Burgers and Heavy Metal at The Lockdown

Posted by Krista on October 9, 2012

I didn’t really want a burger for lunch, but I had some time to kill and I was walking past The Lockdown and I remembered that they were supposed to have a good burger.

No one mentioned the heavy metal.

I am not a heavy metal fan. If anyone had told me that The Lockdown was all about the heavy metal, I never would have eaten here.

Do you know how hard it is to listen to excruciatingly loud, ANGRY heavy metal and eat a huge juicy burger at the same time?

I took home three-quarters of my burger — “The Punk Bitch” with garlic mustard, gruyere, and proscuitto, — and 7/8ths of my caesar salad. I ate them at home in the quiet comfort of my living room. With some Satie playing.

Everything was very good, particularly the garlicky caesar. But I won’t be going back for more.

The Verdict: LOUD, even with no patrons.

Lockdown Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

Posted in American, Burgers, Chicago, Ukrainian Village, United States, West Town | 3 Comments

TOO MUCH FOOD, Chicago Edition

Posted by Krista on April 29, 2012


Time for a break. Too many restaurants, too little time. And I’m TIRED. I know, I know. What happened to all your photos, Krista? What happened to full blog write-ups?  Frankly speaking, no one restaurant has driven me to such great lengths in a long time. So micro-reviews it is for you. For now. Personally, I kinda like the micro-review thing. It’s like Twitter. Or a Haiku. (A long one.)

Benny’s Chop House, 444 N. Wabash, River North (ish, because I kinda feel like Wabash is a bit of a wasteland and even though it’s north of the river, it’s still in The Loop, isn’t it?). When I was looking for new kitchen knobs in December (yes, I’m very domestic like that), I met Benny himself in a hardware store and made a mental note to stop in to his restaurant sometime. In return for the name and phone number of his handyman and all. So I did. (Although I never called his handyman.) It was a weekend afternoon and the place was EMPTY. I sat at the bar and had a burger. And it was so flavorless, it was sad. The bun was good though, as were the fries. (Served in their own miniature basket for frying! Genius!) But really, all I wanted was some salt and pepper. BUT wait. The PRICE. The price was kind of amazingly right. $10 for a burger and fries that is certainly better than Mickey D’s. I mean, for that, I might just have to go back. Even though the bar area kinda felt like a bad 2008 Chicago condo kitchen installation. The Verdict: If you like value for money, sit at the bar and get a burger, but ask for salt and pepper and all that other stuff.

Irazu, 1865 N. Milwaukee, Bucktown. Everyone told me I would love Irazu, one of Chicago’s only Costa Rican restaurants. Well, I didn’t. It all felt a bit unkempt and dingy, and our table was unsteady, so that was annoying. And my tilapia tacos were probably about the most underwhelming thing I’ve eaten so far in 2012. (Tilapia. In a taco. With a lot of overcooked onions. No thank you.) My friend Amy got that oatmeal shake that everyone raves about and I thought, “Gee, it’s just like drinking cold oatmeal.” The Verdict: Meh. Not so exciting. Not sure why it’s so packed.

Maza, 2415 N. Ashland, Sort of Lincoln Park-ish. I will admit to a total bias. I used to live by the old Maza on Lincoln and I always loved it. You might know my greatest goal is to go to Lebanon at some point in the near future. And I am also a sucker for hummus. So it was that I found myself at the new Maza at Ashland & Fullerton, where I heard the incredibly sad story of the owner losing the lease on his old space in West Lakeview. The landlord on Lincoln wanted a monthly sum that no sole proprietor could ever agree to. So Maza moved. And the old space remains unoccupied still. Greedy bastards. Well, bygones because we had fun at Maza and I loved my assortment of food, just like I did in the old days. I love that it’s this guy’s restaurant and it always has been and he works there all the time.  The Verdict: Support a local businessman and go. (And really, ignore the Yelp reviews.) Sadly, the proprietor hasn’t been back to Lebanon in 30+ years.

