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April 9, 2004

Get a Life

On Wednesday I had the most disappointing shake of my life. This was no photo finish, either. Although I am quite sure that I ordered a vanilla shake, I somehow managed to get a plain. Apparently plain ice cream is a new-fangled thing that I had missed out on until now, but if I were you I would try to avoid it if at all possible. Of course, this may be damn near impossible, as it does appear to moonlight as "vanilla." I attempted to let the drink sit for awhile, hoping that some miraculous chemical reaction would occur, and in fact, it did. It began to froth. This was not nearly the ice cream soup I had anticipated.

My weekly Shake Date at 5:08 (the rhyme is key) was relatively disappointing, despite my glowing company. I wasted a whole dollar, and the shake wasn't even fun to play with. To some of you who signed a zillion flex dollars to your tuition bill, a dollar burned at the C-Shop may not seem like such a big deal. This, however, could be because you have not been exposed to the McCormick & Schmick's Happy Hour.

"Isn't McCormick & Schmick's some fancy-shmancy seafood place downtown with, like, $10 cocktails and $20 crabcakes?" you ask. Ah, in fact it is. But wait: You are missing out on a very appealing feature. There is a daily happy hour with a $1.95 bar menu. I don't mean two bucks for frozen mozzarella sticks either. No, no, I'm talking mussels with Roma tomatoes and—my personal favorite—clams in white wine and garlic.

For those of you scared of eating fish or their shelled friends, there are amazingly good beer-battered pickles, wings, and half-pound burgers. All you have to do is spend $2 on a beverage to "qualify" for this bargain menu, and so it's up to you whether to opt for a Lemondrop or a Diet Coke. Translation: You don't have to be 21, either. The atmosphere at the bar is chill and…polished wood-y. You'll feel classier than you would at Clarke's, and you'll probably spend less, too.

Oh, my little oyster, it is spring quarter. Take advantage of the milder wind and occasional sunlight and get out into this glorious city. Work can wait. Make a little run downtown to McCormick and Schmick's and grab some cheap seafood and a Corona while you reminisce about the beaches in Cancun/Fort Lauderdale/the suburbs that are now long gone. Gorge yourself after a night out with quesadillas, sloppy joes, and seafood chili. I swear, it will be more fulfilling than sucking down a so-called "shake" in 50 degree weather or whipping up an enticing egg wrap concoction, like my roommate was doing (to ease her hunger pangs after a night spent with Jose Cuervo).

You can change your life (if you wanna). You can change your face (if you wanna). You can change my mind. Well, tell me where to go. Shoot me an e-mail: elcerulo@uchicago.edu.

Address:  41 East Chestnut Street

Phone:  (312) 397-9500

Directions:

Via CTA: 55 bus to Red Line. Red line (to Howard) to Chicago Ave. Walk down Chicago towards Michigan and turn left on Rush. Walk to the intersection of Rush and Chestnut.

Via Car: LSD north. Turn left from LSD onto Chicago, then right onto Michigan. After passing the Water Tower, turn left onto Chestnut. The restaurant is on the left, at the intersection of Rush and Chestnut.

Happy Hour hours:

Sunday: 3:30 p.m.-6 p.m.; 9 p.m.-11p.m.

Monday-Thursday: 3:30 p.m.-6 p.m.; 10 p.m.-12 a.m.

Friday-Saturday: 3:30 p.m.-6 p.m.; 11 p.m.-1 a.m.