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eG Foodblog: daniellewiley - Interactive Wanderings in the Windy City


daniellewiley
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ugghhh...

I identify with restless toddler boys in restaurants.  (I had Dax a month after Danielle had Max.  :smile: ).  Madeleine (who's almost 4) has always been great in restaurants.  Dax just has to keep moving.  I can't say it's forced us to eat in entirely, but dining out isn't worth it unless he's in the right state.

Did you freeze those raspberries yourself?  They're beautiful.

Nope, those raspberries are courtesy of Trader Joe's. They sure are pretty.

Danielle Altshuler Wiley

a.k.a. Foodmomiac

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Hot Doug's also popped into my head as worthy of attention if you haven't been there.  It has been some time since I was there but it was spectacular.  The fries fried in duck fat stole the show.

Their original store was in Roscoe Village and I'm not sure how far away their new store is from you.

Hot Doug's website.

I LOVE Hot Doug's. We'll only get to do duck fat fries if I go on Friday or Saturday, but I will go one day regardless. Last time I went I had a rabbit sausage with St. Nectaire cheese and a fines herbes Dijon mustard. Awesome.

Doug's old store was definitely closer to me, but the new one is certainly not far.

Danielle Altshuler Wiley

a.k.a. Foodmomiac

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Since you're looking to get coffee, you might want to try a place called Blue Max in Forest Park. It's a fairly new place and very easy to miss, as it's in an old house on a residential street. They have a pretty good selection of nice, light meals and some really nice homemade muffins, etc. (the corn muffin is my favorite). The best part, though, is their coffee...really really good. They are a small place, so they don't have the following that Intelligentsia has, but I really think their coffee is in the same class. Downside is that it would be a hike for you, I suppose, but they are pretty kid friendly (I think there is a little play area). Looking forward to your blog...I moved here from NY almost 3 years ago but with 4 kids I haven't had the chance to explore a lot of the areas you're heading to. It's nice to have someone do the legwork for me!

http://www.bluemaxcoffee.com/

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I've jsut been picking fresh raspberries in the garden. Amazing they are still fruiting.

You have a lot of choice. SInce its Chicago it has to be beef and lots of it, butter tender. Maybe with german side dishes (kartoffelknodel, saurkraut), or as homemade hamburgers and pickles

OTOH the italian goodies say Pizza..

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I've been to Chicago exactly three times. Once was a weekend trip to study its legendary architectural landmarks up close and personal when I was in high school, and the other two times were overnight swings en route to Kansas City, when I used the layover to hang out with a classmate who was a high-level manager with the Chicago Transit Authority. (Sadly, this classmate passed away earlier this year in an unfortunate accident outside CTA headquarters; Chicago-area eGulleteers may have seen his obituary in the Sun-Times. I did have the chance to catch up on old times with him and his wife at our 25th college reunion in the summer of 2005.)

You will be teaching me as much about the Chicago-area food scene as you will be teaching yourself about it in this blog. I look forward to coming along on this voyage of discovery.

I take it that Pizzeria Due no longer has any connection to Pizzeria Uno?

Any chance you or anyone else could tell me about a popular hangout in Boys Town called Ann Sathers Swedish Diner?

Oh, and talk about "mom of little foodies": your kids look like they're getting into the habit at a very early age! Your daughter fixing the quesadillas is priceless!

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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I'd love to see a trip to the German market, especially if there is fresh sausage involved.

Kathy

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. - Harriet Van Horne

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Danielle,

Welcome to Chicago! I'm convinced you will find many restaurants to replace your favorite Japanese and Lebanese places.

If you haven't been to Lincoln Square yet head up there for:

Bouffe - Cheese and a source for Capogiro gelato

The Chopping Block - a very popular cooking school with all sorts of kitchen stuff (they also have a location in the Merchandise Mart).

The Cheese Stands Alone - another good cheese shop (it's on Western Ave. south of Wilson)

Fine Wine Brokers - always a good recommdation (personally I boycott Sam's - yes they have a lot/just about anything you would want, but they upset me once and that was enough. I soon found the Wine Discount Center on Elston, and then when we moved to Lincoln Square we found Fine Wine Brokers).

