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Neil Solanki
Works at Neil's Brain Factory
Attended Northwestern University
Lives in the van down by the river


Neil Solanki

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I left college in search of greenbacks, found them in trading bonds, felt my brain rusting, and thus became an author & poet.
Long, long ago in a galaxy far away, I was an analytic stereotype bathed in the flickering lights of a million computer monitors and surrounded by dubious data.  In other words, I was a bond trader. The profession outgrew me (or I outgrew it), and I thought it time to shove on and get to my real life's work!  I now consider myself a man of professional hard leisure—you know, the tormented, work-twice-as-much-as-I-did-in-finance kind of leisure. I've recently completed my first novel, Steel Wolves.  Also, I love pho, my wife, and my dog, Genghis (not in that order).
Bragging rights
cancer survivor, national merit scholar, graduated Magna Cum Laude from the MMSS program at Northwestern University, previously trader extraordinaire, finished my novel Steel Wolves, currently visiting all U.S. National Parks
  • Northwestern University
    Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences & Economics, 2001 - 2004
    I think the major description pretty much obviates the need for a detailed description of my coursework. =)
Basic Information
Author, Poet, Pho-taster, National Park grazer, Wife Lover, Dog Walker
Writing Sci-Fi and Poetry, Beard-growing, Trading (in a past life), Whistling, Rotating my arms in opposite directions simultaneously
  • Neil's Brain Factory
    Navel Gazer, Cloud Inspector, present
    Use the braininess inside my brain to write things down.
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
the van down by the river
Chicago, IL - Dallas, Texas - Past Lives
This winery, just south of Napa, opened in July. That's why there are so few reviews. The staff was amazing, and the outdoor seating area was very pleasant (and dog friendly). Every wine we tasted was delicious and had a neat story. They also have free popcorn with gourmet salts on the side (the white truffle oil salt was yummy). I'd recommend a stop here to anyone.
Public - in the last week
reviewed in the last week
Service was great. Clam chowder very good, especially in the bread bowl. Caesar salad yummy. Cocktails good. BUT the oysters were not very good.
Public - in the last week
reviewed in the last week
Not open to public tours unless accompanied by a Google employee. Guests can, however, access the Google retail store full of company sundries. The store is pretty sparse. Probably not worth going out of your way to visit. Store was also a bit tricky to locate, it being nestled back in some older buildings with little signage.
Public - 2 weeks ago
reviewed 2 weeks ago
There are a lot of pho places in the area, but we've made this our go-to dive. I'm a pretty die-hard pho fan--I've gone to Vietnam to try the real thing--and am always pleased with the dishes here. The pho is yummy. The egg rolls are a staple. And the bun thit nuong is a nice second choice when the urge for pho wanes for no reason--a rarity, I'll admit. My family and I comes here all the time and we have yet to be disappointed. Even the vegetarians in the bunch strongly recommend the vegetarian pho. We love Pho Apple and we'll definitely keep coming back.
• • •
Public - 8 months ago
reviewed 8 months ago
22 reviews
Brunched. Good spicy bloody mary. Excellent biscuits and gravy. Really liked the Cubano sandwich. Service was slightly slow, but brunch should be had at a relaxed pace anyways. Would go again.
Public - in the last week
reviewed in the last week
Very solid pho joint. Good pho, good spicy beef noodle soup, great iced coffee, solid egg rolls. Would come again. 2 thumbs up.
Public - 2 weeks ago
reviewed 2 weeks ago
As a die-hard pho-eater who's gone as far as Vietnam to try the real thing, I can say the pho here is pretty good. The meat was succulent and tender, and the broth was pretty much spot on. The only disappointing thing about the pho was the sparseness of greens and side veggies. The egg rolls were quite tasty and the bun thit nuong was good too. The reason I'm only giving it 4 stars is because of the price. This place is about 30% more expensive than most family run pho joints I've been to in the United States.
• • •
Public - 8 months ago
reviewed 8 months ago