Piffcast: Summer Goals, Second City and Martin Morrow

Standup Comedian, writer, and Second City actor Martin Morrow (Why? with Hannibal Buress, Last Comic Standing) joins the show. Martin talks about his journey in the Chicago comedy scene, how he applies his improv training to standup, writing sketches and jokes for sensitive audiences, and the effect social media has had on the industry. He also names his Second City “Mount Rushmore” and gives some advice for future professional comedians. (12:10 mark, if you want to jump ahead)

Meanwhile, Michael and TJ go through their goals for Summer. Plus what’s on TJ’s Spotify playlist, things Mike rationally and irrationally dislikes, and much more. It’s a good bit of fun.

Don’t forget to use Promo Code “Piffcast” for great deals when getting a ride with our new friends at Lyft

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Chicago’s ‘Saved By The Max’ is More Than a Nostalgic Experience

Despite missing out when the initial dinner tickets went on sale nearly 2 months ago, a good friend invited me to checkout the Saved By The Bell pop-up cafe in Wicker Park. With a 7:30 PM reservation, we arrived early enough to grab a beer at Piece, just a few doors down, while a line of walk-ups stretched down North Avenue toward the Milwaukee intersection. It feels cruel yet cool when you can pass the whole line to make your reservation.

Entering the SFCO doors (formerly Geek Bar), you’re greeted by a giant Bayside logo, Zack Morris’ row of lockers, and a long walled-off hall to the check-in point.

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It eerily gives you similar excitement and anxious intrigue as Wonka’s boat ride. Okay, that might be extreme but that’s what I felt walking 20 feet and unsure of what I’ll see around the corner…

…then the relief that followed.

It’s not big by any means, but it’s very comfortable inside. That is probably thanks to the reservation system To the left, around the corner of the host’s station, there is a bar surrounded by stools and a few hightop tables. You’ll notice at times that there are some empty barstools and it was explained to us that the staff will try to be as accommodating as possible for single walkups or parties of 2 to fill them up.

When seated at our booth, we were given separate drink and a dinner menus to skim over.

 

Our server, Amy, gave us great recommendations off both menus. Starting with the “Mark Paul 75”

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A French 75 with G.H. Mumm Champagne, Plymouth Gin, Lemon Juice, Simple Syrup, Lemon Twist and Luxardo Cherry.

I’m not sure if the kids at Bayside ever drank out of a martini glass this fancy on the show, but I highly doubt that Kelly would mind it.

Included with your $45 reservation ticket, you got an appetizer, entree and desert with your meal. The drinks and sides aren’t included, but that’s really okay. Going in a party of 2 or more allows you to pick and try multiple dishes from Chef Brian Fisher, formerly of Michelin-starred restaurant, Schwa.

When asked about my thoughts on the experience, I have to lead off by gushing over how good the food was. Crediting Chef Brian’s menu and Amy’s recommendations, I’ll just share my selections.

Appetizers

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“AC Sliders” – Goose Island braised pulled pork and Lillie’s Q gold barbecue sauce with a touch of Jameson.

“Snow White and the Seven Dorks” – Lebanese seven spiced chicken wings with herbed yogurt.

It’s hard not to get the sliders based on the name alone, but they truly are an excellent choice. The pork is tender, the sauce is delicious and the pickle compliments it all perfectly.

The wings were a nice surprise. We anticipated them to be a little spicy but it’s sweeter than you’d expect. The “Mac and Screech” would have been another choice that made me wish we had one more person to sample with.

Entree

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“Tori’s Fried Chicken” – Goose Island 312 and coconut milk waffle with Korean Fried Chicken and spiced maple syrup.

Have you ever placed an order and felt like “I JUST WON AT ORDERING DINNER” after eating it? That’s exactly how I felt here. The sweet syrup combined with the spicy sauce, plus fried chicken and waffles in between, is a mouth experience that deserves an “achievement unlocked” immediately after.

We were warned before checking out the menu that the kitchen was out of biscuits. I don’t know if it from was reading the description for “Mr. Dewey’s Honey Buttermilk Biscuits and Gravy” or being told we couldn’t have them, but that’s something I’d really like to go back for.

Dessert

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Snack Attack – Twinkie Ice Cream topped with Strawberry Feulletine, fresh strawberries, vanilla wafers and whipped cream. 

Great palate cleanser. I can’t say that I knew what Twinkie ice cream was beforehand, but I do occasionally crave it since trying it. Where you at, Ben & Jerry’s?!

Since I know you’re wondering, this is the only reference you need from the cafe’s bathroom…

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The food, the service and the atmosphere were all excellent. I would love to go back again sometime this summer to find out what #BaysideAfterDark is all about. Here is a whole schedule of events from now until the end of June, starting at 11 PM. “Late Nights” appear to be available for walkups only too. For times, press and contact info, checkout the Saved By The Max website.

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Piffcast: Saved by the 90’s Nostalgia Pop-Up Cafe

TIMEOUT!

Listen as we take you on a “wild ride” of Game of Thrones reactions, Lord of the Rings comparisons, Ghostbusters needing better NBA Finals promotion, TJ’s men’s fashion rants, wedding registries, the Saved By the Bell pop-up diner in Chicago, other TV or movie restaurants we would like to try, and then some…

We also take a moment to discuss Muhammad Ali and the tributes to his life, career and impact over the weekend following his passing. Simply The Greatest.

