Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone. We had a great one here, thanks. Our good friend Ali had the great idea to get some friends together to celebrate at a new local bar/restaurant. A bunch of us met up at Cinners, a new joint in the neighborhood that is part sexy lounge and part chili parlour. But not your typical chili, though. Tony, the owner is a Cincinnati area native who has brought his hometown's unique chili recipe to Chicago. This stuff is fantastic, y'all! The chili has no beans, initially. You can choose to add them on if you want. It's not terribly spicy hot, either. It has a really amazing blend of subtle spices like cinnamon and cocoa, etc. They serve it over spaghetti noodles, and top it with your choice of beans, cheese, onions or any combination of them.
So we ate, and ate and drank and drank with old friends as well as meeting some new ones. The beers and margaritas were on special for $3 and the speakers were cranking out some classic 80's favorites. After dinner, Tony hung a pinata in the middle of the bar and a few people took turns taking their whacks at it. Candy for dessert!
After a while, the 80's music led to much nostalgia, and stories of concerts and first dates were recounted. We tried to guess what 80's classic would come next, and it became a wager. Everyone, including tables around us that weren't originally part of our group, took a dollar bill and wrote the name of an 80's song on it. We piled the money in the middle of the table and waited with crazy anticipation as a song would end as the first person to have their song entered into the pool would win the entire pile of cash. Some entered multiple times, and more and more would enter. Eventually the pot reached $27, but it felt like hundreds the way the crowd would groan when the next song would play and we all realized we had thought of that tune, but hadn't entered it. As I kept my fingers crossed for Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer" and Mo for "Africa" by Toto the game came to an end. Our host herself, Ali correctly picked "Voices Carry" by Til Tuesday, but to be fair, she probably had the most entries.
We had a ton of fun, and the chili was tremendous. We will be back, Cinners. We will be back.