Monday, November 28, 2011

M Burger - Chicago, IL

Burger is Chicago's answer to In-N-Out.  Their first location on Huron Street shares a kitchen with its higher-end sister restaurant Tru.  You can peek into Tru's kitchen and see the chefs work their magic on creating multi-course dishes, all the while chomping on some great burgers and fries that will have you in and out in 15 mins.  

Unfortunately M Burger doesn't hold a candle to In-N-Out burgers but it doesn't mean they aren't good and you can't enjoy them from time to time.  It's obviously caught on with the rest of Chicagoans since they subsequently opened up three other locations in downtown.   Their most recent addition is in Water Tower Place.  

They all are housed in a fairly small space with a few counters and benches to sit on.  They offer a simple menu of hamburger, cheeseburger, fries and shakes.  

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Yeowoosai - Chicago, IL

According to my friend Becky, Yeowoosai has the best kimchi fried rice in Chicago.  I've been a few times before with other friends but didn't try the fried rice so we took Mary and Jeanie before they left.  After a long weekend of midwestern treats, I think they were all craving some spicy, Korean eats.  We ordered stew and this kimchi fried rice to share amongst the four of us and it was the perfect amount of food.  We loved that the rice came in a stone pot so you get those crispy edges as it continues to cook the rice.  They are a Korean pub/restaurant so they serve beer and soju there as well.  It's a great place to stop by if you have late night cravings.  

6248 N California Ave
(between Granville Ave & Rosemont Ave) 
Chicago, IL 60659

Sable Kitchen & Bar - Chicago, IL

If you haven't been watching Season 9 of Top Chef, you will notice several Chicago chefs competing for the grand prize.  One of the chefs, Heather Terhune, is executive chef of Sable Kitchen & Bar, which is in the Palomar Hotel in the River North area of Chicago. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunda - Chicago, IL

Andrew has been telling us about the industry discount at Sunda that he gets for some time but we never managed to go.  I realized if I plan it, they will come, so I made reservations for us for Sunday evening.  Here's a sampling of the yummy things we ate.  

For appetizers we ordered the “toast and jam” which consisted of crispy shrimp “toast” and spicy tuna “jam.”  A bit difficult to spread the jam unto the bread, but it was fun to eat.

Kuma's Corner - Chicago, IL

I was warned that you would have to wait if you want to get your hands on a Kuma's burger, so my cousins and I made sure we made it in time exactly when Kuma's opened at 11:30 am on a Saturday.  Unfortunately we weren't the only ones who were warned, because by the time we arrived, the place was packed and several groups of people were ahead of us in line for the next tables to open up.  I think we waited close to 2 hours to get seated.  Thankfully you can order drinks at the bar, so that kept Jung happy but Julie and I were salivating watching other people chomp on their burgers for a solid 2 hours.  

Once we were seated, our eyes were bigger than our now shrunk stomachs, as we ordered a burger each and some macaroni & cheese and mussels to start.  

You customize your own macaroni & cheese so we chose bacon, jalapeƱo and scallions for ours.  The mac & cheese was really good and a really decent size to share.  We also ordered the PEI mussels, which had butter, garlic, leeks, crushed red pepper and allagash white ale in it (sorry I forgot to take pictures).  Needless to say we devoured the mussels and killed the mac & cheese.  

Smoque - Chicago, IL

In August, my cousins came to Chicago for Lollapalooza and to visit me of course.  :)  I think they were here for about 2 weeks and I think I gained 5 pounds after they left.  We ate a ton and not surprisingly I had a long list of places for us to try.  I don't think Chicago is necessarily known for BBQ, but Jung and Julie wanted to try it while they were here.  Several people recommended Smoque to me in the past so I took them there.  

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sprout - Chicago, IL

One of the Sundays when Mary and Jeanie were still in town, we went to Sprout for brunch.  If you are top chef fans, the names Dale Levitski and Sarah Nguyen may ring a bell.  They joined forces after the show ended and opened Sprout in the fall of 2009.  Sprout has a three course prix-fixe dinner menu, which looks really interesting, but sad to say, it never made it to the top of my list when picking a place to eat amongst friends since not everyone wants to do a prix-fixe.  But when they started serving brunch on Sundays earlier this year I knew that would be more conducive to me visiting.   

