. sitting in the corner booth at Marie’s Riptide lounge where minutes ago I’ve dropped a dime and conjured Patsy. The gifts of Willie Nelson and my bourbon-addled brain are en fuego as Cline does her glissando slide amidst a honky-tonk piano tinkle into the opening line… CRA-zeee! Shots roll from the bottle, proffered by THE Marie (Wuczynski), the bar’s snowy-bouffant-crowned namesake. Though she is geriatric, she is always game. She pours one for me, and one for her. I am, whether I like it or not, and oh, God do I, paying for both.

Consider the Red Lobster


Sometimes it’s hard to tell if Beyoncé is being literal or figurative. For example it’s abundantly clear that she is not really riding an actual surfboard in “Drunk in Love”. Skittle candies are also not being eaten in “Blow”. However, in “Formation” when she says, “When he fuck me good, I take his ass to Red Lobster, ’cause I slay”, I think she really means she’s taking Jay Z to Red Lobster after sex.

Wheel of Fortune


Sequels are tricky. They’re rarely better than the original. “The Godfather Part 2” which had a richness and depth that surpassed “The Godfather” is one of few exceptions. Usually what happens in a sequel is you get a tired, slightly different rehash of the original.

Sink Swim Ceviche


One of my favorite new restaurants to open in 2015 was Sink Swim in Logan Square. One of my favorite TV shows back in 2006 was “Gilmore Girls.” These things may not seem related, but they are. Just because something is great doesn’t mean that it will last forever. “Gilmore Girls” was canceled in 2007, and the folks behind Sink Swim announced a change of course last month, leaning toward more casual, affordable eats. Founding chef Matt Danko left and was replaced by Mitch Cavanah (GT Fish & Oyster) earlier this month.

Smack Shack


Located inside the Google building in Fulton Market, Smack Shack is not, as its name might suggest, an underground fight club for disgruntled techies. It’s the second location of a warehouse-sized seafood restaurant that started out as a humble food truck in Minneapolis in 2010. It gets its name from old East Coast fishing vessels called smacks. I like to imagine salty Boston fishermen used to say stuff like, “I pahked de smahk in Da-Ches-ter bay and it’s fullah lobstah.”