So we’ve been quiet for a while. But we’ve been hungry too, so we didn’t stop eating our way through Bloomington. We’ve actually gotten past the “China”s already. We eat, write down notes, and take photos. The writing of the reviews takes time, and we’re really behind on that. We posted another review today, but who knows when the next will be. In any case, we figured somebody might want to look at our progress, even if we’re not reviewing, so we posted a page containing the complete alphabetical list. If the list is missing a restaurant, please let us know about it!
Category Archives: Miscellaneous
Well, sort of. After many years of slacking off, Kira and I (that’s Erik) have decided that this alphabetical restaurant thing was fun enough to try again.
We’re going to try and make it less involved than it was before so that it’s easier to keep going (and more fun). The biggest change is that we won’t be writing separate reviews for each restaurant. We’ll just write one combined review for each restaurant. To be more specific, Kira and I will eat at the restaurant as usual, take photos, and jot down some notes so that I can write up the review. Also, depending on how we feel, we might skip making a new trip to a restaurant we’ve eaten at many times before, but we’ll still draw up a review for it.
Many things have changed since we abandoned our poor readers (all dozen or so of you). Many of the restaurants that used to exist here have been closed down, replaced with something else (sometimes several times!), reopened somewhere else, undergone management changes, or remodeled. This means that some of our old reviews aren’t very relevant anymore. Also, now that we’ve eaten at many of those restaurants many times, our opinions may have… evolved a bit. We don’t want to get rid of all our old reviews, but we’ll address the issue by adding additional addenda to those posts.
Also, the phonebook we were using before would be hopelessly out of date now. So it’s a good thing that we can’t seem to find it. These days, one could argue that phonebooks in general are hopelessly out of date. And a quick look through the phonebooks we have seems to verify this. Many restaurants we know of aren’t listed in any of the phonebooks, and the ones that do appear often appear with different names and addresses. So while we’ll use the phonebooks to help us make sure we aren’t missing anything, we’ll no longer be treating them as scripture, and for the most part, we’ll just go by our own judgment.
And lastly, our blog seems to have suffered quite a bit of damage since we exported everything from the old server and tried to import it to the WordPress servers. All the text and some of the pictures in the galleries seem to be there, but the links have been completely corrupted and even some of the pictures that still exist have been totally fubared. So I’ll have to go back and fix all the posts. Once I get the old pages fixed, we’ll start uploading new reviews
Anyway, welcome back to Erik and Kira Eat Bloomington!
We were informed (awhile ago) by our loyal friend and reader, Neeraj, that the very first restaurant in our phonebook has gone the way of Austin Riley’s Pizza. American Chopstick wasn’t a high quality restaurant, but it was always entertaining. We don’t know why it closed, but are saddened that we didn’t get to say goodbye. I drive by there frequently and even though the sign is still up, it is eerily empty.
So long, American Chopstick. You will be missed.
In response to Melinda’s comment, no, we haven’t completely given up. So what happened to Erik and Kira Eats Bloomington?
Think of it like we just took a 2 month hiatus. It started off with us getting behind in writing up the some of the reviews, but we were still motivated to keep on going. Then school started in August and Eat Bloomington sort of got put on the back burner.
We hope to get things up and running again. I mean we still have to eat! But who knows when we’ll get off our asses. Both of us have been known to have a bit of a procrastination issue, but I think we can get going again with a little push.
So please keep on nagging us, keep checking back here for updates, and hopefully we’ll be eating Bloomington again very soon.
According to our phone book, Bloomington has a Blimpie sandwich shop. This turned out not to be the case. I can’t say this disappoints me. (Astonishingly, many of the phone books we currently have still have a Blimpie listed. And yet, there is no Blimpie in Bloomington, as far as I can tell. There are a surprising number of places listed in our phone books (even the one we just got a few months ago) that no longer exist or have never existed (as far as we can tell), not to mention quite a few places that are not only not restaurants, but have absolutely nothing to do with food. The era of the phone book is long past by now. I’d be less sad if there was a better replacement. -Erik, May 2014)
Bridget, one of our readers, recently brought to our attention a very sad piece of news. It seems that Austin Riley’s Royal Pizza Works, a pizzeria that Kira and I only very recently discovered, has closed its doors permanently, and no longer will we see its Union-Jack-emblazoned delivery Mini Clubman on its way to deliver Austin’s tasty pizza pies to the good folk of Bloomington. We wanted to verify the news before announcing it here, so Kira called them up and received a recorded message that informed us of the sad fact and encouraged us to visit other independent pizzerias.