Monday, November 14, 2011

Chicago Pizza & Oven Grinder Co - Chicago, IL and a few other pizza joints

Aleen!  This is for you.  I am sooo behind on my posts, but I will try to catch up one post at a time.  

When my friends Mary and Jeanie were in town this summer, I wanted to take them to eat Chicago style pizza but knowing they wouldn't be fans of deep dish, we tried Chicago Pizza & Oven Grinder Co.  

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Afternoon Tea at the Seasons Lounge at Four Seasons - Chicago, IL

My friend Yeena took me out for afternoon tea for my birthday a few months ago.  How can you not love little sandwiches and plates of scrumptious desserts?  

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Classic Gougeres

I have been eyeing this recipe for awhile, so I made this for one of the random dinner get togethers we had with Aleen and Gook.  Don't these look amazing?  They are quite tasty.  :) 

Hot Doug's - Chicago, IL

This summer, Mary and Jeannie came to visit me and so did my cousins.  That meant lots of trips to Hot Doug's for me.  They are only open from 10:30 to 4 pm on Saturdays so that means you have to go right as it opens if you don't want to spend 2.5+ hours in line.  I think we got there around 11 am one time and we ended up waiting exactly 2 hours.  We tried the second time to get there right as it opened, and there was still a crazy line.  I think it shaved off 30 mins of our wait.  Next time I'm getting there at 10 am!!

We ordered a bunch of hot dogs to share.  I picked the Turducken Sausage with Smokey Bacon Sauce, Pate de Compagne and Brie-Blue Cheese.  Jeanie picked the Sonoran Dog that consisted of Jalapeno and Cheddar Beef Hot Dog with Jalapeno Mayonnaise, Jalapeno Bacon, Pinto Beans, Tomatoes and Onions.  I think she asked for it with just the hot dog and cheese.  

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Buttermilk Cheddar Biscuits

These are unbelievable easy to make, especially if you have a  food processor.  

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Graham Elliott - Chicago, IL

We celebrated our friend Gook's birthday at Graham Elliot months ago.  We happened to go when they were revealing their spring menu, so that just goes to show how long ago this was.  Sorry guys!  

I've always wanted to try Graham Elliott, but I had heard some mixed reviews.  I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised and ended up leaving the place a bigger fan of Graham Elliot than before (if that's even possible).  Everything was so whimsical yet at the same time delicious. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Seadog Sushi - Chicago, IL

I've been eyeing this sushi restaurant since it opened near our neighborhood and was so happy that there was a sushi restaurant near by.  Within the past six months, I've only been there twice now and it's not because I didn't like it, I just keep forgetting that it's there.  I failed to take pictures the first time, but here's what I had for dinner with Aleen awhile back.  

Aleen loves gomaae, spinach with sesame dressing. so we got an order of that.  It came in three little mounds of steamed spinach with sesame dressing on top.  

Monday, July 11, 2011

Roasted Garlic Bread and Compound Butter

A perfect compliment to the cioppinio is roasted garlic bread.  This is pretty fantastic.  All you do it cut off the tops of the garlic, pour some olive oil on top and bake in your oven until the garlic gets soft.  I used 1 garlic bulb and one stick of butter, but you can use more or less depending on your preference.  

Let butter come to room temperature and mix with the roasted garlic pieces.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  

I added chopped herbs I had on hand, like rosemary and thyme.  

Slice a loaf of french bread lengthwise.  Generally spread the garlic butter mixture and bake in the oven.

I was too busy devouring this to take pictures.  But trust me, it's delicious!

I went overboard and made a lot of garlic butter, but fear not, you can use the excess to make compound butter.  All you have to do it put a blob on it on parchment paper and roll it up into a log.

Twist the ends together and you can freeze it.  It's a great way to get rid of extra herbs you have on hand.  I just slice off a slice of compound butter to flavor any dish I'm making.  It's great!

