Wednesday, April 12, 2017

New Buffalo Bills Is Smokin' Good!

603 E. Buffalo St. 
New Buffalo, MI 49117 
(269) 469-9992 
It was a long time coming and I was told by a friend that I had to try New Buffalo Bills as soon as it was in full swing this spring. So today was the day. I happened to be in the neighborhood and suddenly got a hankering for some good BBQ. Fortunately NBB's was open and ready to serve. 

I think one of the things that got me hooked early on was the friendly voice behind the drive up. Because I hadn't really planned on sitting down to eat but, rather I did the easy, breezy thing and took advantage of their convenient drive-thru. I can assure you that now that I have enjoyed their fine BBQ I will be back and enjoy the fully remodeled restaurant along with a nice glass of wine to go along with my meal. So,  back to the friendly voice behind the drive up. The voice has a name - Jason. 

My order was placed: Beef Brisket Dinner and Texas Sausage Dinner. Each dinner comes with two sides, so I chose greens, cowboy beans, corn bread and potato salad. I pulled forward and was greeted by the "friendly voice." Believe me after a long day at work there is nothing more appetizing than great customer service. Jason assured me it would only be a minute and by gum, he was right! Quick, friendly service! Before I even tasted the cuisine I was hooked. 

The beef brisket was out of this world! It was flavorful, super tender and melt in your mouth goodness. The Texas sausage, while not my thing, was delicious. Steve, the sausage lover really enjoyed it. Personally I loved the greens. They were easily some of the best I have ever eaten. The cowboy beans are truly a meal all by themselves, especially when enjoyed with spoon-able corn bread. 

For those of you who are not meat eaters, no worry, there is plenty to choose from that does not come from anything that moos or oinks. One item that caught my eye was smoked tofu. I looking forward to trying it as well as their ribs and chicken. I guess there is very little need for me to fill my propane tank, acquire charcoal and set up the grill when I can travel down rt. 12 and let New Buffalo Bill's cook for me. So much goodness, such little time as the saying goes. 

The owners of the establishment have a long history in both nutrition and the culinary arts. All of the smoking comes from locally grown fruit trees and unlike some establishments that over smoke or over sauce their meat, diners can expect the perfect amount of smokiness, and seasonings. If you want sauce, sauce and more sauce, just ask NBB's has plenty to choose from. 

Large orders are available and meat is obtainable by the pound, perfect for all the summer picnics and gatherings coming around the corner. All items are available for dine in or carry out. New Buffalo Bill's also offers beer and wine. 




Friday, March 31, 2017

Bourbon Street Bistro, NOLA Comes to LaPorte

There is little need to fly down to New Orleans in order to catch the NOLA vibe. Simply get in your car and drive to Bourbon Street Bistro located at 701 Lincoln way, La Porte, Indiana. 


You will be welcomed by deep, rich woodwork, tin press ceilings, antique slot machines, open staircase, and an over-sized pot belly stove. Let yourself be lulled by a vintage Creole atmosphere.  Be transformed and transported to a by-gone era. Tennessee Williams couldn’t have designed the scene any better. Imagine Vivian Leigh and Brando crying out over the banister and streetcars rushing by you as you await the first course. There is a spirit of the past that has been preserved in this Vaudevillian theatre formerly known at Etropal and John Moultrie’s sense of style and flair ensures that spirit of yesteryear is pervasive throughout his establishment. 

A word of warning: Don’t come to the Bistro if you think you are going to be watching calories. Be ready to indulge and treat yourself to a homegrown Mardi Gras. Moultrie’s homegrown recipes hail from a rich tradition in Cajun cuisine, seasoned with love by his ancestors. Couple that with his vast experience in the culinary industry and voila it combines to make the experience memorable and delish!

We began our gastronomical journey with a Hurricane Rum Punch, a NOLA tradition. Next, by recommendation of the staff we enjoyed Fried Green Tomatoes, which were perfectly fried and evoked comments including “mmm, nice, mmm, yes! Shall we place another order?”

