7 months ago


The Mokena Messenger 041218

26 | April 12, 2018 |

26 | April 12, 2018 | The Mokena Messenger life & arts ‘Every 21 Seconds’ to make public debut T.J. Kremer III, Editor On Friday, April 13, “Every 21 Seconds,” the film based on Mokena native Brian Sweeney’s struggle with traumatic brain injury, will make its public debut at Emagine Theatre in Frankfort. The film previously had been screened by a private audience in January. “Every 21 Seconds” follows Sweeney’s life after he was viciously attacked outside of a bar in Wisconsin in 1992. The attack left Sweeney with a traumatic brain injury. Since then, Sweeney has been on a mission to share his story in the hopes that it will raise awareness and spur action for the approximately 2 million people per year who are diagnosed with and suffer from a TBI. “I spent the first five years trying to convince people that there was nothing wrong with me, and every day since trying to get people to understand what the challenges are for folks who go through this, what some of the deficits might be,” Sweeney said in an interview with The Messenger back in January. “But, also, what you can do, not what you can’t do. I always say focus on the capabilities, not the disabilities. “I wanted to be the voice that gave these people a voice.” The movie is based on Sweeney’s book of the same name. The film was recently nominated for several awards — including Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role and Best Ensemble — by Festigious, a monthly online film festival. RIGHT: Mokena resident Brian Sweeney (left), who wrote the book “Every 21 Seconds,” based on his struggles with a traumatic brain injury, poses with Shannon Brown, who plays Sweeney in the movie with the same title. The film opens for to the public Friday, April 13, at Emagine in Frankfort. 22nd Century Media file photo MUSIC From Page 22 eyes met. “I went back to my partner on stage and told her that I had found someone to dance with today,” Don said. “Little did I know that I would be dancing with her for the rest of my life.” When he asked her to dance, she replied, “I would be honored.” Their love for each other is abundantly apparent on stage, but it doesn’t just stay confined to romantic love. After serenading each other, Susan had a special dedication of “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You” for an audience member. Mary Spiecker of Mokena – Susan’s mother – attends a lot of the duo’s shows, but today’s performance was different. “Today was more special than the rest,” Spiecker said. “Someone once told me that a sign of a good show is you make them laugh, you make them cry, and they have a good time,” Susan said. “And I, as a performer, was not supposed to be crying, but today that happened.” RIGHT: Don and Susan Reitsma serenade each other and the audience during their performance. Rochelle McAuliffe/22nd Century Media dining out the Mokena Messenger | April 12, 2018 | 27 The Dish Chuy’s Tex-Mex offers a different kind of fusion Amanda Stoll, Assistant Editor True or False? Traditional Mexican tacos are served topped with cheese? If you guessed true, you would be wrong according to Jose Salazar, general manager at Chuy’s in Orland Park. Lucky for those cheeselovers out there, Chuy’s serves both traditional and Texan-inspired dishes, and some with a little bit of both. The chain started in Austin, Texas in 1982 and has nearly 100 locations, mostly spread across the South, East Coast and Central Great Plains. Hallmarks of the chain include a nacho car, a selfserve nacho bar situated in the trunk of a Buick 1958, and the chihuahua bar, where visitors can bring a framed picture of their dogs to hang up and receive a free appetizer to boot. Salazar said last week there were almost 300 pups adorning the walls and bar area, but he is hoping to get that number up to at least 1,000. One room is reserved as the hubcap room, where the ceiling in the original location was painted purple, and — because of the owners’ displeasure with the color — consequently covered with a variety of hubcaps. Upon closer inspection, the iconic purple paint can be seen between the gleaming hubcaps at the Orland Park location. Many of the same things can be found at all Chuy’s locations — including the menu, nacho car, chihuahua bar, indoor palm tree decor and hubcap room — but the artwork adorning the walls, the design and layout are unique to each location. Most of the decor in the restaurant is brought in from Mexico, where Salazar said The Chicka-Chicka Boom-Boom chicken enchiladas ($12.29) at Chuy’s feature freshlyroasted, hand-pulled chicken and cheese inside homemade tortillas and topped with Boom-Boom sauce. Photos by Amanda Stoll/22nd Century Media the company tries to support local artists, including those who have been making the more than 1,000 hand-carved wooden fish on the ceiling in the bar area. Chuy’s opened March 27, and so far Salazar said the Chicka-Chicka Boom-Boom chicken enchiladas ($12.29) have been among the most popular menu items. He said what sets the dish apart are the fresh ingredients, inhouse roasted chicken and, of course, the Boom-Boom sauce. The Boom-Boom sauce, one of a variety of sauce options at Chuy’s, is made with cheese, roasted New Mexican green chiles, tomatillos, green onions, cilantro and lime juice, as well as some “secret spices.” The creamy jalapeño sauce, although originally served as only a salad dressing, has become a favorite, Salazar added. It is a ranchbased sauce with a jalapeno kick, and people put it on everything from tortilla chips to burritos and tacos. Chuy’s even sells the creamy jalapeño sauce in 32-ounce take-home containers for those who cannot live without it. Their burritos ‘big as yo’ face,’ tacos, house specialties and enchiladas are served with freshly cooked Mexican or green chile rice, and house-made refried or charro beans. Their burritos are made with homemade tortillas stuffed with refried beans and cheese ($9.99), seasoned ground sirloin ($10.29), oven-roasted chicken ($11.29), or fajita chicken or beef ($11.99). The Elvis Green Chile Fried Chicken ($12.29) is a popular Chuy’s original recipe, featuring a chicken breast breaded with Lay’s potato chips, deep fried and topped with green chile sauce and cheddar sauce. Chuy’s connection to The King includes a small shrine within the restaurant and an annual celebration in January, during which patrons who dress up as Elvis or Priscilla Presley eat for free. Happy Hour at Chuy’s is Chuy’s 15610 S. LaGrange Road in Orland Park Hours • 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday • 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday For more information … Web: Phone: (708) 403-5334 from 4-7 p.m. Monday-Friday, when visits to the fullyloaded nacho car are free of charge. Happy Hour also features drink specials including traditional or strawberry house ritas ($5.95) served frozen, on the rocks and made with fresh squeezed lime juice; the grande house ritas ($8.95), served in a pint glass with 1800 Silver tequila and extra Grand Marnier; the house Texas martinis ($9.75), made with top-shelf premium tequila and a choice of Cointreau, Grand Marnier, or Patron Citronge, and served with jalapeño-stuffed olives; and domestic beers ($4). The purple ceiling in the hubcap room at Chuy’s is adorned with hubcaps from various cars of various eras, providing a uniquely shiny and interesting focal point. The blended strawberry margarita is made with freshsqueezed lime juice. Other specialty drinks on the menu at Chuy’s include the Chuy’s Brew, a frozen lime margarita topped with a 7-ounce Corona, and seasonal sangrias made with fresh fruit. Salazar said Chuy’s regularly partners with local organizations such as The Bridge Teen Center in Orland Park and area schools for fundraisers. For more information on upcoming events and fundraisers, visit www.chuys. com/community.