Blog Profile / The Food Chain

Filed Under:United States / Chicago
Posts on Regator:1577
Posts / Week:5.3
Archived Since:June 16, 2009

Blog Post Archive

Moxee Restaurant on Maxwell Street has moxie—and house-brewed beer

University Village's Moxee Restaurant has included Mad Mouse Brewery since it first opened last May—and the restaurant is named for Moxee City, Washington, the "hops capital of the world"—but until recently the house beers have been brewed in collaboration with Michigan's Saugatuck Brewing up at the Saugatuck facility. Show More Summary

Elizabeth gets companions, 5 Loaves gets a shock, and more food news

The terrific-looking fried chicken and the entirely decent waffle you see above come from 5 Loaves Eatery, a south-side breakfast place that immediately charmed my kids and I when we visited after touring the Regal Theater during Open House Chicago. Show More Summary

Xi'an Cuisine is Chinatown's idea of a sandwich shop

I visited a newish Chinatown spot called Xi'an Cuisine a couple of weeks ago, but neglected to mention it until I saw that Steve Dolinsky, a longtime and serious fan of Chinese food, had posted about it on his website. It's entirelyShow More Summary

How a chef cures meats for Chicago's first-ever Charcuterie Week

I was at Rare Tea Cellar, gourmet tea and food importer Roderick Markus's warehouse, a Batcave of wonders along the Ravenswood line, in mid-January. Phillip Foss (El Ideas) and a couple of his cooks were there, tasting different things—scattered...Show More Summary

There's a dangerous new soup dumpling in Chinatown

Legitimate soup dumplings, or xiao long bao, have been and remain about as common as Sasquatch in these parts. Every now and then they make an appearance but rarely stick around for long.… [ Read more ] [ Subscribe to the comments on this story ]

The Brits sling pretty good Neapolitan pies at Pizza East in Soho House

When the British-born private club/hotel Soho House opened off Randolph Street last year I was less offended by the idea of an exclusive playground that requires head shots to vet its privileged potential membership than I was by the...Show More Summary

You're gonna wanna getta muffaletta from J.P. Graziano

I had to be in the West Loop for an interview for an upcoming piece, so I thought the logical thing to do for lunch was to go to Nonna's to try this thing that Mike Sula wrote about Monday. But that was before I saw the Twitter exchange between Jim Graziano, of the much-loved J.P. Show More Summary

Nonna's Italian Dip Lampredotto is one gutsy sandwich

When I first visited Florence as a young whelp I was too much of a wuss to try the city's signature panini di lampredotto, a tripe sandwich sold from street stalls all over the city. Historically a workingman's sandwich, it was a cheap, high-protein way to fill up on the way to the olive orchards.… [ Read more ] [ Subscribe to the comments on this story ]

Chicago's next food trend: Mission Chinese

I was talking to John Manion, chef-owner of La Sirena Clandestina, for this post about the restaurant's empanadas, and we were discussing what the next hot trend in dining would be, after such past hits as ramen (which still continues to produce new entries, like Shin Thompson's Furious Spoon, opening on Wednesday), doughnuts, and pork belly. Show More Summary

Locally made she-devil salsa will androgynize your huevos

Salsa macha is an oil-based salsa—more like a chili paste—that originated in Veracruz. I'm not sure we'll ever know why someone decided to name this excellent condiment with the feminine form of macho, but local tamale and masa tycoons...Show More Summary

Illinois's first in-restaurant cheese-making operation has 'kind of taken off'

The ambitious, possibly slightly insane charcuterie and cheese-making program that Cafe Des Architectes chef Greg Biggers started at the Sofitel Hotel—the first restaurant cheese-making program to be licensed by the state of Illinois—was the subject of this piece in the Reader's Food Issue last November. Show More Summary

Taste of Trinidad doubles the city's options for 'doubles'

My friends over at LTHForum beat me to the punch about Taste of Trinidad, a new spot in Rogers Park that brings the number of places in the city where you can access the food of Trinidad and Tobago up to precisely two. That the menus...Show More Summary

Jewish comfort food is hiding in plain sight at Frances' Deli

The state of deli food in Chicago—or, rather, the lack of deli food in Chicago—is a common topic of conversation among food enthusiasts. As recently as the 1960s and 1970s there were healthy deli scenes in Rogers Park and other parts...Show More Summary

The Ameri-Chinese standards at Hong Huah are packed with love instead of cornstarch

Can you remember the last time you ate shrimp toast that wouldn't make an appropriate substitute for a racquetball? What about hot-and-sour soup that didn't seem like it was harvested from a pneumoniac's hanky.… [ Read more ] [ Subscribe to the comments on this story ]

Oak + Char chef Joseph Heppe isn't a prodigy—he's a pro

Food media loves stories of prodigies who always knew what they were meant to do—young Rick Bayless grinding masa for his PB&J tortillas, young Grant Achatz spherifying his Froot Loops. But few of us are really like that—we start out...Show More Summary

Henry's Swing Club has shaggy 70s charm in a sleek River North body

There's no Henry at Henry's Swing Club. The name comes from a 1947 John Lee Hooker song called "Boogie Chillen'" about a blues club in Detroit.… [ Read more ] [ Subscribe to the comments on this story ]

Where's there's smoke, there's jerk at Jerky Jerk Caribbean Grille

I don't know if I've ever encountered a more discouraging looking jerk chicken joint than Rogers Park's Jerky Jerk Caribbean Grille. It was empty and cold at midday, the music blared, and the sole employee on the premises appeared to be more interested in talking to himself than approaching the counter.… [ Read more ] [ Subscribe to the comments on this story ]

Beneath Momotaro, the city's other new izakaya

Like comrade Sula, whose review of Bucktown's new Izakaya Mita went live last week, I've long had an interest in the idea of the izakaya, the Japanese bar with a menu of compatible drinking foods, though my divergent experiences often left me confused about what izakaya fare typically was. Show More Summary

How an old-school Pilsen carnitas joint plans to move into the next generation

If you order carnitas at a chain burrito place, you will likely get roasted, shredded pork shoulder. For Marcos Carbajal, that's like using "barbecue" to mean only one kind of meat.… [ Read more ] [ Subscribe to the comments on this story ]

Takos Koreanos redeems poutine

I've gone on record many times with the unpopular assertion that most poutine is unfit for hyena chow. That said I'm not above appreciating exceptions.… [ Read more ] [ Subscribe to the comments on this story ]

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