Next came my order of Gumbo Ya Ya, which was very savory and delightfully rich with all the traditional Cajun ingredients of onions, celery, sausage and chicken in a traditional broth.  My fellow diners feasted on Blackened Salmon, Kitchen Jambalaya, and my dish was Bourbon Street’s soon to be famous Bourbon Street Smothered Chicken. Each entrée came with a superb corn bread mini-loaf. All in all the food was prepared fresh and served up hot and fast.


John Moultrie’s commitment to excellent and a desire to bring high quality entertainment, food and overall experience to the people of La Porte and surrounding areas deserves a huge round of applause. The next time I go I will have to find a way to save room for the Bourbon Street Bread Pudding. I have often said, you can tell the truest culinary ability of a restaurant by how good their bread pudding and other house made desserts are, next to that is their soup. It might be time to add cornbread to that list.

Bourbon Street Bistro offers live entertainment on weekends. While they do not take reservations, one can always try by messaging the Bistro via their Facebook page. Don’t wait too long to get in there on the weekends, it fills up fast!
Bourbon Street Bistro is currently open from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday and from 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.  For more information, call (219) 575-7261 or visit facebook.com/bourbonstreetbistro.


Friday, March 10, 2017

A North End Vibe Featuring Jazz Pianist David Lahm and Steve & Mary E.


David Lahm joins Steve Champagne and Mary E. Rapier to bring you "A North End Vibe," hosted by the Main Street/Canterbury Theatre. Together they bring you jazz standards, a whole new spin on the Beatles and other songs that will leave you tapping your foot and singing along. With over 100 years of combined musical talent, the three are embarking on musical stylings from the Beatles to Bacharach - and everything before, during, and after.

Tickets are $20 with half going to the Canterbury Theatre so they can continue to provide quality live theater and music to the community at an affordable price.


Tickets are available by going to Eventbrite  or direct through paypal 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

A Family Puzzle: A story worth reading.

The Story Dear Family & Friends, After nearly 13 years of marriage, through prayer and reflection, we have decided that we are being called to help our family to grow and parent a child. We understand that this is normally not ground breaking information. We want to welcome you to our journey of faith and love in growing our family. We also need to let you know about some of the unique challenges it brings. Years ago, during Amanda’s Kindergarten days, a traditional classroom activity to finish a classic phrase was posed. The classroom activity precursed a lifelong dream, goal and, ultimately, a challenge. Students were asked to complete the statement, ”When I Grow Up, I Want to Be …” Amanda said simply,“a mom”. The dream of her lifetime was realized. Years later, during adolescence, Amanda received some heartbreaking and life changing news. Due to a lifelong medical condition, Polyglandular Autoimmune Disorder, her ovaries were attacked, leaving her with no ovarian function (post-menopausal). For the remainder of her life, Amanda would require hormone replacement to provide typical female hormone levels. During Junior High School years, Amanda learned that unique steps were necessary in order to make her dream of starting a family happen. Amanda’s Auto-Immune Disorder also attacked adrenal glands (adrenal insufficiency) parathyroid gland (hypoparathryoidism) and liver (auto immune hepatitis/non-infectious type.) She is not a candidate for IVF (Invitro-fertilization) or to carry a child through egg donation due to the condition. In the fall of 2016, hope entered our family. In particular, a lifelong family friend met with Amanda and shared her experience of surrogacy. During that conversation, she offered to serve as a surrogate for our family. From a young age, Amanda’s sister, Elyssa, felt called to help her sisters be mothers in any way she could. She has generously decided to gift us through egg donation. Our surrogate, Morgen, will carry for us following the IVF process. We want to carry on for our families, blending our genetic backgrounds. Recently, the ball has gotten rolling, when she contacted us and said that was ready to begin the journey with us. We couldn't believe this would be possible! We know this is a big adventure and a costly one that will require a great deal of fundraising, financing and resources to cover the costs ($50,000-$70,000) of the uniqueness involved in growing our family through surrogacy. We feel strongly that we are called to embark on this journey. We want to keep you posted and invite you to join us on this adventure. We know that there are many pieces to this puzzle needed before we will meet the child that God has planned for us to parent. Please consider following our page for updates, to learn about our journey and to find out how you can help us find our missing piece of our family’s puzzle through your prayers and financial support. If you have any fundraising ideas or resources that can assist us in completing our puzzle, please let us know. Feel free to share our story with others who may want to keep us in their prayers and support us along this journey. Love Always, Amanda and Steven chorakfamilypuzzle@gmail.com

