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Blog Profile / The Food Chain

Filed Under:United States / Chicago
Posts on Regator:1484
Posts / Week:5.4
Archived Since:June 16, 2009

Blog Post Archive

A mobile barbecue podcast needs some dough

I can think of only one time that I've ever been on radio or TV (a small sample, admittedly) when there was really first-class food in the green room. That was at WGN Radio a few months back, and the other guest was Barry Sorkin of Smoque...Show More Summary

What I saw (and ate) as a judge at the Hamburger Hop

The official photographer looked a little miffed that I kept taking photographs of the photographers, especially with my $100 pocket camera, but I got a kick out of it. The most amusing thing, though, was the idea of being lined up in...Show More Summary

Barbecue heaven is for real and it's in Kentucky

All that bad barbecue I wrote about last week put me in a coma. But I did see a bright shining light while I was out, and heard a pleasant southern drawl beckoning me toward it.… [ Read more ] [ Subscribe to the comments on this sto...

The raw bar at the Ravenswood Mariano's is shucking some great bivalves

I'm in danger of becoming a champion of mega grocery chain Mariano's, if only for the quality of the prepared food stalls in the new Ravenswood store. I've already professed my strong like for the barbecue, a damn sight better than the majority of new independent restaurants purporting to smoke meat.… [ Read more ] [ Subscribe to the comments on this story ]

How Iliana Regan cooks up foraged frogs

Yesterday I wrote about going with Iliana Regan to forage frogs—the precise name is frog giggin'—on a golf course in Indiana, near where she grew up. It was three days before I got an e-mail saying that she would have a dish to show off.… [ Read more ] [ Subscribe to the comments on this story ]

One Bite: Sorry soft shells at Cy's King Crab Oyster Bar & Grill

For all the restaurants I went to this spring and summer, I somehow failed to eat any soft-shell crabs, a situation I was certain would lead to some sort of eldritch curse, like my skin sloughing off and revealing a hard, plated carapace. Show More Summary

Night of the frogs: Gigging with Iliana Regan of Elizabeth

Foraging for upscale restaurants conjures up an image of delicate flora being found in forests or fields, and then turned into fey little green things applied with tweezers to artful dishes. It does not, to most city-dwelling sophisticates, suggest stabbing things in the night with a big pointy pitchfork.… [ Read more ] [ Subscribe to the comments on this story ]

A legendary barbecue name from the past reemerges—with a chicken joint

There's a tiny "aquarium" smoker, the smallest model I've ever seen, in the window of month-old Crazy Bird Chicken in the East Garfield Park neighborhood. But Larry Tucker, a man once celebrated for barbecue back when it hardly existed on the north side, seems ambivalent about using it.… [ Read more ] [ Subscribe to the comments on this story ]

One Bite: The meaty carne en su jugo at Taqueria Los Gallos #2

Friend of the Food Chain Rob Lopata has probably forgotten more bowls of carne en su jugo than I'll ever eat. Fortunately his 2006 citywide survey of 16 of the meaty bowls remains viable, at least in the case of his number-one pick.… [ Read more ] [ Subscribe to the comments on this story ]

The Red Lion Grill: A British-style pub, minus the beer

Things don’t seem to have gone well for Logan Square's Red Lion Grill—originally to be named the Red Lion Pub and Grill—in its first few months. First it turned out that the Red Lion Pub in Lincoln Park, which closed six years ago, was...Show More Summary

The good, the bad, and the really bad—a roundup of three newish barbecue spots

Which do you want first—the good news or the bad news? I wouldn't be the self-flagellating grump I am if I didn't seek out whatever new barbecue joints have popped up from month to month.… [ Read more ] [ Subscribe to the comments on this story ]

Mfk's Scott Worsham: 'Simple things are the hardest to do'

Big restaurant openings have to have PR that starts working from a mile away. That's fine, but it would be a much duller scene to cover if things didn't also pop up out of the blue, unannounced, and take the city by charm alone.… [ Read more ] [ Subscribe to the comments on this story ]

Neapolitan pizza becomes a lifestyle choice in the West Loop

I was talking to Jim Graziano, of the wonderful J.P. Graziano Italian grocery on Randolph Street, about the changes in the old wholesalers' district turned hot restaurant row, and he made the observation that there's kind of nothing to do there besides have a really fancy meal. Show More Summary

Bayless, Duffy, and other chefs take their shot at Modern Mexican

"What is the relevance of the Mexican pantry in modern cuisine?" asked Rick Bayless of a crowd of about 60 or 70 people assembled lecture-hall-style in front of a test kitchen area at Kendall College on Saturday morning. The chef ofShow More Summary

Worlds collide with the Hot Doug's-Butcher & Larder sausage collaboration

In its final days the lines at Hot Doug's don't need a reason to get any longer, but they likely will starting tomorrow when Doug Sohn releases a three-years-in-the-making collaboration with Rob Levitt of the Butcher & Larder. It's a truffle bratwurst with foie gras, chicharrones, and herb dijonnaise.… [ Read more ] [ Subscribe to the comments on this story ]

One Bite: Logan Poser Ramen 2.0

I've been working (and photographing) my way through the city's ramen, now that it is the hippest thing to eat in the city and will be for at least another month. The other night I went to eat and photograph Yusho's Logan Poser Ramen, a dish whose name has only become more apropos with time.… [ Read more ] [ Subscribe to the comments on this story ]

Obsessive French pastry for a Mexican neighborhood

Are we entering a golden age of French pastry in Chicago? That might be a tall claim, but it's a fact that within the last year we've had three new places open doing superb croissants and other pastries with classical technique.… [ Read more ] [ Subscribe to the comments on this story ]

The guy who gave us Grant Achatz

Grant Achatz's time at Trio, from 2001 to 2004, is the subject of Next's latest menu, but if Achatz got his start as a head chef there, Trio didn't start with Achatz by a long shot. The Evanston restaurant was already ranked among the...Show More Summary

Modern Mexican galore, and other events

It's fall and there are things to do! Here are several of them!… [ Read more ] [ Subscribe to the comments on this story ]

Grant Achatz has a Trio class reunion at Next

Next's latest menu, a retrospective look back at Trio, the Evanston restaurant that made a former French Laundry sous chef named Grant Achatz into one of the city's—and eventually one of the world's—most famous chefs, started this past weekend. Show More Summary

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