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Piffcast: Memorial Day 2016 w/ The Next James Bond, Riot Fest and More

For your Memorial Day Listening, Michael and TJ give their guests a breather and cover a vast array of topics all on their own. They discuss their favorites of the NEXT James Bond candidates, some of our favorite video games, the Riot Fest Chicago lineup, Game of Thrones (per usual), and all the tangents that come with.

Listeners ALSO get in on the fun by asking ANYTHING and the guys do their best to answer them. Questions include: The #1 Sport for America, Favorite Simpsons Characters, Sports to add to the Olympics, and our favorite things to do in Chicago.

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Piffcast: Chris Petlak and Jim Kozyra Kick Out ‘THE JAMZ’ on Netflix

The creators/writers/co-executive producers/stars of The Jamz, Chris Petlak and Jim Kozyra, join the show! We discuss how the workplace comedy came together, the New York Television Festival and Indie TV, influences for the show and characters, plus filming in and identifying with Chicago. Jim, Chris, TJ and I also hold a “Favorite Chicago-based Films and TV shows Draft”. You can let us know who won and also watch the show on Netflix, iTunes, Google Play, Amazon and XBOX. (23:17 mark, if you want to jump ahead)

Meanwhile, a congratulations is in order for TJ, spoiler-less reaction to Game of Thrones, superhero show rankings, and a preview of the upcoming Summer TV that we’re looking forward to.

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Ballpark Foodie: What To Get During White Sox ‘Homecoming Weekend’

It hasn’t been a shabby year to be a White Sox fan. The team’s in 1st place, Chris Sale is undefeated (both as of 10:30 AM CT on May 19th), and the food is absolutely delicious. More on that shortly…

The White Sox are also celebrating the 25th anniversary of U.S. Cellular Field with an awesome “Homecoming Weekend” series against the reigning champion Kansas City Royals. If you attended the 10th Anniversary celebration of the 2005 World Series “Win or Die Trying” White Sox last year, then you know it will be a good time. Along with Fireworks Friday night and cool promotions all weekend, players of White Sox-past like CY Young winner Jack McDowell, 7-time All-Star outfielder Tim Raines, 2-time All-Star closer Roberto Hernandez, and Lance “One Dog” Johnson will all be in attendance.

So what will taste best with your South Side baseball, sunshine and temperatures in the mid-60s all weekend? I’ve made a few visits to the ballpark this season and these were some of the items on the concourse that I can’t wait to go back for.

Bacon Cheddar Pretzel Dog

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Pretty self-explanatory. A big Vienna Beef hot dog on a fresh pretzel bun, topped with nachos cheese and bacon pieces.

Found at the All-Star Stands along both foul lines and behind home plate. 

Tater Tachos

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Who doesn’t love tots? Topped with nacho cheese and jalapeno peppers. Can also be served in a souvenir green batting helmet.

Found in Sections 110 and 544.

Merkt’s Cheesy Beef Sandwich

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Merkt’s should have sold you by itself. Thin-sliced ribeye steak grilled and infused with the Merkt’s cheese, topped with Comiskey Pico.

Found at the Burger Barn stands in Sections 112 and 528.

Also found at theBurger Barn stands…

Bacon on a Stick + The Comiskey Burger

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As my friend Night Train Veeck once described it, here’s the #ProTip:

Step 1. Order both the double-thick maple bacon on a stick and the double-patty Comiskey burger (with Merkt’s cheddar and pico).

Step 2. Remove the stick from said bacon.

Step 3. Place double-thick maple bacon on the burger.

Step 4. Enjoy…and eat like nobody’s watching.

Other Delicious Items

Beggars Pizza – Section 163

  • Barbecue Chicken Pizza
  • Italian Beef Giardinara Pizza
  • Chicken Parm Sandwich
  • Fried Caprese Ravioli
  • Cheese-filled Breadsticks
  • Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie

Hooters Buffalo Chicken Sandwich – Section 156

  • Also wings available with medium, hot and honey Thai sause

35th Street Tacos – Section 127

Avacodo/Bacon Grilled Cheese – Sections 110 & 544

 

Cuban Sandwich – Along LF on 100-level and Club

Elotes & Tamales – Sections 104, 127, 142 and 529

 

Wow Bao – Section 158

 

Funnel Cake & Churros – Sections 110, 155 and 531

 

Grilled Hot Dogs, Polish Sausage and Brats – EVERYWHERE

 

…and gluten-free options. It’s cool. My my mom needs this guide. via the White Sox Website.

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Be sure to share your foodie photos at the ballpark or follow along for more on Facebook or Twitter

Riot Fest 2016 Chicago and Denver Lineups: Achievement Unlocked

Nearly a week after announcing the reunion of the original Misfits lineup, Riot Fest has released the first wave of their Denver (Sept. 4th-6th) and Chicago (Sept. 16-18th) Rodeo/Carnivals.

Chicago

Riot Fest 2016

3-Day GA and VIP Tickets for Riot Fest and Carnival at Douglas Park are available here. 

 

Denver

Riot Fest Denver

3-Day GA and VIP Tickets for Riot Fest and Rodeo at the National Western Complex here.

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