Category Archives: not known for

Not known for: Boudin Bakery

The Portland posts are not done! I promise. I just had to share this treat I saw on the counter at Boudin Bakery in Yountville, Calif. over the weekend. Boudin has locations all over CA, and they are know for their San Francisco sourdough bread, European hearth bread, seasonal tarts, and more. But I discovered and fell in love with one of their packaged items I like to call Neopolitan ice cream, um, in Rice Krispie Treat form. Chewy, soft rectangles of strawberry, chocolate and vanilla layered brilliantly together. Yes, as good/as looks.

Strawberry, chocolate and vanilla rice crispy treat at Boudin Bakery

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under eliz-a-trip, not known for, random spottings

Not known for: Bread pudding at Revolution Brewing

Revolution Brewing

I knew just by driving by the then-unfinished space for Revolution Brewing early winter that I was going to love the place when it opened. Not only is it in the ‘hood, I loved the name, the sign, the idea of offering growlers, great pub food from the guys behind Handlebar, a fireplace and tons of cozy wooden booths all in the same space. So once the place opened about a month ago, I couldn’t wait stop in and get my hands on my favorite styles of brew, namely the lighter, Belgian-style beers like the Cross of Gold ale and the Bottom Up Belgian Wit. So, as to be expected, fast forward a few months and the place is packed, even at 10:30PM on a Sunday when I stopped in. As they seem to still be working out their brewing supply and demand, they were out of the Wit, but the Cross of Gold was excellent, light and crisp, with just enough hops to pair with, well dessert. Sure the menu flaunts bacon fat popcorn, sweet potato cakes, wood-fired pizzas and burgers stacked with things like eggs and jalapeño-honey slaw, but the standout dish we tried was by far the chocolate chunk bread pudding. Could this be a “not know for” in such a new place? Sure..or consider it something to work in after you get your burger on. I don’t know if was the warm, spongy bread laden with moist chocolate sauce, dusting of powdered sugar or the caramel sauce made a mild golden ale that added a touch of salty bitterness, but the combo took bread pudding to boozy new levels. Seems the house brews and booze are deliciously laden throughout other desserts as well, like the blood orange sorbet float with white ale and a cherry bourbon cake with vanilla bean ice cream—like a good brewery dessert should. Revolution Brewing, 2323 N. Milwaukee Avenue, 772.227.BREW

Bread pudding with ale caramel sauce

1 Comment

Filed under new restaurants, not known for

Not known for: Caramelized lobster at The Gage

 

Caramelized lobster at The Gage

Caramelized lobster at The Gage

Two separate NRA parties had me hanging at the Gage quite a bit this past weekend, and I was only reminded of how much I love the contemporary American/Irish restaurant with a killer whiskey selection across from Millennium Park. Chef Dirk Flanigan’s menu offers up hearty pub grub from a scotch egg to a Guinness-battered fish and chips. But he also gets creative and complex with contemporary dishes like roasted saddle of elk, a melt in your mouth seared pole-caught Big Eye tuna with pancetta, Tuscan kale and salted Madeira ponzu, and braised rabbit salad. He’s a master of sauces, sides, game meat preparation and has perfected a Camembert-smothered USDA burger. But the one dish I am hooked on here is the caramelized lobster, not too unexpected, I guess, but still not well-known. I would’ve totally overlooked it on the menu (listed under third courses), but Gage owner Billy Lawless suggested it during a past visit. First off, I’m drawn to quinoa the second I see it on a menu, not only because it’s incredibly healthy, but the texture of the hearty granules take so beautifully to other ingredients like butter and lemon. OK, suddenly not so healthy, but delicious nonetheless. Tender chunks of lobster over lemon quinoa aren’t overly sweetened or ruined by the caramelizing, there’s just the right flavor of sweet while the salty succulent fresh lobster flavor still comes through. Chopped basil brings out the lemon in the quinoa while brightening up the dish with a bright, herbal fragrance and touches of green. Served as a mid-sized dish, it’s great to share but I’d rather devour a couple on my own. The Gage, 24 S. Michigan Ave., 312.372.4243

