Contingent Feastivus 2010

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Gyp
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Re:Contingent Feastivus 2010 2010/12/12 13:37:08 (permalink)
I'm still in.
#61
MilwFoodlovers
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Re:Contingent Feastivus 2010 2010/12/12 13:42:00 (permalink)
Our party of four is a go.
MFL-4
#62
chicagostyledog
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Re:Contingent Feastivus 2010 2010/12/12 13:42:20 (permalink)
We're in! In fact, I just returned from West Ailis to Racine. I94 is clean and clear from 894 to Racine. The problem is the lake effect winds as you go east. In Milwaukee, blowing snow will not be a problem. Going from I94 back to Racine, which is flat farm land, creates the blowing snow effect.
#63
ChiTownDiner
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Re:Contingent Feastivus 2010 2010/12/12 13:50:47 (permalink)
CTD - 2 - come hell or high water!
#64
JRPfeff
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Re:Contingent Feastivus 2010 2010/12/12 13:52:21 (permalink)
Thanks for the prompt feedback folks.  We are still above 2 dozen at this count.
 
Jim
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quijote
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Re:Contingent Feastivus 2010 2010/12/12 14:26:28 (permalink)
I'm still in, though may get there a few minutes late.
#66
X1
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Re:Contingent Feastivus 2010 2010/12/12 14:35:09 (permalink)
In
#67
Braumeister
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Re:Contingent Feastivus 2010 2010/12/12 14:40:30 (permalink)
We're out, sorry to say.
#68
stricken_detective
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Re:Contingent Feastivus 2010 2010/12/12 14:43:49 (permalink)
chicagostyledog

We're in! In fact, I just returned from West Ailis to Racine. I94 is clean and clear from 894 to Racine. The problem is the lake effect winds as you go east. In Milwaukee, blowing snow will not be a problem. Going from I94 back to Racine, which is flat farm land, creates the blowing snow effect.

 
Thank you for this because that's what I needed to know. It usually takes me 30 min to get to the airport, so I'm gonna leave extra early & bring my blankets, PowerBars, water, etc. Just in case. As long as the freeways are clear, that is a good thing.
 
How long did it take you??

#69
Gyp
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Re:Contingent Feastivus 2010 2010/12/12 14:45:51 (permalink)
Just making sure that 5PM is the time?
#70
chicagostyledog
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Re:Contingent Feastivus 2010 2010/12/12 14:51:49 (permalink)
SD, my driving time was not effected by the weather.
#71
JRPfeff
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Re:Contingent Feastivus 2010 2010/12/12 14:54:51 (permalink)
GYP - 5:00 for cocktails, dinner to follow.
#72
ChuckL50
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Re:Contingent Feastivus 2010 2010/12/12 14:55:00 (permalink)
I still live in Wisconsin.
It gets cold.
It snows.
Then it gets colder.
Then in April it warms up and melts.
Life goes on my friend.
I'm  in.
#73
cjucoder
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Re:Contingent Feastivus 2010 2010/12/12 16:43:08 (permalink)
Sorry JRP and PieDiva. I just got called to a family emergency. Nothing too scary, don't worry about me. I am sooooo disappointed in not being able to say goodbye and share this dinner with everyone.  
#74
X1
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Re:Contingent Feastivus 2010 2010/12/12 21:35:10 (permalink)
Thanks JRP and Dessert Diva (new name!)...everything at Ilija's Place was fantastic, and you outdid yourself on the dessert. 
It was great seeing everyone, and dinner was very good. Great company and great food.
 
#75
stricken_detective
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Re:Contingent Feastivus 2010 2010/12/12 22:09:11 (permalink)
Great company, good food, what is not to like? Thanks for a great time, guys!!!
#76
quijote
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Re:Contingent Feastivus 2010 2010/12/12 22:27:28 (permalink)
So, did anyone dare go to Kopps afterward? ChiTown Diner? A fun and tasty evening--a great way to celebrate the descent into winter.
#77
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Re:Contingent Feastivus 2010 2010/12/12 23:15:46 (permalink)
I am pretty sure the Roadhouse vehicle was headed there!
#78
BuddyRoadhouse
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Re:Contingent Feastivus 2010 2010/12/13 02:45:19 (permalink)
A pint of Turtle Sundae and a quart of German Apple Struessle(sp?) stayed cold in our trunk all the way back to Chicago.  ChiTownDiner made his Kopp's stop before dinner!
 
