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Tips For Dining at MJ’s Special Booth at Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse

Sitting at this $300 table for two requires special etiquette.

Table 23
Table 23
Michael Jordan's Steakhouse

The latest gimmick from Michael Jordan's Steak House allows diners to sit in the oversized booth normally reserved for His Airness, all while consuming some of the former Chicago Bulls star's favorite foods from a special prix fixe menu.

The restaurant will pair items like a 45-day, dry-aged Delmonico steak with a ginger-balsamic vinegar jus and roasted bone marrow with horseradish salsa verde and caramelized lemon, with wine or beer, for $300 for a table of two or $600 for four. They'll relocate diners to another table if Jordan happens to be in the restaurant, but under those rare conditions you'll eat for free.

There's no code of conduct listed for patrons seated at "Table 23." But maybe there should be, so here are some tips for diners while eating at Jordan's special booth.

1. Don't try to order the McJordan Special. McDonald's created the McJordan Special in 1993, making Jordan the first athlete to have a McDonald's sandwich named after him. The sandwich was essentially a Quarter Pounder with special barbecue sauce, and it was known as the Big 33 on the East Coast, in homage to the Boston Celtics' Larry Bird. Skip it. It's not on the menu.

2. When eating dessert, don't spill any crumbs on your clothes. Jordan didn't enjoy a friendly relationship with former Bulls General Manager Jerry Krause, who put together the Bulls' championship rosters. Jordan's bitterness toward Krause created the nickname "Crumbs," a reference to the pieces of donut sometimes seen trapped on Krause's clothes. That's why you should especially avoid spilling food while sitting in MJ's seat.

3. Leave your LeBron James jerseys at home. This one is easy, as in Chicago there's only one player who mattered and wore No. 23.

4. Share your food with your dining companions. Earlier in his career, Jordan didn't always trust his teammates to make the right play and wouldn't often pass the ball. Often he was right, because he played on some bad teams. But the championships only came when the team was upgraded and Jordan was compelled to share. When dining, your waistline will also thank you for sharing at the table.

5. Ask for the hot sauce. "Give me the hot sauce" is a favorite line from Bulls' TV commentator Stacey King, one of MJ's former teammates. King yells the phrase after a Bulls player sinks a long-range three-point shot, signaling that player is "on fire."

6. It's OK to pretend that your water is "Michael's Secret Stuff." In 1996's "Space Jam," Jordan co-starred with Bugs Bunny and other Looney Tunes characters. Bugs, using a motivational ploy, offers a special drink to his slouching friends, promising "Michael's Secret Stuff" will give friends like Daffy Duck the same basketball abilities as Jordan. The drink was actually water. MJ, Bugs and the rest of the animated Time Squad enjoyed the drink's placebo effect and defeated the rival Monstars in this bit of cinematic history.

7. Limit your intake of pork products, unlike the Superfans. The old Superfans' Saturday Night Live skit fictionally took place at former Bears' coach Mike Ditka's restaurant on Ontario Street. Said Superfans, a group of devoted Chicago fans (including actors George Wendt, Chris Farley and Mike Myers) would consume large quantities of pork products. Sometime that would cause cardio problems. Jordan once appeared on the show and ordered a "Gatorade Spritzer," as he was the sports drinks main pitchman: "Gatorade can go with anything, it mixes well," he said.

8. Men: Keep it simple with the facial hair. Some of Jordan's adventures with facial hair haven't worked out. Here's an example.

9. Don't tip like "No Tippin' Pippen." Scottie Pippen enjoyed a Hall of Fame career playing with Jordan on the Bulls. He also had a reputation among Chicago's servers for not being the most gracious with gratuities. Whether that reputation was earned or not, please tip as appropriate.

10. Keep it in perspective when "eating like Mike." Just because you're sitting where MJ sits, that doesn't mean you'll jump higher or become the G.O.A.T. (Greatest Of All Time). Act humble, like you've been there before: That's exactly what MJ would do.

—Ashok Selvam

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