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Best Thing You've Eaten [Lately]

Best Thing You've Eaten [Lately]
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  • Post #2101 - January 27th, 2015, 9:16 am
    Post #2101 - January 27th, 2015, 9:16 am Post #2101 - January 27th, 2015, 9:16 am
    Shredded beef tacos dorados - Taqueria El Sazon -- Batavia, IL. - succulent, juicy shredded beef, cheese, deep fried in the shell then topped off with lettuce and tomato... tipped off by Taco Tweets(gotta try the chicken tacos dorados next time):

    http://chicagotacotour.blogspot.com/201 ... sazon.html

    becoming a regular Friday stop when I am in the West Chicago area & not doing Joliet or Chicago.

    Taqueria El Sazon
    33 North Island
    Batavia, IL.

    630-454-4526
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #2102 - January 27th, 2015, 5:50 pm
    Post #2102 - January 27th, 2015, 5:50 pm Post #2102 - January 27th, 2015, 5:50 pm
    Lechon empanada at Cafe Tola on Southport near Addison this morning.

    I'm baffled to see there's been virtually no mention of the place here and fewer than 100 Yelps (universal praise, FWIW), even though the teeny, colorful pan-Latino shack has been sitting there for a few years. Though I am true to the orthodox, baked Argentine empanadas under the heat lamps down the street at Mercado/Tango Sur, these fried pastries in the equally tasty Cuban/Puerto Rican (among others) style are pretty great. I had a picadillo (somewhat deceptively called sirloin here) and the aforementioned lechon. Picadillo was good - mixed olives a few notches better than the basic Spanish greenies usually employed (often with pits - watch out), some chopped egg, but no raisins. But the lechon was the naz. That overstuffed fatty was crisp and greaseless and filled with the best garlicky lechon and melted, tangy onions I've had outside the in-laws'. Other intriguing options were pork with red and green salsa, leaning more Mexican. Decent coffee and good pastries, tremendous vibe with the Buenos Aires La Boca colors meets Mexican lucha libre aesthetic. This is the kind of place that could be legendary in another city, or at least get a "DDD" visit. Here, it chugs along in relative obscurity, even though (or is it because of?) it's in the middle of tourist and family friendly Wrigleyville on Southport.

    Cafe Tola
    3612 North Southport Avenue, Chicago, IL 60613
    (773) 687-8428

    https://twitter.com/cafetola
  • Post #2103 - January 31st, 2015, 11:43 pm
    Post #2103 - January 31st, 2015, 11:43 pm Post #2103 - January 31st, 2015, 11:43 pm
    Went to Mercat a la Planxa with a guest from out of town for Restaurant Week - their menu is pretty good for an RW offering with a nice sampling of favorite dishes. I normally order the Lobster a la planxa as my main protein when I eat there since it it so sweet and unfussed with - and I did order it as an add on last night - but the real pleasure was the Lamb Chop also done on the grill which came with the standard RW menu - it was completely, absolutely, deliciously perfect. Mid-rare, simple but right seasoning, nice char, very meaty chop ... perfection. (better still, my guest does not really like lamb so she let me take hers home - just enjoyed it this evening and it was still wonderful.)

    I at times have mixed feelings about Mercat - but I will be back soon for the lamb for sure.
    Last edited by Siun on February 1st, 2015, 9:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #2104 - February 1st, 2015, 6:14 pm
    Post #2104 - February 1st, 2015, 6:14 pm Post #2104 - February 1st, 2015, 6:14 pm
    I usually go to brunch at Fat Rice about once a month with a great friend. Today we went back and had the bone-in pork chop bun as one of our dishes. What a phenomenal little sandwich! So simple yet so delicious. Just a well seasoned and prepared cutlet of pork on a very fresh bun. Nothing more! Served with crab chips, a cherry pepper, and Chinese mayonnaise. Hands down one of the best sandwiches I've had recently. Try the jump water pickles along with it!
    "People are too busy in these times to care about good food. We used to spend months working over a bonne-femme sauce, trying to determine just the right proportions of paprika and fresh forest mushrooms to use." -Karoly Gundel, Blue Trout and Black Truffles: The Peregrinations of an Epicure, Joseph Wechsberg, 1954.
  • Post #2105 - February 2nd, 2015, 10:37 am
    Post #2105 - February 2nd, 2015, 10:37 am Post #2105 - February 2nd, 2015, 10:37 am
    After a long night out on Friday we headed to XOCO for much needed sustinance. I had the Ahogada sandwich which was amazing. The meltingly tender carnitas and that spicy tomato broth are the perfect combination of flavors. My wife had the Milanesa which was excellent as well. Love the Guacamole bar as well. The bacon carmel corn... not so much. All in all a great weekend vist to Chicago! The white knuckle ddrive back to Michigan yesterday was another story!
  • Post #2106 - February 2nd, 2015, 11:34 am
    Post #2106 - February 2nd, 2015, 11:34 am Post #2106 - February 2nd, 2015, 11:34 am
    Siun wrote:Went to Mercat a la Planxa with a guest from out of town for Restaurant Week - their menu is pretty good for an RW offering with a nice sampling of favorite dishes. I normally order the Lobster a la planxa as my main protein when I eat there since it it so sweet and unfussed with - and I did order it as an add on last night - but the real pleasure was the Lamb Chop also done on the grill which came with the standard RW menu - it was completely, absolutely, deliciously perfect. Mid-rare, simple but right seasoning, nice char, very meaty chop ... perfection. (better still, my guest does not really like lamb so she let me take hers home - just enjoyed it this evening and it was still wonderful.)