Myers Deli - very crowded and packed full of lots of European deli products.

Merz Apothecary - a great drugstore.

Some very good Thai places - Opart, Spoon, Rosded

Many, many good restaurants - Bistro Campagne and Costello's for subs (very kid friendly) first come to mind.

Unfortunately, we moved out of Lincoln Square to Portage Park a few years ago so we can no longer walk to the area, but the drive is quick and easy.

I'm looking forward to this blog and seeing Chicago through the eyes of a newcomer.

I like cows, too. I hold buns against them. -- Bucky Cat.

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I ate my lunch two hours ago, but I'm just now getting around to posting about it. I was on a long conference call. :angry:

Michael picked up goodies from Whole Foods yesterday, and there was still enough left over to make a nice lunch for myself. I made a panini.

Here is the sandwich pre-grilling:

gallery_19707_3742_26473.jpg

I scooped out some of the bread filling, and spread it with mayo and horseradish. I then added Point Reyes bleu cheese, rare roast beef, roasted turkey breast, arugula and fresh mozzarella. I used my fancy panini maker (a.k.a my George Foreman Lean Mean Grilling Machine). Here is the sandwich ready to be eaten:

gallery_19707_3742_41000.jpg

It was terrific, but I'm still so full. It is hard for me to think about dinner, but I know I must soldier on. :wink:

I'm thinking of heading up to Lincoln Square to scout out some German eats. We'll see what Dylan wants to do. I will for sure need to stop somewhere to get her a snack. She is always starving when I pick her up. They have catered hot lunch at her school, and I know she eats well, but they play pretty hard all afternoon, and she usually eats like she has been starved for a month.

Danielle Altshuler Wiley

a.k.a. Foodmomiac

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Looking forward to this blog! In addition to big Polish and Mexican populations with local restaurants, Devon Avenue's offerings of Indian and Pakistani meals and foods as well as Argyle's vietnamese fare and shops support Chicago's melting pot reputation.

What disease did cured ham actually have?

Megan sandwich: White bread, Miracle Whip and Italian submarine dressing. {Megan is 4 y.o.}

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Yum... That's the word that describes this blog!

It seems to have become traditional for us eG foodblog fans to share our experiences with the locales of our bloggers, so here's mine about Chicago... I've been there three or four times. There was a time in my career that I attended an annual conference that was held in Chicago every year, and it turned out to be my favorite big city to visit. Great food and great beer bars and brew pubs... and I loved the hours for the bars with jazz and blues. I think it was in Chicago that I stayed out (and awake) the lastest ever in my life, like 4 or 5:00 in the morning. Of course, I was younger then, and probably could not stay awake now if I was given the opportunity to party hearty like that.

And, another connection is that my step-daughter is a law student at DePaul. I don't know one neighborhood from another in Chicago, but she and her husband now live in Lake View East.

Thank you in advance for what is going to be a fascinating week!

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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It's going to be hard to read this blog, I've just left Chicago for Rochester, NY and the restaurant/food scene here is not nearly as good. However, the local products here are incredible, and way easier to find than in Chicago, where we were in a CSA but otherwise had to really go out of our way to get local produce and other products.

I think the recommendations you've been getting are spot on. I'll add my two cents - a couple of places that are a bit below the radar, in my opinion.

If you like Mexican food a great, very kid-friendly Mexican restaurant is Fernando's on Lincoln Avenue. They don't bat an eye at kids there, the food is quite respectable, and the margarita's are good. The pink flourescent lighting on the outside is a bit intimidating, but not representative, and you're probably pretty close!

You're close to a lot of good Thai food, but one place that is often overlooked is Sweet Tamarind on Diversey and Southport. The portions are small, but the food is excellent.

Edited by SMW (log)
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This is all interesting to me since I've never actually been to Chicago. Passed by one afternoon on our way to South Bend and that's it. Will keep reading.

South Bend! My best friend married a guy from South Bend ... there's No Place like Dome.

