Monthly Archives: August 2011

Angel’s Share

Carmen here! Another lounge review. This time a speakeasy styled lounge in the heart of NYC. After our dinner at Ippudo NY D.L. and I skidaddled over to Angel’s Share.

Ippudo NY blogpost

(https://foodifyme.wordpress.com/2011/08/22/ippudo-ny/)

Angel’s Share

Village Yokocho
8 Stuyvesant St
New York, NY 10003

Speakeasy styled places originated from the Prohibition period where people needed places to secretly get their drink on since drinking alcoholic drinks were illegal during that time. To decrease the chances of getting caught speakeasy places were hidden, secretive, and exclusive. This New York Times article accurately captures the essence of speakeasies.

New York Time article Bar? What Bar?

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/03/dining/03speak.html?pagewanted=all

“There’s no sign out front. The facade, an artfully casual assemblage of old wooden slats, gives the place a boarded-up, abandoned look. It does have a street number, painted discreetly on a glass panel above the front doors, but that’s it. Like a suspect in a lineup, it seems to shrink back when observed.

There are a lot of bars like this right now. They can be found all over the United States, skulking in the shadows. Obtrusively furtive, they represent one of the strangest exercises in nostalgia ever to grip the public, an infatuation with the good old days of Prohibition.”

Bar? What Bar? 

Though the speakeasy lounges available now are not illegal in the idea that they are serving illegal alcoholic drinks, but they try to imitate the mysterious and secretive qualities of a real speakeasy. And that is exactly what Angel’s Share did.

secret door that leads to Angel's Share

One would not know how to get to Angel’s Share unless they knew where it was located, and what door to take to get there. Angel’s Share is located inside an unmarked door of a Japanese restaurant. There are no signs or advertisements that  tell you that awaiting behind the door is the magic of a place that will take you far away from real life and into the world of imagination and fantasy. A world where things are hush hush and classiness is the norm.

Angel’s Share definitely delivered. There are 3 simple rules to Angel’s Share.

1. No more than 4 people.

2. No standing.

3. No screaming. No shouting.

Summer Breeze cocktail - Sorry for the bad quality. I didn't want to use flash in Angel's Share

Break these rules, and you will be kicked out. These rules keep the quiet, conversation friendly ambiance of Angel’s Share. Go there not to get wasted, but to have a good time, sip on delicious drinks, and engage in conversations with good company. I had the Summer Breeze cocktail, and D.L. had the Earl Gray Infused Vodka. Both were very delicious! The Summer Breeze cocktail captured the essence of a tropical island vacation equipped with miles of beaches and crystal clear waters. Though a little on the pricey side (drinks are around $14) they are extremely well made and so good. For these types of places you are not just paying for your drink, but paying to lounge in an atmosphere that is unlike any other.

Mural above the bar. What whimsy...

The appeal about such a place is the secretive quality of it. Half the fun lies in actually finding and getting into these places whether it is opening secret doors, entering in through sketchy alley ways, or saying the password to the person at the door. What is more attractive than the idea of something that is illegal or forbidden? There is a speakeasy where you drink cocktails from a teacup and beer in a brown paper bag to disguise the fact that what you are drinking is indeed alcohol. How whimsical.

On the quest to find more speakeasies.

Stars – 5/5

Ippudo NY

Carmen here! Greetings from NYC. The city of millions of people, of thousands of restaurants, hundreds of different train stations. A place filled with energy, life, fun, and most importantly food!

Ippudo NY 

65 4th Ave
New York, NY 10003

Ippudo NY is a Japanese Ramen Noodle House. I came here with David on a rainy Friday night. We arrived at Ippudo, and the hostess told us that the wait would be 1 to 1.5 hours. But not to worry from a Yelp review we learned that even if you come after your assigned dining time they will still seat you. Knowing this we obviously did not want to wait 1 to 1.5 hours at the crowded restaurant waiting area that also had a bar. We took advantage of our newly acquired Yelp knowledge and headed to Rubin Museum of Art: Gateway to Himalayan Art. Free admission on Friday nights. A great way to kill some time before our dinner time at Ippudo.

