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  #1  
Old 12-02-2006, 05:30 PM
According to Pliny According to Pliny is offline
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Does Burger King really flame broil?

I saw a movie star say he used to work there and they would take frozen patties and brand them with a hot iron to get the stripes, then really cook them in a microwave.

Of course he was talking years ago when he was a teen.

Is this what they do today?
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  #2  
Old 12-02-2006, 06:21 PM
longhair75 longhair75 is offline
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No. Burger Kings use an appliance called a chain broiler to cook their beef patties. The patties are fed into the top, and a chain conveyor moves the patties across a gas fired flame to cook them. They are then stored and reheated in a miocrowave before serving.
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Old 12-02-2006, 06:42 PM
hawksgirl hawksgirl is offline
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The one in my hometown did - burnt down a few years ago. Serves 'em right I guess

(Yes, they rebuilt shortly after.)
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  #4  
Old 12-02-2006, 09:49 PM
Rilchiam Rilchiam is offline
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Originally Posted by longhair75
No. Burger Kings use an appliance called a chain broiler to cook their beef patties. The patties are fed into the top, and a chain conveyor moves the patties across a gas fired flame to cook them. They are then stored and reheated in a miocrowave before serving.
I worked at a BK once. When I had that task, I felt like I was sending the patties into hell. Put them on the conveyor and watch them move inexorably towards the flames, grease dripping from them and sizzling when it landed. On the other side, they slid lifelessly down the chute, whereupon I put them between toasted buns and filed them in a bin like so many casualties.
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Old 12-02-2006, 09:51 PM
Asgardking Asgardking is offline
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I worked at a Burger King almost 20 years ago and we used the chain broiler.

I worked night shift so I got the honor of stripping down the broiler and cleaning it.

It was fun because we used to take the detachable parts which were coated with burned on grease and dip them in an acid bath to clean them.

Acid is fun.
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  #6  
Old 12-03-2006, 02:10 PM
According to Pliny According to Pliny is offline
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I didn't know acid would remove grease. Oven cleaner products usually they use a base like lye. Burns like acid though on the skin.

I like to watch the chain toasters at Quizno's sub shops. Seems like if the chain ever slipped a cog that four footlongs would flame up at once.
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Old 12-03-2006, 02:40 PM
bouv bouv is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longhair75
No. Burger Kings use an appliance called a chain broiler to cook their beef patties. The patties are fed into the top, and a chain conveyor moves the patties across a gas fired flame to cook them. They are then stored and reheated in a miocrowave before serving.
But this is still, technically, flame broiled, yes? The point BK is trying to make is that their burgers are exposed to a real flame, as oppossed to a flat top grill (I don't know if McD's uses a standrard grill, but I'm fairly certain some places, like White Castle at least, do.) Thing is, it's not like having an open flame is any better or worse than a regular grill, so who gives a flying crap?
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Old 12-03-2006, 03:41 PM
According to Pliny According to Pliny is offline
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I think the dieticians like when the fat drips off, like in a George Foreman grilling machine.
But there is so much fat left in any commercial burger that it's irrelevant.
And of course some people like the taste of smoke on their food. Not me.
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  #9  
Old 12-03-2006, 04:31 PM
Rilchiam Rilchiam is offline
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Originally Posted by bouv
But this is still, technically, flame broiled, yes? The point BK is trying to make is that their burgers are exposed to a real flame, as oppossed to a flat top grill (I don't know if McD's uses a standrard grill, but I'm fairly certain some places, like White Castle at least, do.) Thing is, it's not like having an open flame is any better or worse than a regular grill, so who gives a flying crap?
It makes a difference in the taste, I think. BK burgers have a smoky flavor that McD's burgers do not.
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Old 12-03-2006, 05:12 PM
Kamino Neko Kamino Neko is offline
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Originally Posted by bouv
(I don't know if McD's uses a standrard grill
They do. You can see inside the 'kitchen' at the McDonald's I go to sometimes.
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  #11  
Old 12-03-2006, 05:36 PM
sturmhauke sturmhauke is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bouv
But this is still, technically, flame broiled, yes?
longhair75's post was in answer to the question, "Does BK brand the burgers with an iron but cook them in a microwave?" At some BKs you can see the chain broiler in action if you order at the counter instead of the drive-thru.