Saturday, December 31, 2016

A Night of Jazz and Wine at Shady Creek Winery Feat. David Lahm & Steve and Mary E



A Night of Wine and Jazz will feature jazz pianist David Lahm, Mary E and Steve Champagne. With over 100 years of combined musical talent the 3 are embarking on musical stylings from Beatles to Bacharach and everything before, during and after. To be held at Northwest Indiana's finest winery, Shady Creek Winery February 23. Ticket includes live music, a complimentary glass of Shady Creek Wine, chocolates and other assorted small bites. (additional wine is available for purchase at the event) 

David Lahm: David Lahm is a highly regarded jazz pianist who is divided between NYC and his second home in Harbor Country. David Lahm is the son of one of the world's most prolific lyricists, Dorothy Fields. Lahm has a flourishing career as a jazz pianist and arranger. He has recently released a CD entitled "Jazz Takes on Joni Mitchell" and has also performed in cabaret in New York with his wife, singer Judy Kreston. Their cabaret act "All in the Family", was devoted to his mother's work, and featured the song they wrote together. In 2000, he arranged several tracks and provided piano accompaniment for Morag McLaren's Fields tribute CD : Nobody Does Like It MeDavid Lahm - famed jazz pianist
Mary E.: Mary E., has been singing for over three decades. She was recently names along with partner Steve Champagne as Best Acoustic Duo in 2015 by the Kankakee Area Music Awards. For over 20 years Mary E., has been a guest vocalist with Kankakee Municipal Band. Mary began her career singing Standards, Light Opera and Broadway. Since forming an acoustic duo in 2007 with Steve they have focused on a wide range of songs made popular between the 60's and 70's and love bringing their music to the Michiana region. Mary E., vocalist
Steve Champagne: Steve has dedicated his life to perfecting his knowledge of the Beatles' and other favs. Some call him a walking jukebox the way he can recall lyrics, melodies and overall style. He has been singing and playing guitar since his earliest memory. Together Steve and Mary E., have hours of pop-rock play list along with standards. 

"SaM & David," is the newest endeavor of these three music lovers and guests will be entertained with a whole new repetoire of Jazz standards, new spins on old favorites and songs that they love to perform. Guests will enjoy a glass of Shady Creek wine, fine chocolates, small bites and Music by David, Mary E. and Steve. Additional glasses of wine will be available for purchase. Tickets are limited so get them while you can. For direct purchase feel free to contact Mary E., at maryerapier@gmail.com. General questions feel free to email Mary E., at maryerapier@gmail.com. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Hamilton Is All the Rage - Welcome to Chicago

It all began as a result of my daughter's utmost fascination that started about 2 years ago I began to follow this phenomena. I started the mad search for tickets to Hamilton tickets for her birthday.

 I discovered that it was close to impossible to find seats to a NYC production, that is unless you wanted to spend a couple thousand or more for a ticket. I saw StubHub, VividSeats and even TicketMaster handling the resale tickets on their site. All of them collecting a nice percentage.

So, when they went on sale in Chicago the other day I jumped on board. 1) I wanted to get tickets for my daughter. 2) It became a game for me to secure tickets 3) If others can make a few $$ entering into the resale game then why can't I? WELL! Let me re-emphasize the WELL!

Can you imagine my frustration when I discovered that due to the high volume of sales and cost associated with the Hamilton phenomena that you can pretty much not sell tickets through a reseller? Tis' True my fellow American.

It seems as though only "professional resellers" of said tickets can embark on reselling them...which makes me wonder how these tickets could have hit StubHub and other outlets within an hour of them going on-sale? Ticketmaster is not even releasing the PDF's, e-tickets or anything yet.