    I at times have mixed feelings about Mercat - but I will be back soon for the lamb for sure.


    I never have mixed feelings about Mercat, I always enjoy my meals there - and my wife and I love the lamb chops
  • Post #2107 - February 9th, 2015, 10:50 am
    Post #2107 - February 9th, 2015, 10:50 am Post #2107 - February 9th, 2015, 10:50 am
    Palak Paneer from Village Garden in Bridgeview.

    Full disclosure, I was hungover, and I skipped lunch, so I was out of control hungry. I'm very excited about what this place could be. We stopped on a whim while making the trek south on Harlem with our endgame being Fattoush down in Worth, unless something looked interesting. On 84th, we saw a sign stating "Pakistani and Middle Eastern Food," and like a spawing largemouth to a spinner.....U-TURN! The wife asked me to scope the menu before unloading the fam, just in case it was too good to be true. Falafel, baba ghannouj, kibbeh, makhani, biryani, nihari - reasonable prices, and a decent room. Let's do this. Cut to the chase - I was gushing to to the staff. The palak paneer was the best I've ever had, and though you might be wondering why some spinach and cheese wasn't just a side to round out the real food, the way it was made here made it a star. Cream and ghee, very balanced spicing, and just enough chile to make it very interesting, but not over the top. My guess would be that most would call it "hot," but I do like the heat to be brought. This was not health food. After the first bite, my wife asked, "what do you think?" My response was, "this cannot be good for you." No grease slick floating on the top, but this stuff was swimming in cream, the cheese was not cubed, but more like a cottage cheese curd type, and it was just, in a word, awesome. Comfort food on steroids. I explicitly asked what appeared to be the owner if this was the style of palak paneer I should expect every time I return, and he said, "Absolutely. The only thing that will change is the size of the cheese bits - we may switch to cubes." I'ma make a full post about this joint. The food was really good. Only been once, and I fully expect the next trial to be a huge letdown, but the owner said he has been developing his menu for about a year now, and is striving for consistency.

    Village Garden
    7201 West 84th Street, Bridgeview, IL 60455
    (708) 233-7744
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #2108 - February 10th, 2015, 11:51 am
    Post #2108 - February 10th, 2015, 11:51 am Post #2108 - February 10th, 2015, 11:51 am
    Beef Brisket rice bowl at Furious Spoon, and the ramen was pretty darn tasty too, everything cooked exceptionally well.
    1571 Milwaukee Ave, furiousramen.com
  • Post #2109 - February 10th, 2015, 12:45 pm
    Post #2109 - February 10th, 2015, 12:45 pm Post #2109 - February 10th, 2015, 12:45 pm
    [url=http://madinahmarket.com/product.php?productid=18760]Mirch Masala brand Lajawab Mix/url]
    Sweet, sour, spicy, salty... if it was bigger pieces, they could outsell Chex Mix.

    I've seen it at Fresh Farms, but usually pick it up at the local Indian market.
    Many of these sorts of mixes are full of some flavoring I am not fond of - sort of a sulfurous/ammonia things I can't put my finger on, but don't like it. It's a mild undercurrent here, with the chiles and (I think) tamarind taking the forefront.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #2110 - February 11th, 2015, 12:29 am
    Post #2110 - February 11th, 2015, 12:29 am Post #2110 - February 11th, 2015, 12:29 am
    Blood orange juice with elderflower soda at Naha tonight! Mmmm, mmmmm, good!
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #2111 - February 12th, 2015, 12:15 pm
    Post #2111 - February 12th, 2015, 12:15 pm Post #2111 - February 12th, 2015, 12:15 pm
    JoelF wrote:Mirch Masala brand Lajawab Mix
    Sweet, sour, spicy, salty... if it was bigger pieces, they could outsell Chex Mix.