***

Back to the topic at hand: Danielle, would you please go to Rush Street this weekend, at about 3 a.m., and at least pretend to get really drunk and do shots and stuff? And take lots of pictures of course. When I was in Chicago for a no-kids/no-husbands weekend (in August), my friends refused to do it with me and I'm still upset about it. :laugh::laugh::laugh:

Seriously.

"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office
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It's going to be hard to read this blog, I've just left Chicago for Rochester, NY and the restaurant/food scene here is not nearly as good.  However, the local products here are incredible, and way easier to find than in Chicago, where we were in a CSA but otherwise had to really go out of our way to get local produce and other products.

I think the recommendations you've been getting are spot on.  I'll add my two cents - a couple of places that are a bit below the radar, in my opinion.

If you like Mexican food a great, very kid-friendly Mexican restaurant is Fernando's on Lincoln Avenue.  They don't bat an eye at kids there, the food is quite respectable, and the margarita's are good. The pink flourescent lighting on the outside is a bit intimidating, but not representative, and you're probably pretty close!

You're close to a lot of good Thai food, but one place that is often overlooked is Sweet Tamarind on Diversey and Southport.  The portions are small, but the food is excellent.

What CSA were you were a part of? We are trying to find one now, for next year. My friend has suggested the Farmer John CSA (I'm blocking on the name. Angel something?).

I will add Fernando's to the list. We went to Tapatio last weekend. That is another very kid friendly Mexican place and we liked it very much. I'm always on the lookout for great Mexican. We also like Picante, which is around the corner from us on Lincoln (between School and Roscoe). We often order in burritos from there. Dylan loves their taco.

And Sweet Tamarind goes on the list as well! I need a new Thai place that delivers. We had a favorite, but last time the food was way too salty. Dylan ALWAYS requests Thai food - it's very cute.

Danielle Altshuler Wiley

a.k.a. Foodmomiac

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Yum...  That's the word that describes this blog!

It seems to have become traditional for us eG foodblog fans to share our experiences with the locales of our bloggers, so here's mine about Chicago...  I've been there three or four times.  There was a time in my career that I attended an annual conference that was held in Chicago every year, and it turned out to be my favorite big city to visit.  Great food and great beer bars and brew pubs... and I loved the hours for the bars with jazz and blues.  I think it was in Chicago that I stayed out (and awake) the lastest ever in my life, like 4 or 5:00 in the morning.  Of course, I was younger then, and probably could not stay awake now if I was given the opportunity to party hearty like that.

And, another connection is that my step-daughter is a law student at DePaul.  I don't know one neighborhood from another in Chicago, but she and her husband now live in Lake View East.

Thank you in advance for what is going to be a fascinating week!

Our nanny is getting her MBA from DePaul. I will be in Lakeview East later this week when I head over to Pastoral! It is very close.

Danielle Altshuler Wiley

a.k.a. Foodmomiac

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We actually got all our vegetables from Angelic Organics this year (home of Farmer John). Our boxes have been stuffed full all summer and the variety has been great. We've had fennel, kohlrabi, beets, cabbage, lots of heirloom tomatoes, tons of really sweet carrots, a mixed greens bag every week (with interesting stuff, not just red or green lettuce)....and kale almost every week, it seems (my least favorite). One thing that is nice is the 'swap box'. Many weeks I've swapped my kale out for something more interesting....You can also buy a fruit share, which we did this year as well. The fruit is not grown on their farm, but it has always been very good and nicely varied.

They are very committed to what they do and welcome visitors....our homeschool group went there on a field trip and they did a great job teaching the kids about organic farming principles.

