Saturday, September 4, 2010

Chicago's Best Ribs

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Chicago Best Resturants by Occasion

There's a lot of great places in the city to go to eat but here to the top six places to go to sorted by occasion.  From brunch to drinks to drinks here's "the list."

Weekend Brunch-

North Pond
2610 N Cannon Dr
Chicago, IL 60657

This Lincoln Park locale serves up sweet onion veloute soup with crab from a weekend prix fix menu ($29) The food is as good as anything you'll find during dinnertime.

Lunch Downtown- 
1028 N Rush St
Chicago, IL 60611 

Gibson's - Big portions, big steaks and big deserts. Gibson's is the place to go for lunch (to avoid the dinner crowd and the long waits) If you're savoring some grilled steak or fish than head up Rush Street to one of Chicago's best steakhouses.

For the Foodies-

945 W Fulton Market
Chicago, Illinois 60607

 Most foodies will be impressed if they don't realize you're truing to impress them. Though, you wont just impress a foodie Moto will outright baffle them with entrees that look like they're from the next century.

Good Date Spot-

Tango Sur-
 3763 N Southport Avenue
Chicago, IL 60613
Dim lighting, great drinks and great food makes this a top date spot. This BYOB Argentinean spot in Lakeview offers great entrees such as the churrasco, a slab of chimichurri-topped beef.

Late Night-

600 W Chicago
Chicago, IL 60610
With glamorous indoor and outdoor spaces it's hard to choose which one to pick. The restaurant serves until 11pm.

Favorite Cafe-
3601 N Southport Ave.
Chicago, IL 60613 

Julius Menil- Vienna in Chicago. This place has a great relaxed European cafe vibe to it and some of the best coffee, sandwiches, and pastries in the city. The Mozart cake is absolutely delicious.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

D's Haute Dogs Review

 551 Lincoln Ave
Winnetka, IL 60093

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Short Review: Went up to the North Shore for some hot dogs and came across D's Haute Dogs. Even though this place is not as good as Mustard's Last Stand (which will have it's own review next week) it is still has some great food to serve up. Who knew? Hot dogs in Winnetka.

Long Review: I stepped in when I went out to lunch with a friend. My standard yellow flags were raised when I noticed no one was inside on a Saturday at noon. There was just one family sitting outside. (However, this is standard for many North Shore restaurants as it is hard to run a restaurant there)

After pondering over the menu for a while I settled on the Chicago Dog with fries. $7.50. A bit on the pricey side without a drink but then again the North Shore property taxes are what drive the prices up.

The counter person was very nice and served us professionally. It's also decorated similar to Mustard's with local sports photos on the walls of the various organizations in the area. They have a nice little outdoor seating area which is good for the summertime.

All in all a nice little hot dog/ burger joint in the area.

4 out of 5 stars.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Greek Islands West Lombard Review

View Larger Map300 E 22nd St
Lombard, IL 60148

There aren't that many places to go for Greek food in Lombard so it's no surprise this place gets packed on weekends. Actually, all the restaurants get packed in the western suburbs after a certain hour on the weekends.

Went for an early dinner, arriving early because the wait can be 20-30 minutes during the diner rush hour, and it can be hard to seat anyone if you arrive too late. It was just starting to fill up when we arrived.

After a short wait we got a table by a window in the bar section of the restaurant which is the first time I've sat there. We pondered over the menu for appetizers and we greeted by our waiter. We ordered the usual: Greek Salad, Taramasalata and Calamari

Flaming Saganaki's and the accompanying "Opah!" were going of around us, we were use to it by now and too concerned with our food (it's also kind of gimmicky but people who have never seen it enjoy it)

The appetizers were good as usual.

 Our waiter was attentive and made his best effort in checking up on our table despite the place filling up quickly and having other tables to wait on.

I ordered the Arni Fournou, or the roast lion of lamb.I always order the lamb, that's one of meats of Greece.

It was a little overcooked yet still juicy, and good as usual. It comes with roasted potatoes which are good but a bit salty. The portions here seem larger than at the Greektown location.

During our dinner the bar area filled up quickly and the dining area became so loud we couldn't hear the other person sitting across from us unless we shouted. The main dining area is more quite in general.

For desert I ordered the Tiramisu. Good but slightly dry, it had probably been sitting in the case for a couple of days. I could barely finish it as I was filled up from the large portions.

Near the end of desert I  looked out the window saw a mouse run across the dining terrace outside and watched as he slipped into a crack in the building. Presumably going into the basement or headed toward the kitchen. This is the first time I've seen anything like at here and I've been a lot over the years.

Despite that, if you want some pretty good Greek food in the western suburbs than Greek Island's is the place.

Overall rating 3.5 out 5

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Best Chicago Hot Dog: Hot Doug's

Owner Doug Sohn speaks about his famous hot dog and "encased meat emporium" and this favorite Chicago hot dog joint.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Mama Thai Review

52 W Roosevelt Rd
Lombard, IL 60148

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Short review: Stopped by Mama Thai today and had a good Thai meal with even better service. Though is is more important to have great food or great service?

Full Review: Wanting to try a different Thai place in the western burbs we stopped by Mama Thai.

The restaurant was pretty  empty considered it was nearly five thirty. We were seated quickly and while pondering over the menu the chatty server caught my attention. She was talking with other diners across the room ad seemed unusually gregarious (Sidebar: I know some servers outgoing to diners because they want to receive a large tip but something told me this was just part of her personality)

A very nice gentleman waited on us and periodically the woman would come around and chat with us. She was chatting up a storm with us and engaged the table well, while not bothering us. I almost felt like a guest in her home, which is always a good thing at any restaurant.

I ordered the duck and when it came out I noticed how small it was, the chatty server (who could have also been the owner or the manager) also mentioned how small it was. It was quite tasty as a dish and left me wanting more.

I also made sure to taste everyone else's dish and when I tasted my dining companions chicken dish, there small pieces of rib bones which took away from an otherwise good dish. Hopefully, this was just a rare occurrence.

Everything got better once I had the "sweet sticky rice." The owner/manager made sure to save us the last one and told us she would be doing so every time she came to the our table. That was one of the best Thai deserts I've had and would go back along just for that. Sure enough it was the last one as we were leaving the owner told another table they were out of it. Extra points for that.

Overall I would go back to if I am out this way as there is good food with genuine service.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Chicago's Best Ribs

Where do you go to get the best ribs? Check out these spots below.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Peet's Coffee & Tea Review

A long overdue review about Peet's in Evanston about my original visit back in November

1622 Chicago Ave
Evanston, IL 60201

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Short Review:

Pete's is not life Starbuck's, it's actually a nice refreshing throwback to the days when real coffee houses existed in this nation. With locations in 5 states this small chain actually doesn't feel like a chain at all.

Long Review:
Stopped by Peet's Evanston location on a cold blustery day and was a bit overwhelmed by the choices of coffee. This location is extremely quite as there are Northwestern students studying, professors reading, many people writing on labtops, etc... The loudest noise in there is the coffee maker and many times it's the only noise in there.

I ordered a Pumpkin Spice Latte with a Pumpkin muffin. It was very good, approaching Intelligensia's level of quality. The muffin was a decent size for the price and was tasty as well.

The service is good also, the baristas don't rush or bark "next customer" if there is a line. They don't have that rushed retail feel about them either, very relaxed and polite. They also really know a lot about the different types of coffee beans and can answer questions with some actual knowledge. Which can't be said of Starbuck's baristas.

The only slight complaint I have is the atmosphere is a bit sterile. The counter-tops are clean and clear of product displays and this location is big so it the environment can seem slightly cold at times. There are even security cameras hidden in the corner. Despite that this is a coffee chain that I would be willing to return to as they have some very good coffee.

Overall rating 4.5 out 5

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Thai Classic Review

3332 N. Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60657

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Short Review:
Went to one of the top Thai places in the city but I may have been expecting too much. Need to back because I love Thai food.

Long Review: We went out in the frigid cold to Thai Classic to meet a couple friends for dinner. I've walked past the Wrigleyville spot a couple of time but didn't know how large it really is on the inside, it looks small and narrow from the sidewalk. In fact, it's easy to miss if you're walking down the street.

When we got into the restaurant it seemed everyone gave us death stares which was very odd but also could have been attributed to our letting the extremely cold wind in. The host was very nice and asked if we would like to sit at a table or on the floor, we opted for a table in the back of the restaurant far away from the front door that lets the cold in every time people enter or leave. (To be fair to the frigid patrons those death stares were more like looks of regret)

We were seated and I opened the menu- there are pictures of dishes on the menu. Like Gordon Ramsey I'm always a bit suspicious of restaurants that show pictures of the food they are going to serve me on their menu due to some bad experiences at those sort of restaurants. I went into alert mode.

The interior is nothing to rave about, this isn't Le Colonial. Just a normal interior with a carpeted floor and with some tables and floor seating around the walls. The front of the restaurant is nicer looking and has wood flooring and a bar but I wasn't going to sit up there with the cold coming through the door.

The El rumbled over head and since it was quite in the back dining area (for now) it got a bit distracting after the second time a train went by minutes later.

We ordered Thai Spring Rolls and Calamari for an appetizer. Despite my advice not to order calamari at a Thai place it wasn't that bad. The Thai spring rolls are cold (this is how many Thai restaurants serve spring rolls so if you order them don't expect Chinese or Japanese spring to come hot from the oven) They were alright also. Just the amount of sweet in the sauce drizzled over it.

It came time to order the main dishes. I ordered Lad Nar- a mistake on my part. From my experience of Lad Nar at Joy's Noodle and Rice. I ordered it wondering if it was any better than the one I had a year ago at Joy's.

Lad Nar is a dish made with wide noodles and either pork or chicken in a gravy. It is a common Thai dish so I wasn't quite expecting what I got. Some of the noodles were a bit too crispy and even burned around the edges and the gravy was too salty. Lad Nar is supposed to be crispy but some of the noodles were downright crunchy. Just like Joy's Noodle and Rice Lad Nar. Before I about to write off the restaurant I tasted everyone else's dish to make sure it was me. Everyone said their dishes were good.

Their dishes were better than mine. Maybe something happened in the kitchen when the cook was making the Lad Nar as the restaurant got very busy very quickly. Maybe this is their variation on Lad Nar?

I gave Thai Classic the benefit of the doubt and decided whoever made my dish was having a bad day because their service is very good.

The waitress was very nice and attentive. Not so attentive that you felt the servers are hovering around the table and refilling your glass every time you take a little sip but just the right amount of watchfulness from a distance kind of attentive.

I will be back to try something else.

4 out of 5 Stars