Food Fight

Let The Games End

Chicago didn't get the Olympics. America was denied. The world said no to Barack Obama. Why? Can we be honest...

Thumbnail image for chicago_2016.gif

NO! Repeat after me, "Love it or Leave it."

Chicago is the best city in the world. America is the best country in the world. 

Barack Obama isn't just the president of America, he's the leader of the Free World.

Love it or Leave it. 

Screw the Olympics. Boycott the Olympics. Either the Olympics are with us or against us. They hate us for our Freedom Fries. 

Let the games end.

Continue reading...

Leave Polanski Alone

Leave Polanski alone. 

Thumbnail image for polanski_then.jpg
Yes, he diddled a 13-year-old girl. Yes, he diddled a 13-year-old girl at the home of Jack Nicholson. Yes, there was champagne and quaaludes and diddling. But I don't blame Roman Polanski. 

I blame the mother. 

Continue reading...

Wrongapalooza

Is there a difference between being sorry, and being sorry you got caught? Is there such a thing as True Remorse? 

No.

Look at Rush Limbaugh. He's never wrong. He never apologizes. He knows everything about EVERYTHING. I want to be like Rush.

Continue reading...

Dancing With The Scums

This week on "Dancing with the Stars," Tom Delay shook his butt at The American Justice System. Why are powerful men allowed to Cha-Cha their way around doing time in jail?

Continue reading...

Mad As Hell Doctors

This weekend on "Family Values with an Oy Vey," we got a call from Mad As Hell Paul, a doctor from Mad As Hell Doctors. As the health care debate derails into name calling and racism, phony anger, the Mad As Hell Doctors are taking real anger on the road.

rubber_glove_meets_the_road.jpg
They're mad about the exclusion of Single Payer; they're mad about doctors who mine disease for wealth.

They're mad about not being able to do their jobs; they actually want to take care of people. 

Suckers!

This Friday, at Joey's Brickhouse, we're hosting an event with the Mad As Hell Doctors. Drop by if you want to throw around questions. Drop by if you want to throw around issues. Drop by if you want to throw around food. No AK-47's.

MAD-AS-HELL-DOCTORS.jpg
Yes you can meet Mad As Hell Paul. Yes you can meet Brutally Frank. Speaking of which, this weekend, on "Family Values with an Oy Vey," my dad, my hero, Brutally Frank, did a rant to end all rants.

Here it is.
Continue reading...

Happy Challah Days

La Shana Tova! Which is Jewish for "Word Up to the New Year."

Tonight starts Rosh Hashanah. It's a time for celebrating what's to come by looking back and trying not to make the same mistakes. This is harder than it sounds. Especially when we celebrate all the wrong things, like pretty bigots.

Continue reading...

Cobbler For O'Reilly

I don't believe in Fox News. I don't believe the word "Fox" belongs next to the word "News." That said, I've always been a fan of Bill O'Reilly. Today he endorsed The Public Option.

Continue reading...

Martin Luther Bling

I have a dream. It's a dream rooted deeply in American Pop Culture. It's a dream where spoiled white artists and spoiled black artists are free to embarrass themselves on MTV.

kanye_taylor.jpg

I have a dream. That one day, right here in the streets of Chicago, where parking meters have made all of us slaves, a man will be judged not by the content of his character, but by the coins in his pocket.

I have a dream today. 

Continue reading...

Palin/Wilson 2012

Joe Wilson perfectly articulated the subtext of the Republican Party. "You Lie!"

joe_wilson.jpg

You Lie about single-payer.

You Lie about death panels.

You Lie about mining disease for wealth.

I have no problem with Joe Wilson acting stupidly in a joint session of congress. 

I have no problem turning a chamber of decorum into a town hall of idiots. 

As a matter of fact, I have no problem putting aside pseudo-respect. 

I'm happy to replace dishonest debate with word bullets, and actual bullets. 

BANG! Bring it on. Take aim, you 2nd amendment sissies. I dare you. I double dog dare you. 

Continue reading...

Oprah Is Fab

In 1969, The Beatles shut down London. It was their last appearance. In 2009, Oprah shut down Chicago. Is this her last appearance?

beatles.jpg
God forbid.

Life is less fun without The Beatles. They told us "All You Need Is Love." They told us "Love Is All You Need." They ushered in an era of bad hair.
Oprah.jpg

Speaking of bad hair, Oprah took it to a whole new level. She didn't just let it be.

