I know. Poor excuses all. But I do what I want.
Last night, I attempted to live-tweet a dinner at Topolobampo, one of the most well-renowned Mexican restaurants in the country. Twitter is having a fit, though, so exactly none of my texts came through. Luckily, they're all still in the outbox of my phone, so I can recreate the dinner here.
8:58pm-Tweeps, it migt be time to hit unfollow. About to live-tweet dinner at Rick Bayless' Topolobampo in Chicago. Why? Here alone for work, no one to eat with.
9:10pm-Reservation is for 9:15 on Thursday and this place is packed with no sign of letting up. Decor=decidedly mexican despite prices for entrees in the high 30s.
9:18pm-Btw did this morning's hackerattack break twitterberry? Haven't been able to use it all day.
9:29pm-Packed indeed. 15 min post-reservation and table still isn't ready! I could use a cocktail. But then again, when couldn't I?
9:46pm-Finally sat. Mighttt have lied and said I was in Chicago just to try restaurants. What?? I'm a little salty about the wait, so sue me.
9:48pm-Ordered a nice classic margarita, served in a martini glass. @marksamburg would love this.
9:52pm-A nice treat-some guac brought to the table with cuke and jicama chips. Didn't know guac could be this good. Unbelievable balance of acid, salty, and sweet.
9:55pm-Guac has just a bit of lingering heat and crumbled almonds. First course is already out-suddenly my experience here has gotten much much better.
10:00pm-Ordered trio of ceviches for app. Hawaiian sunfish w/tomatoes, olives, jicama seems most classic. Steamed shrimp and calamari a bit more acidic.
10:03pm-I wish the shrimp were diced. Whole shrimp hard to eat bite by bite. 3rd is ahi tuna w/apricot chimoy salsa. Sweet, bit of spicy kick. All three expertly done
10:04pm-Also, more of the crumbled almond on the ahi tuna. Chips with the ceviche are nice, but taste just a bit.....store brought? No....
10:19pm-This hawaiian sunfish tastes a lot like escolar....what a great combo of flavors. Never would have thought to put crushed almonds on a ceviche.
10:23pm-Also, the manager has now dropped by to chat me up twice, hehe. I should do this more often...
10:27pm-Entree is out. Cochinta pibil-overnight braised big foot fried in croquettes with kohlrabi mashed potato, braised greens, sour organce sauce, habanero salsa.
10:29pm-Served with a tempranillo that is wonderfully fruity-blackberry, oak, very smooth, very round, lots of tannins. Great choice by server.
10:32pm-Habanero salso is hottt. Even for me. Hats off to them for being gutsy enough to serve something with real heat, most restaurants shy away.
10:34pm-They give you option of dish without the salsa. I find woefully underseasoned without, but excellent with. Pork feet are wonderfully tender.
10:35pm-Did I just use "wonderfully" two tweets in a row? (Editor's note--upon review, it appears I did not.) This wine may be getting to me. (Editor's note--upon review, it was.)
10:39pm-Sour orange gets totally lost in all the broth. A shame...it was good.
10:41pm-I've been corrected. I have both pigs feet coated in breadcrumbs and lightly fried or sauteed braised pig shoulder. The shoulder is better. (Editor's note--the flavor of that shoulder stuck with me all night. It was definitely the best thing I ate there, and that's saying something.)
10:50pm-Main Course grew on me as I ate it. Super satisfied at this point. Do I have room for dessert?
10:59pm-Ordered mexican hot chocolate, great nutty, spicy aroma. Nutmeg is freshly ground. Nice...
11:00pm-Wow. Very rich but not overbearing. Not too sweet. Tastes like the red wine of hot chocolate. A great end to the meal.
11:05pm-Tab comes to $75. Special thanks to @taylorkline and @marksamburg for the book the bro code, which kept me occupied between tweets.
11:14pm-Oops, she forgot to charge me for wine. I reminded her but she left it off as a reward for honesty. They also leave me with a strawberry jelly candy and a house made chocolate truffle w/hints of mezcal.
That tweeting was rather prolific--as I had more time to think about it on the subway to Lincoln Park, I realized that this had to rank as one of the top three places I've ever been, and a bit more marinating on the meal could push it into the number 1 spot. The pork shoulder, trio of ceviches, and hot chocolate were the best I've ever had in each category. Lots of points for creativity, and the service was excellent after being sat a half hour after my reservation.