I’ve got more. A lot more. Coming up: Storefront Company, RPM Italian, and the part where I nearly die on a bar stool at Yusho. And a lot of other places that I can’t even remember at the moment. Hmmm.

Posted in American, Bucktown, Latin, Lebanese, Lincoln Park, River North | 3 Comments

I Love My Local

Posted by Krista on March 23, 2012

I’ve probably said this before. I love my Chicago local. Frontier, on Milwaukee Ave. It’s the food, mainly. Along with the soundtrack. But really it’s the food.

For someone who was gone for a while, this is casual American bar food, but grown-up. Venison chili, DUCK TACOS, pulled boar sandwiches, rabbit and dumplings, and DID I MENTION THE DUCK TACOS? And the oyster menu? And how on Tuesdays, they do $2 half pints?? The beer menu is pretty awesome as well.

Now if only they had free wifi. That would be awesome. But a minor quibble, that.

Here’s another example of how awesome they are:


They’re open for lunch now, during the week (except Mondays) but word doesn’t seem to have gotten out yet because it’s Friday as I sit here and write this and it’s pretty quiet. But that’s a welcome change from the craziness of Big Star.

My lead photo? That’s my lunch today. An Ahi tuna sandwich with crispy tobasco shallots, sprouts, WASABI GINGER MAYO, and rosemary fries. (!!!) Pretty great, for a casual Friday lunch. Excellent, actually.

Life is good.

Posted in American, Noble Square, West Town | 3 Comments

Eating Out, Chicago Edition

Posted by Krista on February 26, 2012

California Blue Line, Beautiful Day

The more things change, the more things stay the same. Sometimes the simplest explanation IS the explanation. Sometimes, you have to leave to go home. Or come home to leave. Thankfully, the winter of my homecoming last year has not been repeated. Chicago is bright and cool and BRISK. The skies are stunningly, vividly blue. I’ve worn my boots just once. And my down coat — its buttons lost somewhere between last year and this year — also just once. Everything is lovely, but it makes me feel like we are on the cusp of something. On the cusp of something big. Something huge. Something terrible.

I am frightened.

So, um, I’ll just keep going out to eat then. Here’s where I’ve been lately:

Boiler Room, 2210 N California Ave: I loved the vibe of Boiler Room. I loved the loos. (Chicago Transit doors and, even, sound effects.) I loved the beer selection and I thought our service was pretty good too. But the pizza? Undercooked, and while at least the pepperoni had some taste to it, The Purist (mozzarella, basil, balsamic reduction) was pretty tasteless. The Verdict: Meh. So much promise, but not fully realized.

The Boiler Room on Urbanspoon

Keefer’s, 20 W Kinzie: My NY Strip Steak was good. The creamed spinach was good. The potato croquettes were excellent. But our server took FOREVER to take our order, and then he claimed we didn’t order calamari to start (we did) and then at some point, a fist fight broke out between other tables. ??? Oh, and I should mention that my friend who made the reservation is a very dependable, reliable person and I was there when she called Keefer’s and booked the table. Upon arrival, they had no record of our booking. They worked things out which was good of them, but still all very odd. Oh!! And then, when the bill came, we asked for it to be divided up amongst credit cards and that was one of the most complicated conversations I’ve ever had, for what was a basic math thing. The Verdict: I’d go somewhere else before I went back here, but I did like the vibe of the room with the radios in it.

Keefer's on Urbanspoon

Nori, 954 W Diversey: I dropped in here for a quick dinner after getting a haircut at Salon Blue on Sheffield, a place I’ve been going to since 1998! (Go see Amy. Tell her Krista sent you. Funnily, Chicago Food Snob has been going to Amy forever too!) Amazing. Anyhow, obviously Penny’s isn’t doing as well as it used to because this used to be part of Penny’s next door. I sat at the bar and had the Red Nori (spicy tuna, spicy shrimp, and avocado covered with tempura crumbs, red tobiko, and unagi sauce) and it was pretty enjoyable. But then I had the Crunchy Spicy Tuna maki and it was so depressing, it made me cry. There was no crunch. It was like they forgot a step. Roll the maki in raw tempura crumbs and…sigh. The Verdict: OK. Not great. I will keep searching.