As for that dinner, what a thing of beauty!  Cocktails at 5:00 gave us an opportunity to relax and unwind from the long drive north.  I missed the last outing, so it was a real treat to greet everyone as they entered the open bar area.
 
After a bit we moved into the private dining room for a magnificent meal.  We started with a Serb salad made up of chunks of tomato, diced onion, and shredded goat (or maybe sheep) cheese, all marinated in a light but intensely flavored vinaigrette.  I have to say I still prefer Three Brothers version of this salad, only because they chop the tomatoes into smaller pieces which I think incorporates the flavors better.  Also, TB uses more of that luscious, rich cheese.  Still, this was a wonderful salad, perfectly accompanied by baskets of Serbian bread with small tubs of ajvar (a roasted red pepper spread), and kajmak (a rich dairy based spread) for shmearing on top.  Just when you thought it couldn't get any better, out come trays of finger food sized portions of light and moist cheese burek.
 
After the salad course massive amounts of food arrived all at once.  I think my favorite item was the stuffed cabbage rolls.  What differentiated these from other versions (including the ones served by my Russian/Polish Grandmothers when I was a kid) was the distinct and  pronounced flavors of each of the individual ingredients that made up the rolls.
 
Back when the Grannies made them, the flavors became homogeneous and rather boring.  The cabbage flavor melded with the beef and rice filling and it was all overwhelmed by the tomato sauce that smothered it.  Ilija's version stands out.  The cabbage had a bright, vinegary tang that was completely separate from the slightly sweet and mostly savory flavor of the ground beef filling.  I don't even think there was a tomato based sauce involved in Ilija's cabbage rolls and it certainly wasn't missed.
 
Along with the cabbage rolls were huge plates of roast pork and lamb shanks.  Some folks thought the pork was a bit dry and tough.  The platter served at our table had no problems.  However, I will say that the lamb far outpaced the pork for both moistness and overall flavor.  The shanks were rich, succulent, and beautifully seasoned to bring out their natural lamb-y flavor.
 
The meat platters also featured roasted potatoes that were done just the way I love them.  A slightly crisp skin on the outside with a bit of caramelization to add flavor, giving way to a fluffy inside.  They managed to soak up plenty of those meat juices too, adding richness and a good meaty, umami quality.
 
Also on the table were platters of fresh green beans, cooked to a lovely tender crisp texture.  More important than the texture though was the incredible flavor.  Ilija adds plenty of garlic to the dish which heightens the taste of the beans and gives your taste buds something extra to play with.  If my Mother had made green beans like this when I was a kid, I would have licked the plate clean every time instead of fighting with her over how many individual beans I had to eat before getting dessert.
 
Which brings me to the final course.  It should be noted that the Pie Diva's dessert talents go far beyond pastry crusts and fruit fillings.  She absolutely outdid herself tonight with a chocolate macaroon base, filled with whipped cream, topped with a lacy chocolate "doily", sitting next to a nest of fresh mixed berries, all floating in a gorgeous honey and bourbon (I hope I'm getting this right) sauce.
 
My first bite made me exclaim, very loudly, "Holy crap!"  It was so good it almost made you forget the exquisite meal we had just finished.  The macaroon had a slightly crisp exterior with a dense filling that somehow was chewy and melted in your mouth at the same time.  The whipped cream nestled between the two layers of macaroon (it almost looked like a deconstructed whoopie pie) was light and rich and added a wonderful mouth round feel when mixed with a bite of berry.  And then there was that sauce.  Almost like a Sabayon sauce, but lighter, so it soaked into the bottom macaroon, making it even more "melt in your mouth".  Wow.
 
So, that's it.  This was a perfect way to spend a freezing, windy early winter evening, visiting with good friends and great food (or great friends and good food; it works either way).  The best part is, Jim and Bobbi aren't leaving just yet, so this wasn't really a firm good-bye.  We'll have more opportunities through the winter and into the early spring before they actually leave us.
 
So where to for the next "good-bye"?  Another Milwaukee stop, or somewhere in Chicago?  Thoughts?
 
Thanks again to Jim and Bobbi for organizing and making that incredible dessert.  And thanks to all our Roadfood friends who made this another special evening.
 
Buddy
#79
ChiTownDiner
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Re:Contingent Feastivus 2010 2010/12/13 07:18:21 (permalink)
quijote

So, did anyone dare go to Kopps afterward? ChiTown Diner? A fun and tasty evening--a great way to celebrate the descent into winter.

 
Only did the before stop...German Apprle Stuesel...

