4.11.2017

Recent Foodie Finds

Happy spring! I hope everyone had a chance to enjoy some of the fab weather we had over the weekend. I know for some of you it has been spring for at least a month now, but up until recently, it was still very much winter here (there's nothing quite like those late March surprise snowstorms to simultaneously dash your hopes and get your blood boiling). I have to say even with the somewhat warmer temperatures, it's still hard to believe we are already mid-April! Between my trip to Mexico, a spring break mini girls getaway to the Kohler Waters Spa with Diana (soooo fantastic), and all of the usual grading insanity this time of the year brings, it suddenly jumped from early March to mid-April.

After a bit of a Chicago restaurant visit hiatus, I finally got back on track over the weekend. I spent Friday checking out Toscano, the newest pop-up restaurant at Eataly (make your reservations now, as it's only around through the end of the month!) and Gayle's Best Ever Grilled Cheese, in anticipation of National Grilled Cheese Day. On Saturday, Jess and I ate our way through the new Almost Famous brunch at SteakBar... and then promptly fell into massive food comas. I had to spend the rest of the day working on homework - that was a serious struggle after tackling such a massive spread! Finally, on Sunday, I headed out once again to check out the new brunch options at Maggiano's; the lemon ricotta pancakes and meatball benedict were both clear winners.

Here are a few of my recent foodie finds (follow me on Instagram for even more - make sure you swing by today to enter my awesome giveaway with Renaissance Chicago O'Hare/Asado Urban Grill!)...

Breakfast Sandwich with fried mortadella, egg, cheese, housemade giardiniera, and pistachio pesto at Bar Lupo. This was one of the best breakfast sandwiches I've had in a long time! I absolutely loved the addition of the pistachio pesto - it perfectly complemented the salty mortadella and gave the sandwich a unique twist.


Ricotta Toast with black truffle, honey, and dill at Bar Lupo. While I expected the avocado toast with salmon to be my favorite, I ended up falling hard for their brilliant ricotta toast. The creamy ricotta and nutty black truffle paired so wonderfully with the slight sweetness from the honey. It was a straight up party in my mouth! Jess and I both agreed that the ricotta toast is definitely something that helps set Bar Lupo's brunch menu apart from the numerous other options in the area.

Sapporo Battered Alaskan Cod Taco with mango salsa, baja slaw, and yogurt sauce, and Crispy Shrimp Tacos with avocado, baja slaw, and sashimi sauce at Buzz Bait Taqueria. Considering fish tacos are my favorite, I don't know why it took me to long to get over to Buzz Bait, but I'm so glad I finally did! I tried just about everything on the menu; while I would definitely order any one of their tacos again (seriously, you cannot go wrong there), the shrimp taco was my favorite of them all.



When you get really, really excited at the build-your-own Bloody Mary Bar at Benchmark Bar and *must add all the foods.* I may have been a bit overenthusiastic (not to mention that I may have overestimated exactly how much I could eat), but I mean, come on. How can you not go overboard and build the most fabulous drink ever when presented with so many options?!


T&B Burger: 1/2 lb. bison patty, jalapeno aioli, chorizo, grilled shrimp, pepper jack cheese, and guacamole on a brioche bun at T&B Grill. As I mentioned on Instagram, why choose between a taco and a burger when you can have a mashup of both?!

Steak Frites with bordelaise sauce at The Blanchard. For years, I wasn't much of a red meat eater (I was the one who would go to a steakhouse and order seafood), but I've gotten to the point in my life in which I can really appreciate a well-prepared steak. The Blachard's version of steak frites is one that I can order over and over again! Rather than using flank steak, they use super tender tournedos; of all of the versions of the dish I've had in the city, this one is definitely near the top of my list.


Lover's Roll: heart-shaped maki filled with spicy smoked salmon, squash tempura, and masago, wrapped in tuna at Seadog Sushi Bar. Not only is this roll perfectly presented, it's also super tasty, thanks to the combination of the spicy fish and crunchy squash tempura. This Michelin-recommended tiny neighborhood spot consistently has some of the freshest and most inventive rolls found outside of the more expensive/splashy sushi spots in the city.



New obsession: the insanely addictive Waffle Sundae at Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream. Two scoops of ice cream (I went with brambleberry crisp and brown butter almond brittle), salted caramel, nuts, and fresh whipped cream on top of a glazed waffle (I choose salted maple). Pure deliciousness!


There's a brand-new brunch menu at Robert's Pizza Company and I am officially smitten! My favorites include the LoxZA with smoked salmon and double cream cheese, along with the *amazing* Brussels Sprout and Applewood Smoked Bacon with dates, smoked mozzarella, and balsamic glaze. So much goodness!


Tonkotsu Ramen with Kurobota: rich and creamy pork broth, pork belly, and al dente noodles at Strings Ramen. Ramen is one of those foods that once I see of photo of it, I instantly want it. As Instagram has been flooded with ramen shots lately, I've been on quite the ramen bender! My current favorite ramen can be found at Strings in Chinatown - the seemingly simple broth has a deep roasted flavor that intensifies as you happily slurp your way through the bowl.

I'm a big fan of Argo Tea (the MojiTea and the Hibiscus Lemonade are my go-to drinks), so I was excited to get my hands on some samples of their ready-to-drink bottled teas. The all-natural bottled versions of their teas are perfect for me, as I work in the middle of nowhere (where they are sadly lacking in Argo Tea locations). Thankfully, they're just as refreshing and delicious as the ones you'll find in the shops!


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6 comments

  1. Replies
    1. It was such a fantastic meal! I'll definitely be back soon!

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  2. Thank you so much for having us on your list. ��

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    Replies
    1. Everything was so good! You'll see me again soon.

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  3. Thank you so much for the kind words, we appreciate it! :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the delicious meal! I'll see you again soon!

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