Judith's Dungeness Crab Cioppino

Jung introduced me to this recipe and I devoured bowls and bowls of this.  I felt up to the challenge one weekend so I went grocery shopping to only realize that I couldn't find Dungeness Crab anywhere.  Thankfully Whole Foods had frozen crab legs so I improvised.  I'm sure this would be amazing with Dungeness Crab, but this was still unbelievably good.  

Judith's Dungeness Crab Cioppinio
Michael Mina

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
8 large garlic cloves—6 finely chopped, 2 whole
3 jalapeƱos, seeded and minced
2 red bell peppers, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large bay leaf
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup dry red wine
One 28-ounce can peeled tomatoes, finely chopped, juices reserved
Four 8-ounce bottles clam broth
1 1/2 cups water
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup packed basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 steamed Dungeness crabs, about 2 pounds each (or in my case 2 pounds of frozen crab legs)
2 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed
2 pounds firm, white-fleshed fish fillets such as halibut, skinned and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
2 pounds large shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 pounds mussels, scrubbed
1 pound sea scallops, halved vertically if large
Crusty bread, for serving

It helps to do the prep before, so I started chopping up the bell peppers and onions.  

Province - Chicago, IL

I am so embarrassed that I am months and months behind in my posts.  I can't even remember what I ate.  This was a lovely dinner though that I had with my friend Christina.  

We were greeted with an amuse bouche of fried olives.  It took us awhile to figure out what to order so they accidentally brought us two plates of this.  Psst... don't tell anyone, we didn't mind though.  :)

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Gage - Chicago, IL

I went to the Gage awhile back for Chef's Week.  A couple friends and I went there for lunch.  They didn't have their Chef's Week menu up so we didn't really know what to expect.  Here was what our choices were.  

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Sour cream coffee cake

So since I was making a mess in the kitchen with the zucchini tea cake, I decided to make a coffee cake for my friend as well.  This was super easy and I happened to have all the recipes on hand.  

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Zucchini Tea Cake

One of my good friends in Chicago gave birth to a beautiful baby boy recently.  I wanted to bring over some food for my friend and her hubby to help them during the transition period.  I normally would have baked some banana bread, but my friend makes a pretty mean banana bread herself so I wanted to try something different.  I was going to make some shepherd's pie for them as well and had some zucchini to spare so looked up a zucchini cake recipe.  I found one from Huckleberry Cafe, which is a great cafe in LA that I've been too so I decided to try it.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Blackbird - Chicago, IL

I've been wanting to go to Blackbird for some time and I noticed that they usually participate in Restaurant Week so I figured I'd try to get a reservation that way.  They are one of the first restaurants to completely fill up so you really have to get an early start if you want to try to get reservations there.  I haven't been able to get reservations the last few times I tried, so when I heard that they were participating in Chef's Week this year, that was the first reservation I made and I didn't even consult my friends.  I just booked it.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Auntie Em's Kitchen's Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

My friend Wonster lives really close to Auntie Em's and we've frequented the place for their red velvet cupcakes, which they are famous for.  Wonster however once pointed out to me that their oatmeal raisin cookies are really good too, so we picked up one to share and she was right.  Thankfully I found their recipe to try at home.  Yippee!!


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Redd - Yountville, CA

There are so many great lunch options in Yountville ... Bouchon, Ad Hoc and you can't forget the French Laundry.  The French Laundry was completely booked.  I was looking at the menu at Bouchon and didn't think my friend Jules, who is a raw vegan, would find anything she'd be able to eat and Ad Hoc's menu for the day, although it sounded delicious, was a pork cutlet, so that wouldn't work either.  I looked up some other restaurants nearby and saw that Redd had gotten some good reviews and that their chef could accommodate vegan or vegetarian requests. 