Think about everything Oprah has accomplished, in spite of the odds. But don't go to the obvious hardships. Don't think about the black thing. Don't think about the woman thing. 

Here's the thing: hair & weight. Real struggles! 

My brother has struggled his entire life with a JewFro. I've struggled endlessly with weight. Up, down. Up, down. Up...

Like a fat yo-yo.
Continue reading...

Food Fight On Food Network

Batman liked to prance around in tights. Wonder Woman was the first ever super hero MILF. The Hulk had anger management issues. Spiderman was misunderstood, so action was his reward. The Greatest American Hero lost the manual to his costume, so he was a super hero klutz. Iron Man was a recovering addict, who, back in the day, liked to smoke crack with Robert Downey Jr. And now, making his super hero debut, there's me, Greg, who, from this day forward, shall forever be known as...The Green Helmet.

morellibros_superdog.jpg

Continue reading...

Gay Fish

I scream. You  scream. We all scream for Gay Ice Cream!

hubby_hubby.jpg
In honor of marriage equality, Ben & Jerry's renamed "Chubby Hubby" to "Hubby Hubby." It's a flavor sure to give gay bashers a brain freeze.

Where are we as a country when an ice cream shop has to take a stand because the president has gone soft serve.

What happened to "Now is the Moment." What happened to "This is the Time." When did the "The Fierce Urgencey of Now" become the convenient timeframe of soon enough?

Oh well, if Barack & Joe won't serve up equality, in 2012 I'm voting for Ben & Jerry.
Continue reading...

Bye Teddy. And Thanks.

8:31 AM Wednesday, Mom texted: "I am so sad about the loss of Ted Kennedy. I voted for Bobby. I watched Ted atone for his sins."

kennedy_shot.jpg

I'm starting this blog on purpose with a sad note from Mom. Can't imagine what it would be like for her to lose a child to a gunman.

10:27 AM Wednesday, Joey texted: "86 Ted Kennedy." For those of you who don't know the restaurant business, 86 means "Gone, Done, Kaput."

My brother wasn't trying to be a smart-aleck. He was texting. He was using short hand to convey sadness. Honestly, the very next thing he said was this :(

Don't know how I would survive if I lost my brother to a gunman. The loss would be shattering. Watching my parents crumble would be unimaginable.

kennedy_shot_again.jpg

Teddy did this. He watched his brothers die at the hand of a gunman. He watched his parents crumble. Then he drove off a bridge. 

He took a life. But for some damn reason, the life he took wasn't his own. He made it to the surface. Teddy was re-born. Me, I wouldn't want a re-birth. Me, I'd want to drown.

But I'm selfish.

All week, I've been trying to write something meaningful about what Teddy meant to America. Like so many things in my life, I failed. I wrote. Hated it. Re-wrote. Hated it even more. Procrastinated by doing a blog about orgasms. Got turned on. Jerked off. Gave up on being meaningful.

3:43 PM Sunday, Dad wrote. It wasn't a text. It was Brutally Frank.

Continue reading...

Amen VS O-Face

If we're going to ask anyone to abstain, let's ask our pastors to abstain from speaking. Unlike God, no one ever started a war in the name of Orgasms.

orgasm_a_day.jpg
In England, they launched a campaign promoting sex for teenagers. It's called "An Orgasm A Day." 

How do you like them apples?

There was a debate about sex on ChicagoNow. Garrard McClendon argued the merits of abstinence. Anna Pulley argued the merits of getting laid.

Me, I was annoyed I had to stop masturbating long enough to actually blog.
Continue reading...

Jay Cutler Has Balls

When it comes to sports, Chicago fans take pride in acting stupidly.

beer_tosser_cubs_game.jpg
Sox fans hate Cubs fans. Cubs fans don't even acknowledge the existence of Sox fans. Basically, it's a healthy relationship.

At this point in my life, I'm not a fan of anyone. I'm a businessman. So I like whatever team is generating a fake boom in an economy which can only be called a total bust.

That's what you get when you fund 2 simultaneous wars with tax cuts. Anyway...

As a businessman, as a grown up, as an American, I take pride in hating both teams: Republicans & Democrats. Wish I could dump beer on all of those overpaid idiots. 

Speaking of overpaid idiots, welcome Jay Cutler. I probably shouldn't call him an idiot, since I don't know if it's true. But he's definitely overpaid.

Thumbnail image for sid_luckman.jpg
Unlike my hero, Sid Luckman. Sid played ball the way I cook, which is to say, for love of the game. Plus rent.