    I've seen it at Fresh Farms, but usually pick it up at the local Indian market.
    Many of these sorts of mixes are full of some flavoring I am not fond of - sort of a sulfurous/ammonia things I can't put my finger on, but don't like it. It's a mild undercurrent here, with the chiles and (I think) tamarind taking the forefront.

    The flavor you object to probably comes from kala namak—Indian black salt that contains traces of sulfur. It's often used to season chaats. Good stuff (I think) when used judiciously.
  • Post #2112 - February 12th, 2015, 12:55 pm
    Post #2112 - February 12th, 2015, 12:55 pm Post #2112 - February 12th, 2015, 12:55 pm
    Kala namak scaremongers are the anti-vaxxers of the food world.
  • Post #2113 - February 16th, 2015, 9:51 am
    Post #2113 - February 16th, 2015, 9:51 am Post #2113 - February 16th, 2015, 9:51 am
    H-Mart Naperville housed a 2fer this past Saturday

    Jia Jia Cafe and their top notch bowl of beef noodle soup - Made aware of the existence of this dish by Dabeefs twitter feed:

    Image

    Jia Jia Cafe
    1291 E. Ogden
    Naperville

    http://www.jiajiacafe.com/


    Also the live Dungy crab I got from the Hmart tanks was fantastic once home and steamed - Almost 3# - 1/2 of the surf and turf.

    Image
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #2114 - February 17th, 2015, 10:19 am
    Post #2114 - February 17th, 2015, 10:19 am Post #2114 - February 17th, 2015, 10:19 am
    Stopped by Honey Butter Fried Chicken on Elston recently, and everything was quite good although my real take-away from this meal--and maybe I just needed an aggressive citrus blizkrieg to rev up my taste buds--was my first sip of the blood-orange lemonade that got everything started.
    "The fork with two prongs is in use in northern Europe. In England, they’re armed with a steel trident, a fork with three prongs. In France we have a fork with four prongs; it’s the height of civilization." Eugene Briffault (1846)
  • Post #2115 - March 15th, 2015, 7:58 pm
    Post #2115 - March 15th, 2015, 7:58 pm Post #2115 - March 15th, 2015, 7:58 pm
    The ricotta tartine at Violet Hour was excellent (ordered another) this past Friday. Going to try and replicate this at home.
    www.justnoms.com
    Rate the Food, Not the Restaurant
    @justnoms_com
  • Post #2116 - March 15th, 2015, 8:22 pm
    Post #2116 - March 15th, 2015, 8:22 pm Post #2116 - March 15th, 2015, 8:22 pm
    My latest addiction:

    Image
  • Post #2117 - March 15th, 2015, 8:33 pm
    Post #2117 - March 15th, 2015, 8:33 pm Post #2117 - March 15th, 2015, 8:33 pm
    So I was lucky enough to spend Friday with mbh, boudreaulicious, and petite gourmande and I can earnestly say the semi-dried prunes from France, the homemade tortellini with a skordalia filling mellowed with ample ricotta, and a fantastic sheep's milk cheese from Georgia ( in this country no less!) were just awesome.
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #2118 - March 16th, 2015, 11:40 pm
    Post #2118 - March 16th, 2015, 11:40 pm Post #2118 - March 16th, 2015, 11:40 pm
    pairs4life wrote:So I was lucky enough to spend Friday with mbh, boudreaulicious, and petite gourmande and I can earnestly say the semi-dried prunes from France, the homemade tortellini with a skordalia filling mellowed with ample ricotta, and a fantastic sheep's milk cheese from Georgia ( in this country no less!) were just awesome.


