Monthly Archives: June 2012

Restaurant Name Puns

I did a food pun post a while ago. Back for more ridiculously lame and hilarious restaurant name puns!

I told this to my friend, and she brought up a good point. Is the restaurant that bad that it is compared to the most devastating ship sinking?

Check out more here.

Birthday-ing Around

Happy belated birthday to me! I celebrated my birthday in Chicago with my friends, and I decided to try out the Berghoff Restaurant. It’s a German restaurant that is fairly well known in Chicago. I never tried German food before and neither did my friends, so we decided to give this place a try.

Berghoff Restaurant – The Loop

Jager Schnitzel

I shared the Jager Schnitzel entree with my friend, because I wasn’t feeling too hungry and didn’t want to be food coma-ed out. The Jager Schnitzel is a pork cutlet with a bacon and jagermeister infused sauce. It came with root vegetables and spaetzles. It was alright. Perhaps I am not really a big fan of German food. The pork cutlet was tender and well cooked. Nothing to complain about, but nothing really to rave about. The pierogies were really amazing though, but that’s not truly German. That is Polish. A little bit of a let down since this was one of the go-to places in Chicago.

Magnolia Bakery – The Loop

My friend gave me these Magnolia cupcakes for my birthday. I have heard great things about Magnolia Bakery which started in NYC. I saw one of their stores on State street, a shopping street in Chicago, and I really wanted to try it since I never had the chance to in NYC. These cupcakes are really good. The bottom is not too rich and more cake-like than your usual cupcake. The frosting was light, but still quite sweet. A little bit on the heavy side in terms of sweetness, but the texture of it was just right. I tried the purple one. I think the frosting was just colored purple and was a regular vanilla flavored  frosting with a chocolate bottom. I offered the cupcakes to my friends, and they caked me with one of them. I have such great friends huh?

Division Ale House – Wicker Park

Hot wing challenge

I didn’t actually do the challenge, but my friend did. 10 hot wings in under 10 minutes, and you get the wings for free and a free t-shirt saying you successful accomplished the hot wing challenge. From the picture you can’t even tell they are wings, because there is so much sauce! They even gave him plastic gloves to wear! I sampled the sauce just to see how spicy it was, and it is truly quite spicy. A burning sensation on my tongue that wouldn’t go away for a couple of minutes. Thankfully you didn’t have to eat all of the sauce just the wings. The strategy then became wipe off as much of the sauce as possible! My friend successfully did the challenge in not 10 minutes, but 6 minutes. What an accomplishment! You go!! Once he finished, the waiters came out with a glass of milk and his free t-shirt.

Homemade Sushi

My sister and I decided to make sushi one night. Using crab meat, cucumber, tamago (egg), avocado, and salmon we made the various roles. My favorite was the salmon avocado. The smoothness of the avocado paired with the salmon is just the best. This has to be my favorite classic sushi roll!

LOKal Restaurant and Lounge

I had a Groupon to this place, $28 for a dinner for two with 1 appetizer, 2 entrees, and 1 dessert. I decided to take my sister and her friend here yesterday. Best Groupon I have ever bought! This place is amazing. The pork belly appetizer dish is really something to rave about.

LOKal 

1904 W North Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
Neighborhood: Wicker Park

Check out the Menu here!

Pork Belly with Braised Lentils and Pickled Celery

The Pork Belly appetizer dish was by the far the best thing I ate during the meal. The pork belly was slightly crispy and paired with an apple cider flavored glaze. The meat was so tender along with the fatty goodness of the pork fat. It went really well with the carby lentils that still had strong flavor. The pickled celery was a refreshing part of this dish.

Steak salad

They called this dish a steak salad, but I think steak with a side of salad would be a more accurate description. I was expecting a bed of greens with a few strips of steak scattered on top. Much to my surprise it was an entire steak! The steak was delicious. I asked for medium rare, and it came our perfectly medium rare! The salad was great too. The greens were fresh, and the tangy pomegranate vinaigrette was quite exciting. I loved every bite of this.

Angus N.Y. Strip Steak

My sister got the Angus N.Y. Strip Steak. Yet again I was pleasantly surprised by the sheer size of this piece of steak. She asked for it medium rare as well, and it came out just the way she wanted it. The steak was  accompanied with a red wine reduction sauce and herb butter. Her steak was tender and succulent. My sister’s friend got the ribs. All of the meat dishes that we got were excellent!

Vanilla Ice Cream and Nutella Mousse with Strawberry Sauce

This was the dessert of the day. My favorite was the Nutella Mousse. It tasted just like nutella, but obviously mousse version. A heavenly mix of hazelnut flavors and chocolate. The vanilla ice cream was made fresh and was rich in flavor. I loved the strawberry sauce. It really added an additional layer of flavor to the ice cream.

The food was really great! LOKal also has a full service bar and turns into a lounge like atmosphere at night. The decor created a very relaxing, moody atmosphere that really added to the dining experience.

What a little gem in Wicker Park. This might just be one of my favorite restaurants in Chicago! There are daily specials everyday, and Tuesday is half price off appetizers. Might have to go back soon just for the Pork Belly appetizer dish!

