Raising the “bar”

Tonight, I visited Duffy’s On Diversey in Chicago to watch Cathy compete in an annual singing competition. There was a new menu to go with a remodel in progress. Apps were half price on Mondays, so I tried two for a nicely priced meal.

The Pork on Pork Fries needed more flavor, as they were a bit underwhelming. The Jambalaya Fritters, on the other hand, were scrumptious and generously portioned, done in a hush puppy-style, topped with scallions and laid on bed of tangy sauce. They were delightful! Cathy’s house salad was pretty impressive, too.

Which got me to thinking. Is it just me or have more and more establishments been upping their culinary games in recent years? For example, Crosstown Pub in Naperville serves up some stellar, spicy deviled eggs. (Anyone who knows me knows I’m a sucker for deviled eggs.) Popular watering holes seem to be offering ever expanding appetizer menus with ingredients lists that read like trendy downtown eateries. Even one of my oldest, favorite, underwhelming establishments for over 20 years has recently rolled out a new menu that’s been getting decent reviews from the locals.

I’m convinced that much of this game changing can be accredited to the popularity of reality shows about food and cooking. From the Food Network’s many competitions to shows like “Kitchen Nightmares”, it seems like everyone is expecting better fare, and the fare-providers are rising to the occasion. Personally, I’m all for it. It’s nice to see more than wings, nachos, and deep-fried (insert proteins here) to go with my newest beverage discovery. I just found out Stella Artois makes a cider! So good! Enjoy!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *