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Where I Ate in Chicago


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#16 mongo_jones

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Posted 26 August 2005 - 02:30 AM

can you people please arrive at some consensus about all this and then figure out how much you're going to spend on feeding me when i pass through in october?

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#17 Ron Johnson

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Posted 26 August 2005 - 12:34 PM

The sandwich gave me the shits and the fries sucked.

so, one or two stars from Bruni?

#18 Vital Information

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Posted 26 August 2005 - 01:56 PM

Chickies?!?  Nooooo:lol:

Thanks for the rec (and the link) for the Polish buffet place.  We've been seeking out a good place (BF is Polish).  If you don't mind, what's the nearest major intersection?

Grota is just south of Belmont, on Central. Halina is on Lawrence just before Austin.

And you've been to Chickie's on the sout' side? With its jalepeno giardinara and fresh cut fries, and you still like Mr. Beef's pre-packaged beefs better?

Anyways, more good eatin' in Chicago: Had delicious Korean BBQ last night at Hae Woon Dae. Tons of meat, some cooked over real charcoal, a bit also raw, panchan was dandy and there was also a nice dish of steamed eggs with a bit of kimchee.
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Just as long as you leave my "Alinea II: Electric Boogaloo" thing alone. - jinmyo

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#19 NeroW

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Posted 26 August 2005 - 04:05 PM

Chickies?!?  Nooooo!   :lol:

Thanks for the rec (and the link) for the Polish buffet place.  We've been seeking out a good place (BF is Polish).  If you don't mind, what's the nearest major intersection?

Grota is just south of Belmont, on Central. Halina is on Lawrence just before Austin.

And you've been to Chickie's on the sout' side? With its jalepeno giardinara and fresh cut fries, and you still like Mr. Beef's pre-packaged beefs better?

Anyways, more good eatin' in Chicago: Had delicious Korean BBQ last night at Hae Woon Dae. Tons of meat, some cooked over real charcoal, a bit also raw, panchan was dandy and there was also a nice dish of steamed eggs with a bit of kimchee.

A few of my friends at school were absolutely devoted to Chickie's and a few were absolutely devoted to Mr. Beef, and there was a constant battle between Chickie's fans and Mr. Beef fans. Mr. Beef usually won just because it was right next door to the school and Chickie's was way the hell on the south side. But no, I've never been. If the fries don't suck, they're automatically better than Mr. Beef. Going to culinary school involves you, by proxy, in a lot of food battles.

Thanks for the Korean BBQ tip. I :lol: panchan. I could take the California bus right to it. Mmm.
We eat so many shrimp, we got iodine poisonin

#20 NeroW

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Posted 26 August 2005 - 04:16 PM

The sandwich gave me the shits and the fries sucked.

so, one or two stars from Bruni?

"The sandwich, which at first glance aroused concupiscent cravings as it sat tableside, peeking out of its unfair foil wrapping and preaching its soothing sermon of chicken and garlic spread, disagreed with me, and sent me to the shatteringly-bright bathroom with its marvelous tropical fish decor tout de suite. The fries, which had so recently been frozen fragments of potato possibility, stacked willingly in the frybasket above the burbling song of oil, were unfortunately fried by a monkey, and not well."
We eat so many shrimp, we got iodine poisonin

#21 NeroW

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Posted 26 August 2005 - 04:18 PM

can you people please arrive at some consensus about all this and then figure out how much you're going to spend on feeding me when i pass through in october?

How long are you going to be here? We will need a good long time.
We eat so many shrimp, we got iodine poisonin

#22 guajolote

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Posted 26 August 2005 - 04:39 PM

nero, did you see yourself in the sun times (kind of)?

t even quoted foodie chat room visitors as asking, "What's Ghetto Fries?"


wasn't the real quote "what the fuck are ghetto fries?"

"Ghetto Fries, it turns out, are French-fried potatoes topped with Merkt's cheddar cheese, giardiniera, gravy, barbecue sauce and raw onions



#23 NeroW

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Posted 26 August 2005 - 05:16 PM

nero, did you see yourself in the sun times (kind of)?

t even quoted foodie chat room visitors as asking, "What's Ghetto Fries?"


wasn't the real quote "what the fuck are ghetto fries?"

"Ghetto Fries, it turns out, are French-fried potatoes topped with Merkt's cheddar cheese, giardiniera, gravy, barbecue sauce and raw onions

That is awesome!

I have been struggling to define myself, and now the Sun Times has done it for me. I am a "foodie chat room visitor."