So we decided to meet here for lunch. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Bouchon Bakery - Yountville, CA

I had the pleasure of going to Napa a few months back for a friend's bachelorette party and of course, I had to make a stop at Bouchon.  I coerced my friend Jules to meet me in Napa for the day and she kindly obliged.  I had arrived earlier than expected so I decided to walk around town and explore my surroundings.  I had already made plans to stop at Bouchon Bakery after lunch, but I was shocked by the line I saw forming outside the door.  I did what every person does when faced with a potential mob scene, don't ask questions, just stand in line and follow the herd.  For all I know, the line could have led me to an edge of a cliff and I still would have been none the wiser.  

Naf Naf Grill - Naperville, IL

What would cause Soomeenshee to drive an hour to Naperville on a Saturday afternoon in the rain?  Two things: Chicken Schwarma and H-Mart.  A friend of mine raved about this new Mediterranean restaurant that she tried in Naperville and said we had to try it.  It doesn't take much to convince me to go on a road trip for food, so off we went. 

Naf Naf Grill is in a nice strip mall called Freedom Commons in Naperville.  The owners told us that they had plans to expand into Chicago soon.  Their pita bread is baked on site and it was the fluffiest pita I've ever had.  I got their chicken schwarma, which was stuffed in a pita with hummus, Israeli salad and tahini sauce.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Girl & the Goat - Chicago, IL

Can I just tell you how long I've been waiting to go to Girl & the Goat?  I made reservations on October 10, 2011 and we didn't actually get to go until February 20, 2011.  That's 133 days or 4 months and 10 days if anyone is counting.  So the story goes that you need to make reservations about two months in advance if you want to eat at a reasonable time and we ended up having to cancel our December reservation because we were stuck in a snow storm.  Just my luck I tell you!  I promptly made new reservations for two months later and told my friends I would disown them if them didn't show up.  Thankfully they all showed up and the weather was much more forgiving this time.  :)   

The restaurant is right on Randolph, known as Restaurant Row.  Inside, it has an industrial, loft feel to it, but yet feels really cozy and inviting at the same time. It might have to do with the fun, colorful artwork on the walls and lounge chairs at the front where you could also nibble on some food.  When we walked in, we saw Stephanie talking to a group of dinners.  It's always a good sign to see the boss working that night.  . 

We got seated and were greeted with these cute table settings.  You can see goat motifs all throughout the restaurant.  Super cute! 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Mercat a la Planxa - Chicago, IL

I've been a fan of  Jose Garces on Iron Chef and especially from his food demonstration at the Chicago Gourmet this past summer. He was very approachable and down to earth. I've been itching to try his Chicago restaurant, Mercat a la Planxa, but for one reason or another, it kept eluding me.  

So number two on my list for Restaurant Week was Garces' Mercat.  I got a bunch of us together on a Friday night for some tapas.  It's a beautiful space right on Michigan Ave near the Art Institute.  Here was what was great and not so great about Mercat for Restaurant Week.

The good news: the food is excellent, it's so flavorful and everything we had was delicious

The bad news: you do not get your money's worth if you come in a big group for Restaurant Week.  Typically for Restaurant Week, you get a choice of three items as a three course meal, which usually ends up being more than enough food.  I thought it was a bit odd that the waiter encouraged us to order additional plates on top of the restaurant week menu.  We thought a few additional tapas would be enough, but even with those additions, we totally felt stiffed.  We got some items taken off the final bill, but it didn't leave us with a good impression.  

Because everything is served family style, the portions weren't adequately thought out.  We were often times presented with one dish to share among the six of us, even though we were each paying a prix fixe price.  Tables of two next to us were getting the same exact dish that we were, except they were only sharing amongst the two of them.  

I do think it's worth it if you come in pairs.  If you do decide to come with a bigger group, you're better off ordering off the regular menu instead of doing the set menu.  

Our waiter highly recommended the bacon wrapped dates stuffed with almonds.  Each order comes with 2 skewers so for the five of us, we ordered 2.5 orders.  These were amazing. If you've never had bacon wrapped dates before, you need to get on it.  

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

David Burke's Primehouse - Chicago, IL

David Burke is known for his whimsical interpretation of American classics.  So when I saw that David Burke's Primehouse was participating in Chicago's Restaurant Week last month, I had to get a group of us together.  Yeena, her husband Dave, Susan and I went there for lunch.  It was an awesome deal.  We each got a choice of appetizer, entree and dessert for $22.  