    Yep, pretty fantastic food evening, but you forgot the butter petite gourmande bought back from Paris. She went on a butter sampling binge, then bought back her favorite as a housewarming present, it's breton butter, the box is stamped Le Ponclet Yowzah!!
    For what we choose is what we are. He should not miss this second opportunity to re-create himself with food. Jim Crace "The Devil's Larder"
  • Post #2119 - March 17th, 2015, 9:34 am
    Post #2119 - March 17th, 2015, 9:34 am Post #2119 - March 17th, 2015, 9:34 am
    Northern Larb at Aroy Thai last night. That stuff is addictive.
  • Post #2120 - March 18th, 2015, 1:34 pm
    Post #2120 - March 18th, 2015, 1:34 pm Post #2120 - March 18th, 2015, 1:34 pm
    Every time I have the chocolate cream pie from Hoosier Mama, I'm amazed at how good it is.
  • Post #2121 - March 18th, 2015, 5:45 pm
    Post #2121 - March 18th, 2015, 5:45 pm Post #2121 - March 18th, 2015, 5:45 pm
    The luscious duck platter and one of the best burgers I've ever had at White Oak Tavern. Wow. This place is phenomenal. Who would've thought that something like this could spring from the ashes of John's Place!!!!
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #2122 - March 19th, 2015, 8:29 am
    Post #2122 - March 19th, 2015, 8:29 am Post #2122 - March 19th, 2015, 8:29 am
    This is really trying my locavore intentions

    Image

    What the Korean grocery stores call twist peppers are more commonly shishito around here. And I just love this type of banchan. If you know shishito, you know the peppers are very mild. A bit of heat is added from hot pepper paste, but it's a subtle heat. What makes the dish is the "batter", perhaps to all the crisp-lovers around here, this essentially unfried pepper may seem really odd and icky, but the wheat paste over the peppers adds this element of unami that ties it all together.
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #2123 - March 29th, 2015, 10:41 am
    Post #2123 - March 29th, 2015, 10:41 am Post #2123 - March 29th, 2015, 10:41 am
    We went to Bread & Wine on Irving Park yesterday. We sat at the Chef's Station, basically a bar facing the kitchen, so we got dinner and a show. I had the sea trout with broccoli mash, rabe, buttermilk vinaigrette, peppercorn granola, and we both followed that with Salted Caramel Popcorn Panna Cotta. Perfecto.


    http://breadandwinechicago.com/menu-new/
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love
    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach
    Read "Cooking for One" at Literary Orphans via my author page.

    Late-Nite Eats Database
  • Post #2124 - March 31st, 2015, 8:45 pm
    Post #2124 - March 31st, 2015, 8:45 pm Post #2124 - March 31st, 2015, 8:45 pm
    Beef Jerky from Paulina Meat Market. Wow! Moist on the inside, chewy on the outside, tremendous marbling, and just the right amount of salt and smoke. I went there for short ribs, currently 22 hours into their 72-hour sous vide, so this was a nice instantly-gratifying counterbalance of a treat.
  • Post #2125 - April 16th, 2015, 11:14 am
    Post #2125 - April 16th, 2015, 11:14 am Post #2125 - April 16th, 2015, 11:14 am
    Fennel & cauliflower risotto at Vincent. Great flavors and textures.

    Vincent
    1475 W Balmoral
    Chicago
    www.vincentchicago.com
    -Mary
  • Post #2126 - April 16th, 2015, 11:42 am
    Post #2126 - April 16th, 2015, 11:42 am Post #2126 - April 16th, 2015, 11:42 am
    The glazed donuts AND the pho AND the egg rolls at Roll N Donut in Algonquin.

    Specific post about it here. viewtopic.php?f=14&t=42004
  • Post #2127 - April 16th, 2015, 12:00 pm
    Post #2127 - April 16th, 2015, 12:00 pm Post #2127 - April 16th, 2015, 12:00 pm
    Spring Tartine at The Bristol - just so lovely light and fresh

    A few different pictures (mine is the first one, I had it without the ricotta)

    Image

    Image
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #2128 - April 23rd, 2015, 11:15 am
    Post #2128 - April 23rd, 2015, 11:15 am Post #2128 - April 23rd, 2015, 11:15 am
    Hit the Pleasant House Burger Special (only on Tuesdays) a couple of days ago. Wow, that was a great Bacon Cheddar Burger! Still thinking about it a couple of days later. Should have taken some pictures, but great beef, great roll, great pickles.
  • Post #2129 - April 24th, 2015, 4:24 pm
    Post #2129 - April 24th, 2015, 4:24 pm Post #2129 - April 24th, 2015, 4:24 pm
    The Thai Crispy Chicken (Onion Chicken) with the side order of Orange Carrot Rice

    at

    Na Siam thai restaurant
    6851 W North Avenue
    Oak Park, IL 60302
  • Post #2130 - April 25th, 2015, 12:27 pm
    Post #2130 - April 25th, 2015, 12:27 pm Post #2130 - April 25th, 2015, 12:27 pm
    Tomato bread/ Serrano ham/ glass of minerally rose.
    Vera
    www.verachicago.com
    1023 West Lake
    312-243-9770
    Reading is a right. Censorship is not.

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