Stanley: Shorewood PD fundraiser comes with warning
By Brian Stanley Life of Brianfirstname.lastname@example.org November 2, 2013 5:46PM
Plainfield Chief John Konopek (left) and Shorewood Chief Aaron Klima (center) help Hardin County Asst. Chief Joe Jenkins load ammunition into two donated cars Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011, in Plainfield, Ill. | Matthew Grotto~Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 4, 2013 6:39AM
It was Homecoming night the first time I went to a BD’s Mongolian Grill.
I was long out of high school. My now-wife looks young (of course, honey), but I recall we were the only ones legally able to drink sitting in our section.
We weren’t wearing a sport coat and badly-knotted tie or a sequin dress (me or her, for the record), so the bartender and waiter made taking care of us a priority.
Getting drinks is big because the rest of the meal at the Bolingbrook restaurant is pretty much self-serve. You walk through the line selecting raw meats, exotic veggies, pasta and other accessories. Pick a sauce and hand it off to be cooked on a big circular grill and handed back.
I like a little kick to my meal, so I threw a spoonful of red pepper in my bowl. The same amount I’d put on a slice of pizza.
“Little much there, Stanley?” Ginny asked me.
My reply has been quoted back at me so often over the years that you’ll never believe how casual,“I know what I’m doing,” first sounded.
But apparently chopping the food as they do on the grill really opens up the ingredients’ potential. My meal looked really good as I sat down to have my first bite.
My vision for the next few minutes after that is somewhat unreliable. So while I won’t say smoke actually came from my mouth, believe any witnesses who contradict me.
I was blinking through tears to look for the waiter for some water. I wanted to ask for a dam’s worth, but naturally the one time I needed him, the damn waiter who appreciated us as adults was finally getting around to bringing sodas for the high school kids.
Maybe some of those students watched a man chug water faster than the speed of sound when the waiter finally did get over to us. I tried not to make eye contact with them, the waiter or my date.
I also didn’t want to look at anyone as I went through the line again with a much more mildly flavored entree — lest someone at the all-you-can-eat establishment accuse me of being there just minutes earlier.
But I have gone back and enjoyed the food. Shorewood Police Chief Aaron Klima does too, though his first time was also painful ... and on the other side of the grill.
“Our first fundraiser, I was cleaning the grill, and as I brought the scraper back, my hand touched (the grill) and blistered right up,” he said. “As a result, no one else from the department wants to scrape, so that’s become my job.”
Klima was eating at BD’s one night when he saw they were preparing for a charity fundraiser. Because the Promenade’s just a short drive down the highway from Shorewood and management was receptive, Klima figured the cops could cook.
Klima and a half-dozen officers will be there again on Wednesday for the police department’s annual fundraiser to support the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics.
“We’re the guest grillers with hats and aprons, but there are trained employees making sure everything’s cooked enough,” Klima said.
For $25 for adults and $15 for children, guests get unlimited stir fry, soup, salad and soft drinks. Seatings run from 5 to 8 p.m., but the 6:30 tickets are nearly all taken.
“We’ll get anyone in who wants to give us money, but it looks like there’s going to be less of a wait at the early or late times,” Klima said.
Tickets can be purchased in advance or set aside by contacting Donna Prince or Klima at 815-725-1460. BD’s Mongolian Grill is at the Bolingbrook Promenade, 619 E. Boughton Road.
When he’s finished with scraping duty Wednesday, Klima will probably get in a dish of chicken and vegetables.
“I’m pretty tame on food like that,” he said.
Sounds like a man who knows what he’s doing. Maybe he learned the hard way, too.