The great thing about their menu was that they also offered the ability to supplement appetizers, sides and even steak additions for a supplemental charge.

We each were served a popover that was baked in its own measuring cup.  Talk about cute!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Cocoa Brownies with Browned Butter and Walnuts

Last month, the cover page of my bon appetit magazine read "Best-Ever Brownies.  Waring: You Will Eat the Entire Tray."  Last year, I found my go to brownie recipe and thought my search was over.  But that didn't mean I couldn't take a peek at the recipe, right?  So when I read the recipe, it reassured me to know that it sounded remarkably similar to David Lebovitz's recipe.  Especially the part about mixing the batter for a full minute or until you get a nice sheen.  I have to admit though I was mildly curious about the browned butter part so I had to see for myself.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Publican - Chicago, IL

I've been to Publican before but didn't feel like it lived up to all the hype.  Their spicy pork rinds are famous, but I much prefer Chizakaya's puffed pork ears.  But Yeena hadn't been yet so when we were thinking of some brunch options, we contemplated Publican for Sunday brunch.  They only have brunch on Sundays and it's from 10 am to 2 pm. 

I wasn't sure how difficult it would be to get reservations, but it wasn't too bad actually.  Because of the communal seating, you can definitely fit a lot more people in there than you would expect. 

We started off with some dishes to share, namely the banana bread and ricotta cheese and the maple syrup braised publican bacon that they are also notorious for.  

The banana bread was toasted, placed on top of a mound of ricotta, drizzled with honey, walnuts and pieces of dried fruit.  I need to make this at home, it was so simple, but just a great mixture of textures and flavors. 

VIP Restaurant - Chicago, IL

If you've been following my blog at all, you know how much I love Great Seas and in particular, their gam pong gi.  It's the holy grail upon which all gam pong gi is judged.  I have yet to find one quite like it.  I'm not a huge fan of Great Seas' jajangmyun so when a friend recently mentioned VIP as having better jajangmyun, I knew we would have to check it out at some point.  
What better reason to go eat jajangmyun than for black day.  I have never participated in black day before, but this year I got two invitations for it.  I was supposed to go to Great Seas on actual v-day, but couldn't make it.  Black day for those that aren't familiar with it is a Korean holiday for single people.  So on v-day, while your dating or married friends are celebrating, you and your single friends go eat jajangmyun together.  I'm not sure how the tradition came to be, but any excuse to go eat jajangmyun is fine by me.  

A couple girlfriends and I went to celebrate an early black day at VIP.  We ordered some fried dumplings.  I love the little boat it came in.  A fried dumpling can do no wrong in my book.  

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Brat Stop - Kenosha, Wisconsin

One of my close friends made a comment about my blog recently that she used to remember me posting relatively healthy recipes, but about how now all my posts are about bacon, beef, steak, cheese and more cheese.  I kind of chuckled at her observation, but it is so true.  My diet has changed significantly since moving to the midwest.  I used to hate bacon; was never a fan of cheese mixed in with food; probably consumed one steak, if that, a year and thought sausage or any encased meats was gross.  Now, those are the first things I gravitate towards when I open the menu.  lol.   

Case in point, for brunch recently in Napa, my friend, who is vegan and eats raw foods, had a fresh, colorful chopped salad, while I found myself in front of a plate of duck confit with creamy mushroom risotto.  Did I mention, I also consumed an almond and chocolate croissant 30 minutes before our brunch?  A rehaul of my diet will be forthcoming, but in the meantime, I will share with you a fun trip we had to Wisconsin.  I love road trips.  We went hiking at Kettle Moraine State Forest and on the way back, we stopped by the Brat Stop.  A trip to Wisconsin wouldn't be complete without eating a brat, right?  That and fried cheese curds, but I think I'll pass on that one.  

Check out the sign, it just says C-H-E-E-S-E.  I wonder what they have at the Brat Stop?  


