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Chicago Area Tiki Tour Recap - Part Three


The Tiki TerraceThis is part three in my series of recapping the Chicago Area Tiki Tour.  If you haven't read part one and two yet. You'll want to check them out too.

So, after our visit to Hala Kahiki we boarded the bus again for our final destination of the evening.  We were headed to a dinner and a show at The Tiki Terrace.  Before arriving at The Tiki Terrace we had one last bus cocktail to enjoy.  The final cocktail was the CATT Cooler, this lovely libation was named after the event.  The recipe is:

  • 1 oz Coruba dark rum
  • 1 oz Cruzan aged dark rum
  • 1.5 oz white grapefruit juice
  • 1 oz Welche's passion fruit juice
  • .25 oz lime juice
  • .25 oz cinnamon syrup (from the Grog Log)

I'll be completely honest.  I don't recall much about this cocktail.  By this point my senses were getting a little overloaded.  I'll have to get the ingredients and make it at home to give it a proper review. 

Upon arrival at The Tiki Terrace the place doesn't look like much.  It's in a white strip mall wedged in between an auto parts store and a Radio Shack.  The Tiki Terrace Virgins didn't have high hopes, but I knew what awaited us on the other side of that strip mall door.  When we walked in everyone was blown away by the decor.  It quickly became the favorite of the day.  

Tiki Terrace DancersEveryone took a seat, and had a cocktail in a pretty short amount of time.  The meal was included with the event, and we had their egg rolls and taro chips for appetizers.  The egg rolls are one of my favorite things at The Tiki Terrace.  They have a thin and crispy shell.  The filling is a step up from your standard egg roll.  For my dinner I had the kalua pork.  It was a big portion of delicious shredded pork, and was served with rice.  It was really good. You can read my full review from January.

Shortly after eating the show began.  I've seen the show three times now.  It is exactly the same every time.  That isn't a complaint though.  Everyone really enjoyed it.  They should stick with a formula that works.  The show is a review of dance and music from different Polynesian Islands, and there is even a special guest.  It's a fun show that lasts about an hour.

After the show everyone was pretty exhausted.  We rode back to the hotel, and had a mixture of left over cocktails on the way back.  A few brave souls kept the party going all night. 

Chef Shangri-LaSunday, everyone met up at Chef Shangri-La.  We started out in the bar with cocktails.  There signature drink the Dr. Fong was on special for the day.  It was a nice cocktail.  It tasted like orange juice, sweet and sour, and a hint of almond; maybe amaretto.  It was pretty good, but a little to sour for most.  Next, I had a Mai Tai.  They made a great Mai Tai.  It was a nice balance of almond, sweet and sour.  I really enjoyed it. It was a Trader Vic's style but not quite as strong.

"Souper" BowlFor lunch I had the "Souper" Bowl.  This enormous bowl of soup had noodles, wontons, jumbo shrimp, and pork.  It was really good, and way too much food.  I barely put a dent in it.  While we ate Alewife played a great set. 

A raffel was held to raise funds for CatNap from the heart.  They raffle included one of a kind CATT mugs, Witco carvings, and even a picture that hung at Chef Shangri-La for years.  Some lucky people took home great prizes.

A HUGE thank you to the organizers of this event.  It was such a great time, and organized so well!





Tiki Bar Review: Tiki Terrace

Tiki Terrace Dining RoomLast week I visited the Tiki Terrace in Des Plaines, IL.  Des Plaines is just  a short drive from downtown Chicago.  I went there for lunch on new year's eve.  From the outside I would have never guessed what waited for me inside.  The Tiki Terrace was adorned from floor to ceiling.  It felt like I had just stepped into a tropical tiki jungle.  Come to find out later from our waitress that the owners, three brothers, had hand carved and created the many Tikis throughout the restaurant.

Arriving late, we got a table and our waitress, Diana, told us that the kitchen would only be open for a few more minutes, but they were nice enough to stay open to make us lunch still.  To start out I had a Mai Tai.  The Mai Tai wasn't your traditional Trader Vic style Mai Tai, but it was still very good.  It was sweet with an orange flavor, and you could also taste dark rum, and Orgeat Syrup.

Tiki Terrace Mai TaiAfter the Mai Tai I had a Tropical Itch.  The Tropical Itch had a Cherry, Pineapple, Rum flavor and was quite delicious as well.  My third drink was a Vanilla Ginger Martini.  The drink menu says they make their own vanilla bean and ginger flavoring every week.  I really enjoyed the Ginger Martini it had a perfect balance of ginger and vanilla.  I would definitely recommend this martini.

For lunch we started with the Pohana Pot Stickers and the Egg Rolls Bora Bora.  The pot stickers were good.  They had a delicious shrimp, pork filling.  However, I loved the Egg Rolls Bora Bora.  These made from scratch egg rolls had a very thin crispy shell that was excellent, and the filling was very meaty and tasty.  These could be the best egg rolls I've ever had.

I had the Honolulu Coconut Chicken for my main course.  It was an enormous portion of crispy, coconuty, deliciousness. We also tried the No Ka Oi Burger which was a Teriyaki glazed burger with pineapple and wasabi mayo on top.  It was very good, but a bit on the greasy side.

