chicago

Chicagoist Pieces

I did a stint as a guest writer at Chicagoist and wrote a couple of pieces. Most might be kind of boring if you don't live in Chicago, but there are a couple that are of more general interest. 

Chicago Restaurant Recommendations

 Since I get regular emails on this subject, I thought I might as well create a whole post on restaurants (and a smattering of bars) in Chicago that I think are worth recommending.

Home, here, there, and abroad: The best of what I ate this year

 An incomplete list of my favorites- I set the timer on 30 minutes to sift through my photos (makes me realize why I take them- Schwa, Ruxbin, Blackbird's dinner menu are absent because I didn't take any) and here is what I picked.

@home: lingonberry(frozen w/ no sugar/crap added from Erickson's Delicatessen & Fish), seaweed (Seasnax), reindeer pate (Smoking Goose Meatery), and buckwheat pancake (buckwheat from Chicago winter Greenmarket, soured in sour cream for a day, mixed with egg, cooked in butter)

The Best of 2012: The spectacular food coming from Midwestern kitchens

 If there is anything I can say about this year for sure, it's that I ate well, perhaps better than I ever have. I had meals that went beyond what I ever imagined food could be in terms of intricate qualities, each ingredient like little clockwork pieces, gears whirring together perfectly in tune.

Senza: Gluten-free dining exits the health-food ghetto

There is no doubt that gluten-free options are growing. However, at least in the places that I've lived, most gluten-free options are kind of sad. They are either bundled in with "health food" options and are also whole-grain/vegan/low-fat bundles or misery or are just regular menu items made with an assortment of mediocre processed gluten-free breads and pastas. Since the main problem for me with wheat seems to be the complex carbohydrates, often these options are worse than regular food.

The Miracles of Miracle Berry

 I associate sugar-free with sad looking hard candies in a lonely corner of the drugstore shelves, carefully quarantined from the "good candy." From those ugly bright pink packets of sugar at every diner to Diet Coke, things labeled "sugar-free" are decidedly low-brow. 

What's on the menu lately- BellyQ, Green Grocer, Cassava

 Someone asked me if I could please update my What's on the Menu page, but it's hard because I've been eating out a lot. Like way too much. Partially because of moving and partially because I still do not have my furniture delivered to my new place and can't have anyone over. I also stopped telecommuting and now have a separate office, which I felt I had to do for productivity reasons, but now I've ended up in an apartment that has an extra room. Wow, that is a sentence I never could have written in NYC. Yikes. 

Fish, blood, lamb

 An old lady about half my size almost pushed me into a bucket of fish today. I had just wanted in to Isaacson and Stein and I was kind of disoriented. I felt like I hadn't walked into a fish shop, but a school of fish already organized in a way I could hardly comprehend. Immigrants from around the world, Chicago old-timers with heavy accents, cooks from restaurants, and a few random confused white people circling bins of every possible fish I could imagine. Mainly whole fish, of course.