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Your Friday Food Buffet

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Mar 30, 2007 6:32PM

2007_03_YFFB_stooges.jpgNo witty introduction this week. Our fault for trying to impress the new staffers with barleywine ale and Dalmore. Thank God for French-pressed coffee.

The buffet is now open.

A Good German to the End: The closing of Delicatessen Meyer should have been a story we weighed in on earlier in the week and not relegated to the Buffet. To that end, Chicagoist extends a sincere mea culpa. Anyhoo, for those who haven't heard, the Lincoln Square mainstay, one of the last places to hark back to the neighborhood's German heritage, shuttered its doors after 53 years. To be fair, the quality of selection at Meyer had decreased dramatically in the ten years since the Koetke family sold Meyer to Hans Liebl, and Liebl had even borrowed money from the Koetkes in order to keep the doors open as long as he did. But it still held a certain charm for folks who wax nostalgic about what Lincoln Square was like before the Old Town School of Folk Music transformed the neighborhood (talk about gentrification). Foreclosure proceedings for Delicatessen Meyer are currently underway. If there is justice in the cosmos, it'll be bought by another German family who knows how to run a deli.

It Doesn't Matter Who You Are, It's All the Same: Timmy did a wonderful job of weighing in on Filter's closing last week, but some folks are still speculating about the goings-on at Filter's sister coffeehouse, the South Loop's Gourmand, looking for hidden messages in the butcher paper lining that shop's windows. From all surface appearances, it looks as though the dual closings were a decision willingly made by the owners of Filter and Gourmand. If, indeed, they are planning on reopening Gourmand with a different concept under a new name, as Huff reported, we're praying the owners don't make the mistake of hiring the same apathetic employees who gave us such terrible service that we swore off the place years ago. It only reinforced in our mind what Doug Zell said about independent coffee stores: "You can't just be independent and expect to be successful."

You Can't Please Everyone: Time Out Chicago released the results of their inaugural Eat Out Awards this week, which gave the Drive-Thru folks another reason to vent. While we can understand all the head scratching, especially regarding the readers' choices, again, it's much ado about nothing. It's like complaining about New City's annual "Best of Chicago" issue. It's wise to remember that old saw of wisdom comparing opinions to bungholes. Everyone has one, and some are bigger than others (and the readers' choices are the readers' choices). Variety is the spice of life, critics have the advantage of knowing more places to find good food than readers — it's our obligation to report such findings to our readers — and we can't find much to quibble about the critics' choices.

What Is Understood Need Not Be Discussed: From the UK Guardian this week, author Roger Protz looks at the international beer landscape and proclaims Goose Island India Pale Ale the "best beer in the world." Also of note, the Chicago-based Beverage Tasting Insitute, whose panel members include Delilah's owner Mike Miller, Sam's Wine & Spirits sparkling-wine point man Charles Stansfield, and Nacional 27 bar wizard Adam Seger, recently awarded PIlsner Urquell with its highest rating ever for a pilsner beer, a score of 93 on a 100-point scale.

More Beer: Head to Andersonville's In Fine Spirits this evening, where Unibroue "culinary attache" Jim Javenkoski will host a tasting of Unibroue's core brands and some rare selections. The tasting runs from 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Image, oddly enough, courtesy of Tiki Central.