Welcome back to another edition of The Weekend Chronicles, a weekly series that details all the crazy and exciting things that happened over the weekend. The previous couple of weekends have been very eventful and I’m excited to begin hammering away at the keyboard again. It’s been far too long since you’ve last heard from me but I guess you can call me Derrick Rose because this is the return.


The past month has been one for the books! I had the opportunity to return to my alma mater, Northern Illinois University, for Homecoming which is always a great time but unfortunately will be one of the last that I actually know people who still go there. My friends and I had the opportunity to eat at some of our favorite restaurants as well as drink at some of our favorite bars from college all while cheering on the Huskies (and the Cubs). I also had the opportunity to attend Fright Fest at Six Flags for the first time which was an awesome experience for me seeing that I am a huge fan of just about everything horror. The highlight of the past month though had to be having the pleasure to go to Las Vegas with two of my closest friends for Halloween. We were fortunate enough to have brunch at some of the finer restaurants the city has to offer as well as see some of the arguably best musicians of our time such as Kayne West and Steve Aoki. When it comes to Las Vegas, my number one piece of advice for those of you who enjoy going out is to make sure that you pregame or else you might literally break the bank. What’s the best place to grab a drink before heading out for a night on the town you might be asking yourself? The answer is Casino Royale! Fortunately for you and I they serve $1 beers and margaritas, and their food court is just as cheap. Now let’s fast forward to this past weekend!


One of the perks of working in a school is that you get most days off that students get off and that is exactly what the case was for me on Friday. I began my day by still waking up at the same time as I usually do but quickly deciding to lie back down for a couple more hours of shuteye because why not?  Once I woke up I decided to make myself some breakfast which is something that I rarely remember to do and then I sat down to watch the movie Cannibal Holocaust. Cannibal Holocaust is an Italian cannibal exploitation horror movie that tells the story of a missing documentary crew who had gone to the Amazon to movie cannibal tribes. I initially heard about this movie through the Horrorfied Podcast which was recommended to me by one of my close friends. The podcast follows three gentlemen from Chicago as they talk about all the slash, gore and horror they love, hate, and love to hate and tear it apart piece by piece. What makes this movie so interesting is the legacy and controversy that surrounds it. If you have a minute and are even somewhat interested I highly suggest giving it a quick Google search. As for the movie itself if you are one who cringes easily it is definitely not for you. My plan heading into Friday was to not leave the house but that quickly changed when my mom invited me to a family friend’s birthday party at Side Street Tavern, a neighborhood bar and grill. Upon arrival my aunt ordered and thankfully offered to share the Side Street Nachos which consisted of pico de gallo, queso, jalapenos, guacamole, sour cream, lettuce, olives, tomatoes, onions and chicken all on a bed of tortilla chips. I’ll be the first to admit that they were not the best nachos I ever had but they were delicious nonetheless. I will say though for what you pay you definitely get a lot of food. I myself decided to order the BBQ Burger which consisted of a hand-crafted burger topped with cheddar, cherrywood bacon, onion strings, BBQ sauce and lettuce with a side of natural cut fries. The burger far surpassed the nachos and was gone just about as quickly as it had arrived. When it comes to Side Street Tavern, I give it a 3.75 out of 5 sporks.


Saturday began with a trip to Chicago for an alumni board kick-off event for City Year that included lunch and a ride on the Centennial Wheel at Navy Pier. For lunch we decided to go to DMK Burger Bar which has been on my list of restaurants that I want to try for a while now so it was nice to not only finally try it but cross it off the list as well. I decided to order a #1 which consisted of a grass-fed beef burger topped with aged cheddar, smoked bacon, charred balsamic red onions and Rufus Teague’s BBQ Sauce all on a handcrafted bun with a side of sea salt and black pepper fries. I’m going to start off by saying that the fries are some of the best that I have ever had and I didn’t even upgrade to the truffle and parmesan which I’m sure are out of this world. In addition, the burger was top notch as well and I just got one of the more basic ones that they had to offer. When it comes to DMK Burger Bar, I give it a 4.75 out of 5 sporks. If you’re wondering why I took off it’s because it can honestly get a little pricey if you’re not paying attention. After lunch we headed to the Centennial Wheel which if you haven’t been on gives you one of the most incredible views of the city and in my opinion is a must a least once even if you are from the city. The evening was spent watching Dead Silence, a supernatural psychological horror movie that follows a young widower as he returns to his hometown in search for answers to his wife’s suspicious murder which he believes may be linked to the ghost of a murdered ventriloquist. This is one of those movies that you scroll past a million times on Netflix and never think to watch but when you do you are upset you didn’t sooner. The last thing I did before passing out was watch Connor McGregor dethrone Eddie Alvarez in UFC 205 to become the first ever two-division champion. I guess sometimes you have to lose some sleep to watch history being made.


I kicked off Sunday morning by making some breakfast pizza for the family but before I could enjoy any I had to head off to Toyota Park for work with the Chicago Fire. When I got home it was back to the kitchen to both enjoy my creation from earlier on in the day and to make some garlic parmesan pasta with chicken. They both turned out pretty tasty and don’t worry I’ll post the recipes later on this week! The rest of the day like most Sundays was spent relaxing and getting ready for the week ahead. Before falling asleep I decided to cap off the weekend with one last movie and this time I chose 31. 31 is an American horror movie that revolves around five carnival workers’ survival playing a game called “31” while evading murderers dressed as clowns that have names that define their unique personalities. It received mix reviews and didn’t perform super well at the box office but I am a huge fan of Rob Zombie movies so I personally enjoyed it.

Thank you very much for stopping by and I hope you all have an incredible week! I’m not sure what this upcoming weekend has in store for me just yet but I know whatever it is will be a blast. In addition, get excited as I will begin posting weekly recipes and restaurant reviews starting this week. The goal is to do one of each a week in addition to The Weekend Chronicles so I definitely have my work cut out for me. If you haven’t already, be sure to follow me on Twitter and Instagram. If you have any recommendations for restaurants you think I should check out or know of any events in the city you think I would be interested in attending please do not hesitate to reach out. See you next time!

“Your setback is just a setup for your comeback.” – Steve Harvey


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