NORI Neighborhood BYOB Sushi Bar on Urbanspoon

Roka Akor, 11 W Illinois. I dropped in here for lunch with some colleagues this past Wednesday during Restaurant Week. The restaurant was curiously empty. Apparently, no one in The Loop wants to go north of the river, because Petterino’s is freaking PACKED every single afternoon. And Petterino’s is just good. And not as vibe-y as Roka Akor. Fascinating. Well, I had the restaurant week special and although I thought the Wagyu beef and kimchi dumplings were pretty luscious, the rest of the meal — the butterfish roll and the barbecued pork loin — were uninspiring. At $22 though, this was a very good value. The Verdict: Good. And the bar area seems good for solo dining.

Roka Akor on Urbanspoon

So there we are. Some recent tries in Chicago. Until next time! Let’s hope it doesn’t snow like crazy in between.

Posted in American, Chicago, Italian, Japanese, Lakeview, Logan Square, Pan-Asian, River North, United States | 1 Comment

My Week in Salads

Posted by Krista on February 6, 2012

Walgreen's Salad After a few weeks of being away from home and my regular eating habits, I start to crave vegetables in massive quantities. So it was that after I returned from Brazil, all I ate every day for lunch was salad. Luckily, even though American food has a terrible reputation for heaviness and saltiness and deep-fried-ed-ness, America does excel at salads.

I started at the new Walgreen’s on State Street. I give them six months before all they offer is Doritos and Cheetos and People magazine. But in the meantime, they have a large selection of lunch salads, and they’re super cheap too. My Southwestern Chicken salad was $5.10. (+/- a few cents. I forget exactly how much.) There were only 1.5 pieces of chicken in the salad, and the tortilla chips were a bit on the stale side, but the dressing was pretty awesome. If I were on a budget, I’d eat this salad more often.

Macy's SaladOn Tuesday, I hopped over to 7th on State at Macy’s. I am a sucker for their Shrimp Tostada salad and their pretzel bread. This is not a low-calorie salad, but it is pretty damn delicious. I normally try not to eat the bread or the fried tostada that forms the base of the salad. I focus on the greens, the shrimp, and the black beans (hidden under the lettuce). This is not a cheap salad — it generally comes in around $11 bucks — but it’s pretty darn good for the price.

Chimi Chop Salad at Native FoodsMy favorite salad of the week has to be the Chimi Chop Salad at Native Foods at 218 S Clark Street in the Chicago Loop. Another $11 salad. But no meat! Only veg. I don’t know if it’s the “warm shaved Native Peppered Seitan” (no idea what that is) or the dressing or what, but this is a damn good salad that I think about often in my spare time. I am not kidding.

Au Bon Pain Mediteranean SaladOn Thursday, I popped into Au Bon Paid for their Mediterranean Salad. This came in around $7.50 or so. Meh. Ice cold and not enough going for it. A sad, sad salad. But the balsamic dressing was nice.

Admittedly, on Friday I took a break from salad. I had a craving for some Indian food, so I went to the only place I could find in The Loop serving a curry. The place is called Curried and it kinda, well, sucks. Firstly, they screwed up my order. Secondly, if screwing up my order wasn’t bad enough, when I went up to the counter to deliver my gentle, “Hey um, so I don’t think this is mine,” the guy at the counter told me I must have made a mistake. Um, no. I didn’t make a mistake, you did. Jackass. And thirdly, while the saag paneer was nice, the chicken tikka felt like it must have come out of a box.

Atwood Cobb SaladDespite Friday’s slip up, today, I was back on the salad. I caught up my colleague Mark — he back from London, me back from Brazil — over a Winter Cobb Salad at the Atwood Cafe in The Burnham Hotel. I used to stay at The Burnham all the time for work in the old days, back when I lived across the pond. I will always have a soft spot for the hotel and its restaurant. But with or without my faded memories, this was a very nice salad. Could have used a bit more dressing, but otherwise, quite nice. Pricey though. My portion of the bill came to $24, with tip and tax. I got a lot of ingredients though, for $24. But still…sigh.