Needless to say I have some good seats for sale. I am not a "professional seller" per se, but I am as transparent and legit as possible. Hit me up - if it just so happens that Ticketmaster releases my purchase to me (why they are being withheld is beyond me) then I would be happy to immediately transfer them to your name upon a paypal transaction. :)

I am certain that Lin-Manuel Miranda is jumping up and down for joy.  Feel free to contact me. Legitimate buyers only please artseesdiner@gmail.com

Here is to a great show! #HamiltonCHI  Oh and #StubHub was willing to let me sell my tickets making them a fat profit as long as I hand deliver my only copy of tickets to their hands on Roosevelt in Chicago. Seriously, would you just turn your tickets over to anyone if they were valuable without some guarantee that you would be compensated? I am supposed to trust them, yet they don't trust me...they have all my banking information. Oh boy!






Saturday, April 16, 2016

Michigan City's North End on the South Shore is Alive and Ready To Serve!




Restaurants New To Michigan City, #mymichigancity:
Hum Hum Mediterranean Cuisine 
Dough Boys Sandwich Shop 
Today's post focuses on a recent visit to two of Michigan City's newest restaurants. Included are the best places to grab a bite to eat on the North End of Michigan City. The North End on the South Shore - we love it!

Steve and I just finished up an amazing lunch compliments of the Michigan City North End! Both new restaurants are located next to the South Shore Train Line's 11th St., depot.
We love this place! We enjoyed sandwiches from Dough Boys and I stopped in at HUM HUM Restaurant as well. ‪ #‎DoughBoys‬ you were firing on all cylinders! The place is quaint, friendly and I loved watching the "boys" preparing sandwich masterpieces! Steve ordered the Struben with German potato salad. I had the beef brisket sandwiches (forgot the name) with German potato salad. We also ordered the hummus. All three items were absolutely outstanding! The bread was superb. Next door to ‪#‎HumHum‬ and tried out their grape leaves. PHENOMENAL! What a special treat to have so many options all in one place! I look forward to going back for the falafel as well as gyro, chicken shwarma. Riders of the ‪#‎SouthShoreTrain‬ to ‪#‎Chicago‬ need to be aware of this hotspot! Chicago Food Bloggers this is a must stop! It really was so cool - while I was waiting for our order the train pulled up to the 11th St. Station. Immediately ‪#‎mymichigancity‬ became a whole new world and I wasn't missing the bustle of Manhattan quite as much! AMAZING!

Chicago - it is important to know that the tax rate is extremely low, the cost of libations equally so and there is NO cost to park your car! All is within walking district (aside from Shady Creek Winery and Burn'em Brewing) of the 11th St. South Shore Train Depot.

Other Favorite Places To Dine Out, Hang Out and Enjoy the North End : Overboard at the Marina - 12 On the Lake American cuisine, great views of the lake and live music.
Trattoria Tonelli's World class Italian cuisine with a superb ambiance.
Galvestons Steak and wonderful libations.
Shore Line Brewery Chef inspired bar food - in house brewery, live music.
Fire and Water Washington Park On the Lake - opening soon for the season The same owner/chef of Pickle and Turnip brings a breathtaking view of the lake, beach side service, fast food with a Moe-esque twist.
Maxine's French - American cuisine, high-quality libations with a mixologist flair, live music
Mucho Mas Tex/Mex food, huge portions, high quality - great location.
Cool Runnings Jamaican Catering and Restaurant Jamaican cuisine, phenomenal jerk chicken and more.
Hokkaido Japanese Restaurant Exquisite sushi, fine Japanese cuisine.
Ryan's Irish Pub Most beautiful outdoor patio in entire Northwest Indiana corridor. Great drinks, live music, outstanding pub food.
Shady Creek Winery Although this is no located in the North End district, it is on the North End of the South Shore. Great wine made in house - fun environment with live music, food and special events.
Burn'em Brewing Great place to hang out for that special brew - although it is not located in the North End district it is also on the North End of the South Shore. Blue Chip Casino - Nelson's Deli (BEST Reuben!) William B's (BEST bartender and service - phenomenal Steakhouse!) Its Vegas Baby (Nightlife) Options Buffet (traditional buffet) The Game (great bar food, drinks and sports!)