Sunday, November 30, 2014

Highland Park: Smashing ZuZu

Madame ZuZu's in Highland Park

Dropped in for a spot of tea and a vegan sandwich yesterday at Billy Corgan's Highland Park, (Illinois) tea house; Madame ZuZu's. Cool space. Cozy decor. Piano & small music area. Tucked into a MCM strip of storefronts in the old Highland Park business district. Took me right back to '1979' grad school--kind of eerie for a moment--until I looked at the menu (which snapped me in warp-speed back to 2014): one of those 'small plate' & $14 cup of tea sort of offerings you'd expect to find in LA or NYC...tasty, if not filling. Pickle sandwich, almond butter & jelly, humus & arugula, etc. Obscure 1940s music piped through the sound system was predictable and maybe just a little tired (Don's Coffee House in Rogers Park had this pre-retro vibe nailed in the 1990s). The place was (surprisingly?) empty except for a North Shore faux-hipster dad and his giggling tween daughters in matching private school hoodies at the next table, knocking into the back of my chair, snapping selfies, and jabbering about their new Tesla. After 45 minutes or so of silent judgement I finally got up, paid the bill, and crawled away in my Prius. Then I drove to Costco for my real lunch: a $2.17 slice of pizza & jumbo cup of Sierra Mist. They say Billy (and the occasional Pumpkin or two) pops in from time to time to take the small venue stage. Now he's a faux-hipster I might pay $14 to have my chair bumped into for an hour or two--although years ago, I did drive by B & Courtney Love snapping at each other on N. Southport Avenue, one Sunday morning. That was kind of cool and it was free. 

Madame ZuZu's interior photo

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