The Verdict: If I had to rank the salads, I would say…
1. Native Foods, Chimi Chop
2. 7th on State, Shrimp Tostada
3. Atwood Cafe, Winter Cobb
4. Au Bon Pain, Mediterranean Salad
5. Walgreen’s Southwestern Salad

That’s roughly $58 on salad, plus the $11 I spent on curry for $69. Wowzers. And I wonder why I have no money.

Posted in American, Chicago, Loop, United States | 3 Comments

Yes, Occasionally I Do Eat in Chicago

Posted by Krista on January 31, 2012

Some Street Art in BucktownSo many places. I really need to stop eating for a while. Or I need to only eat vegetables. Or do something about the flat tires on my two bikes. Or I need to start walking to/from work like every day. (I say this because today on my way out of work, I ran into my colleague and neighbor who has been walking home from work every day for the last year or so and he has lost so much weight…sigh.)

Charred Carrots

Bar Toma, 110 East Pearson. So firstly, I need to give them props because their location is huge (both in size and the perfectness of location) and if I were a tourist and stumbled in here, I would be very very happy. It’s casual. There’s a bar. And look…I ate some vegetables! We LOVED the charred carrots with Capriole goat cheese, almonds, and Acetaia San Giacomo balsamico. Also loved the beets and gorgonzola. Our pizza was just good, but we weren’t very creative. Just a Pizza Margherita. I tried to get my friend Aileen to have some Prosecco and she demurred. Who says no to Prosecco??? I think she’s preggars. The Verdict: Fun. Cheap. Casual.

Bar Toma on Urbanspoon

Lula Cafe, 2357 N Kedzie: I dragged my friend Amy here one afternoon after New Year’s and I think she hates me now. Lula’s was packed. We got two seats at the bar and were promptly ignored by anyone and everyone. We eventually placed our order and we were promptly ignored again. And then we ate our food — my butternut squash soup and salad were good but not swoon-worthy — and we asked for our bill and (surprise!) we were both promptly (or impromptly) ignored again. It was all rather tiresome, and we left very tired and very grouchy. The Verdict: Hard to focus on the food when the service was so terribly terribly terribly abysmal. (You can imagine my Madonna accent — yes the UK one — as I’m saying that.) I liked the decor though.

Lula Cafe on Urbanspoon

Southern Mac & Cheese

The Southern Mac & Cheese Store, 60 East Lake Street. Even though my one and only experience at The Southern in Bucktown was nothing to write home about, I really liked my Artichoke Spinach Mac & Cheese at The Southern’s newish retail outlet. Crispy where it needed to be crispy, with plenty of artichoke and spinach, only two of my favorite things. I was surprised the shop wasn’t more crowded on the day we were there. Personally, I think they need to offer half portions because of the perception of mac & cheese alone. A lot of mac & cheese is NOT good for the waistline. Somehow a sandwich of the same caloric value doesn’t have the same perception. The Verdict: I liked this, but I can’t eat like this all the time. I’ll be back once a quarter.

The Southern Mac & Cheese Store on Urbanspoon

I think I still have more to catch up. The more I eat, the less I write. I’m okay with that.

Posted in American, Chicago, Italian, Logan Square, Loop, Michigan Avenue, Modern European, United States | 2 Comments

Sleeping & Eating in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Posted by Krista on January 6, 2012

After hitting the Bahamas over Christmas, I headed to Fort Lauderdale to visit my dad. I joke that my parents saw me more when I lived in the UK; I would come home for two weeks at Christmas and not the five days that I do now. The good news for me though is I don’t go on the huge shopping binges I used to. Example: Customs officer: “Excuse me, ma’am. But can you please explain why one of your suitcases is empty and the other suitcase has nothing in it but another suitcase?” Um, the answer was for a while there? I was getting $2.05 to the British pound. Now THOSE were good times. **wistful**

To subsidize my quick visit to Fort Lauderdale, I used Starwood points from my amazing Starwood American Express card and booked a night at the W Fort Lauderdale. This  is good because after staying one night, I don’t think I’d stay here again.

