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  • Post #151 - April 16th, 2019, 3:46 pm
    Post #151 - April 16th, 2019, 3:46 pm Post #151 - April 16th, 2019, 3:46 pm
    It doesn't seem mathematically possible but Fat Rice just keeps getting better and better. I've had a couple of dinners here lately that blew me away. At both meals, I was part of 5-tops, which opened the door to trying a large number of dishes. There are so many exciting, fun, shareable items available right now, it's an adventure in gustatory pleasure exploring the menu.

    Chef Abe and his team keep coming hard with the new stuff. Just like tv writers who are perfectly willing to kill off a main character to keep their audience engaged, this team will jettison or reconfigure a dish without hesitation. The result is a consistent, enduring aesthetic that's fresh-feeling, doesn't get bogged down in the routine. Yes, the namesake Arroz Gordo remains and Chilli Prawns seem to appear more often than they don't but so many of the specific dishes that were once offered have been cycled off or been morphed into delicious new iterations.

    Could Fat Rice be the best restaurant in Chicago right now? It's certainly at the center of the discussion.

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #152 - May 1st, 2019, 9:47 am
    Post #152 - May 1st, 2019, 9:47 am Post #152 - May 1st, 2019, 9:47 am
    We finally got there last night, inspired by a cookie recipe Sue found in the Bake from Scratch magazine with a cured-yolk custard center, rolled in sugar with ground tea leaves, and yet called a snickerdoodle (she brought these to the last Dessert Exchange).

    We were disappointed to find out that not only is the bakery not open evenings, but the restaurant only serves their pastries Wednesday through Saturday. However the rest of the experience (except the noise level) was wonderful.

    I started with a gin-and-tonic-type cocktail (I don't remember the name, and it's not on the online menu, which may have changed since last night with the new month), and Sue with a Rioja that was on the specials list with a very buttery mouthfeel. The G&T was perhaps a bit more bitter, less sweet than others I've had, but it makes a nice foil for the rich, fatty foods.

    First out was the PRESUNTO + papaya, which makes a very nice salt+sweet bite.
    Next was the LINGUIÇA, a very nice, aromatic version of the sausage. Served as it was with herbs, almonds, olives and cornichons I was strongly reminded of how Aroy Thai serves its Sai Ua sausage. Delicious.

    pork + ginger DUMPLINGS (with XO upcharge): Very nice little dumplings. Lots of rich umami and good porkiness which often gets lost in a dumpling. The XO and sichuan chile oil were on the subtle side, which let the filling shine.

    chilli PRAWNS: awesome and messy. The server should have suggested bread, I felt kind of naughty spooning up garlic butter (but hey, it's low-carb that way).

    el DIABLO: (no longer on the menu) with coconut rice added. A Keralan curry with several meats (I think there's chicken thigh, braised beef and char siu pork), with a lot of mustard seeds. Very nice, I've never had anything with this flavor profile (and thankfully, there's a fair amount left over for lunch). Great crispy shallots on the rice.

    For dessert, we had the DARK CHOCOLATE PAVÉ, a nice rendition with pink peppercorns, dried goji berries and broken sheets of dark chocolate. A smidge more salt and it would have been perfect.

    Service was top notch. All around, a great restaurant. I'm worried about the sound levels here -- it was quite loud and yet not full (it was Tuesday night after all). Certainly not a cheap neighborhood Asian joint -- I can't imagine stopping here that regularly on my budget, but definitely destination dining.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #153 - February 23rd, 2020, 5:25 pm
    Post #153 - February 23rd, 2020, 5:25 pm Post #153 - February 23rd, 2020, 5:25 pm
    Tremendous lunch from start to finish at Fat Rice the other day. Three of us were hungry. With the exception of a lone chicken thigh, we managed to put this all away . . .

    Image
    Lacassa | rice noodle, shrimp, char siu pork, tofu, garlic chive, egg omelette, pickled ginger
    Noodley and delicious! :D

    Image
    Pork + Ginger Dumplings With X.O. Sauce | sweet soy, garlic chilli oil, woodear mushroom
    One of the very few items on the FR menu that seems to have been on from the beginning, and remains relatively unchanged.

    Image
    Favas Guisadas w/House-Made Bread | favas beans, linguica, sofrito, tomato
    Great, flavorful dish and the bread was better than ever. Still tender and yeasty but with an absolutely perfect exterior crust. Steam bellowed out of it when we tore it open.

