Tales from Behind the Bar | Mai Tai

By Peter Vestinos |

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America's fascination with Tiki and the Tiki Cocktail lasted from the 30's well into the 70's and every few years or so someone says Tiki is back and a few soon-to-be-doomed bars open up, mugs in the shapes of skulls and pineapples are stocked and someone goes into the basement to dust off the Mai Tai recipe. Except for maybe the Old Fashioned, I cannot think of another drink which was created long ago and which is still commonly called for, but the modern recipe is a pale comparison to the original. My guess would be that 99% of bartenders don't know how to make a proper Mai Tai.

The Pilot

By David Manilow |

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Before Check, Please! became a series in 2001, we needed to create a pilot to prove that the concept on paper would translate into a television show. I knew that we wanted a diverse sampling of restaurants, but I wasn't sure that we would be able to convince three places to let us shoot during their busy hours without any promise that the show would ever be on TV. So, I forever appreciate Taqueria Los Comales in Little Village, Little Bucharest (now shuttered) in Lakeview and mk Restaurant in River North for stepping up to the plate.

Al Primo Canto

By David Manilow |

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One of the restaurants we're featuring this week is Al Primo Canto, a Brazilian Galeteria on Devon. When I first heard that Al Primo was a Galeteria I mistakenly thought it was another Italian Ice Cream place but I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it's kinda like a marinated chicken version of the better known churrascaria Brazilian steak houses.

Danny's Cafe and Deli

By David Manilow |

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This week, Check, Please! featured Danny's Cafe and Deli in Melrose Park as one of our three restaurants. I first stopped by Danny's more than a year ago and had the enormous stuffed artichoke and a meatball sandwich, loosened my belt and rolled back to my car.

Welcome!

By David Manilow |

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Welcome to the Check, Please! blog. We'll take you behind the scenes, have special features, lots of video, maybe have guest bloggers and more.

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