Maybe if we got back to the idea of caring about what we did more than caring about how much we made, the universe would regain it's balance, and the Cubbies would break the 100 year curse.

Nah.

Jay Cutler comes to us from Colorado. After graduating from the University of Illinois, a bunch of guys from my fraternity spent a year in Colorado: skiing every day, smoking dope every day and going broke. It was heaven.

The dish du jour was Rocky Mountain Oysters. Eating them was a rite of passage. Especially for frat boys from Champaign-Urbana who still hadn't made peace with how much we enjoyed showering together in the frat house. 

You see, Rocky Mountain Oysters is code for Cow Balls. Knowing what they are, and putting them in your mouth, is a step, an important step, in growing up. 

Here's what I mean, in mile-high-logic: if being open minded is a step away from thinking like a group, which is the joy of being a fraternity brother, then swallowing reality is a step toward thinking for yourself, which is the joy of manning up.

Welcome to Chicago, Jay. Please enjoy my recipe for Rocky Mountain Oysters.
Continue reading...

My Forefather Can Beat Up Your Forefather

Monday starts the weekend for my family. 

monday_night_deal.JPG
After running the restaurant on Friday night, Saturday morning, Saturday night, Sunday morning, Sunday night, we're pooped.

On Sunday afternoon, in the sliver of time between brunch and dinner, we race south on 55 to Pulaski, just east of Midway Airport, and do a radio show called "Family Values with an Oy Vey."

In the 2nd hour of the show, Dad calls in. He does a rant we fondly refer to as Brutally Frank. 

By the time the show's over, he's asking how soon I can have it posted on Food Fight. 

To be Brutal, to be Frank: it takes 25 hours. Sorry for the delay. Here it is, Brutally Frank.
Continue reading...

2nd Amendment Sissies

Let's switch the order of the 1st and 2nd Amendment. Let's declare open season on the unarmed.

town_hall_packing_heat.jpg

I want to be clear to all of you 2nd Amendment Sissies, just because you have the right to bear arms doesn't mean you have to bear arms. 

Showing up to a town hall meeting with the President of the United States of America packing a semi-automatic is like doing shots til you puke...in your 30's.

I get it, in the beginning, when you're finally old enough to have the right to get drunk, you want to see how far you can push it. But then you grow the hell up. You move past embarrassing your friends, bed spins and sleeping with losers. 

Actually, sleeping with losers never gets old.

Continue reading...

Town Hall Food Fight

It's bad enough John McCain didn't bitch slap Sarah Palin when she accused Barack Obama of palling around with terrorists.

gun_toting_sissy.jpg
But you have to wonder why Senator McCain didn't drop kick this gun-toting-douchebag when he showed up at a town hall meeting in Arizona armed with an AK-47.

This is a threat: it's loud, clear intent to kill. Since when did it become okay to make a threat against the president's life?

Listen, you 2nd Amendment Sissies, I HATED the last president. George W. Bush offended me to the core. But I NEVER wanted to see him hurt.

More than president of the United States of America, I saw George as the father of twins, the husband of Laura. I didn't even like it when he choked on a pretzel.

I'll go one step further, as much as I hated President Bush, I didn't want him impeached. I think impeachment has become a media event. I didn't want to be saved by a bunch of media grandstanders using impeachment to beat on their liberal chests.

I wanted the American People to get off their big, fat asses AND VOTE.

Continue reading...

Judge Rizzi: Gavel v. Fork

Going before a judge usually means something went wrong, terribly wrong.

Thumbnail image for judge_rizzi_drawing.JPG
Like, for example, if my landlord wanted more money or my wife wanted to be my ex-wife. Typically, going before a judge is not a happy occasion.

That is, until my brother and I sat down with Judge Rizzi for lunch.

In the name of full disclosure, I must confess we all had the Judge Rizzi Iceberg Wedge. Which is a salad consisting of iceberg lettuce, not a wedge issue consisting of birth certificates.

I don't think we did it to win the favor of Judge Rizzi. But you never know how the facts are perceived. So we're putting everything on the table and leaving the decision to a jury of our knuckleheaded peers.

Judge Rizzi spent 18 years on the appellate court of Cook County. He's had a career spanning more than 40 years, in the service of justice, and equal protection under the law. His decisions have brought him fame, infamy and most important of all, his own damn booth at Petterino's,

rizzi_iceberg.JPG
I can only imagine the hourly-rate for Judge Rizzi's time. In a word: OY!