Monday, March 21, 2011

Hopleaf Bar - Chicago, IL

I actually first heard of Hopleaf from my cousin Jung when he came to visit me this past summer.  He was looking online for some good bars that we could try and Hopleaf was on his list.  It's up in Uptown so it was a bit far out of the way for us, but Gook found out about a monthly storytelling event that they have on the second floor.  On the 2nd Tuesday of every month at 7:30 pm on the second floor of Hopleaf, featured writers and performers share intimate, personal stories from their every day lives.  We thought it sounded like a fun thing to check out so we all made the drive up there after work one week.  

Friday, March 18, 2011

Raw Brownies

There's a great raw food eatery in the French Market in Chicago called Raw.  After putting my stomach through the grinder after Mexico City, I went through a week or so of eating or drinking liquids.  I avoided solid foods like the plague.  For about a week, I survived on juices and smoothies from Raw, all of which are super tasty and good for you.  It didn't take long for my stomach to recover and my memory to fade, before I was back to my normal eating habits.  I did however, want to try their raw sweets selection.  A friend of mine happened to be on a vegetarian diet around the same time, so I brought over a lemon square and tiramisu for us to try from Raw.  

I have to say I was pretty darn impressed.  I love Larabars now, but when I was first introduced to them, my friend would rave about how their "apple pie" really tasted like the real thing.  I tried countless flavors and all I could think was ... everything tastes the same ... it basically tastes like dates and nuts.  I'd rather you just tell me it's a date and nut bar rather than mask it as something else.  So I've never really trusted raw desserts to taste like their equivalents.  But I have to say that their lemon bar and tiramisu looked and tasted like the real thing, just a bit more dense than what you would expect.  I have a basic understanding that all raw sweets are composed of a mixture of nuts, nut butters, dates, dried fruit or cocoa powder.  Because it's so nut and dried fruit based, it can be quite rich tasting, which makes it all the more satisfying.  I never thought I'd be one to like raw anything ... but her sweets made a believer out of me.  

So inspired by my new found interest in raw sweets, I decided to try to make raw brownies at home. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Mastro's Steakhouse - Chicago, IL

For Susan's official birthday dinner, a week later, we went to Mastro's Steakhouse.  Those from California are familiar with Mastro's but they opened one here in Chicago a few months ago in River North and it's been doing really well.    

It was a packed night and really dim in there, so I didn't want to bust out my camera and annoy the parties next to us.  I didn't take pictures until dessert, well after the place had cleared out.  Sorry guys, I'll share with you what we ordered though.  

We got the Mastro's house salad, warm spinach salad and the chopped salad to start.  All of them were great.  Usually I end up gravitating towards one salad, but I have to say all of them were addicting. For our entrees, most of us ordered the steak, but I think Gook ordered the pork chop and he said it was excellent as well.  

I love coming with a big group to steakhouses because you get to order and try so many different sides.  For our sides, we got their lobster mashed potatoes, brussels sprouts with pancetta, creamed corn, asparagus and sauteed mushrooms.  

Now for the desserts.  We ordered the butter cake, chocolate pudding cake and they surprised Susan with a slice of their chocolate cake.  

Here's the chocolate pudding cake with creme anglaise.  It was gooey and warm.  

This is one huge slice of chocolaty cake for Susan.  

They are famous for their butter cake, which is like pound cake topped with vanilla ice cream, drizzled with caramel and raspberry sauce.  It also comes with a bowl of fresh whipped cream.  Talk about decadent.  People seemed to like the butter cake and the pudding cake the best.  The chocolate cake was a bit too dense.

We all probably gained 10 pounds from this meal alone, but that's what friends are for, right?  :) 

Why do I feel like I need to go on a juice cleanse all of the sudden?  

Mastro's Steakhouse
520 N Dearborn St
Chicago, IL 60654

Harold's Chicken Shack - Chicago, IL

So jumping from one roommate to another, my current roommate Susan's birthday was a few months ago.  We had planned to go out to dinner to celebrate but she came down with a nasty cold.  So what is a girl to do when your friend is too sick to go out.  Make chicken soup?  nope ... even better, get some fried chicken.  One thing that I've learned about living with Susan is that she loves fried chicken.  We are lucky enough to live close to Harold's the Fried Chicken King so I went there to grab a bucket of fried chicken for the birthday girl.  