McDonald's uses a clamshell grill to cook both sides of the burger at once. The cooked meat is stored in a steam cabinet until the sandwich is put together. Sandwiches with cheese go in the microwave for a few seconds to melt the cheese.
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  #12  
Old 12-03-2006, 05:46 PM
Stranger On A Train Stranger On A Train is offline
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Originally Posted by Rilchiam
I worked at a BK once. When I had that task, I felt like I was sending the patties into hell. Put them on the conveyor and watch them move inexorably towards the flames, grease dripping from them and sizzling when it landed. On the other side, they slid lifelessly down the chute, whereupon I put them between toasted buns and filed them in a bin like so many casualties.
Rilchiam: wanted for crimes against bovinity.

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  #13  
Old 12-03-2006, 07:52 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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FWIW, I worked for BK in 1980 and it was all flame-broiling.
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  #14  
Old 12-03-2006, 08:23 PM
Asgardking Asgardking is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by According to Pliny
I didn't know acid would remove grease. Oven cleaner products usually they use a base like lye. Burns like acid though on the skin.

I like to watch the chain toasters at Quizno's sub shops. Seems like if the chain ever slipped a cog that four footlongs would flame up at once.
The big plastic bottles we would pour in to the buckets and mix with water were labeled "Acid". Of this I'm sure.
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  #15  
Old 12-04-2006, 04:03 AM
lawoot lawoot is offline
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Originally Posted by sturmhauke
McDonald's uses a clamshell grill to cook both sides of the burger at once. The cooked meat is stored in a steam cabinet until the sandwich is put together. Sandwiches with cheese go in the microwave for a few seconds to melt the cheese.
Wow - things have changed since I worked at McDonald's in the 80's* - we still had a standard grill, cheese was placed on the bun, and the heat of the patty melted the cheese. I guess the emphasis on freshness kind of killed the original McD's system of having burgers sitting in the hot rack, waiting to be taken.


* Long enough ago that when I worked there, they introduced the Cheicken McNugget and the McRib
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  #16  
Old 12-04-2006, 04:24 AM
t-bonham@scc.net t-bonham@scc.net is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longhair75
They are then stored and reheated in a microwave before serving.
This is not normal -- it happens only when they suddenly find they have extra patties, with no customer orders to use them. The normal situation is as Rilchiam described; the patties go directly onto a bun as soon as they come off the broiler.

There are BK quality standards limiting how long cooked patties can be stored before being discarded; well-run BK's follow those carefully.
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  #17  
Old 12-04-2006, 04:44 AM
sturmhauke sturmhauke is offline
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Originally Posted by lawoot
I guess the emphasis on freshness kind of killed the original McD's system of having burgers sitting in the hot rack, waiting to be taken.
When I worked there in the mid 90s, they still put the assembled burgers under the heat lamps at the end of the process. Supposedly they were only to remain there for 10 minutes until being either purchased or discarded, but somewhere around here I posted about the Evil Zombie Big Mac I discovered once upon a midnight dreary. It was not mouth-watering, but eye-watering. Now they keep the parts separate until someone orders something, presumably to reduce the risk of inadvertent necromancy.
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  #18  
Old 12-04-2006, 06:12 AM
Ferret Herder Ferret Herder is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by According to Pliny
I like to watch the chain toasters at Quizno's sub shops. Seems like if the chain ever slipped a cog that four footlongs would flame up at once.
I saw something like that happen at a Quizno's located in an airport (can't remember which one) within the last year or so. The belt must've gotten hung up temporarily, or a sandwich got caught somehow, and it was aflame. One worker was reaching in with long tongs to fish it out, and small hunks were left behind, still burning, so he had to pluck those out too. The belt moved along afterwards just fine, so whatever had happened didn't look likely to reoccur.