#80
ChiTownDiner
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Re:Contingent Feastivus 2010 2010/12/13 07:26:10 (permalink)
All hail the Dessert Diva...we are loyal subjects, as long as there's food in front!
#81
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Re:Contingent Feastivus 2010 2010/12/13 08:31:59 (permalink)
Jeff,
Brilliant description/review (as usual for you).  Two additions/corrections. 
 
1) We were also served Ilija's beef goulash over noodles.  Tender cubes of beef in a spicy, paprika laden sauce over egg noodles.  The sauce made me wish I had more bread to soak it up.  This is certainly not the "goulash" 1960's moms would make with cheese and elbow macaroni. 
2) The dessert also had a layer of chocolate mousse somewhere between the macaroons.
 
Thanks to everyone who joined us.  You made this a special night for The Contingent and for Ilija.
Jim
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Gyp
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Re:Contingent Feastivus 2010 2010/12/13 08:49:40 (permalink)
BuddyRoadhouse Serb salad made up of chunks of tomato, diced onion, and shredded goat (or maybe sheep) cheese, all marinated in a light but intensely flavored vinaigrette.


 
BuddyRoadhouselight and moist cheese burek.


 
BuddyRoadhouse the stuffed cabbage rolls



BuddyRoadhouse huge plates of roast pork and lamb shanks.
 

 
 
BuddyRoadhousefresh green beans

See above
 
BuddyRoadhousea chocolate macaroon base, filled with whipped cream, topped with a lacy chocolate "doily", sitting next to a nest of fresh mixed berries, all floating in a gorgeous honey and bourbon (I hope I'm getting this right) sauce.



JRPfeff Tender cubes of beef in a spicy, paprika laden sauce over egg noodles

 
#83
irisarbor
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Re:Contingent Feastivus 2010 2010/12/13 09:48:42 (permalink)
Buddy you outdid yourself in the description department!
I think you have another career on the way as a food critic.
Thanks to the roadhouse crew for allowing me to tag along when
"the dog ate my husbands homework"
What a great evening- wonderful food, wonderful company..
Bobbie- you really outdid yourself on those beautiful and scrumptious desserts-
and gluten-free no less!  I think YOU have another career on the way as a pastry chef...
What a great way to warm a chilly winter nite-
I'll post some fun neon pix later on today.
#84
JRPfeff
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Re:Contingent Feastivus 2010 2010/12/13 10:38:50 (permalink)
BuddyRoadhouse
So where to for the next "good-bye"?  Another Milwaukee stop, or somewhere in Chicago?  Thoughts?

Gregg mentioned a couple Chicago area places that we may hit during Christmas week.  Bobbi & I also make a traditional run to Fred's in Burlington during that week.
Jim
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BuddyRoadhouse
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Re:Contingent Feastivus 2010 2010/12/13 13:51:51 (permalink)
I knew I forgot one of the dishes, but for the life of me, I couldn't remember what it was.  I think I forgot it because, although it was a very good goulash, for me anyway, it was the weakest dish Ilija served.  I was so overwhelmed by those cabbage rolls and the fantastic lamb, the goulash kinda got lost on me.
 
Thanks for the clarification on the dessert--I just finished off a bit of leftover from someone's plate last night; virtually untouched, it was just too good to leave behind.
 
Sadly (well, not so sadly for us) we will be in Kansas City over the Holidays and will not be able to join you at Fred's or for any Chicago food touring.  While you sink your teeth into a giant, juicy Fred's Burger. we will be suffering through an oversized burnt end sandwich at LC's and a heaping plate of pan fried chicken at Stroud's.  Oh, woe is me.
 
A Happy and a Merry to all,
 
Buddy
#86
MilwFoodlovers
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Re:Contingent Feastivus 2010 2010/12/13 23:26:36 (permalink)
Some might get a kick out of this news story on Festivus:
SANTA ANA, Calif. -- An Orange County inmate who disliked salami got special meals after declaring his religious belief in the Festivus holiday celebrated on the television show "Seinfeld."
The Orange County Register reports Monday that 38-year-old convicted drug dealer Malcolm Alarmo King asked for kosher meals at the Theo Lacy jail to maintain his healthy physique.
But sheriff's officials reserve kosher meals for inmates with a religious need.
Judge Derek G. Johnson demanded a religious reason for King to receive the meals and defense attorney Fred Thiagarajah cited his client's devotion to Festivus -- a holiday celebrated on "Seinfeld" with an aluminum pole and the airing of grievances.
Sheriff's Department spokesman Ryan Burris says King got salami-free meals for two months before the county got the order thrown out in court.
 
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