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Best Burgers on the North Shore


With so many options to choose from (gourmet, classic, chain etc.), it was quite hard to narrow down the list to just a few. We are sure that this list will spark some debate. However, the good news is that wherever you are on the North Shore, there’s probably a pretty good burger place nearby. And yes, we’ll take fries with that!

Prairie Grass Café’s Top Sirloin Burger
601 Skokie Boulevard, Northbrook, 847-205-4433

An award- winning gourmet burger that is served with mild Amish blue cheese topping, grilled beefsteak tomatoes and grilled onions sans bun! The burger is that good that you do not need one!

Charlie Beinlich’s
290 Skokie Boulevard, Northbrook, 847-291-0420

Two words sum up the Charlie Beinlich’s experience, old school! Known for their simple hamburgers and cheeseburgers, Charlie Beinlich’s is a no frills dive with a limited menu, and limited toppings for your burger (we’re talking cheese, onions and bacon). They keep it simple but fresh and people continue to come back for more. A Chicago classic. Closed Sunday and Monday. Cash only, don’t say we didn’t warn you!

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Presidential Candidates Duke It Out In Wilmette

You thought that was the last presidential debate last night, but you were wrong. There’s a fourth debate going on as we speak, right here in Wilmette.

Here they are going at it down on Lawndale: Obama with his teleprompter and Romney with his binders full of women. Who do you think is winning this one?

political effigies of Obama and Romney

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Star Spangled Rock


Rockin’ His World

A few weeks ago I wrote about a guy who proposed on Wilmette’s painted rock. In case you were wondering how it turned out, here’s your answer.

Reply on a Rock

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Message on a Rock

Rock with marriage proposalI love driving by the painted rock on Thornwood and Ridge to see its latest incarnation. Every season it sports a new look, in keeping with the time of year. At Halloween it has masqueraded as candy corn and as a pumpkin. At holiday time it’s been the Grinch and it’s been a reindeer.  It’s always something fun and creative, thanks to the Cox family, who live on the corner and carry on the decades-old  tradition of painting the rock.

So I was a little surprised last week to drive by and see that the rock had been painted black…just plain old black. Had someone died? Or was I just missing the joke?

A couple of days later I was even more perplexed to read the question painted on the rock: “Carly, will you marry me?” Who was Carly? What was this all about?

Turns out this really was a marriage proposal, from Daniel Hudson to Carly Graham, whose family used to live in the house on the corner and paint the rock before they moved to Georgia three years ago. Daniel had contacted Katy Cox and arranged to have the rock painted with his marriage proposal and then brought Carly blindfolded to the corner of Thornwood and Ridge to pop the question.

With a proposal like that, how could she say no?

Rock with marriage proposal

Read more about Daniel’s proposal to Carly:,0,7082433.story


Rock Candy

Last year the rock dressed as a ghost. This year it has donned something more colorful. Looks good enough to eat. Happy Halloween!

Wilmette's rock as candy corn

Halloween in Kenilworth Gardens

Halloween in Kenilworth Gardens

When it comes to Halloween the families in the Kenilworth Gardens neighborhood of Wilmette take their decorating very seriously. The name of the game is to have the ghastliest, grisliest decorations you can come up with.

Here are pix of some of the scarier yards in the ‘hood.


IMG_8287Witch in Kenilworth Gardens

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Pumpkins and Politics on Lawndale

Candidates in Wilmette

Every year I look forward to seeing how the Weyermullers have decorated their yard for Halloween. For over ten years they’ve been lampooning local and national politicians with life-size statues and vignettes about some of the more controversial policy issues. They will happily skewer either or both political parties but say they draw the line on sex scandals. So you won’ be seeing any Anthony Weiner statues this year.

And the fun is not limited to politics. Being die-hard Cub fans (one can only assume) there’s always some “commentary” on the Cubs’ latest season. This year there’s a Cub fan rising from the dead with his heart in his hand and a sign that reads: “The Cubs yanked my heart out”  And, of course, there’s a statue of the Cubs’ new President of Baseball Operations, Theo Epstein.

Here are some shots of this year’s Halloween display. See if you recognize anyone…

BlagoCharlie Sheen

Rahm EmmanuelBarack ObamaCubs fan with heart ripped outTheo Epstein

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Elvis Sighting on Beechwood Avenue

Every weekend during the summer there is a block party going on somewhere in Wilmette. It’s a tradition that started out as basically a neighborhood pot-luck party in the street. Everyone would bring some food to share, along with their beverage of choice, and people of all ages would congregate in the street to talk, eat and drink.

Nowadays these get-togethers have become much more elaborate. Not only are there home-made goodies, but sometimes catered meals. There are bike parades, egg and water-balloon tossing contests, face painting, bouncy houses and corn hole games.

Beechwood Avenue had all that this year. But we also had a special guest who hasn’t been seen around these parts for quite some time. Elvis himself showed up at our event and even serenaded us with a few of his most popular songs.  The curious thing: he hadn’t aged a bit. In fact, he was looking very healthy indeed and as if he might have joined weight watchers.

Don’t believe me? I have evidence. Yes, I managed to get a video and here it is. So there!

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Halloween Decorating: Wilmette’s Best Dressed Yard

Halloween on Lawndale Avenue in WilmetteEvery October I make my annual pilgrimage down to Lawndale Avenue to check out the Halloween decorations in one particular front yard. This yard may not have the most decorations, but it certainly has the cleverest and most amusing.

This year’s decorations feature effigies our disgraced ex-gov, Rod Blagojevich and Sarah Palin, as well as the Cubs Cemetery of Excuses, with tombstones for all the years the team should have won a championship, but didn’t.

Cubs Cemetery of Excuses

IMG_5475Effigy of Rod Blagojevich

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