Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Week 4 Pre-BYOB Post - Spring World (Trina) - January 17th 2008

Question: Was 2008 a monumental year for that red giant of a nation we call China? Answer: Does Stami enjoy Benni Bennasi? No debate necessary. But in the Olympic spirit, I’ll finish this race. We all can relate to learning that our favorite childhood Made in China toy was recalled because its high lead content could lead to everything from chest pains to dyslexia. Thanks China, I will always cherish that Malibu Barbie. Hopefully 2009 will bring an end to melamine flavored baby food, because 7/10 babies agree that trend is best left in 2008. And lest we forget Vince Weiguang Li, the world’s most infamous Greyhound passenger, who decided his seat mate was so pretty he wanted his head as a souvenir. That is taking tweaking to a whole new level. Those Chinese, always trying to one up the rest of us. At least Vince left the underage gymnasts alone.

In addition, as if that wasn't enough, Chinese New Year is also just around the corner!! The Year of the Rat (sorry Rat) is out, and the Year of the Ox (Jer-Bear?) is in. As both of our Asians are out this round, we will rely on the kindness of their countrymen (kinda?) to lead us to a BYOB wonderland. The spot is Spring World right in the heart of Chinatown. The big celebrations are a few days away, but hopefully there are festivities and decorations springing (?) up already. Like our group, the menu boasts a wide range of options from simple to exotic. And, again much like our BYOBers, it promises not to disappoint. Although the d├ęcor inside is reportedly on the minimal end, I have no doubt our presence will make a loud statement. We will likely be remembered long after our departure.

Dear China - We the BYOB Club will not be intimidated by your amazing 2008 and 38 zillion citizens. We will band together and defeat the fear you have tried to instill in the free world. We say zai jian to 2008, and ni hao to 2009!

What: Spring World
Where: 2109 S China Pl, Chicago
When: January 17, 2008 7:30pm

Those that would like to caravan together can meet at the Belmont Red Line stop at 6:55pm. Please note Crazy Tuna did not RSVP and is not expected to be in attendance.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Week 3 Review - Lalibela (Macher) - December 20, 2008

Hellooooo BYOBers! Time to climb into your way-way-back machines as this review recounts a pre-annual-rebirth of Jesus 2008 event. You think I am lazy for not writing entries more timely? You are RIGHT! You have a problem with it? Then write a damn entry sucka!

Thinking back I remember some email drama surrounding the then rookie now sophomoric Elizabeth and her unrelenting Stamos-esque positivity. So did it live up to expectations? Or, was it a flop? Did we have the bestest time ever? Or was it another ho-hum get hammered while stuffing African food in your face at Lalibela evening? Read on good reader.

Besides the hype, the other defining factor at Lalibela was the HUGE number of BYOB rookies and guests. It was like the Real World Road Rules Challenge The Inferno XXIV Rookies Versus Veterans, but with more drinking (we are so awesome!!) and less sex in the sand. In all 10/23 attendees were virgins (not counting Tusk). As you can imagine, BYOB credentials drove some considerable variation in scoring.

and with that....to the scoreboard!

The Scene

My first thought on entering Lalibela was...thank god I didn't just slip and crack my head open on the slipperiest doorway in Africa! For serious! I didn't even know they had ice in Africa. Then I recovered and took in the view of authentic (maybe?) wooden chairs, sexy African art (boobies!!), grass chain curtains and mostly empty tables. There were a few regulars (the Miz, Coral, Abe, Veronica, etc.), which is typically a good sign, but overall the place was fairly empty. Even without a crowd, some voters really loved the scene. Maybe they were in wine-love with the greatest club in the world? Or maybe they simply enjoyed the amazing floral arrangements in the ladies powder room. Oh BTW...I think I heard Coral and Miz getting frisky in there! Are silk sun flowers an aphrodisiac? OMG!

Group Rating: 2.89
Rookies: 3.25
Veterans: 2.70

The Service

This is where things get dicey. Although there is no hard evidence of the Rookies having an alliance with the server, well, let's just say that his tug-of-war skills weren't what kept him in the game. On the real tip, the server or perhaps owner was friendly, courteous, helpful and incredible at mesmerizing unsuspecting Rookies by wafting incense before the meal. It smelled wonderful and may have kept us sedated during the long wait for food. Of course, a wait is to be expected when you attack a restaurant with 23 hungry hooligans. Lalibela was aiming for professional and understated service..they nailed it, but perhaps left a few BYOBers unimpressed. Nevertheless I must say that the owner was one of the most earnest looking gentlemen I have ever seen. I think that makes him even more dangerous in a trust no one, stab-you-in-the-back, winner take all reality gameshow.

Group Rating: 2.83
Rookies: 3.25
Veterans: 2.60

The Grub

In an unexpected, ratings-killing plot twist (MTV producers be damned!), the Rooks and the Vets really came together on rating the spongey goodness that is the Ethiopian dinner experience. Jody, Derrick and all the gang agreed that Ethiopian food, especially at Lalibela, is both delicious and fun! Who doesn't enjoy eating with their hands?! We know, thanks to the notes from one capricious Rookie, that our dear friend Diez certainly did. I quote, "The company was beyond entertaining...perhaps MacKenzie could wear a bib next time? Has there ever been a club bib?" Careful Diez, spilling too much food has been known to attract the Tusk (cat pawing with open claw sound). Of course there were a few issues such as an icky green salad and a few under-spiced entrees, but all-in-all Lalibela came correct with the grub. Surprisingly, on a mostly vegetarian menu the lamb shined through as a star.

Group Rating: 3.33
Rookies: 3.63
Veterans: 3.17


So who won the Inferno XXIV? This Veteran is declaring it too close to call. Were the Rooks impressed by the amazing BYOB Club? Were some wily Vets out for sabotage? Does it matter? Probably not. Lalibela rocked and Elizabeth came through in the clutch with a great pick (note that Stamos most certainly would have made a panic pick).

Group Rating: 3.01
Rookies: 3.38
Veterans: 2.82

A few odd and ends...
  • Though the pics suggest otherwise, Crazy Tuna did not make an appearance at Lalibela. But CT (OMG the perfect RWRR Challenge linchpin!!!) did punch me in the face later that night. A loving white-wash in the snow calmed her down.
  • Jordan is really really beautiful.
  • Diez claims that he did not black out and also claims that he did not poop while gone missing in the bathroom for 20 minutes.
  • Many BYOBers agree that Cecile's friends are most-smairting, others prefer Greg's Lisa (mostly Greg)

More Evidence