I have to say, it's a shame time like this is expensive, and rare. The experience only reaffirmed my belief the supreme court should televise their hearings.

It's clarifying to have access to the world-view of the court, and the scholars who, for the most part, reside there.

Truly, a life on the court is monastic: listening, thinking, writing, ruling. To be able to sit with a monk over iceberg lettuce and hash out the issues of the day is fun. 

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for judge_glances.JPG
A heck of a lot of fun!

I realize, of course, The Peter Principle kicked in almost immediately. I was out of my league, waaaay out of my league. I felt like Rod Blagojevich, hoping cuteness alone would save my tucas.

My brother is still pondering what he learned from our lunch with The Honorable Judge Rizzi. Me...I'm not into pondering. I'd say more, but discussing The Hyde Amendment, and why it's just another way to pick on poor women, is beyond my pay-grade. Instead, allow me to offer a recipe for the Italian Judge, who, like my father, made a key decision, and married a Jewish Girl.

Mangia Mangia. L'Chaim. Enjoy!
Continue reading...

Dad's Woodstock Flashback

Once a week, we do a two hour radio show called Family Values with an Oy Vey. 

dad_glance.JPG
Half way through the second hour of the show, my Dad calls. He does a rant called "Brutally Frank."

He's brutal. And his name is Frank. So coming up with the name of his rant didn't take a lot of effort. It only took me 41 years of being his son to finally understand my Dad's love comes with a left hook.

He's from the Bronx. Raised by immigrants. He made it all the way to Highland Park, the north shore of Chicago, where he raised his two meshuggener sons. 

He was trying to give us the best.

Like most things, it kinda worked, it kinda sucked. The north shore has incredible schools. But there's an epidemic of sameness. It's a lopsided trade off, like co-ops for the public option.

My Dad has been asking me to publish his Brutally Frank. I think he thought I was denying him his moment of glory by not posting it, with links and pictures, immediately after the show, each and every Sunday, since the very first second we started blogging on Food Fight.

The problem is, no matter what I think he thought, he will tell me I'm wrong. To be brutal, to be frank, my dad's a hard-ass. But he shouldn't have to ask me more than once. It only took me 41 years of being his son to finally give him a little something, after he's given me so much.

Here it is, Dad: BRUTALLY FRANK!
Continue reading...

Give Beer A Chance

Dumping beer on a baseball player is as American as mom, apple pie and preemptive war. 

beer.JPG
We dumped bombs on Iraq, and no ones been charged. So why are we picking on Johnny Macchione, who's been charged with a misdemeanor.

It's been a rough couple weeks for beer. All we are saying is give beer a chance.

A white cop, black professor and the president of the United States of America required beer to find common ground.

Now an over-paid athlete is pissed off because a drunk fan acted stupidly. By the way, am I allowed to say he acted stupidly, even though I don't know all the facts?

Maybe I should apologize: I could have calibrated my words differently. There, are you happy, bitch!

To make amends, I would like to formally invite Shane Victorino and Johnny Macchione to Joey's Brickhouse for a beer summit, where everyone in the restaurant is encouraged to throw beer at each other, and two seconds later, get the hell over themselves.

Hey, what do you expect from a blog called "Food Fight."
Continue reading...

The Right To Bear Phones

An air traffic controller was recently fired for having "an inappropriate conversation."
plane_wreckage.jpg
While he was on the phone, a plane crashed into a helicopter over the Hudson River. From my point-of-view, things are backwards. 

The conversation wasn't "inappropriate," the firing was. Today, constant contact is as important as shopping was after 9/11.   

Terrorist browse. Patriots buy. To that end, the pilot should be stripped of his licenses, and denied a runway to heaven. The air traffic controller should be rewarded with endorsements from AT&T, and a personal thank you from Jesus.

In America, we cherish the right to incessant gabbing almost as much as the right to bear arms. If we're not shooting, we're talking. If we're not talking, we're texting. If we're not texting, we're leaving romantic messages.
Continue reading...

The Crying Fish

One day, I plan on opening a Sushi Restaurant. When I do, it's going to be called The Crying Fish.

joey_cooking.jpg
By the time you open a restaurant, please be sure you know the difference between good ideas and bad ideas.

By the time you open a restaurant, please be sure you know not to hire the daughter of one of your mother's closest childhood friends.

By the time you open a restaurant, if you're torn between ideas, and unsure about hiring the daughter of one of your mother's closest childhood friends, please be sure she's not a victim masquerading as a vegetarian.
Continue reading...

