Archive for the ‘Weekly trivia reviews’ Category

Last night we headed to Market to check out a new trivia group called Let’s Go Trivia that we’ve been hearing a lot about recently. The Let’s Go crew told us they were basically just normal guys who loved trivia and thought they could do a good job hosting trivia nights. We were intrigued. People getting into the trivia business because they love trivia? That seems pretty rare. A lot of trivia hosts seem to get into the game to because they are wannabe comedians or aspiring musicians who want to take advantage of a captive audience. And frankly, that’s just painful.

Luckily, these guys know that most people come to trivia nights to play trivia, not hear amateur comedians.  They really did a great job. The rounds were: general knowledge, picture identification, fun & games, people, and an audio round. The audio round, which required us to identify the theme songs from famous TV shows, was AWESOME. If there’s one thing I love as much as trivia it’s TV. Our only complaint was that they sometimes played long song clips that made the answers too obvious. But that also allowed us to sing out loud nearly the entire theme to Family Ties, so I’ll overlook it. Sha la la la.

There were also two lightening rounds in which we were required to list as many answers as possible in 3 minutes. Last night we had to list the 13 top selling cereals in the US and as many TV sitcoms that were on the air for 10+ years as possible.  (Who the hell has been watching King of Queens for the past 9+ years anyways?) Overall, the questions were really fun and creative and sparked a ton of conversations amongst our team. I never knew my teammates had such strong opinions about cereal.

If you still need some convincing about these guys, lemme tell you about the prizes. I can speak authoritatively on this subject because we won first prize: 2 Bulls tickets to Friday night’s game! The good news is since the Bulls suck, it’s definitely possible for us to find 2 more tickets so our whole team can go! Second prize was a gift certificate to Market. Also, you can win prizes just by showing up regularly. Let’s Go Trivia hands out punch cards. Show up and get your card punched 4 times and you get free pizza and beer. Woah. That would be first prize at a lot of trivia joints.

Bulls Tickets!

We know how to win even if the Bulls don't.

Market itself is a pretty fun place to hang out. Parking was a breeze and it’s also steps from the Loop so walking to trivia after work is also an option. We’ve also heard rumor that Market will send a van to pick you up for trivia– email letsgotrivia@gmail.com for details.

Tuesday’s specials include: $1 sliders, $15 pitchers of margaritas and vodka lemonades. We either misheard or were misinformed about the price of beer buckets. Regardless, they’re $18 which isn’t much of a special. The food is definitely a little fancier than your standard trivia night. (That’s not the only fancy part about Market– there’s reportedly a bathroom attendant in the men’s restroom). We got sliders, a salad, and a couple of sandwiches and were all pretty satisfied. Speaking of satisfaction, the pickles that come with the sandwiches are HUGE. That’s great news if you love pickles or enjoy making naughty jokes like the one I just made.

Giant pickle

Now that's a pickle.

Trivia starts at 7:30 (although when I called the Market staff said it started at 7), and we were out the door by 9:30, which is pretty nice. Overall, we were super impressed with Let’s Go Trivia.  There are just lots of little touches that made last night a bit smoother than a lot of other trivia nights.  We’re eager to try out there other venues around town!

Market Bar
1113 W. Randolph, Chicago
Free Admission
3.5 Paws! (Out of 4)


Read Full Post »

The Spot has many things to offer.  They have beer, wine, and spirit tastings, Glee viewings, football parties, and seasonally, the famed Diva Brunch featuring Scooty and JoJo.  And on Tuesdays, they have trivia, brought to you by Mike Trojan!

First things first, if you call, they’ll tell you trivia starts at 7pm.  False.  It starts at 8.  We found that out after inhaling dinner and running into the Spot and up the stairs, only to burst into…an empty room.  Well, it wasn’t completely empty.  Timmy the bartender was there to show off the holiday decorations and to offer us some pretty good specials: $2 off food (more on that later), $7 giant Fat Tires, and the Best Special Ever: a $6 24 oz. PBR in a brown paper bag.  Now that I think about it, it seems a little expensive, but our readers know that we think Giant PBRs are pretty much priceless.

