Blog Profile / The Food Chain

Filed Under:United States / Chicago
Posts on Regator:1276
Posts / Week:3.4
Archived Since:June 16, 2009

Blog Post Archive

Venezuelan spot Bienmesabe is a hit with Cubs catcher Willson Contreras and other expat baseball players

There isn't much about the drab interior of the Ravenswood Venezuelan restaurant Bienmesabe that commits itself to memory. At least that's true until you make your way toward the restrooms at the rear of the dining room, where you'll...Show More Summary

Talking Taste Talks Chicago with Lula Cafe chef Jason Hammel

Taste Talks, a food-centered conference that launched in Brooklyn in 2013, returns to Chicago this weekend for its third year. A day full of panel discussions and chef demos is bookended by several events dedicated to eating food rather...Show More Summary

Don’t sleep on the exceptional chilaquiles at Brother’s Restaurant in Avondale

We ask a lot of the diner, and all too often the diner disappoints. How can we expect the all-purpose concept—promising omnicompetence with regard to everything from French toast to Denver omelets to turkey wraps to chili—to execute any of it, beyond basics like eggs and toast, really well?…

Finch Beer Co. & Kitchen puts a bird on the former Breakroom Brewery

Since opening five years ago, Finch's Beer Co. has struggled to find its place in Chicago.…

Worlds collide in the Korean-Polish street food of Kimski

One could argue that there are no two cuisines more at odds than Korean and Polish. The former's assertiveness and complexity has well established its adaptive qualities, from Korean-Mexican mashups pioneered by L.A.'s Kogi BBQ trucks to cheffy permutations prepared through a Western culinary lens (see Ruxbin, Parachute, Hanbun).…

Paulie Gee’s Logan Square and Robert’s Pizza: A tale of two very different pizzas

For longer than I care to remember Little Caesars (whose headquarters are located in Detroit) was the default cheap pizza of choice among certain unseasoned members of my household. Whenever their chums arrived with little-to-no notice this inexpensive affront to Sicilian pizza was a reliable source of feed that could keep the monsters appeased.…

What’s up with poke, man?

While shaking my fist at Wicker Park's lazily nostalgic Mahalo last week, I began wondering how the hell we got here. What's behind the sudden surge in Hawaiian food, particularly poke, the raw fish salad, typically piled on any variety...Show More Summary

Elizabeth Tamny's cookies look too good to eat—but don’t let that stop you

Elizabeth Tamny has been immersed in the world of the cookie arts since December. She's not baking snickerdoodles or Toll House, but rather applying her illustrative and calligraphic skills to sugar and chocolate-mint cookies.…

With Cruz Blanca, Empire Bayless adds a taqueria and cervecería

While the dazzling array of Baja-inspired seafood dishes at Rick Bayless's fantastic Leña Brava can be a bit overwhelming, next door at its sister cervecería/taqueria things couldn't be simpler.   …

Make street food at home with help from a new cookbook by the grilling and drinking collective ManBQue

A few years back I had the pleasure of judging a hot dog competition at Schuba's. Among the competitors were a few dudes from the men's grilling and drinking collective ManBQue who'd won the previous year.…

Pork & Mindy’s brings the bacon to Bucktown

"Put a pig on it" could be the motto at Pork & Mindy's, the Bucktown sandwich shop from the Food Network's Jeff Mauro, aka the "Sandwich King." In addition to smoked pork (available in sandwiches, atop tater tots, and as an add-on to...Show More Summary

Boo-Il Galbi is one of Chicago’s last great Korean barbecue joints

I know I've whinged quite a bit over the years about the declining quality in Korean restaurants in the city over the years, largely in part due to the slow evacuation of Koreatown's inhabitants for the suburbs. I should qualify that...Show More Summary

The Gelato World Tour hits Millennium Park this weekend

In order to promote gelato—and encourage the Americas to catch up to Italy's 39,000 gelaterias (the U.S. has only 900)—the Gelato World Tour is stopping in Millennium Park today through Sunday. Just don't call it ice cream; the organizers...Show More Summary

The octopus and fish go down fighting at Shiroi Sushi

Five years ago when I wrote about the supposed embiggening powers of sannakji (aka "Korean Viagra," aka recently dispatched and dismembered octopus still wriggling and suckering with residual nerve activity), I was mildly disappointed that the pair I purchased at HMart didn't have the same vitality as the ones I'd been served in South Korea. Show More Summary

Hump it over to Eric Grill for camel meat Fridays

When I guzzled camel milk from the Muslim Women Resource Center Community Discount Store on Devon last summer, I discovered something: camel protein is where it's at. It's also at Eric Grill in West Rogers Park.  …

Yakitori Boogytori cements the northwest suburbs' reputation as a hub of Japanese drinking food

Speaking of all the great Japanese food in Arlington Heights, a new strip mall spot opened last January, joining notable north suburban izakaya like Kurumaya and Sankyu in cementing the northwest suburbs' rep as the place to be for Japanese drinking food (much as they are for Korean drinking food). Show More Summary

Alinea, Grace chef Curtis Duffy, and Land and Sea Dept. all wore Beards last night

A developing case of the croup kept me away from the Civic Opera House last night, where the 2016 James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards gala [insert obligatory "Oscars of the food world" reference here] was held for the second year here in Chicago. Show More Summary

Three new stands are reinvigorating the Japanese superstore Mitsuwa Marketplace

There have been big doings at Mitsuwa Marketplace over the last six months. Things had been looking rather grim for a while in the usually teeming food court of the Japanese superstore in Arlington Heights, especially after the demise of Gabutto Burger.…

Lakeview microdeli Snaggletooth is easy to get hooked on

Until late February the term "snaggletooth" didn't conjure many lovely associations. It's the name, for example, of Motorhead's ferocious canine mascot (and its eponymous song).…

Will Warm Belly Bakery's cookies overtake the doughnut as Chicago's pastry of choice?

There is a deeply complex science behind cookie baking. Aside from the question of butter versus margarine versus Crisco (butter, always), it's something I never really bothered to consider until a few months ago when I saw it had been given the full J. Kenji López-Alt Food Lab treatment on the website Serious Eats.…

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