Let’s start with the positives. The view from my room was pretty great. Fort Lauderdale is a city right on the ocean, with a great beachfront path for running and biking. That’s nice. Also nice, the Bliss bath products, but I decided afterwards that I didn’t really like the Bliss shampoo and conditioner. I did like the body butter and the face wash though.

Now on to the negatives. First thing, my cousin and I saw a hooker on the side of the road when we got off the expressway earlier that morning. She turned up at the hotel!! I know they can’t control their guests, but I was seriously standing there, looking at this woman and thinking, “Seriously? Isn’t it a little early to be hooking? And two days after Christmas? Come on.” (But  as I’ve learned over time, the sex trade knows no time constraints, and I can tell you from experience that the holidays are the busiest time of the year. There are A LOT of lonely people out there.)

Then, the colors used in the hotel. Fort Lauderdale is a happy place. Colorful. This hotel was painted darker than battleship gray. This bothered me. Also, although my room in that picture looks nice, there was a bit of an IKEA feel to things that I can’t really explain. Also no free wifi and no slippers. And the slowest elevators in the world. In short, having stayed at many hotels in Fort Lauderdale over the years, I wouldn’t stay here again. Try the Hilton or The Ritz.

Now, to food…my dad took me to three different places while I was in Fort Lauderdale and while none of them are super-gourmet, two of the three might be worth a visit if you are ever in town and looking for something basic and local and not fussy.

Fort Lauderdale Ale House, 2861 N Federal Highway: Definitely a locals place, just because of its location on a busy commercial strip. This is an efficiently run sports bar with bar food to match. I had a grouper sandwich, sweet potato fries, and an Arnold Palmer (half lemonade, half iced tea). My dad swore that one of the cops from the TV Show “Cops” (The Broward County edition) was in the Ale House while we were there, but I have no idea. The Verdict: Perfectly acceptable, but probably not worth going out of your way.

The Lauderdale Grill, 1901 Cordova Road: The more I talked to our server/bartender here, the more I liked the place. They smoke their own meat on premises, and I enjoyed my 10 oz smoked prime rib. Also, the caesar salad I had to start was one of the best examples I’ve had since my repatriation, with just the right touch of creamy, salty, garlicky dressing. Lastly, we visited during happy hour so our drinks were half off! Can’t beat that! The Verdict: Good.  Go during happy hour.

Quarterdeck, 1541 Cordova Road: I’ve been going to this place since I was a teenager, so I’ll always have a soft spot for it. This time around, my dad and I split six of the biggest oysters I think I’ve ever had in my entire life. (They were the server’s recommendation. Our receipt said “Blu Point” but I know nothing else.) Our server was slow, but otherwise, my blackened grouper caesar salad was quite nice. (Sorry, when in South Florida, I’m a bit predictable with the grouper thing.) The Verdict: Good. Check their Web site first for specials, which can be quite a steal. My dad had a nice sandwich and side for $5.99, making up for the oyster purchase.

Random Fun Moment: While I was out to dinner with my dad, I saw on Twitter that my London blogging friend Mathilde (she, now of Paris) was in Fort Lauderdale! Where was she staying? Of course at The W! So we had a nice night catching up over champagne with her and her husband and their two friends. The world is a small place sometimes, for sure.

Posted in American, Bar Food, Florida, United States | Comments Off

Where I’ve Been Eating, Chicago Edition

Posted by Krista on January 4, 2012

 Winter is upon us here in Chicago. And I’m not happy about that. As I write this, it’s 22 Fahrenheit outside. That’s -5 Celsius for the rest of you. Yes. No fun. So I’m heading to South America. Seriously. But in preparation for my departure, I’ve been eating where and when I can. Here’s the latest…

Vera: First stop, Vera in the West Loop. I like Vera for the sherry alone. Americans don’t drink enough sherry. So I’ve been drinking enough to make up for the rest of you, but you really do need to get on this and widen your drinking horizons. While we were at Vera, we settled in for mixed platters of meats and cheeses. My favorite dish of the evening though had to be the anchovies. I don’t know what it is about me and anchovies lately, but I just can’t get enough. I’ll be back here to sample more of the menu, as we were only there for sherry and snacks. The Verdict: Recommended for the sherry selection and the very nice Spanish menu.