I may have previously poked fun at the silly, snobbish attitude that some independently owned restaurants (or their cheese suppliers) adopt, but a lot of good pizza gets skipped over for the very small convenience of familiarity that the big chains offer. Now I don’t believe that all big corporations serve crappy pizza, but I do believe that you’ll miss out on the good stuff if you don’t give the little guys a chance. I like Papa John’s, but they don’t plan on closing up shop anytime soon, so the next time I plan on ordering a pizza, I’ll try somebody else. Maybe we’ll try out Aver’s, as suggested by Melinda, another of our several dozen visitors.
But in the meantime, I hope everyone will join me in observing a moment of silence in rememberence of good pizza.
My Daddy’s Kitchen
I have eaten here quite a lot. While I was growing up, my daddy did most of the cooking. He was “Mr. Mom”, although I know that even if he had been the one bringing home the bacon, he’d still have been frying it up, too.
My daddy has always been the chef of the house, and made family meals several times a week when I was a kid. When I moved out of the house for college (a whole 2 miles away) I would get a phone call from my dad every few weeks, usually when it had been awhile since I had stopped by. He would ask if I wanted to come over for dinner because there was a sale on something or the meat was going to go bad if he didn’t use it soon. There were often other excuses, but it always boiled down to the fact that there was way too much spaghetti, sweet and sour ham, or steak (some of my favorites) for just him and my mom to eat on their own. I had to come over and help them eat some of it. This was how I knew that my daddy missed me.
Now that I live on the other side of the country from him, I’m not able to stop by as often. Whenever I have a visit home coming up, my daddy asks me what I want him to make for dinner for when I get there. I eagerly await these daddy-cooked meal.
Nothing can compare to eating dinner at home with family. My parents have lived in the same house since before I was born, and that house will always be home to me. Being in that house means eating good food.
Meals at our house are always pretty casual and are generally served on paper plates (unless we are having something that requires a steak knife). If we happen to be eating together on a Friday night, my mom will insist on lighting the Shabbat candles…if she remembers before we actually start eating.
My daddy sits at the head of the table, and I have always chosen to sit next to him to be as close to him as possible.
Spaghetti, brisket, steak, wine burgers, sweet and sour ham, fried chicken, baked fish, stir fry, mashed potatoes, chopped liver, Thanksgiving turkey, chocolate silk pie, apple pie, brownies, chocolate delights…what can’t my daddy make? And all of it is fantastic. He makes his food to his taste and gets frustrated if it doesn’t turn out to be perfect (like him). Meatballs and spaghetti sauce at restaurants can never be as good as what my daddy makes at home.
And of course nothing cures a cold better than a bowl of dad’s matzoh ball soup. After moving out I knew that whenever I was sick all I had to do was call home and say, in the saddest, sickest voice possible, “Daddy, I’m sick. Could you make some matzoh ball soup for me please?”, and he would be there in a few hours time to deliver the cure.
Dad is always experimenting with new recipes or styles, either thought up on his own or suggested by Alton Brown, Emeril, America’s Test Kitchen, or many others. I fondly remember watching Yan Can Cook and The Frugal Gourmet as a little kid with my daddy as he got more ideas for dinner that night.
As long as we make the salad and set the table, the food will be ready…eventually. Sometimes we have to wait for the meat to get to the right temperature or the sauce to have the perfect consistency, but it is always well worth the wait. My daddy is often in the kitchen while we eat the salad or appetizers to make sure everything is prepared and ready to go.
Free, with a kiss. Of course, setting and clearing the table is also part of the price.
I do not consider myself a good cook. I didn’t use to cook very often, but have recently started experimenting a little more in the kitchen. Whenever I successfully cook something I get some weird sense of pride, like I did something that I was not expected to do. I have come to realize that this is at least partially because I feel as though I am emulating my daddy, and I like that.
I often call my dad to ask for some cooking advice, and whenever I do so he almost always calls me back later that same night or the next day to ask how it turned out. If I try to make something new without consulting my dad first, I always call him afterward, both to brag that I actually cooked something, and to get some tips on what I can do better for next time. He is always supportive and excited to help.
How often would I go back?
I’d eat my daddy’s everyday if I could. I’ll be home in about a month, and I expect something delicious on my plate.
Happy Father’s Day, Daddy! Thanks for your great food and fun. I love you, and I’ll see you soon!