Mitch and I continued our regular weekend excursions with a trip home to visit my parents and brother in Naperville. While partially a family trip, it was also a weekend to celebrate the retirement of a long-time teacher at my high school. Mr. U, as everyone calls him, was preparing to retire after 39 years in education and 35 years of running the theatre club. At a surprise reunion Saturday night, many alumni came back to wish him well and celebrate the long career.
My family started off that night with the recipe for the fondue you see pictured below. This was our way to get energized in order to go to a party which STARTED at 10:30pm.
On Sunday, we decided to try two new activities. A new trend, the “escape room” centers are a growing craze across America. These apparently originated in Japan (thanks, Wikipedia) and came over here starting about 2010-2012. We tried out our first one today- and from the picture below, we were not successful. We got REALLY close (like 2 clues away from full escape, close) but we just ran out of time. For those who are unfamiliar with these rooms/games, let me explain.
The company sets up a “scenario” for you to walk into. As soon as you enter the room, a 1-hour timer starts ticking away. Everything you can see and move can be a clue to unlock a series of locks, riddles, trick doors, and mind puzzles. These decorative pieces can ALSO be fake though and lead you astray. It is up to you and your team (up to 10 people) to work together to work through all the puzzles and pieces. Along the way, if you get stuck, the game maker can intervene via audio in the room and TV screens to either make fun of you or to help you when stuck. Our game maker only intervened once, so I feel pretty good. For every hint you receive, though, you get a 5 minute time penalty. Escape in an hour, or take the sad picture we had to take below. Hint: Reserve in advance if you want a prime time. Mastermind fills up fast!
We swallowed our defeat down to the tune of death metal music following this. My brother’s favorite burger joint, Kuma’s Corner, just happens to be around the corner from Mastermind. This restaurant is not for the faint of heart or palette. The whole theme truly is DEATH METAL: the walls are painted with flames and sheet metal. The waiters are surly and tattoo covered. They CONSTANTLY blast classic death metal. The restaurant was even selling tickets to the Chicago death metal summer fest over lunch. Each burger is unique and named after a famous band or song. I had the Metallica (pictured in featured image). Think buffalo chicken sandwich meets bacon burger. And then amp it up on a pretzel bun. I seriously cannot do this menu justice. Each meal was completely unique and INCREDIBLE. There’s reason they were lining up to walk in the door at 11:15 for open. Hint: There is a featured burger of the month each month. According to Eric he has only seen one BoM repeat 1 time ever, so if it strikes your fancy- do it. Rock on hungry people.