August 2020 | chicago foodie girl


Chicago Eats: Immm Rice & Beyond

Located right off the bustling Broadway and Argyle intersection (a neighborhood known for some of the best Southeast Asian restaurants in Chicago), Immm Rice & Beyond is a casual BYOB spot specializing in Thai street food. Most known for their khao rad gang (which roughly translates to "rice lunch plate"), the restaurant boasts an extensive menu of fare most commonly found at Thai food stalls and street carts. Along with their popular lunch plates, they also offer several noodle soups and a rotating selection of kreung jim, relishes/dips typically eaten with vegetables and rice.

The moment you walk through the front door of Immm, you're enveloped in the tempting rich and pungent aromas of the stews and curries simmering on the steam table. The offerings include various favorites like Sliced Coconut in Panang Curry, Tamarind-Red Curry with Pork Belly, and a  5-Spice Stew with Braised Pork Belly, Egg, and Puff Tofu, as well as specials such as Mackerel and Veggies in a Southern Fermented Fish Entrails Stew. If you've never been to a place like Immm, the smells can be overwhelming (as you'll want to order *everything*!), but part of the fun is diving in and sampling their recommended favorites, as well as the ever-changing daily specials!


Thai Select #ThaiFood4Heroes

Tum Thai Salad from Immm Rice & Beyond

While most of this year has been complicated, confusing, and difficult for so many, numerous restaurants across the country have banded together to do what they do best: take care of their communities. Independent, mom-and-pop Thai restaurants under Thai Select USA (a Thai government certified program that provides a seal of approval for authentic Thai restaurants) have made it their mission to feed and thank our frontline workers and healthcare heroes as part of the #ThaiFood4Heroes campaign.

The movement initially kicked off in New York, New Jersey, and California, with a total of 74 top Thai eateries joining in and cooking up nearly 5,000 meals that were served to frontline workers. As healthcare workers on the front lines are still working long, hard hours amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the program continues to expand to other states, Florida being the most recent to join the cause.

Over the next few weeks, I'll be featuring several of the fantastic Thai Select USA restaurants in Chicago that are continuing to give selflessly to keep the frontline workers fed (starting with my favorite neighborhood spot, Immm Rice & Beyond!).


Recent Foodie Finds: Delivery Edition

Tap, tap, tap... is this thing on? *Ahem.* How do I even start this post? Suffice to say that I didn't intend to disappear for five months, but well... this year has sucked. I mean, I know you all already know it, but is there really any other way to put it? 2020 is trash. Between the pandemic, social unrest, job stress, the painful hit on Chicago's restaurant community, the loss of my social life, the terrifying presence of anti-science and anti-logic masses, the President's dangerous tomfoolery, sickness/death, and the possibility of what's yet to come when I return to campus next week, 2020 has been one of the most emotional, complicated, and strangest years of my life. Again, I know this isn't unique to me, but I felt weird jumping back in this space without some sort of acknowledgment/update. </rant>

As with many of you, I have been working from home since mid-March, which has given me ample opportunity to make my way through numerous delivery/pickup options (side note: I am so grateful to live in a city/neighborhood with plentiful options, as I burned out on the daily cooking routine about a month into the stay-at-home order! 😂). In an effort to *not* have to think about meal planning and as a way to support the restaurant community, I dove head-on into delivery/pickup and turned our apartment into our own private virtual restaurant. While I haven't yet returned to dining in, I'm still heavily ordering in (and I've even ventured out for a few super socially distant outdoor photoshoots), so I have plenty of delicious content to share with you!

Here are a few of my recent foodie finds (follow me on Instagram for even more)...

The Dirty Burg from The Loyalist (via Tock). Named one of the best burgers in the country, I've been itching to get my hands on this beauty. Made of short rib, chuck and ground bacon, and topped with housemade pickles, American cheese, onions, and onion-infused mayo on a sesame seed bun, this burger is messy, indulgent, and so freaking delicious! And YES, it's absolutely one of the best burgers I've ever had!
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