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Thursday, February 18, 2010

This Week's Mercury Food Section: Guilt, Irresponsibility, and Pleasure

Posted by Patrick Alan Coleman on Thu, Feb 18, 2010 at 1:01 PM

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I believe we present a good balance of cuisine in Last Supper. For every expensive fancy-pants restaurant I cover, I try cover a place like the subject of this week’s column: Chicago’s Windy City Hot Dogs.

I call the grub at Chicago’s irresponsible. (Never mind that I suggest the food would tell you to do something responsible, like get a job, if it could talk. I was drunk when I wrote it, okay?) The reason I used that term is because so many fawned-over Portland restaurants couch their menus in the idea of responsibility—whether to the community, the environment, or animal welfare. Chicago’s seems to represent the direct opposite of those ideals. I don’t think much on the menu is local or sustainable. In fact, the meat products are from Vienna Beef in Chicago.

The meat sourcing speaks to a desire for authenticity at Chicago’s. That’s something I appreciate: a bit of the fatty, cheese-covered Midwest tucked away on Canyon Road. However, for eaters who dine in Portland restaurants that allow them to feel ethical by proxy, it may cause a bit of guilt.

I say screw the guilt. Chicago's food is intensely pleasurable, in that animalistic way that only pounds of tender meat crammed into a roll can be. That’s just me though. If I’ve learned anything about you, Blogtownies, over the last two years, it’s that your tastes can be… Shall we say… Extravagant? So, what is your guilty pleasure? What’s that irresponsible food that can launch you into an orgy of gluttony from which you emerge with a dirty face and a dazed look. Don’t hold back.

UPDATE 2:15 PM

Dave J. has the right idea! On Totino's Party Pizza, from the comments: It tastes artificial as hell, is absolutely horrible for your body, and I fucking love them.

C'mon, Blogtownies, don't let Dave just hang there with his confession, twisting in the wind. Get in on the discussion.

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