Stars – 5/5

Daley Plaza Market

My sister and I went to the Daley Plaza Market in the morning to grab some flowers for my backyard. Since it was early in the morning we decided to grab breakfast at the Daley Plaza Market as well. Nothing like fresh baked goods from an outdoor market!

with the baked goods

My sister got the pretzel croissant, and I got the chocolate scone. The pretzel croissant was very interesting. A croissant made with half croissant and half pretzel dough. It was extremely buttery, even more so than your average croissant. Made for an extremely heavy tasting breakfast goodie. My chocolate scone was delicious. Lots of large chocolate chunks to satisfy my chocolate sweet tooth in the morning.

the flowers

One of the many stalls that sold flowers and plants. The variety of plants and flowers available was really great! My favorite flower I got from my trip to the market was a purple carnation plant.

silly pigeons

This was quite a funny sight. Pigeons huddling around a fire on a warm summer day. Why is this fire there in the first place? The City of Chicago what are you guys doing?

my sister at the market

What a great morning at the Daley Plaza Market!

Food Puns

I love lame, terrible pun jokes. The lamer it is the better. Here are the food related ones. Enjoy! harharhar

Foodify Me Chicago!

Here are some of the Chicago food adventures I have been on since I got back home.

Smoque – Irving Park

Sliced brisket sandwich platter

I came here about two years ago with my friends after hearing about it on Food Network’s show Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. The show talked about how this BBQ joint was started by BBQ enthusiasts who quit their office jobs to live their dream of cooking BBQ everyday. After two years of being Smoque-less I had to go back from some delicious BBQ. Best decision ever! I came here with my family. My sister and I shared a sliced brisket sandwich with sampling of their St. Louis Ribs and brisket chili, mac and cheese, and cole slaw for sides. The advertise that their brisket has BBQed for over 14 hours, and you can actually taste the difference. The brisket is tender while still retaining all of the flavors of the BBQ rub. The ribs were excellent. Best ribs I have ever tasted! The meat fell of the bone and was moist, tender, and flavorful. Next time I’m getting a rack of ribs to eat! My favorite side was the cole slaw. After a heavy meal there is nothing better than the refreshing taste of a vinaigrette based cole slaw.

 Halo Asian Mix – The Loop

happy hour special – Adobo Chicken

I came here with my friend who wanted to try out the Asian cafe in the Loop. She is a really big fan of Filipino food, and this place offered just that and other Asian foods as well. We got there right in time for the happy hour special. $3.50 for all of this. Right in the Loop too! We took our happy hour specials and sat in Millennium Park for a nice picnic. The Adobo Chicken was tasty. It was well marinated, and the sauce that drizzled onto the rice was just great! I added some Sriracha sauce for a spicy kick.

Piece Pizzeria – Wicker Park

I have reviewed this place before. My Piece Brewery and Pizzeria review. I had to write a little blurb about Piece, because their service was just excellent. My friend and I came here, and we ordered the BBQ Chicken and White with Clams lunch special pizzas. Our waiter arrived with our pizzas, but found out that they made the white pizza with chicken and not with clams. She gave us the white with chicken pizza, and told us we could munch on it while they make our white with clams.  So in total we had 3 pizzas: BBQ Chicken, White with Clams, and White with Chicken. When our bill came out we saw that we were only charged for one pizza. They labeled our White with Clams pizzas as “goodwill”, and gave it to us on the house. This was especially nice of them to do! 3 pizzas for the price of 1. Cannot be beat!

McCormick and Schmick’s – Near North Side

We went to McCormick and Schmick’s for happy hour. I got this tequila based drink that was just so refreshing. Mixed inside were tequila, agave nectar, and grapefruit juice with pulp. I loved it!

We got some appetizers to share. Fish and Chips, Sweet Potato Fries, and a Fish Taco. They have the best sweet potato fries ever. It is battered and crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. The thing that made the sweet potato fries so good is that white, garlic and mayonnaise based dipping sauce. I would dip everything I eat in this sauce, because it is just that good!

Happy Summering Chicago-ians and non-Chicago-ians!

Buckingham Fountain

New Maxwell Street Market

Every Sunday the Maxwell Street Market comes to life in Chicago in the South Loop. It is a predominantly Hispanic outdoor street market that fills the streets with authentic, rich Mexican culture.

at the festival

My mom, my sister, and I came here to browse and spend the nice Sunday afternoon outdoors. The Maxwell Street Market sells just about everything from packages of socks to cases of fresh fruit. I even saw vendors selling drug store brand cosmetics and medication. Things like that I would not get at the market especially since you don’t know if they are truly authentic or not. Tons of vendors were selling knock-off purses. My mom’s favorite vendor is the one who sells nuts. My mom claims that they are fresher and cheaper than elsewhere. My sister scouted out the market for vendors selling video games. She was on the look out for the Pokemon Snap N64 game, and we finally found it as we were leaving the market. We even bargained down the $5 game down to $4. There’s nothing like the satisfaction of knowing you got a good deal!

My favorite thing about the market is the Mexican street food. Tons of stands selling tacos, quesadilas, talames, churros and so much more. We decided to stop by one of the stands and give the food a try. I got a pork tamale. Unfortunately the tamale was not fresh. It was tough and slightly hard. Not like the soft tamales I was use to. Fortunately the steak taco that my mom ordered was delicious. The steak was well seasoned. The soft taco shell was warm and so soft. Must go back to try all of the other foods!

All in all this street market is definitely someplace you should check out if you are in Chicago. So many sights, sounds, and smells. The authentic mariachi music blasting from the boom boxes of vendors selling CDs. The tasty smells of authentic Mexican street food. The amusing sights of tiny chihuahuas running to keep up with their owners with their teeny tiny legs. Tiny dogs like chihuahuas should not be brought to busy markets. I was so afraid I would accidentally step on them if I wasn’t careful about where I was walking. Overall a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon!