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Pre-Derby Klas-trophobia: Klas, Cicero

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Pre-Derby Klas-trophobia: Klas, Cicero

David Hammond | May 1, 2004 10:02 PM

My buddy Patoriq and I have had our rituals. Ever since we won $250 on a $20 bet on Ferdinand in the ’86 Kentucky Derby, we’ve been convinced we have the makings of professional gamblers, and we consistently meet on the day before the race, eat at Johnnie’s, and, sometimes, we win big (usually, we don’t).

This year was different. Patoriq had to drive his parents to Wisconsin on Friday, so we went gambling on Thursday (two days before the race) to Klas in Cicero. Though I tended toward Thai (of course!), Patoriq said he wanted wienerschnitzel, and as it was a rather cool day, I said okay. I must say, I was swayed by Rene’s earlier post (and my distant memories of the place), so I felt inclined to go (Peter, all is forgiven, I know you went only to the bar).

Red Flag #1: the greeter was a woman in a t-shirt (last time I went, a much older but well-kempt blonde though withered lady in a vest, who I’m sure was an Inga or a Hilda, was at the door, efficiently smiling as I walked in, and she made me feel warmly at home).

Red Flag #2: walking by the salad bar, we both noticed a Pleistocene crust over the cucumbers. Patoriq shuddered visibly, and I felt his vibration of disapprobation.

I tend to go with Patoriq’s choices, so we both had the wienerschnitzel Ementhaller, which was a big slab of ground chicken/pork with a messy swamp of white cheese on top. It was barely edible, though we ate it all (my stomach remembered it throughout the night). For dessert, we had a kolachky, which was spongy and stupid.

Red Flag #3: the guy who took our money on the way out was wearing a baseball cap, which, as Unknown Joan has remarked, drops your IQ 30% right out of the gate.

Afterwards, we went to the track and bet the exacta box 3, 5, 9, 11, 13, 15 (this was announced on the list serve 48 hours ago, which is another good reason to sign up for that). So I doubled my money, but as they say, “the less you bet, the more you lose, when you win.”

On the downside, I will probably have to eat at Klas (for ritual’s sake) before every Kentucky Derby until at least 2010. But WTF, if I double my money most times, I’ll still be ahead, financially if not gastronomically.

David “Only Bet on a Sure Thing” Hammond


Klas Restaurant
5734 W. Cermak Road
Cicero, Il 60804-2130

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