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Jam - Chicago, IL

My former roommate and I met up for brunch recently at one of her favorite brunch spots, Jam.  She has been having a horrible bout of morning sickness so couldn't really stomach much except for oatmeal so we made sure to go somewhere that served oatmeal for breakfast.    

I got there a few minutes earlier than her and looked over their menu and had a moment of panic when I discovered they only accept cash.  I'm so bad about carrying enough cash on me these days.  

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Honky Tonk Barbeque - Chicago, IL

I received a gift certificate to Honky Tonk awhile back so one a cold, snowy night I dragged my friends to Pilsen to check out this place known for their BBQ.  

Here's what it says on their website: 
"Honky Tonk Barbeque features championship barbeque pork, beef, chicken and other down-home dishes. We feature slow, wood-roasted beef, pork and chicken. It is cooked over a wood burning fire with no natural gas. This results in pulled pork and smoked brisket that is cleaner tasting and free of the taste of fuel that is noticable in almost all the other barbeque you will find in town. Come and try it for yourself and see what a difference the wood makes!"  They were also featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. 

Monday, February 28, 2011

Jitlada - Los Angeles, CA

If you live in LA and you haven't been to Jitlada, you must go immediately.  I have to admit it's been on my list for some time but whenever I am home, I hardly have enough time to eat everything I want, let alone visit new restaurants.  

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Fred's - Chicago, IL

Susan and I had a nice dinner after work one night at Fred's.  It's on the top floor of Barneys New York on Oak Street.  It's a beautiful space and I think they have a patio area where you can sit when the weather is nicer.  

We started with a baby octopus salad with arugula salad.  I forgot to take a picture, but this was absolutely delicious.  I love grilled octopus, it's one of my favs.    

We also got the Proscuitto and Arugula parma ham, tomato, mozzarella and arugula pizza.  Their pizzas are made from 100 % King Arthur Flour and their dough is kneaded and fermented in the true Neapolitan style. All of their ingredients are either sourced locally or imported from Italy.  

We also ordered their Garlic and Herb Roasted Berkshire Pork Chop, which came with red wine onion confit and roasted fingerling potatoes.  The red wine onion confit was really good.  An excellent suggestion by our waitress.

We were pretty stuffed by this point, but it's hard to pass up on dessert.  We opted for the white chocolate bread pudding.  This was also a pleasant surprise.  The bready part was on the bottom and the top consisted of a panna cotta-esque texture.  I think we polished this up pretty quick.

Our waitress also told us about their weekend brunch specials which is a choice of entree, drink (Bloody Mary, Mimosa or soft drink), a basket of homemade scones, muffins, toasted bread and foccacia, salad, dessert and coffee for $28.  That's a pretty great deal for the quality of food Fred's serves.  We will definitely have to come back for brunch.  

15 E Oak St
(between State St & Rush St) 
Chicago, IL 60611

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Keyshawn's Mom's Candied Yams (with Marshmellows)

Keyshawn's Mom's Candied Yams

3 pounds sweet potatoes or yams
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 sticks sweet butter, cubed

Peel potatoes and cut into 2-inch cubes. Place potatoes in large pot, cover with sugar, brown sugar and butter cook over medium heat until potatoes are fork tender (about 20 minutes) but not mushy.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Macaroni and Cheese with Buttery Crumbs

I am one of those weird people who have never been a fan of macaroni and cheese.  I'm not a huge fan of cheese in food.  I love eating cheese by itself, but melted cheese in pasta is kind of too rich for me.  But I know people love macaroni and cheese and it's a common Thanksgiving side dish so I decided to try to make a batch.  

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cranberry Sauce

I had no idea cranberry sauce was so easy to make.  There's really no need to buy canned cranberry sauce anymore.  Here's a super simple recipe that takes all of 10 minutes.