Worth every penny

The upstairs green room is pretty small but there were only 4 teams playing this week.  Trivia costs $20 per team with a team limit of 4 people.  Half of the pot goes to the winners and the other half goes to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society… as Team in Training alumni, we can certainly get behind that.

Last time we went to trivia at the Spot, the food wasn’t the best.  Since then, they apparently locked themselves in a room with Printshop and several cases of PBRs  and came out with a menu with such offerings as “Totchos” (tots + nachos) and “What’s Are Mini Corndogs” (???).  Most of our team ate before trivia, but one team member did order the “Wing Wings,” chicken wings with a choice of sauces including Relationship (honey jerk, get it?) and A#1 (A-1, get it?).  The wings were ginormous and meaty.

Trojan reads 7 rounds of trivia: this week’s were geography, history, music, science, picture round, sports, and a double-point general knowledge round.  Each team can choose to double the points on one other round throughout the game.  The questions were difficult but reasonable and Trojan is a good host– he’s personable without too much banter.  The coolest part of the evening was when Timmy went all Cocktail on us and made root beer shooters for everyone.

We couldn't tell if he put alcohol in the shots but things got a lot funnier afterward.

We didn’t win, but everyone is a winner at the Spot so we walked away with Armored T-shirts and passes to see it this week.  Each week the actual winners get a spot in the Tournament of Champions, which starts in just a couple weeks.  Congratulations and good luck to Team Potent Potables (we’re suckers for a good Jeopardy reference)!

The Spot is a little off the beaten path in Uptown (at least until the Target across the street opens).  If you find yourself in the area, check it out!

The Spot
4437 N. Broadway, Chicago
8pm to 10:30pm
$20 admission/team of 4
2.5 paws (out of 4)

Read Full Post »

Last Tuesday night we went back to one of our old favorite bars which canceled trivia for a few months but just recently reinstated it.  And we won.  It’s a Thanksgiving miracle!

Clybar does not have the frills that some other trivia bars have.  The menu isn’t fancy like Witt’s.  There aren’t prizes galore like at State.  And its trivia host does not dress in drag like at Crew.  Still, Clybar has what matters most: cheap food, great drink specials, and good trivia.  All wraps are 1/2 price and come with a generous portion of fries or tots.  Draft beers are just $3, including some pretty fancy beers like Gumballhead and Bud Lite.  What a steal.

Trivia was great.  The host was succinct and didn’t appear to have ambitions to be a comedian, which regular readers know is a huge plus for us.  Trivia was provided by Whaddyaknow Trivia which we have mixed feelings about (see here and here), but tonight we thought the questions and pacing were stellar.  Plus, there was a lot of really fun and creative Thanksgiving related trivia.  We only have one complaint.  We were asked who won the Nobel Prize in economics this year and were told the answer was Paul Krugman.  That’s false.  He won last year, Elinor Ostrom won this year.  We wouldn’t have gotten it right anyways (our answer would have been “some woman”), but we don’t like it when (a) hosts don’t do their homework and (b) women’s accomplishments are marginalized.

Girl power!

Source: Misfit.net

The dramatic part of Whaddyaknow Trivia comes at the end when you can wager up to 15 points on each of the 2 final questions.  The catch is that if you get the question wrong, you lose those points.  We always wager big.  And we always lose.  But tonight we resisted temptation and didn’t wager much and ended up winning it all.  First prize was a $30 gift card to Clybar– which covered most of our tab because the specials were so great.

Since Clybar has come under new management, thay’ve made some really cool renovations: new specials and huge new flat screen TVs.  Parking is a breeze and the menu is cheap.  Plus it’s a Purdue bar, and one of our teammates claims the Big 10 is where it’s at this year in basketball.  That’s debatable, but what’s beyond debate is Clybar’s trivia night.  It’s a lot of fun, and you should definitely check it out!

Go Purdue!

Source: http://web.ics.purdue.edu

2417 N. Clybourn Ave., Chicago
Free Admission
3 paws! (Out of 4)

Read Full Post »

Prompted by an email suggestion from reader Jacob, tonight we headed to Witt’s for their Wednesday night trivia.  I’d like to start by saying we won at Globe last week.  And Globe is HARD.  Time Out Chicago says it would make even Stephen Hawking sweat.  However, just one week after winning at Globe we got last place at Witt’s.  It was pathetic.  Since we had a question about this transcendentalist writer, I think it’s appropriate to quote him now: “I have always been regretting that I was not as wise as the day I was born.”  (Or at least as wise as I was last week.)

