I probably wouldn't go out of my way to purchase these wines over the other wineries in the area - Lynfred or Cooper's Hawk - but the tasting itself was enjoyable nonetheless. I did end up walking out with a bottle of Sangria, which was not offered at the other wineries, and should I return the bottle, I get $1 off the next bottle, so I applaud their "green" efforts as well as friendly service.
This was my first experience going to a holistic practitioner, and they do a good job of making you feel like the whole of you is being payed attention to and treated. Will their alternative treatments work? Only time will tell, but so far, I feel more cared about than I would under the care of "regular" doctors.
On a personal quest to find the divey-est dive bar in the Northwest Suburbs, Jester's so far takes the proverbial cake. Attached to a liquor store, it would be absurd to expect anything special out of this bar. The nature of the beast is quite clear, however, those who are like me and looking to indulge their vices in an appropriately grimy and occasionally creepy setting will find Jester's exactly what you're looking for. The other patrons are friendly, if not too friendly, as I once had a women in a one piece black jumper describe to me in detail in the ladies' room how she'd stolen that piece of attire from her lover's ex-wife's closet and wore it so he would un-kick her out of his house. He sat at the bar, waiting for her, and if you're lucky, they - or others like them - can be waiting at Jester's for you too!
The all in one offering of bowling, batting cages, laser tag, arcade, and bar and grill at Eskape may sound tempting, and though it does have potential for fun, it has its downfalls as well. The primary problem at Eskape depends on your intentions in going - if you are looking for a night out with the adults or over 21 crowd, the overwhelming presence of teens at night can be frustrating. In the afternoon and evenings, it is worse, as a single parent typically brings in at least a handful of youngsters who have no tendencies towards bowling etiquette, nor are ever reprimanded in the slightest. Your game and personal space WILL be interrupted. Also, the bar area is strictly policed by suburbanite employees who make it their life's work to ensure anyone under 30 is harassed as they enter. That said, there are few other options in the area, so have an open mind, but proceed with caution.
Though the seating area is small, the welcoming nature of the servers here make everyone feel comfortable. On one hand, the quality of their service and presentation makes you feel undeserving of such care and attention, and on the other hand, you feel exuberantly scandalous bringing in your own brown paper bags filled with whatever - there are no restrictions or corkage issues from the BYOB aspect. Although personally, the next time I eat here, I will probably bring beverages more complimentary to fine Moroccan cuisine than orange creamsicles.
With an extensive menu utilizing local and sustainable foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Heartland Cafe is a place to enjoy tasty and filling reasonably priced meals without a sense of guilt. The restaurant is casual and homey, with a separate bar area as well as general store for your holistic needs.
When the rest of the bowling alleys in the city are packed, and charging roughly $11 per person per game, and requiring that patrons are 21 and up after 9 or 10 at night, enter Lincoln Square Lanes. Typically no wait to use a lane, and drink prices are cheap. No, it is not aesthetically pleasing and yes, you need to know how to keep score by hand, as it is not automatic. It is, however, an option different from other bowling venues, with immediate proximity to cute Lincoln Square after you've given yourself a headache computing scores and want to grab a relaxing drink or bite to eat.
If you're not in the mood to travel all the way up North to Hopleaf for your favorite Belgian specialty beers, Ukrainian Village offers you Small Bar, with a similarly impressive selection. The beer menu is its own decently-sized pamphlet, so when you get sick of your eyes drifting contemptuously over the too-tight jeans of the primarily hipster clientele, you can go back to reading the menu and drooling over your next high alcohol content selection.
Wander down a long, dark alley off of Clark Street, and find yourself tucked away in the only remaining club worth going to in otherwise obnoxiously yuppie Lincoln Park. There is usually a small cover, and then you are free to behold and immerse yourself in the truly unique, beautiful goths and freaks that come to mingle and dance with their own kind. Leave your North Face jackets and Cubs hats at home, kids, put on a little (or a lot) of eyeliner and don your best vampire gear - or not, because all are welcome in here as long as the attitude (and North Face and Cubs gear) are checked at the door.
By day, the exterior of this punk/goth bar suggests it has not been open for some time. By night, it's the only destination on the block, and if you look closely, you'll see a trickle of punk kids, bikers, rockers, a dominatrix or two, and even a confused looking yuppie wander in. Each night has a different theme, including Bondage A-Go-Go on Thursdays. Saturdays offer a terrific $3 Kilo Rum drink special and the dark pumping beats of DJ Jeff Moyer upstairs. Be sure to pose against the fence upstairs and if you're lucky, you may catch Battle Royale on the TV screen. Despite its unpredictable crowd and rugged appearance, Exit is really just a friendly haven for those looking to avoid, or "exit" all together the trendy mainstream nightspots, which in reality are much scarier than Chicago's original punkrock bar.