Some new guy by the name of carolinabob showed up outta nowhere. He was pleasant enough, so I guess we'll keep him. Today's burger was good, but lost points for being more "medium" than the "medium-rare" I ordered. I still ate the darned thing, of course. And it was still a fine burger on all accounts. A rare "not-quite-a-bull's-eye-but-still-better-than-most".
After Fred's, X1, quijote, and the Roadhouses headed over to a small Greek Fest up closer to Milwaukee. I watched the ingenious homemade rotisserie device churn out dozens golden brown, crispy skinned chickens and gorgeous legs of lamb. The smell, even with a full belly from Fred's, was dizzying. It was a real treat to watch the pitmaster at work and chat with him about his technique.
The biggest disappointment of the day was not being hungry enough to eat some of that chicken and lamb. The second biggest disappointment was realizing that, because it was mid-afternoon and it would be hours before we would be back in Chicago with access to a fridge, we couldn't even buy a chicken to go. We made do with a sampler tray of Greek desserts.
From there we headed over to a new international grocery store, an import from the Chicago neighborhoods, Cermak's. We all found a wide variety of interesting and tasty items to bring home. At the top of our list was a tub of kajmak
; the eastern European bread spread made from a whipped combination of butter and soft cheese. I'm looking forward to using it on the loaf of ring bread we bought at the Greek Fest.
After that we were down to three; X1 headed for home, exotic groceries it tow. We met quijote over at Thai Barbecue on National and 35th for a final (and comparatively light) evening meal. A couple of apps and an entree between us and we still had leftovers. We ordered a plate of chicken satay that either turned out to be beef satay, or my taste buds are out of whack. Still, they were very good and a fine compliment to the Issan sausages quijote recommended. They arrived looking like a meaty version of "donut holes". Beautifully grilled little sausages with crispy skins and a coarse grind interior of pork and spices. They had a very complex flavor; starting out with a mild pork taste, then opening up into a tangier citrus quality, and finishing with a tiny bit of heat.
We rounded out the meal with an order of Beef Mussamun Curry and rice. It was very good, but was a bit light on that distinct curry flavor you look for in this dish. Also, they used a food service crinkle cut french fry in place of real potato. The entree was the weakest of the three dishes, but still managed to please.
We wanted to wrap up the night with a "battle of the bands" event at Kochanski's Concertina Beer Hall, hoping to reunite with Mr. and Mrs. chicagostyledog. Unfortunately, time and energy(loss) were working against us and we had to cut things short.
In spite of that, it was a glorious day. I want to thank all The Contingent members who came out for this year's Fred lunch: carolinabob, Mr. and Mrs. chicagostyledog, JRPfeff and Pie Diva, ScreamingChicken and wife, cjucoder, quijote, and X1. It's always a pleasure to hang with our best foodie friends. Looking forward to seeing you September 1st in Chicago!