Despite the humiliating loss (why did we pick this week to pass out our newly printed Here Comes Treble business cards?!) we had a pretty good time.  Witt’s is super cute, and the food is delish.  It’s a bit classier than your standard bar fare.  (But not too classy– they still serve tots!)  Parking was really easy.  We all found metered spots right in front of the restaurant.  The place itself is fairly small and really fills up.  Trivia starts at 8pm sharp, and by 7:50 nearly all the tables were taken.

Trivia is emceed by Kevin, who was fun and audible and most importantly had us out the door by 10:15.  Trivia consisted of 6 rounds: 2 general knowledge rounds, 2 pop culture rounds, a name that tune round featuring old school rap, and a double jeopardy round of really hard questions. Not particularly shocking, our team made up of white and Asian people who grew up in the suburbs did especially poorly in the old school rap round.  The questions were fun, challenging (obvi) and there was a good variety.  Despite the embarrassing loss, we thank Jacob for the suggestion!

Winners get 25% of their tab.  Second place gets to pick a category for next week.   This week’s team chose Lost.  Sadly, there’s no prize for 11th place.

The crowd seemed like a lot of regulars and there were a lot of great team names.  We especially loved the Mad Men inspired Team: Sterling Cooper Draper & Pryce.  I think I spied a few teams over the six person limit, and I’d like to use that as an excuse for our humiliating loss, but in all honesty we just didn’t have our best stuff today. Which was a huge bummer considering the high we were on last week.


The Drapers aren't the only ones in turmoil this week.

Photo source: awardsdaily.com

It’s like Don said in the Mad Men finale: something terrible happened, and the way that we see ourselves has changed.  Stay tuned to season 4 of Mad Men and keep reading Here Comes Treble to see if we can bounce back.

2913 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago
Free admission
3 paws! (out of 4)

Read Full Post »

We like to think we’re a pretty decent team.  We usually hold our own and place in the top three.  Sometimes we even win.  We won at Drum & Monkey, but the questions were so easy, we only got one wrong, and that was because we weren’t racist enough.  When we won at Elephant and Castle, we beat a grand total of two other teams.  We were actually really excited when we won a bunch of money at Harrigan’s, even if we only won because Yao Ming is on our team.  We won at Ginger’s, despite the jolly old host not thinking that “Alan Alda” was a pervy enough alternate answer– but as it turned out, we didn’t really win anything.

But last night.  We won.  At Globe Pub.  OMG.  Oh. My. God.


Source: World Maps

What a great night to be Filipino at Globe Pub. Instead of the usual donations to the MS Society, last night’s team fees went to benefit victims of the recent typhoons in the Philippines.  Thanks, Quizmaster Dave.  If that wasn’t enough, round one was called “Hippies Lent Hip,” an anagram for “The Philippines”!  Of course, at Globe Pub, being Filipino doesn’t really give you much of an advantage if your knowledge is limited to: the capital (Manila), Tagalog swear words, Imelda Marcos’ shoe-hoarding, Manny Pacquiao, and Wowowee.  What does give you an advantage is having two guest team members, one who had a Filipina roommate in college, and the other who is an expert on geography/history.  Susmaryosep…that round could have been a disaster.

Like most second-generation Filipino-Americans, I know way more about pop culture than my own culture, so I redeemed myself in the next round, “I Take Dark,” or “Karate Kid.”  The match round required us to match Chicago dive bars with their addresses — ridiculously hard, but we managed to stay afloat.  The Chemical States round, where you turn series of chemical symbols and state abbreviations into a list of words with a common theme, was impossible.  We don’t think anyone got the common link, which was Packers.  (Quizmaster Dave could have thrown us a bone and given us “Rodgers” for the final clue, but that’s just not how he rolls.)  We really started our offensive assault during Dead or Canadian: Mascara or Jedi (perfect for our mixed-gender team!).  We continued by being awesome at picture identification.  But what really put us over the top was our team member pulling “Burlap” out of nowhere to boost us to FIRST PLACE!