I was worried that the fire would get big enough to set off some kind of fire alarm or sprinkler system - I was trying to imagine the logistics of having that happen in an airport.
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  #19  
Old 12-04-2006, 06:15 AM
Biggirl Biggirl is offline
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What I want to know is, who was the stupid celebrity who mistook the flame broiler for a branding machine.
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  #20  
Old 12-04-2006, 06:46 AM
FriarTed FriarTed is offline
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Back in the 60's our local Burger Chef (who remembers THAT?, btw it was eventually absorbed into Hardees which I guess still exists, tho ours also died a few years back) used a chain-broiler visible to the public through a window. I loved watching that thing cook our burgers- made 'em taste better! *L*

Other local fast-food eateries that have since expired- Dog'N'Suds (specialties- Hot dogs of course, and also root beer & creme sodas) and Park'N'Eat (spawner of dirty jokes, of course). I know some A&Ws survive, but whatever happened to Burger Queen (with mascot Queenie Bee, kinda scarier than the modern Burger King)?
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  #21  
Old 12-04-2006, 08:10 PM
lawoot lawoot is offline
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Originally Posted by FriarTed
whatever happened to Burger Queen (with mascot Queenie Bee, kinda scarier than the modern Burger King)?
Burger Queen turned into 'Druthers', which I've heard some say was bought out by Dairy Queen. Don't know if that's true or not (although I think the Burger Queen in my old hometown in Kentucky was/is a Dairy Queen now.)
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  #22  
Old 12-04-2006, 08:26 PM
Una Persson Una Persson is offline
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Chiming in - I worked the chain grill as well at Burger King in the 1980's, and there were indeed visible flames in there cooking the meat.
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  #23  
Old 12-04-2006, 08:31 PM
Oakminster Oakminster is offline
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Originally Posted by FriarTed
Back in the 60's our local Burger Chef (who remembers THAT?
Me. Had one in my home town. At the time, it was the only chain fast food place we had. We did have a couple of mom&pop dairy bar type things, but that was about it. Pizza Hut and KFC came in around 73ish, followed by BK a year or so later. We didn't get a Mickey D until I'd left for college...
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  #24  
Old 12-05-2006, 03:13 AM
lowbrass lowbrass is offline
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Originally Posted by Asgardking
I worked at a Burger King almost 20 years ago and we used the chain broiler.

I worked night shift so I got the honor of stripping down the broiler and cleaning it.

It was fun because we used to take the detachable parts which were coated with burned on grease and dip them in an acid bath to clean them.

Acid is fun.
I had the same job. Except we had something they called "hood cleaner", which was a really caustic spray-cleaner/degreaser. We used it for the chain and the inside of the broiler hood. If you got that stuff in a cut in your finger, it burned like hell. I was required to clean inside the hood with no mask and no gloves. After about 30 seconds you would start coughing from the fumes and would have to stick your head out from under the hood to catch a breath of air. I didn't know what OSHA was back then.

We cooked the burgers on the chain, then they immediately went into a steamer (with the bun) which kept them hot and moist. If they stayed in there too long they would get soggy. Most of them got served that way anyway. In addition, each burger was microwaved before it was served. You really can taste the smoky flavor in my opinion. I used to really like the taste of their burgers, but not so much after I worked there for awhile - I just got burned out on them.

I always thought it was a pretty clever innovation. Once the speed of the chain was set correctly, the burgers were automatically cooked exactly the right amount without any guesswork or mistakes. You would put 12 patties and 12 buns at one end, and by the time you walked around to the other end, the first ones were already coming out, and you'd grab a patty and a bun and assemble them. Very efficient.