Vera Chicago on Urbanspoon

Slurping Turtle: I dropped in here on a Friday afternoon…I think it was their first week of business. Well, that will teach me because I totally suffered the consequences. Service was ridiculously, abysmally slow. (All my American romanticizing about service in America while I was living abroad? I’ve yet to have my expectations MET…forget about having them exceeded. America, what has happened to you???) Service aside, my Yuke Tataki of beef tartar, spicy chili paste, sesame oil, and quail egg was pretty awesome. The pork belly snack was also pretty great. The Verdict: Recommended for interesting Japanese food and communal seating/solo dining.

Slurping Turtle on Urbanspoon

Jerry’s: I ended up working from home one day for some reason or another and was going a little stir crazy so I needed to get out of the house for lunch. I discovered that there’s barely ANYTHING open on Division in Wicker Park during lunch so I found myself at Jerry’s, which was fine because I wanted a salad anyhow. Jerry’s is very low-key. I liked that. I also liked that they made their own sodas on the premises, so I had something lovely with lime and ginger. Then I ordered a salad, which actually came with a side. (!!!) So I had some creamed spinach. This was all very acceptable, although the service — yet again — was pretty poor. I had no idea where the guy was half the time. Maybe he was in the back making soda. The Verdict: Not a destination, but a good place for lunch.

Jerry's Sandwiches on Urbanspoon

So…that’s three places I’ve been recently. How about you? Been anywhere good recently?

Posted in American, Chicago, Japanese, River North, Spanish, United States, West Loop, Wicker Park | Comments Off

Pittsfield Cafe, The Loop

Posted by Krista on December 2, 2011

I’ve always wanted to have a regular haunt. Not for dinner…I like variety too much for dinner. But for lunch, a regular sit down place where the hostess and waitstaff know my name and my preferences and the guy sitting next to me has been coming in for lunch for 20 years…that’s what I want.

And I’ve missed American diners. With their large and multi-ethnic menus (Gyro? Stir-fry? Latkes?) and their appreciation of breakfast for lunch and dinner for breakfast. The concept of time? It does not exist within a true diner.

Yesterday, I had a hankering for breakfast for lunch. This is part Atkins-induced (yes) and part my love of omelettes in general. Pittsfield Cafe it was. The Mr Gyro omelet, with lamb and feta cheese. And a Diet Coke. And no judgement.


The Verdict: I’ll be back. Back until they know my name. And maybe they’ll even name an omelet after me.

P.S.: The Pittsfield building is totally gorgeous too. I’ll post photos at some point.

Pittsfield Cafe on Urbanspoon

Posted in American, Chicago, United States | 1 Comment

Where I’ve Been Eating, Chicago Edition

Posted by Krista on November 23, 2011

Rootstock Soup

Rootstock, Humboldt Park: I dropped into Rootstock with my friend Amy one drizzly Sunday a couple of weeks ago. I love it here, and I am mad at myself for not biking over more frequently over the summer. It’s a very low-fi place, and they serve brunch til 4 pm on Sundays, which is pretty awesome. My only complaint is that once 4 pm rolls around, they really really want you out.

Having been a Webster Wine Bar fan for many years, I can tell there’s a connection between the two places. The furniture, the wall color and decor…it’s all very similar. All I had here was a bowl of butternut squash soup, but it was very very nice and I would be pleased to go back to try more of the concise menu. I like concise menus.

Rootstock Wine and Beer Bar on Urbanspoon

Cantina Laredo, River North: Popped into here for a big work lunch a few weeks ago. Our group was big enough that we were given their private dining room, which is a very nice space with lots of natural light. My colleague Mark, who is from Texas, thought the food was the best Tex-Mex he’d had in Chicago. I thought my fish tacos were dry and flavorless. This place is HUGE so I’m sure it’s good for convention traffic and large groups on the weekends.