    Image
    O Diabo | spicy mustard-laced curry, pickles, chicken, char siu, wood-roasted beef
    A new one for me. Loved the mustard notes in combination with the other components.

    Image
    Minchi Mosca | minced turmeric pork, puffed saffron noodle, woodear mushroom, sunny egg
    Heavily aromatic turmeric was a very nice component.

    Image
    Piri Piri Chicken | char-grilled thighs, fatracha hot sauce, grilled potato, cornichon
    I love FR's ever-evolving takes on piri piri. My visits are infrequent enough that it's never quite the same as the time before. The common threads are juicy, perfectly charred thighs and substantial, zesty heat.

    Not cheap but a great value considering the quality, distinctiveness (and quantity) of the food. Service, by Caleb, was utterly awesome. I think I like the dinner menu a bit better but living nearby, lunch is consistently a walk-in breeze.

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #154 - April 5th, 2020, 4:54 pm
    Post #154 - April 5th, 2020, 4:54 pm Post #154 - April 5th, 2020, 4:54 pm
    An ominous and ambiguous post at Fat Rice's facebook page:

    Fat Rice, at its facebook page wrote:Dear Fat Rice Friends and Family-⁣

    Thank you for the love, support, and community over the past seven years. ⁣

    The Fat Rice adventure came to life through our amazing team members, guests, vendors, friends, and culinary comrades. ⁣

    We are grateful for the opportunity to have shared our creative vision through good food, with good people. ⁣

    In recent weeks, we have received an incredible outpouring of reach-outs, shout-outs, and check-ins: from "how can I help” to "...will I be able to get those EGG TARTS again?!” ⁣

    Thanks for the Love. ⁣

    We regret to say that, due to the current global crisis, Fat Rice has closed to the public for the foreseeable future. ⁣

    Please consider making a contribution to benefit the devoted and talented individuals who, until recently, worked all day, everyday, to make Fat Rice magical. ⁣(link in bio)

    Proceeds go to our former team members and toward the future of Fat Rice. ⁣

    You can keep with up our Community Kitchen relief efforts and all things Fat Rice @eatfatrice. ⁣

    To follow our quarantine adventures check out @fatricefam for cooking/baking tips, wellness, and other rad content. ⁣

    To The Adventure ahead, and future egg tarts

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #155 - April 6th, 2020, 9:55 am
    Post #155 - April 6th, 2020, 9:55 am Post #155 - April 6th, 2020, 9:55 am
    From the sounds of it, they likely did what a lot of places are doing and laid off employees to allow for unemployment claims, with plans to reopen. I really hope so because losing one of my favorite restaurants will be a tough blow.
  • Post #156 - April 28th, 2020, 3:53 pm
    Post #156 - April 28th, 2020, 3:53 pm Post #156 - April 28th, 2020, 3:53 pm
    Fat Rice as we knew it is no more. Abe and Adrienne will be rebranding as Super Fat Rice Mart and selling meal kits. Great idea, I hope it takes off for them; it makes me so incredibly sad.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/28/dini ... virus.html
  • Post #157 - April 28th, 2020, 4:24 pm
    Post #157 - April 28th, 2020, 4:24 pm Post #157 - April 28th, 2020, 4:24 pm
    Bought a meal kit before I even finished the article. Looks fun.
  • Post #158 - April 29th, 2020, 9:51 am
    Post #158 - April 29th, 2020, 9:51 am Post #158 - April 29th, 2020, 9:51 am
    watson wrote:Beginning April 29, Fat Rice will become Super Fat Rice Mart and pivot to selling meal kits, per this NY Times story.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/28/dini ... virus.html