Egg Rolls Bora BoraI had a great time at the Tiki Terrace and can't wait to get back sometime for dinner.  They also have a dinner show that I want to see sometime. Our waitress Diana was very friendly. We talked to her for a while and she gave me some tips on some other great Tiki locations in the area.


Tiki Bar Review: De Minibar

Last week I had the chance to visit The Netherlands.  While there I had to search out some Tiki. I came accross De Minibar on Facebook.  De Minibar isn't a tiki bar, but they do specialize in Tiki Drinks.   Sten Vd Berg the founder of De Minibar is very passionate about Tiki drinks and rum.  

I started out with a Mai Tai.  It was made in the classic way with rum, crushed ice, lime juice, and sugar syrup.  It was pretty good.  The lime juice did come out of a bottle, but I understand that it is much more difficult to get some of the ingredients in Europe.  That being said De Minibar had the largest selection of rum and other spirits that I had seen in The Netherlands.  It was quite impressive for a country where you can only get Bacardi generally.  Some of the highlights included Bacardi Reserva Bacardi Reserva Limitada, a 15 year Havana Club, and Lemon Hart Demeraha, but there were many more. 

Next, I had a Zombie.  It tasted just like a Zombie should with flavors of citrus, and a touch of absinthe.  It was delicious. Watch out for this one. The menu says you are limited to two a night.  After that I tried the passionflower.  This drink was amazing. If you were to have just one drink at De Minibar I would suggest this one (But who has only one Tiki drink?).  The passion fruit, caramel syrup, cranberry juice, and pineapple juice went great with the rum.  

I rounded out the night with a drink that wasn't on the menu.  Sten made a chocolate fire drink.  I can't recall the name, I can probably thank the Zombie for the memory loss, but it was delicious and amazing to watch being made.   The drink was lit on fire and then poured from one shaker to another.  It was a lot of fun to watch.

I really enjoyed my evening at De Minibar, and I can't wait to get back for another visit.  If you are ever in The Netherlands be sure to check out De Minibar.  Sten also plans to open up a Tiki bar at some point in the future.  I'll keep you posted on any news about the project.

For those of you from the US like me be sure to try some Havana Club rum if you are in The Netherlands. Many bars stock it along side Bacardi.  I found it to be smoother and not as sweet a Bacardi.  



Tiki Bar Review: Psycho Suzi's

Psycho Suzi's MinneapolisSo I had the opportunity to visit Psycho Suzi's Motor Lounge, in Minneapolis, on Saturday.  Immediately upon entering I was surrounded by classic Tiki Bar adornments including bamboo, grass mats, Tikis, and dim red lighting.  With wooden paneling, retro booths, and a Schmidt Beer sign there was also a bit of timeless mid-western retro mixed in ; This made for a fun combination.  There were some fun Halloween decorations up too. In the back of the dining area a nice Tiki Mug collection lined the wall.  I immediately felt at home.

Psycho Suzi's classifies their drinks in three categories. Feeble, standard, and strong.  I first ordered a Walking Dead.  The Walking Dead had a very sweet pineapple flavor. It was delicious, but almost a little too sweet.  If you are looking for a drink that hides its alcohol well try this one.

The Paralyzed Polynesian and The Walking DeadNext, up was the Paralyzed Polynesian.  This one was classified as strong, and it lived up to that rating.  It had a delicious rum and fruit flavor.  It wasn't overly sweet like the Walking Dead.  I really enjoyed this one. Two, drinks weren't enough so I sampled the Fu Manchu next.  The Fu Manchu was a coconut flavored rum drink, and was quite delicious. The final drink I sampled was one of the specials of the evening.  It was called Running With The Devil. This was a delicious change of pace to your standard rum drink.  It tasted like a cinnamon roll.  The combination was great. I'd definitely recommended you try Walking With The Devil sometime.

I also had some of Psycho Suzi's food to go with my tiki drinks.  I started with the Backfire Dip which was an artichoke and jalapeño dip, and it was served with toasted bread. The dip was amazing.  The heat of the jalapeños blended really well with the cheese and artichokes.  It was served hot and bubbly.  Yum! It was so delicious! I also had the Paradise City pizza which was similar to a Hawaiian Pizza, with ham and and pineapple, but it also had rum soaked Raisins.  The rum soaked raisins worked great with the ham and pineapple. It was a pizza that I couldn't stop eating.

Backfire DipTo add to my personal Tiki Mug Collection, I purchased the Fu Manchu mug and the Psycho Suzi glass that the Walking With The Devil came in.  The waitress wrapped different glasses since we were still drinking.  When I got home and unwrapped the Psycho Suzi Glass I was a little disappointed to find the glass was dirty, and it had a big chip out of the bottom.  If I'm going to have sticky lip marks on a glass I'd prefer them to be my own.  I'm just saying...

Overall, Psycho Suzi's was a great Tiki experience.  Great food, great drinks, and a great atmosphere.  They will be moving to a new location in a couple weeks. I can't wait to get back and check the new place out.


Have you been to Psycho Suzi's? Let me know what you think.



The Head - Mobile Tiki Bar Costume

While browsing YouTube I came across this excellent Halloween costume that Morgan Hendry made for Halloween this year.  I love it.  It is an Easter Island Moai, a costume, and a Tiki Bar!