Discovered the nifty wordpress iphone app today! Giving it a try and photographing the killer pumpkin chocolate chip cookies I whipped up today.
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It’s not easy to pick ONE favorite restaurant, brunch spot and date place in Chicago, but when AOL City’s Best wanted to profile the blog (yay!), I had to figure it out. A fun little Q & A, I was honored to be featured! Also this week, my foodie friend Kristain of passportdelicious.com blogged about our delish meal at Leopold a few weeks back. My photos didn’t turn out quite as well as hers, and I failed to order the cassoulet, but I did give a shout to the chocolate mousse on a previous visit. A former London dweller, Kristian is in the UK this week, catching all kinds of first-hand royal wedding hoopla, watch her international blog for what she’s eating across the pond too.
My first dining experience at BYOB restaurant, Treat, in Logan Square was also officially my last. The laid-back restaurant shut its doors this past weekend after five successful years of serving up a Indian-inspired, global menu of dishes like chicken tikka masala, panko-crusted crabcakes, scallops and fall-off-the-bone Mint Creek Farm lamb chop to the neighborhood. I loved it.. I mean, where had it been all my life? More specifically the last five years when I never knew it was there. Alas, I did get to enjoy one of their last nights of dinner service with friends, when I was also introduced to another hidden local gem, Co-Op Hot Sauce. Seated next to me at the group table was the founder and hot-sauce “doctor” Mike Bancroft, who plunked down a bottle of original sauce when he sat down. While I have marveled at famous hot sauce collections before, I’ve never been a keep-the-fridge-stocked-with-Tabasco type, but I had to give the original, locally made, smoky formula a try, especially when a platter of golden, glistening fried calamari came to the table just waiting for a dousing. Turns out Co-Op was already used in a number of Treat recipes, but it was the smoky, dense and not too-spicy dipping sauce the calamari craved. Besides the original, Co-Op offers habañero spicy green or red jalapeño and other boldly flavored rubs and sauces made with ingredients grown in kid-run gardens on the West Side. And with proceeds going to help youth arts and community service initiatives in and around Humboldt Park, there’s no reason not to pick a bottle or three online, or watch for Co-Op at Whole Foods and Farmer’s Markets this summer.
I found my new summer snack. Elotes, or grilled corn on the cob served on the streets in Mexico and slathered with condiments from butter to sour cream and salt. They had a Cambodian twist, but I fell in love with the grilled corn on the cob at Num Pang, a Union Square sandwich shop I’ve gushed over before. They serve theirs with chili mayo, coconut flakes, chili powder and a lime wedge. Then just this past weekend..
Elotes came into my life again, this time in Chicago at Juicy. Owner Chris Dunstatter was grilling some up for the holiday, and was kind enough to send us a sample, generously slathered with butter and chili powder. It was an awesome way to start the Memorial Day weekend..and a snack that hopefully makes their permanent menu. Num Pang, 21 E. 12th St. NYC; Juicy, 694 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago
So, it’s actually not just Asian restaurants that offer cruddy photo representation of their dishes next to a number and description on the menu. I stumbled upon this little breakfast cafe called Cafe Mason in San Francisco’s Mission neighborhood, where every menu item had a relatively appetizing photo next to the description. Rather than turn me off, the semi-decent food photography actually helped me decide between eggs benedict with spinach and the bay shrimp and avocado omelette with tomatoes (I went with the omelette). Not a bad idea for more restaurants to include a photo of the dish for the indecisive orderer (like myself) or those into playing 20 questions with their server.