    yeah, it's not clear if they are closing the restaurant for good or now.. I hope not but I guess nobody really knows what the future holds. Really sad if that's the case.
  • Post #159 - April 29th, 2020, 10:29 am
    Post #159 - April 29th, 2020, 10:29 am Post #159 - April 29th, 2020, 10:29 am
    They say that this is the plan for at least a year, so I'm thinking they looked at the big picture and restructured the business in a way that they think is more viable while the world puts itself back together. I have no doubt that some sort of restaurant will exist one day (a best chef Beard winner is always go to get financial backers for a restaurant), but I am not banking on it being Fat Rice as I knew and loved it.
  • Post #160 - April 29th, 2020, 3:09 pm
    Post #160 - April 29th, 2020, 3:09 pm Post #160 - April 29th, 2020, 3:09 pm
    This is a grim future for all restaurant workers but front of house especially if this becomes common practice or seen as the only viable solution for formerly bustling restaurants.
  • Post #161 - April 29th, 2020, 4:48 pm
    Post #161 - April 29th, 2020, 4:48 pm Post #161 - April 29th, 2020, 4:48 pm
    It's an interesting concept. In effect, this is a bet on the viability of a "craft" meal kit concept. You've got companies like BlueApron making meal kits for large numbers, but this will be a local, high end type of kit. Seems like the craft beer and spirit concept applied to something they believe will now be in higher demand for some time to come.
  • Post #162 - April 29th, 2020, 8:21 pm
    Post #162 - April 29th, 2020, 8:21 pm Post #162 - April 29th, 2020, 8:21 pm
    The biggest negative is going from 70 to 8 employees. If this is the future of dining, there's a big change in jobs.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #163 - June 9th, 2020, 11:01 pm
    Post #163 - June 9th, 2020, 11:01 pm Post #163 - June 9th, 2020, 11:01 pm
    Lots of behind-the-scenes stuff in

    Chicago restaurants reckon with accusations of racism in a social media storm (Tribune)
  • Post #164 - June 10th, 2020, 8:42 am
    Post #164 - June 10th, 2020, 8:42 am Post #164 - June 10th, 2020, 8:42 am
    JoelF wrote:The biggest negative is going from 70 to 8 employees. If this is the future of dining, there's a big change in jobs.
    It's the future of the entire country with A.I. coming; recession or no recession.
  • Post #165 - June 10th, 2020, 3:47 pm
    Post #165 - June 10th, 2020, 3:47 pm Post #165 - June 10th, 2020, 3:47 pm
    Ram4 wrote:
    JoelF wrote:The biggest negative is going from 70 to 8 employees. If this is the future of dining, there's a big change in jobs.
    It's the future of the entire country with A.I. coming; recession or no recession.


    I actually believe with the combination of A.I. and automation and accelerating losses of middle class jobs we as a society will move toward universal basic income. Or else in the not to distant future have only 2 economic classes (RICH and POOR). We are already moving to the non skilled labor moving to gig economy jobs (independent contractor) and the high paid skilled labor is being replaced by accelerating automation in all industries.
  • Post #166 - June 10th, 2020, 3:48 pm
    Post #166 - June 10th, 2020, 3:48 pm Post #166 - June 10th, 2020, 3:48 pm
    nsxtasy wrote:Lots of behind-the-scenes stuff in

    Chicago restaurants reckon with accusations of racism in a social media storm (Tribune)


    Fat Rice Shut Down Indefinitely After Employees Accuse Co-Owner Of Racism, Verbal Abuse: ‘I Am Deeply Sorry’

    https://blockclubchicago.org/2020/06/09 ... bal-abuse/
  • Post #167 - June 16th, 2020, 10:02 am
    Post #167 - June 16th, 2020, 10:02 am Post #167 - June 16th, 2020, 10:02 am
    A Top Chicago Restaurant Messaged Its Virtue. Then Workers Spoke Up.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/16/dini ... acism.html
    Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche - Lewis Grizzard
  • Post #168 - June 17th, 2020, 6:49 am
    Post #168 - June 17th, 2020, 6:49 am Post #168 - June 17th, 2020, 6:49 am
    Dave148 wrote:
    A Top Chicago Restaurant Messaged Its Virtue. Then Workers Spoke Up.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/16/dini ... acism.html


    This is all so disappointing. I would always tell folks looking for a great meal with good folks to Eat Fat Rice.

    Last year I did two Outstanding In The Field (OITF) dinners, one was out west and the other was at the end of my block at City Farm featuring the food of Fat Rice. They were my first OITF dinners.

    I had a ticket to go back for 2020 OITF to eat a great meal featuring the food of Conlon, again at the end of my block, pre-pandemic. While that meal isn't going to happen, again I had already decided to let it ride in hopes for the 2021 OITF.

    I hope this time, as stressful as it is, encourages a true consideration, and implementation, of being better to others.
    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 #169 - July 19th, 2021, 2:12 pm
    Post #169 - July 19th, 2021, 2:12 pm Post #169 - July 19th, 2021, 2:12 pm
    New venture-> New thread

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