Arrived at Ippudo about an hour late. The hostess told us we were past our time, but said we will be seated soon. And within 5 minutes we got two counter seats right in front of the kitchen where all the magic happen. Whenever someone would get seated the waiter would yell out something in Japanese. A big, energetic hurrah. The waiters would then yell out the customers’ dishes to chefs who would loudly call out an order when it is done. An atmosphere of organized commotion, thrilling fun, and endless sounds.

We started off with the asparagus tempura like appetizer. I don’t remember the actual name of this dish nor is it listed on their website. It was really good! The freshness of the asparagus was captured inside a tempura like batter served with a side of what seemed to be tangy mayonaise sauce with soy sauce. One complaint about this was that the asparagus was hard to chew through. I only wanted half of an asparagus piece, but was left with eating the entire piece. Perhaps it would have been better if the pieces were cut a little smaller.

And of course the ramen. When you come to a Japanese Ramen Noodle Shop you have to order the ramen. You order what they are known for. We ordered two different ramens: Shiromaru Hakata Classic Ramen for me and Tori Ramen for David.

Shiromaru Hakata Classic

Shiromaru Hakata Classic    
The original “Tonkotsu” noodle soup topped with pork loin chashu, kikurage, menma, memma, red pickled ginger, sesame, and scallions

Tori Ramen    
Ippudo’s “Chintan” clear chicken and pork noodle soup topped with pork loin chashu, menma, spinach, shiso leaf & daikon radish

The ramen was flavorful with just the right amount of noodles, soup, and toppings. The Shiromaru Hakata Classic was delicious. The soup base was rich and creamy like. The pork loin chashu was tender and seemed to just melt into your mouth when you bite into it. David’s Tori Ramen was good too, but a different type of good. The soup base was a lot lighter and tasted like a chicken broth bursting with flavor. Both delicious in different ways. The noodles themselves were good, but I didn’t find them extra special. The thing that really made the ramen delicious was the soup.

This place definitely deserves the long wait for a seat (though you can always skidaddle to check out the places nearby and come back for your dining time). A ramen house packed with excitement that fills the entire place with a vibrant glow and with ramen that leaves you delightfully happy and satisfied.

Stars 5/5

Franks N’ Dawgs

Conny here! I was going to hold off on writing a post since Carmen already posted one today…but I can’t bear the excitement of the launch of our new blog! Why not follow up a drinks post with a food post? The other day, my friend W.C. and I decided to hit up a hot dog joint up in Lincoln Park. With its many positive reviews on Yelp, why not give it a try?

Franks N’ Dawgs

1863 N. Clybourne Ave.

Chicago, IL 60614

Now the hot dogs at Franks N’ Dawgs aren’t just your average everyday hot dogs-they’re gourmet hot dogs. Hot dogs-gourmet? The idea may seem rather silly. How could casings of sausage on a regular bun possibly be gourmet?? Well the ingredients and the price of these “dawgs” prove otherwise. Duck confit, mustard glazed pork belly, smoked gouda, and macerated grapes are some of the toppings you can find on these hot dogs here. These toppings are paired with “haute dogs” as they call it-turkey & date sausage, toasted black pepper lamb sausage, and thuringer sausage to name a few.

W.C. and I started off with a batch of their Triple Truffle Fries. My roommate J.N. tried them over the weekend at the local music festival here in Chicago, “Lollapalooza”. She really liked these fries and highly recommended that we try it out. Yelpers also raved about them and these Triple Truffle Fries were also featured on “The Food Network”. Why not!?

Yukon Gold waffle cut fries, truffle oil, truffle butter, truffle salt & freshly chopped herbs

At first glance, these looked like ordinary waffle fries. We took our first bites and looked at each other in confusion. Don’t get me wrong-these fries were good. But we just couldn’t point out what tasted different about them. What does truffle oil taste like?? Neither of us had a clue. There was a slight after taste that tasted a bit different about them. Just slightly. Perhaps that was the taste of truffle oil? Nevertheless, these were pretty tasty. I’m just not sure if I’d pay $5 again for these small order of fries that didn’t taste that much different.