1 Comment

Filed under I like to eats, not known for

Not known for: Wasabi garlic mashed potatoes at Sushi X

img_1436
You only need a set of chopsticks to devour the wasabi garlic mashed potatoes from Sushi X in one sitting. Perfectly whipped and not too creamy with just a hint of wasabi and garlic, they’re the ideal side dish to a few maki rolls. Want something lighter? The salad with ginger-carrot dressing would be number two NKF. 1136 W. Chicago Ave., 312.491.9232

Leave a comment

Filed under fail-safe sushi, great for date, not known for

Not known for: Japanese flatbread at Kaze

Japanese flatbread at Kaze

Japanese flatbread at Kaze


I’ll admit it, when it comes to sushi, I tend to stick to the same go-to spots (Sushi X much?). But I’ll always hold a special place in my heart for Kaze in Roscoe Village. It’s almost a special occasion spot, but not because it’s especially expensive, but because such care goes into everything on executive chef Macku Chan and his crew’s ever-changing menu, from sushi specials like East Coast white tuna topped with banana wasabi purée to white asparagus soup and shrimp tempura and arugula maki. But like any great restaurant, they don’t take off the original favorites, like sizzling sweet potato soup with lobster broth, fish entrées like black cod with bittersweet chocolate sauce, and maki rolls like soft shell crab and salmon. We stuck to these items on a recent visit, but also discovered a few hidden gems and the ultimate not known for. First off, I am a gomae junkie, and I’ve seen the spinach served warm, cold, doused in some sort of rich sesame seed sauce or neatly standing upright in it. At Kaze, it comes topped with crunchy sweet potato sticks and includes deep fried bananas which add yet another textural layer and a bit of sweet. But the biggest surprise came when our waiter convinced us to order the Japanese flatbread, a glorious creation we were told was going to take 30 minutes. We gave it a shot and didn’t know where to start as our server presented a flatbread that smacked of pizza: thin garlic and tomato bread topped with melted mozzarella, fresh figs, sundried tomatoes, tuna and white fish sashimi, microgreens and strawberry mayonnaise with a sprinkling of bonito fish flakes. We didn’t know whether to take a picture of it, eat or fight over it, and we ended up doing all three. It’s a special, so get it before it’s gone. And while you’re trusting me on the insane flavor combos the Kaze crew has the ability to dream up, finish up with the asparagus flan for dessert. Don’t ask, just do. 2032 W. Roscoe, 773.327.4860

Leave a comment

Filed under great for date, not known for

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, gruyère, 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

Not known for: Calamari at Kuma’s Corner

Kuma's is definitely not known for their fried calamari

Kuma's is definitely not known for their fried calamari

I haven’t done a “not known for” for a minute, so I’ll remind you how it works. One item at a restaurant is hyped and written about to death (ribs at Twin Anchors, Key lime pie at Joe’s Stone Crab, mussels and frites at Hopleaf). Then I go in and find something else on the menu that rocks, but often gets overshadowed by the highlighted staple. Man these can be hard to do. Mostly because I go into the restaurants craving what they are known for, naturally. But, in the name of the post, I have been venturing to other parts of the menu, and last weekend it happened at Kuma’s Corner. The dark, loud, gritty bar dipped in heavy metal, tatted up and peppered with carnivorous bear paraphernalia (kuma means bear in Japanese) is known for their great burgers, namely the signature massive Kuma Burger; thick juicy perfectly cooked Angus beef patty, crisp bacon, Cheddar, a fried egg, romaine and tomato on a soft, salty pretzel roll. Of course we had to order a couple for the table, and even waited almost 2 and half hours to finally sink our teeth into the damn thing close to midnight. It was divine. But…the lightly fried calamari appetizer with spicy cherry peppers is almost as delicious, with a creamy-citrusy lemon aïoli on the side that tones down the mix of peppers and fresh, virtually un-rubbery calamari. A suggestion from my friend, a Kuma’s regular, it was a surprising hit and held us all over while we awaited what the restaurant is known for, and rightly so, the legendary and award-winning Kuma Burger. I had been to Kuma’s only once before. Years ago, on a first date, where I (for some godforsaken reason) ordered the buffalo chicken sandwich. Let’s just say there wasn’t a second date and now I understand why. Go to Kuma’s for the burger, but start with the hidden-gem calamari. Kuma’s Corner, 2900 W. Belmont Ave., 773.604.8769

2 Comments

Filed under I like to eats, not known for