This is what victory looks like.

The winners get a $50 gift certificate to Globe Pub, but that does not hold a candle to the feeling of extreme glee you get for winning the hardest pub quiz in town.  Like Ryan’s trip to Thailand, it’s indescribable.

Next stop, State!  (Watch your back, Pat Stack, we’re coming for our cash.)

Globe Pub
1934 W. Irving Park Rd., Chicago
8pm to 10:15pm
$5 admission (goes to charity)
4 paws! (out of 4)

Read Full Post »

Monday we went back to team favorite Crew for their delightful trivia night.  Trivia at Crew is provided by PubStumpers… and we’ve said it again and again and again, Crew + PubStumpers is awesome.

We were prompted to go back by a comment from reader (and fellow Kansan!) PG who informed us that an indomitable team has gone unbeaten for the last few weeks at Crew.  We were eager to face off against this team (even though we pretty much knew how it would end).  Playing as The Taint Team, our super highbrow team name should be an indication of how well we did (read: not well).  Even though we didn’t end up beating the unbeatable team, we did win a Michael Jackson This Is It prize pack during one of the lightening rounds. And that was a Thriller for us.

In other Crew news, we’ve signed up to be Beer Gods (ahem, Goddesses) and you should, too!  Just go to Crew, sign up for a “beer passport” and drink beers from around the world.  When you complete all the beers listed on the passport, you get all sorts of prizes including your photo on the wall and a t-shirt that explains to the world how cool you are (finally, some recognition!).

god-beerSource: http://www.vikhyat.com

4804 N. Broadway, Chicago
8 to around 10:15
Free admission
4 paws! (out of 4)

Read Full Post »

Thursday night brought our team to Ginger’s Ale House.  It’s pretty different than most of the trivia nights we’ve been to, and, to be honest, there were more than a few unusual things about it… but it’s hard not to like it here.

Trivia is run by a kindly older gentleman with his daughter as his assistant.  I think he just makes up categories and questions that interest him.  Our categories included: What’s in a name (the answers all have or are about names), mushrooms,  a photo round with no real theme to it, and the science of beer.   There was also a “series” round where each clue leads you closer to guessing a round topic (In this case, the TV series MASH) and the sooner you guess it, the more points you get.   FYI, a lot of the questions are true-false.

Trivia at Ginger’s is in a back room where none of the chairs are quite the appropriate height for any of the tables.  The host doesn’t use a microphone, and there was a delay while they disconnected the speakers from playing the music from the bar so we could hear the clues.  The menu is huge and strange.  I got a ton of Fish and Chips for only about $8, which for some reason came with an overly generous portion of peas.  Also, we came in first place and the prize was leftover St. Patrick’s day Chi-rish mugs and Magner’s Irish Cider t-shirts.  Mugs and t-shirts also were the prize for last place.  Also, you get a mug and t-shirt just showing up.  Everyone walks away with mugs and t-shirts.  Bonus points, however, for the T-shirts not necessarily all being XXL!  Finally, upon closing my tab, my credit card was handed back to me very sticky.  Thus far, no amount soap, water, bleach, or nail polish remover has eliminated this space-age adhesive.  I am welcome to any ideas.

I am sure it sounds like I hated this trivia night:  chairs are odd sizes, no microphone, delayed start for speaker disconnection, weird menu, too many peas, true-false questions, no real first place prize after a rare first place finish, sticky credit card… but something about the overall experience is really likeable, and I think it all comes down to the host.

He’s like a friendly grandpa who just wants to share his passion for obscure facts.  $5 pay-to-play, but it all goes to charity (the Franciscan Outreach Association).  Also, if you are really stumped, he might give you points for answers that have the word “boobs” in them.

After some of the high-intensity-ultra-competitive trivia nights we’ve been to (and I like them a lot), it’s a nice change of pace to sit back in a too-low chair, eat some peas, and just casually learn a few things about mushrooms, for love of the game and for a presumably good cause.

Just make sure you pay in cash.

Ginger’s Ale House
3801 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago
7:30pm to 9:30pm
$5 admission (goes to Franciscan Outreach Association)
2.5 paws (out of 4)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »