Monthly Archives: December 2008

The best eats of ’08

Holy carbs. To think this face-stuffing extravaganza (food porn, one friend dubbed it) I call elizabites has made it six months, leaving a hefty trail of calories, dining bills, satisfied dining companions, and valet tickets in its wake. I loaded up on red velvet cupcakes, and had to trek to Milwaukee to find a ridiculous steak fit for a king. I fell in love with new restaurants like Mado, The Bristol and Urban Belly, gushed over old standbys like Milk and Honey and Le Bouchon, and developed a relentless addiction to Berry Chill. I schleped out to Downer’s Grove for steamed hot dogs, attempted to uncover the mystery that is Duk’s, and prayed fervently to the duck sausage at a temple of encased meats. But there’s so much more to digest in Chicago and beyond as I plan to take elizabites to Chile in January, Las Vegas in March, New York City in May and more. Watch for posts from these destinations as well as usual updates from Milwaukee and other hidden Wisconsin gems. Look for more guest bloggers, head-scratching mystery posts, tabletops, reviews and a redesign in the coming months. Thanks for reading, commenting, linking and generally keeping up with the bloat-fest… I raise a Saint’s Alp almond milk tea to you. Here’s to even better bites in 2009!

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under ..and more

Mystery mural

There are several of these murals on the walls at what Chicago cafe?
img_4701_5

2 Comments

Filed under mystery spot

Jake’s Deli

img_4706A good corned beef sandwich is hard to find, so I had to check out Jake’s Deli in Milwaukee when a foodie tipster told me about the place. First off, I love the history of the deli, which has been in the same location on North Avenue and 17th Street since the 1930s. It’s just as no-frills as it was when it first opened, complete with wooden booths (with defunct buzzers once used to summon servers), a great neon sign, a Berkel bread slicer, and a slew of guys behind the counter seasoning corned beef with paprika before hand-slicing it to order for each sandwich (which is the secret to killer corned beef). The house matzo ball soup is fantastic and the corned beef is super-tender, buttery and moist, with the paprika adding just the right kick. Fresh-sliced bread from Milwaukee-based Miller bakery is perfectly soft and doesn’t get soggy from the meat and spicy mustard. It took a good 20 minutes to place our order, as the place stays busy from open to close, complete with a line before they open around 10AM, but it’s worth the drive up from Chicago for a slice of Brewtown history, a damn good corned beef sandwich and did I mention the true sign of a great deli? House-made pickles. 1634 W. North Ave., 414.562.1272

img_4703

The neon sign above the bustling deli counter


img_4709

Extra-lean corned beef on rye

3 Comments

Filed under eliz-a-trip

On the table: Coq d’Or

img_4676Salt and pepper, oil lamp, drink menus. The Drake Hotel, 140 E. Walton Pl., 312.932.4623

2 Comments

Filed under on the table

Recipe: Ice box cake

Who calls a refrigerator a damn ice box anymore? No one, really, but my family, who still loves whipping up a retro delicacy known as ice box cake (aka refrigerator roll). Less complicated than a gingerbread house, but just as tasty, ice box cake is ridiculously easy to make, and kind of reminds me of Show Biz Pizza Place/Chuck E. Cheese birthday cakes (think whipped cream frosting and Oreo cookie-esque cake). The presentation isn’t the greatest, but I promise an instant hit if you show up to a holiday party with one in tow. And if you’re looking to make any other holiday goodies today, don’t forget about the award-winning pumpkin chocolate chip cookie recipe previously posted. Whatever you gorge yourself on, have a safe and happy holiday..I’ll be taking a short break from posting, but will be back in full force in 2009, with more features, coverage of my impending January travel adventures and more!
Ingredients:
1 box Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers (look for the yellow box)
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups heavy cream, whipped or 1 container frozen whipped topping, thawed.
Method:
1. Stir vanilla into whipped cream or topping
2. Spread 1/2 tablespoon whipped cream on each wafer.
3. Begin stacking wafers together and stand on edge on serving platter to make 14-inch log.
4. Frost with remaining whipped cream.
5. Use toothpicks to cover cake with plastic wrap and chill for 4 to 6 hours.
6. Garnish with chocolate curls, slice on a diagonal and serve.

Layer whipped topping in between wafers

Layer whipped topping in between wafers


Cover log with whipped cream topping

Cover log with whipped cream topping


Use toothpicks to hold up plastic wrap and chill 4-6 hours.

Use toothpicks to hold up plastic wrap and chill 4-6 hours.


Deliciously messy after being chilled, be sure to slice on a diagonal

Deliciously messy after being chilled, be sure to slice on a diagonal

1 Comment

Filed under family foods, recipes

Not known for: Baked four-cheese macaroni at Fat Willy’s

img_4697
Most people know that I am a diehard Twin Anchors devotee, but I also love the barbecue ribs from Fat Willy’s. They aren’t slathered in T.A.’s intoxicating zesty sauce, but the ribs themselves seem meatier, more tender and a lot smokier (but Twin will always win out for atmosphere). Besides the killer ribs, I recently discovered a hidden “not known for” gem at the Fat, the baked four-cheese macaroni. Penne pasta is loaded up with Cheddar, gruy√®re, Parmesan and fontina, and each hearty serving is baked-to-order until bubbly and golden brown. And luckily, the aluminum delivery containers travel quite well when it’s just too damn cold and wet for you to want to travel, well, anywhere. Fat Willy’s, 2416 W. Shubert Ave., 773.782.1800

3 Comments

Filed under not known for

Hannukah gelt guilt

img_4684When it comes to the Jewish food I grew up on, I couldn’t get enough of the lox, latkes, challah, hell, I even love me some fried Matzo now and again. But I could never get into Hannukah chocolate coins or “gelt.” In the mid-’80s my older brother and I would share a serious nerd moment and tear open the mesh bags to wear them on our hands as fingerless “breakdancing gloves,” but even then we weren’t feeling the chocolate inside. It’s always had a weird texture, a bland, chalky taste and is way too much trouble to get to what with Fort Knox alumium foil wrapping that would throw a one-two paper-cut-punch as you tried to pry it apart. Somehow I still end up with a bag of Hannukah gelt every year, and I give it a shot hoping my tastebuds will finally acclimate just as they evenually did to gefilte fish. But the chalky taste remains. Next year, I’ll ask my aunt to send good chocolate or real coinage? Now don’t get me started on Manishevitz. Happy Hannukah y’all!

1 Comment

Filed under ..and more