One day someone forgot to turn on the gas. I put the patties down at one end, came around to the other end, and raw burgers came out.
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  #25  
Old 12-05-2006, 06:32 AM
BobLibDem BobLibDem is offline
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Originally Posted by FriarTed
Back in the 60's our local Burger Chef (who remembers THAT?, btw it was eventually absorbed into Hardees which I guess still exists, tho ours also died a few years back)
Sure, I remember that. "Burger Chef & Jeff" was one of their commercial lines.
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  #26  
Old 12-05-2006, 09:37 AM
zuma zuma is offline
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Originally Posted by Biggirl
What I want to know is, who was the stupid celebrity who mistook the flame broiler for a branding machine.
Ethan Hawke. He was on one of the late-night celeb wank-fests last week. One of the minor ones, like kimmel, I think.
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  #27  
Old 12-05-2006, 10:00 AM
fluiddruid fluiddruid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FriarTed
...whatever happened to Burger Queen (with mascot Queenie Bee, kinda scarier than the modern Burger King)?
I was curious about this, so I looked it up and found this. Burger Queen turned into Druther's, and apparently there is still one in operation in Campbellsville, KY.
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  #28  
Old 12-05-2006, 10:05 AM
Honey Honey is offline
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Sorry, this is off-topic. Does anyone remember those collectable Looney Toons glasses from Carroll's Restaurants. I think it was around 1973. I remember how excited we'd get when a new glass came out. I still have mine.

I also remember the .15 hamburgers.
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  #29  
Old 12-05-2006, 02:39 PM
control-z control-z is offline
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Originally Posted by Rilchiam
I worked at a BK once. When I had that task, I felt like I was sending the patties into hell. Put them on the conveyor and watch them move inexorably towards the flames, grease dripping from them and sizzling when it landed. On the other side, they slid lifelessly down the chute, whereupon I put them between toasted buns and filed them in a bin like so many casualties.
I think I smell a new viral video series, "Rilchiam, the Tortured Fast-Food Worker"
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  #30  
Old 12-05-2006, 03:05 PM
slaphead slaphead is offline
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Originally Posted by Ferret Herder
I was trying to imagine the logistics of having that happen in an airport.
Wonder no more - Burger King have already established this the hard way twice.
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  #31  
Old 12-05-2006, 03:06 PM
gonzomax gonzomax is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FriarTed
Back in the 60's our local Burger Chef (who remembers THAT?, btw it was eventually absorbed into Hardees which I guess still exists, tho ours also died a few years back) used a chain-broiler visible to the public through a window. I loved watching that thing cook our burgers- made 'em taste better! *L*

Other local fast-food eateries that have since expired- Dog'N'Suds (specialties- Hot dogs of course, and also root beer & creme sodas) and Park'N'Eat (spawner of dirty jokes, of course). I know some A&Ws survive, but whatever happened to Burger Queen (with mascot Queenie Bee, kinda scarier than the modern Burger King)?
During one of our Engineering depressions in Michjigan I managed at Burger Chef. They had a division called Sani Serv which actually contructed and sold the chain drive burger cookers to Burger King. We did studies that showed that grilled burgers were preferred by most consumers and we went to grills.We did keep selling the chain drives to BK though.
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  #32  
Old 12-05-2006, 06:03 PM
Asgardking Asgardking is offline
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Yep, I remember Burger Chef. There was one right next to the bowling alley I used to bowl league in when I was in second grade and we would go there for dinner sometimes.

The thing I remember was the Works Bar where they had all the topping for the burger and you could put on what and how much you wanted.

and I remember seeing a Burger Queen once. Butr I never ate there.
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  #33  
Old 09-15-2012, 01:20 PM
Gringojon Gringojon is offline
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Burger King Flavor is a Spice

The Burger King burger has more flame broiled flavor than any outdoor grilled burger. Someone told me that he has been to a warehouse of spices and that Burger King uses such a spice to make the burgers taste very flame broiled. No telling what the chemicals are.
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  #34  
Old 09-15-2012, 02:08 PM
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The Burger King burger has more flame broiled flavor than any outdoor grilled burger. Someone told me that he has been to a warehouse of spices and that Burger King uses such a spice to make the burgers taste very flame broiled. No telling what the chemicals are.
Then that's new, when I worked there it was just a frozen patty fed into the chain broiler. Nothing but condiments put on after.
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  #35  
Old 09-15-2012, 02:21 PM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is online now
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I've always loved Burger King.