Fuck The Tribune. The Sun Times is here to stay!
We eat so many shrimp, we got iodine poisonin

#24 Vital Information

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Posted 26 August 2005 - 07:34 PM

Going to culinary school involves you, by proxy, in a lot of food battles.

Oh, which ones?
Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie

Just as long as you leave my "Alinea II: Electric Boogaloo" thing alone. - jinmyo

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#25 NeroW

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Posted 28 August 2005 - 06:39 AM

Going to culinary school involves you, by proxy, in a lot of food battles.

Oh, which ones?

Oh man. That's a whole separate thread.

There's the Beef battle I already mentioned--and there are many "Chicago food" battles: who has the best thin crust (or thick crust), who has the best hot dogs, the best whatevers. What DEFINES giardinara. What HAS TO be offered on the menu at a hot dog place in order for it to be a "real" hot dog place. The Ubiquity of Vienna Beef: Good Thing or Bad Thing? Where will the Tamale Man be tonight, and will he be with the Muffin Woman--and is the Muffin Woman still in jail, or was that all a rumor? What, exactly, is a pizza puff, and is it something good to eat?

Then there are your more generalized battles, the ones people who care deeply about food always have. You know, like the ones on this board :lol:
We eat so many shrimp, we got iodine poisonin

#26 guajolote

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Posted 28 August 2005 - 07:56 PM

Where will the Tamale Man be tonight, and will he be with the Muffin Woman--and is the Muffin Woman still in jail, or was that all a rumor?

you mean the lady who was selling the 'magic muffins?' :lol:

#27 NeroW

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Posted 29 August 2005 - 05:12 AM

Where will the Tamale Man be tonight, and will he be with the Muffin Woman--and is the Muffin Woman still in jail, or was that all a rumor?

you mean the lady who was selling the 'magic muffins?' :lol:

:lol:

Whatever do you mean?
We eat so many shrimp, we got iodine poisonin

#28 guajolote

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Posted 29 August 2005 - 01:27 PM

Where will the Tamale Man be tonight, and will he be with the Muffin Woman--and is the Muffin Woman still in jail, or was that all a rumor?

you mean the lady who was selling the 'magic muffins?' :lol:

:lol:

Whatever do you mean?

she was in the reader last year.

here's the article if you want to pay $1.95

...The Muffin Lady was finally busted. As the habitues of a handful of Wicker Park bars know, Shirley Pena--aka Shirley the Muffin Lady, aka the Bread Lady, aka Beverly Spahos--is celebrated less for her all-natural cookies and fruit breads than for her muffins, which sell for five bucks apiece and produce powerful effects...



#29 NeroW

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Posted 04 September 2005 - 04:57 PM

A few things:

I am going to have to amend my previous harsh post about Handlebar. I went again a few days ago with a friend who is a regular for beers and a light dinner. First of all, I like the fact that the higher the gas prices get, the lower Handlebar's beer prices get. We had a pitcher of Bell's for about $10, which is a pretty good deal. If gas prices ever go to $5, they will give away free beer :lol:

I ordered a sandwich called the Green Machine. It was everything a vegetarian sandwich should be: coarse-grained bread, from a batard-style loaf, baked by the excellent Red Hen Bakery on North Ave. The bread was grilled and spread with a smush of honey mustard on one side, and a feta-garlic spread on the other side. A big handful of arugula, then some clover sprouts, a beautifully ripe layer of tomato slices, and then an entire half avocado, ripe as all get-out, sliced and reassembled on top. I love it when a $7 sandwich comes with half an avocado. As I mentioned before, the fries are tasty and crisp. No under-frying here.

The service was prompt and friendly. I don't like to eat my own words, but perhaps I judged this place too harshly last time. I will try it again, since it is in the neighborhood, and let the next time decide me.

A few nights ago, my BF and I ate at Thyme Cafe, 1500-something North Milwaukee Ave. This is not to be confused with the Thyme on North Halsted (??), Chef Bubala's higher-end venture--I think Thyme Cafe is supposed to be more of a bistrot-style experience.

The room is very pretty, with one loooooong leather seat stretching from front wall to back--it would have been irresistable to me for sliding on as a child. The floors are funky, in a good way, there is some brickwork, and along one wall are very cool original paintings of faces and restaurant scenes. There's a small bar at the back near the kitchen.

Our server was a Professional--more "owner's wife" type than "graduate student." I regret that I don't remember her name! I ordered some bullshit called a Bellini-Tini--vodka, peach liquor, sparkling, and OJ. It came at the appropriate temp in a dope dark-blue triangular glass. I regret also that I am unable to resist overpriced "martini" drinks. :lol: My BF had a beer. They have quite the beer list (and a decent bourbon list) but their wine list is a little chintzy--maybe 8 reds and 10 whites (only one Riesling) and only ONE sparkling, Australian. I am sure that the "lite" wine list is in keeping with the neighborhood though.

