Kevin and the Deep Fried Baltimore Dog (October 2, 2009)

Although I think we technically skipped September, Kevin and I are on track with our monthly “Conversations” series. The last time we met was August 17th, Jesika’s birthday, and our get together was one of two heavy hearts. However, when we met yesterday at America’s Dog, the Lincoln Park location, the theme was decidely one of turning the page, moving forward in the new realities of 2009.

If it seems to you folks that Kevin and I enjoy hot dogs, well that’s true, although it is not intentional that we keep eating franks. There’s just a lot of out there dog joints in the Chi. America’s Dog is a Chicago chain started by two brothers who went on a cross country trip and returned with an idea of what many major U.S. cities like to put on their weiners. Therefore, you get offerings like the Buffalo Dog, which consists of buffalo sauce, bleu cheese and salary salt. Or the New York Dog, which features sauerkraut and brown mustard.

Being fully committed to watching my weight these days, I opted for the Salt and Pepper Shrimp Wrap, which probably still isn’t that healthy. This concoction boasted salt and pepper crusted shrimp with jack cheese, black beans, corn, lettuce, tomato and chipotle mayonnaise. Fabulous. My dining partner, on the other hand, must have felt like busting an artery on the drive home. Not only did he feast on the Dallas Dog (chili, onions & shredded cheddar cheese), but he also had a side of the titular Balitmore Dog, which was a deep fried number with melted cheddar & grilled onions. Kevin said it was pretty good, but not the kind of novelty you’d want to consume on a regular basis. You think, Kev? Mr. Smith will be posting photos of this on his own blog (http://www.itainthardtotell.com/) in the near future.

Of course the conversation while we ate touched on Jesika, how we miss her, and what she would have found funny these days – as it always does. Our love for her started off as the tie that bound us of course, but Kevin and I are growing into a lovely friendship of our own. To that end, we discussed Kevin’s exciting new project, an athletic/fitness program he is planning to produce for local TV, called 312 Physique. Naturally, since I am an exercise fanatic, always on the hunt for the next trends, I offerred my services as researcher, demo dummy, host, or some combination of the three. Whatever my boy needs. I told him it would warm Jesika’s heart to see us working together. Kevin corrected me and said it would amuse Jesika to see us collaborate. Probably a little bit of both.

I caught Kevin up on my new gig with the Chicago Office of Tourism, the London trip and other Boop business. Since he asked (he might have been sorry later), I also provided my impassioned reasons for being against Chicago’s Olympic bid. I had a text message from Kevin around 10:45 AM this morning that said my “street cred [was] still intact.” Boo ya!

I rightly think we laughed more together than we had since before Jesika got sick. I look forward to November. I think we agreed on Hot Doug’sKevin?

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