Next up were our Haute Dawgs! We ordered the Tur-Doggin Dawg and Belly Up Dawg that we split and shared. The hot dog buns weren’t the regular hot dog buns we usually see. It looked and tasted more like french toast. Buttery and tasty. The Tur Doggin Dawg was absolutely delicious. The duck confit on top was really soft and tender and the pickled carrots on top added a crisp refreshing flavor. The taste reminded me a bit of “banh mi” which are Vietnamese sub sandwiches that also feature pickled carrots. I really like these sandwiches so this was a definite winner for me. The Belly Up Dawg was also delicious in a different way. The pork belly on top of the pork sausage was a nice savory touch. Tender and fatty meat on top of more meat- guilty pleasure. The mustard and fennel gave really strong flavors to the dog that I wasn’t particularly a fan of. However, the macerated grapes helped to cancel out a bit of these flavors and gave an interesting taste to the dog overall.

Turkey & date sausage topped with duck confit, herb garlic aioli, house pickled onion relish & pickled carrots

Pork sausage, mustard glazed pork belly, pickled fennel & macerated grapes

We ended our trip to Franks N’ Dawgs happy and satisfied. These hot dogs were definitely different from your average hot dogs from the bun to the toppings. It was definitely difficult to choose which hot dogs we wanted to try since they all sounded so good! When my wallet allows it (their hot dogs range from $5.75 to $17.95 each!!), I’d definitely like to come again and try the other hot dogs! Another hot dog joint on my agenda is the infamous “Hot Dougs” that also has these gourmet hot dogs. I simply can’t get enough of these HAUTE Dogs!

*Pictures taken from the Franks N’ Dawgs website, http://www.franksndawgs.com. Check out their menu!*

Cocktails at LURE Izakaya Pub

Carmen here. First blog post about my food life. This one is not so much about food rather than cocktails. Conny and I grabbed drinks here with our friend Ying after getting pho. It was quite a sight to see a stylish, classy lounge/bar in Chinatown. A little out of place in the swarms of Chinese restaurants and grocery stores, but it looked so fabulous. We had to try it. And plus now that we’re of age why not take advantage of that. Just one drink! And it was Thursday – Thirsty Thursdays!

LURE Izakaya Pub

2017 South Wells St
1st Floor
Chicago, IL 60616

the inside of LURE

There is indoor and outdoor seating at LURE. I suggested we sit outside and watch the people pass by while sipping on our cocktails. It was a nice day, so why not enjoy the weather outside. Well there was something I forgot about the great outdoors, those pesky mosquitoes. While waiting for our drinks outside I got bit on my leg twice. I was not pleased… We decided to move back inside. Which was a good choice, because the decor and ambiance inside was exquisite. Huge circular ceiling lights dimly lit the room with a soothing atmosphere. A bright glow of more moody lighting coming from the floor. Carefully chosen music that served as the backdrop for delightful conversations. An overall environment that was like no other. Completely different from anything in Chinatown.

Our drinks. Conny in the background taking a pic!

Our drinks came in the prettiest colors – icy blue, straberry pink, and kiwi green. The drinks were strong, but as my friend Ying said “Well you don’t want to pay $9 for watered down drinks right?”. True that! They were strong, but very tasty. We sat there sipping our cocktails and having conversations about the future. The future in terms of life of a twenty something year old.

The delightful life of a fresh faced 21 year old funemployed college student

Stars – 4/5

Foodify Me Please!

Foodify Me – a food blog brought to you by food fanatics Carmen and Conny.

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Why food? Well because food just makes the world a much happier place. A life without the joys of food would be a colorless life in a bright, vibrant world. In this blog we will share the delights of food that we come across in our lives whether it is the restaurants we try, meals that we cook, or quirky food articles we find.

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