We both opted for the 3 course prix fixe. The rolls that came before were warm and good-chewy, with an unremarkable mustard dipping butter. My starter was the gazpacho with a horseradish oil. As gazpachos go, it was tasty--I prefer mine to be pureed smooth, with no salsa-like chunks. The use of horseradish was judicious. BF had artichoke fritters with a tarragon aioli and what I assume was a balsamic reduction squirted here and there. Solid fritters. I was very close to ordering the frites, but as I had already eaten fries for lunch, I did not.

Mains were (for me) a grilled pork loin with caramelized fennel, bacon, and jus. BF had Alaskan salmon in a sweet corn nage with leeks. Both of these were passable but I was not blown away. The pork was cooked well, as was the fish, and both were grill-marked with exactitude by the broiler cook :lol: but neither was a standout--the pork was nowhere near as good as the pork we had at Lula's a few weeks ago. Also, the fennel-bacon accompanying my dish was heavily spiked with julienned red onion and flaked asparagus stem. I would NOT have ordered the dish if I had known asparagus was present. I will say that the nage beneath the salmon was tasty, smooth and sweet.

Dessert for me was creme brulee with fruit coulis. Creme brulee is my benchmark dessert for a restaurant of this type, and Thyme's is quite good. It is also a generous size for a custard. I could not finish it. The sugar was Seriously Bruleed: a solid layer at least 1/4-inch thick, none of that "let me sprinkle a little Turbinado on here and hit it with a torch" bullshit. BF had Crepes St. Germain, one of my favorites. The hazelnut mousse was delicious.

Very reasonably priced and all in all a nice evening, especially since the server comped us a couple glasses of their lone sparkling somewhere along the line, but next time I will stick with beer, frites and probably their steaks. :lol:


EDIT: And yes, I have tried the Muffin Lady's muffins. They were worth the $5.
We eat so many shrimp, we got iodine poisonin

#30 NeroW

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Posted 18 September 2005 - 07:00 AM

Not much going on eating-wise in the past few weeks. I've been very busy with school and work. So I end up eating at work a lot, but I will not mention it on this thread for fear of "shilling." :o

Let's see. I go to school at Michigan and Congress--land of many, many chain restaurants. On school days, I've been getting my iced coffee fix from Caffe Baci on S. Michigan. Yeah, it's a chain, but it's a local chain. Their iced coffee is decent--unlike Starbucks', which tastes like a wet mouthful of cold, spent grounds. I will say that no one's iced coffee can compare to the stuff I concoct at work. But I will not mention that on this thread for fear of "shilling." :o

During school I mostly shove whatever's around into my mouth (don't get any funny ideas). The other day I ate at a place called My Thai on S. Michigan, about a block north of the Art Institute. Ginger chicken and spring rolls. Meh. Nothing to write on MF about. I *did* hear people at a nearby table remarking on the strength of their mixed drinks, though, so that's good.

I've also eaten at a counter called Chicago Fast Food, sharing space with the Travelodge on E. Harrison between Wabash and Michigan. I ordered the gyros. Can't go wrong with that, right? Wrong! Gag me! The tzatziki was sour and the meat was dried-out and flaky. Fries also sucked. Won't be going again.

OTOH, Rodan (1500 block of N. Milwaukee, as usual :o ) is a nice spot. Go early unless you are a hipster and/or like to be surrounded by hipsters. The head bartender is a charming, erudite man, able to converse easily on a wide range of subjects. And also, extremely cute :o They have Bell's Oberon and PBR on tap (so I'm happy), a big sake menu, and the obligatory "martinis." They also have really trippy digital mirrors in the bathrooms and kung fu movies projected onto the floors, which is sweet. Ate a few bites at the bar: ahi tuna rolls and the cutest, most deliciously pungent pork cigar rolls I've ever had. Will definitely be back again to eat more extensively.

Also recently: Sultan's Market on North and Hoyne. This place is *it* in this area for falafel, shawarma, etc. Consistent, well-executed food. A huge crudite/olive bar and the biggest selection of sodas and juices I've seen in Bucktown rounds it all out. Plus, they have an autographed Beastie Boys set list hanging on the wall, and rumor has it they're opening a late-night spot on California and Milwaukee, right down the street from yours truly.

Birthday is coming up and I'm hoping the BF will take me somewhere where we don't order at a counter! I am sure you can't wait to read about that :(
We eat so many shrimp, we got iodine poisonin