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Your Friday Food Buffet

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Feb 9, 2007 7:13PM

2007_02_ffb2.jpgAnother Friday, another edition of "Friday Food Buffet." This week, Valentine's Day is around the corner, and the theme of love is in the air, along with fixed price dinners for couples. So sit back, enjoy the cheesecake we left out for you, and have a nice weekend.

"It's also a dessert topping and a furniture polish": Green tea may be good for you, but it isn't a "superfood" yet and won't help you make friends and influence people anytime soon. Coca-Cola's been singing the praises of its new "enviga" energy drink, which they claim can increase one's metabolism to the point where that person is burning off an average of 60-100 calories an hour, if they're healthy to begin with. Researchers at the Nestlé Research Center in Lausanne, Switzerland, found that epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), the antioxidant found in green tea, can speed up the metabolism, especially when combined with caffeine.

And there's your catch. What do you think the odds are that enviga is loaded with enough caffeine and sugar to send a coffee drinker into shock? If you want to increase your metabolism, do what most of us do on a daily basis. Eat right and exercise.

"We won't be able to order this without snickering like a 12-year-old": Who says sexual innuendo is best reserved for the major breweries and St. Pauli Girl? The folks at Red Hook Ale Brewery have re-christened their IPA "Long Hammer." 'Cause, you know, you can't split rails or lay pipe without one. Even the subject of the press release we received said, "Long Hammer nails down taste." If it only took something as simple as a name change to make us desireable, we'd change our name to "Barack Obama" in a nanosecond.

"While you're here, could you pour the beer into my mouth?": It doesn't look as though Chicago is one of the test markets for the salt-and-lime flavored Miller Chill, and we're hoping that discerning palates in Florida, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California keep it that way. Miller is hoping that the low-calorie beer is a hit with Hispanic drinkers, who enthusiastically embraced Anheuser-Busch's Tequiza ten years ago. Wait, they didn't?

"Common sense versus what you crave": If you and your significant other are the low-maintenance types, you should totally do Valentine's Day at White Castle. This list of locations throughout the greater Chicago area will help you put the tiger in back your tank. And nothing says "I love you" quite like breaking up a good night's sleep exchanging dutch ovens.

"The rose is worth $39.95": Geja's Cafe is celebrating Valentine's Day all week. Monday features a "celebration of marriage" double anniversary discount, with a proof of marriage. Example: a couple that can prove they've been married for ten years gets 20 percent off their tab. So you people who've been living in sin for fifty years are up a creek without a paddle. Wednesday features three different seatings of a $95 fixed price meal, including a glass of champagne and a long-stemmed rose. The 7:30-9:30 seating is already sold out.

"The No-brainer": One of the aspects of food in Chicago that we love witnessing is the resurgence of the corner bistro. One of the better new ones, Trattoria 31, is featuring an $85 fixed price dinner on Valentine's Day. The four-course meal also includes a complimentary bottle of chianti or pinot grigio. If you're sweetheart is insistent on having flowers for Valentine's Day, head over to JJ Peppers at 31st and Union down the street and buy her some doghouse roses with the ten dollars you saved by not going to Geja's.