Cantina Laredo on Urbanspoon

Rudy’s Bar & Grill, The Loop. “Home of the Milkshake Martini.” I don’t want a milkshake martini, and can’t imagine anyone else does either, but the burgers are okay. They toasted the bun, which always gets points in my book. They sat me next to the mop closet though, which subtracts points in my book. I liked the idea of my burger–a Mexican burger, with poblano strips, chorizo, pepperjack cheese, pico de gallo, serrano mayo and “avacado spread.” But all I tasted was avocado, and the burger was not medium–it was closer to medium-well. And the fries were soggy. Plenty of people would like it here, and the Christmas decor made for a happy environment. But I don’t know if I’d seek this place out again.

Rudy’s Bar and Grill on Urbanspoon

Posted in American, Bar Food, Chicago, Humboldt Park, Loop, Mexican, River North, United States, Wine | Comments Off

Where I’ve Been Eating, Chicago Edition

Posted by Krista on October 30, 2011

Native Foods, Wicker Park: I want to like Native Foods because I want to feel virtuous all the time. And you know, as a lover of food of all kinds, I can get down with veganism once or twice a year. But my Soul Bowl at Native Foods was two-thirds cardboard.  (The Soul Bowl is made up of Southern fried Native Chicken (i.e., not chicken), red beans, rice, steamed veggies, and kale dressed with ranch and BBQ suace and served with cornbread.) After eating half of this dish, I came to the sudden realization that I do not really like kale. The Native Chicken was pretty good, for not being chicken and all. I might go back here for my twice-yearly “I need to feel virtuous” visit but otherwise…meh.

Native Foods Cafe on Urbanspoon

DMK Burger Bar, Lakeview: I refuse to go back to Fish Bar, so after my last hair cut, I dropped into DMK for a burger.  They have a weird space issue going on…it’s like the space is just a little too big for them. But service was pretty cheerful and helpful and I liked my roasted hatch green chili, fried egg, sonoma jack and smoked bacon burger. My only complaint was the usual one: SOGGY BUN SYNDROME. I really need to remember to ask restaurants to toast my bun for me before serving. I really liked the lemon alioli they did with the sweet potato fries. Everything is served on small little plates though. That’s weird. I would still go back here though.

DMK Burger Bar on Urbanspoon


Siam Rice, The Loop: Dropped in here one afternoon for a quick work lunch. We got here on the early side, and for that I remain grateful. Because by the time we left, we couldn’t even get out the front door, so crowded was it. My Thai green curry — a standard by which I measure most Thai restaurants — was watery and missing its zip. I was very disappointed. I would not go back here. Or if I did, I would not have the green curry.

Siam Rice on Urbanspoon

Hot Woks, Cool Sushi: Another quick lunch during the work week. I love the idea of a bento box, but in this one, the only thing worth eating was the vegetable tempura. (With one battered shrimp thrown in for good measure.) The chicken teriyaki was dry and flavorless and the California rolls were oddly assembled. I would not go back here.

Hot Woks Cool Sushi Millenium Park on Urbanspoon

I am still way behind. More Chicago, plus Mexico City, Doha, Tel Aviv ahead. Stay tuned.

Posted in American, Burgers, Chicago, Lincoln Park, Loop, Pan-Asian, Thai, United States, Wicker Park | 2 Comments

Breakfast AND Lunch

Posted by Krista on October 22, 2011

The amazingly so-good-but-so-so-bad ham and egg sandwich at Frontier on Milwaukee, one of my locals. I probably shouldn’t be eating this. But I don’t plan on eating again until somewhere around midnight (this will all become clearer shortly), so I am justifying it all.

I like Frontier. I like the menu. I like the service. I hate the volume of the music at times, and the ladies room is designed for people with no knees. But otherwise, I’m glad to have it around. Especially early on a Saturday when my cupboards are, once again, bare.

Happy weekend, everyone.

Frontier on Urbanspoon

Posted in American, Brunch, Chicago, Noble Square, United States | 2 Comments