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Drupal. Mapovino. Wine. Mostly?
I’m in the middle of a big job transition, leaving a place I’ve worked for over a decade, and joining a school as a part-time tech director – right before school starts. So my days have started at 6:30am and I’ve been in front of the computer till 11pm – it used to be I was enterprising if I got up before 9am and stayed at work past 6pm.
So the other day, when I finally handed over my old laptop to my old employer, I came back home in the late afternoon, and rediscovered our garden and my flip-flops. Yes, I was going to sit in front of the computer, but on the swing – with a beer. And that’s when I had a strange craving for a “panache.”
When I was a kid visiting my mom in France, they had this drink called Panache (the word here is missing an accent) – a mix of beer and lemonade, what’s called a shandy here. I thought about it years later in college, and it made me cringe in my “micro-brew” elitism. But a friend who is staying with us brought home some Orangina, and that afternoon it just seemed like the right thing to do. And as much as it sounds awful to some people (the beer equivalent of a wine cooler?), it was perfect. I had a really refreshing, low-alcohol drink for my afternoon – and I could have had two and not been aversely affected.
Strike one for the childhood memories. Better than the Clamato and beer mix someone was talking about last night….
So I didn't make it to avec last night – instead, I just wandered down the block to the last place in the area that was open past 10pm – Hackney's. According to someone I talked to today, it's a definitely a Chicago-specific place, so that made me feel good – I wasn't just wandering into yet another pub-just-to-be-cute-pub.
Unfortunately, I wasn't really in a pub-food mood, so apart from their great beer selection, it took me over 15 minutes to figure out which of their salads or burgers I wanted. In the end I settled on a blackened salmon caeser – which was good, and of course, huge. But I had more fun drinking the "black beer with the blond heart" – Kostritzer (a surprisingly light beer for such a dark color – great dinner beer) – and watching the guy at his table who had fallen asleep against the little railing that surrounds the outdoor eating area. In the end, the atmosphere probably counted for more than the food, with very drunk Cubs fans inside giving everyone a piece of their mind. At least I had a real piece of Chicago.