The Ghost Of Lollapalooza Past

Jim Morrison read "The Doors of Perception" and named his band The Doors. I read "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" and named my band Gumption Trap. We were doomed. Even worse, when you put Jim Morrison in leather pants, he became a lizard king. When you put me in leather pants, I became a bow-legged Jew.

cheers_to_lolla.1.jpg
I ran Lollapalooza in the summer of 1996. It was my band's big break. Within a week, we broke up. Don't worry, this isn't a sad story. Actually, it would have been sad if we stayed together.

Lollapalooza gave my band, Gumption Trap, a glimpse from the top of the mountain. From the top, my bandmates saw fame. But I had a different view. I saw the dignity in walking away.

Lollapalooza was a turning point in my life. I haven't been back since the summer of 1996, when my band, Gumption Trap, the worst named band in rock 'n roll history, took over The Chill Tent on Randall's Island in New York City.

Thumbnail image for greg_dreaming_lollapalooza.1.jpg
I probably wouldn't have gone back, since it's not really fun confronting ghosts. But this year, I heard Perry Farrell was putting back together Jane's Addiction, the band who created Lollapalooza as a farewell tour in 1991. 

There was something about the circle of Perry, Eric, Stephen and Dave - my generation's John, Paul, George and Ringo - coming back together, as a new beginning, as bandmates, as friends, which drew me to the site of my dream's last gasp.
Continue reading...

Don't You Forget About Hughes

I wasn't a geek. I wasn't a jock. I wasn't a princess. 

princess.3jpg
Actually, when you grow up on the north shore of Chicago, in Highland Park, whether you know it or not, whether you're a boy or a girl, more than anything else, you're a princess.

As much as I wish I was like Ferris Bueller, truth be told, I was more like his sister: obnoxious to my mother, jealous of my brother and strangely aroused by Charlie Sheen's drug habit.

In 1985, I look Hannah, my high school girlfriend, to prom. Even though she was the biggest bitch I ever dated in my life, I have to admit, she looked pretty in pink.

Thank you, John Hughes. Your movies left me with an enduring lesson: how to reduce my life into an offensive cultural stereotype.
Continue reading...

Homecoming Dinner For Euna Lee & Laura Ling

Over his first 200 days in office, the thing I've learned most from watching President Obama is his ability to delegate.

Thumbnail image for joey_delegating.1.jpg
This is my biggest weakness in the kitchen. Coming up the ranks as a chef, I was always able to "Figure It Out." 

So as I took charge, my mantra became "Figure It Out." It's a failing mantra of a weak leader.


3 things dawned on me:

  1. Barack Obama is a fantastic leader
  2. He understands the fine art of delegation
  3. When Bill Clinton thinks with his big head, instead of his small head, there's no one better
Continue reading...

Happy Birthday, Mister President

I was born in America. But I would make a terrible president. 

peace_fingers.2.jpg
I'd tax churches to cover the cost of health care. If you love the meek, cover the meek.

I'd end the war on terror. I'd end the war on drugs. I'd declare war on war. I'd bring our boys and girls in uniform home in time to watch the Cubbies blow it again.

I'd switch the order of the 1st and 2nd Amendment to reflect our true priorities. I'd take Dick Cheney hunting for quail. I'd arm the quail with semi-automatics and call it even.

I'd kick Karl Rove out of the closet. I'd kick Clarence Thomas off the bench. I'd kick Jerome Coris as hard as I could, right in the tucas.

I was born in America, like Barack Obama. It's the only thing we have in common because while I'd make a terrible president, he's fantastic. Happy Birthday, Mister President.
Continue reading...

Blogapalooza

The Community Organizer In Chief has started a much needed trend in America, bringing different groups of people together with widely varying beliefs to find common ground, and drink beer.

blogging_beauties.1.jpg

True, not every group is as attractive as the bloggers at ChicagoNow.com.
Continue reading...

The Audacity Of Beer

It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke: a professor, a cop and the President of the United States of America walk into a bar...

house_o_barack.1.jpg

Only it's not a joke. Unless you consider racial profiling funny. I know I do.
Continue reading...

Ex In The City

Staying friends with an ex-girlfriend is a certain kind of special. Some people are too self-centered. But I've always enjoyed the reminiscing, like when we broke up on the steps of The Louvre.

straw_jojo.1.jpg

Continue reading...

Most Active Pages Right Now

ChicagoNow.com on Facebook