Tahlequah Daily Press

July 8, 2010

Day 4 (Tuesday) in the Windy City

Press Managing Editor

TAHLEQUAH — It might be hard to believe you can get good Cajun food in a place as far north from New Orleans as you can get without pronouncing “about” without the “o” (that’s a-BUTT, for those of you not in the know). But you can, and that’s how we started the day Tuesday, July 6, in the Windy City.

The Heaven on Seven location on Wabash is on the seventh floor (really?) of the Garfield Building – a landmark Chicago structure that offers a perfect example of gold-encrusted Art Deco style. This busy, raucous local lunch joint specializes in soft-shell crab po’boys, for which my husband and son had been hankering. Thanks to BP, however, this is no longer possible, so my husband begrudgingly settled for the catfish po’boy (grumbling under his breath), and my son the shrimp po’boy, which I also had.

I’ve already posted photos of this eatery, so you can see the collection of hundreds of hot sauces lining the walls there. (I’ve already been asked by a couple of folks to score them some sauce, and all I can say is, I will try if I have time.) Some of the names are a bit lewd, so I must beg forgiveness. In honor of Kenny Boling (one of those infamous “Muskogee boys” some of us Fort Gibson girls used to hang out with in high school), and his lovely wife, Suzy, I partook of the “Bat’s Brew” hot sauce. (A member of the half-century club like myself, Kenny seems to be celebrating his old-age crisis by deeming himself Batman incarnate, and the good-natured Suzy is along for the wing-flapping flight.) This sauce, as I said in the photo, is sweet yet spicy, and quite appropriate under the circumstances. See www.heavenonseven.com for details.

Then it was on to the Museum of Science and Industry, which – as I’ve explained elsewhere – was a Greco-Roman structure designed for the 1892 World’s Fair. Later it housed the Field Museum, and then, the MSI. Hands-on experimental displays, replicas of fantastic machines, strange and unusual displays and cutting-edge technology are on display here at the perfect family venue. A weather exhibit this year featured a perpetual tornado, and a Tesla Coil was also part of the fun. (My son became agitated because he’s a Tesla fan rather than an Edison fan, and it seems one can be one or the other, but not both – and he felt Tesla got the short end of the stick in the museum.) We were treated to an experiment this year on liquid nitrogen, and got to inhale a tiny but tasty sample of ice cream made from the brew. Check out www.msichicago.org for details. If you plan to go, buy advance tickets online and save yourself some trouble.

Later that evening (after the obligatory argument with my husband), we made our way to another favorite restaurant, Brasserie Jo (www.brasseriejo.com). Our waitress, the beautiful and efficient Cassidy (not to be confused with the equally lovely Cassi B.!) has waited on us before and actually recognized us. She gave me a sample of the infamous “green fairy,” also known as absinthe, which was a big craze in France many decades ago. What we were really there for, though, was the steak tartare (always cold!), plus the decadent desserts – profiteroles forever in my case, and the chocolate mousse for Cole. Reasonable prices, especially for French cuisine, and not to be missed.

That about does it for Tuesday. Check back for more...