The other chain that also did flame broiling was Minute Man. They didn't use the chain broiler. They had an actual gas grill. It was fun watching the flames. Minute Man was popular in the late 60's, 70's and into the 80's. It was sad seeing them go downhill from mismanagement. The last ones closed in the early 90's.

Last edited by aceplace57; 09-15-2012 at 02:23 PM..
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  #36  
Old 09-15-2012, 02:33 PM
Malacandra Malacandra is offline
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The Burger King burger has more flame broiled flavor than any outdoor grilled burger. Someone told me that he has been to a warehouse of spices and that Burger King uses such a spice to make the burgers taste very flame broiled. No telling what the chemicals are.
Essence of zombie.
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  #37  
Old 09-15-2012, 02:55 PM
typoink typoink is offline
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It makes a difference in the taste, I think. BK burgers have a smoky flavor that McD's burgers do not.
Pretty sure you're tasting flavoring added to the burgers, not a byproduct of the cooking method.

Burgers cooked on a gas grill over a direct flame don't taste smokier than those cooked on a flattop.
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  #38  
Old 09-15-2012, 02:58 PM
Barking Dog Barking Dog is offline
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The Burger King burger has more flame broiled flavor than any outdoor grilled burger. Someone told me that he has been to a warehouse of spices and that Burger King uses such a spice to make the burgers taste very flame broiled. No telling what the chemicals are.
The smoke flavor comes from liquid smoke, I'd wager.
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  #39  
Old 09-15-2012, 04:01 PM
Spud Spud is offline
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Pretty sure you're tasting flavoring added to the burgers, not a byproduct of the cooking method.

Burgers cooked on a gas grill over a direct flame don't taste smokier than those cooked on a flattop.
I don't know if they do or do not add flavoring (but I'd guess not) but I can guarantee you I can taste the difference between a grilled (flame broiled) and a fried burger.
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  #40  
Old 09-15-2012, 04:45 PM
Icerigger Icerigger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rilchiam View Post
I worked at a BK once. When I had that task, I felt like I was sending the patties into hell. Put them on the conveyor and watch them move inexorably towards the flames, grease dripping from them and sizzling when it landed. On the other side, they slid lifelessly down the chute, whereupon I put them between toasted buns and filed them in a bin like so many casualties.
I also worked for BK in the 80s I even remember the speed of the chain 55 links per minute and the buns went on the bun chain at 110 LPMs.

What was fun at the end of the day cleaning the large drip pans under the broiler from the days accumulated grease and debris.

Last edited by Icerigger; 09-15-2012 at 04:47 PM..
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  #41  
Old 09-15-2012, 11:14 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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The smoke flavor comes from liquid smoke, I'd wager.
I don't know what it is, but I swear Burger King tastes to me like the hamburgers have been dipped in lighter fluid. I'm only slightly exaggerating. I hate their burgers because of that weird flame-broiled taste. It's not a woody, grilled flavor; it's something else. I've always suspected they added some kind of flavoring to their patties to enhance the smokiness, but maybe it's just their flame-broiling process that gives them that odd taste.
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  #42  
Old 09-15-2012, 11:18 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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I don't know if they do or do not add flavoring (but I'd guess not) but I can guarantee you I can taste the difference between a grilled (flame broiled) and a fried burger.
I think typoinc was hitting on the fact that using a gas grill (as opposed to a charcoal grill) doesn't make it taste smokier. I agree with you--it does make a difference. Even with a direct gas flame, when the fat from the meat hits the fire, it burns and produces a distinct smoky flavor, which is different than a woody smoke flavor. I just call it "fat-in-the-fire" flavor. A burger cooked in a gas grill where the fat occasionally flares up and burns tastes distinct from a griddled burger.
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  #43  
Old 09-15-2012, 11:38 PM
Kenm Kenm is offline
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Years ago I read that Queen Elizabeth owned a huge chunk of Burger King through one of her many firms.

That explained BK's answer to Ronald McDonald, its freakazoid burger "king."
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