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Well, we explored some German markets, but the outcome was NOT what I expected. After fortifying myself with some unpasteurized apple cider:

gallery_19707_3742_14686.jpg

I picked up Dylan from school and we headed up to Lincoln Square. She was starving, so we first hit Meyer Delicatessen:

gallery_19707_3742_56298.jpg

How cool is this place? We didn't have any sort of list, so all we ended up getting was some German candy for Dylie. I think I need to be more prepared for our next ethnic outing. I get so overwhelmed. Anyway, here is Dylie posing with her candy (it is not as cold as her coat might imply - it's just new, so she wears it everyday):

gallery_19707_3742_78001.jpg

We stopped into the Lincoln Meat Market as well (I don't have any pictures), but I was VERY disappointed with their selection. So, with a craving for German food, I drove back down to my own neighborhood and hit the Paulina Meat Market. This place is terrific. I didn't get any photos of the inside, but here is the outside:

gallery_19707_3742_66723.jpg

The Paulina Meat Market is one of those places where the butchers give kids a piece of homemade bologna. Sometimes, that bologna is so delicious, you end up buying 1/2 a pound of it:

gallery_19707_3742_26916.jpg

We also got three giant pork chops:

gallery_19707_3742_22158.jpg

Dinner was great - I'll post details in a bit. (I think this post has enough photos already!!)

Danielle Altshuler Wiley

a.k.a. Foodmomiac

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We were craving German food after our journey, so I decided to make pork chops and sauerkraut.

I found a recipe called German Sauerkraut in one of my Frugal Gourmet cookbooks (I loved that guy - he was a huge influence on me), and decided to adapt it, based on what I had in my house.

I threw five strips of Niman Ranch bacon, two sliced onions, one 24 oz. jar of sauerkraut, 1/2 sliced cabbage, one cup of beer, one cup of peeled, grated potatoes and a bunch of black pepper into my Le Creuset dutch oven. This was covered and cooked on low for and hour and a half. Everyone loved this dish. The Frug called for more sauerkraut, no cabbage, white wine (instead of beer) and juniper berries, but even with my massive changes, it was terrific.

The pork chops were cooked up following a recipe given to me by Michael's crazy Granny. She soaks them in milk and then dredges them in a mixture of flour, ginger, paprika, salt and pepper. They are then pan fried in canola oil. The gingery pork fat melded wondefully with the sharp flavor of the sauerkraut.

The dinner was finished off with some Trader Joe's canned corn. Canned corn is one of my weaknesses, and the Trader Joe's is especially good, as it has no added sugar.

The finished dish:

gallery_19707_3742_86201.jpg

Max was hungry before dinner was served. His new trick is opening the lazy susan cabinet and helping himself:

gallery_19707_3742_96967.jpg

Here is Dylan being a great big sister:

gallery_19707_3742_43727.jpg

Tomorrow I'm thinking Koreatown. Maybe I'll make some bibimbap? Any other ideas? What do I need to buy? Offhand, I can think of kimchi, kochujang, bulgogi...

Anyone know the best market in Koreatown? Are there certain brands I should look for?

Danielle Altshuler Wiley

a.k.a. Foodmomiac

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Bibimbap! Hmmm.... sesame seeds if you don't have any on hand. Ditto for dark sesame oil if you're running low. That, and lots of vegetables.

Kathy

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. - Harriet Van Horne

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Tomorrow I'm thinking Koreatown. Maybe I'll make some bibimbap? Any other ideas? What do I need to buy? Offhand, I can think of kimchi, kochujang, bulgogi...

For advice on bibimbap, click here.

Restaurant life will get easier, trust me. We found when my kids were the age of yours, we just didn't go very often, but resumed once Peter hit about 2-1/2. They are all seasoned pros now!

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Good morning! It is a very rainy day here in Chicago, but I'm excited for my venture up to Koreatown. I am going to go by myself today, in an effort to get a little more accomplished. Any other tips out there for things to look for? I'm not totally tied to Bibimbap - it's just a dish that we all love, so I thought it would be fun. And, I've wanted to make it myself for a while now (ever since the eGullet cook-off, actually).

Michael thought I should up the ante by announcing that I would cut all of the vegetables using my mandoline. My mandoline has been sitting on a shelf since I got it for my birthday about five years ago. The thing terrifies me. It is now covered with dust, and is on a new shelf here in Chicago. It truly would be ideal for my bibimbap veggies, but I might need some guidance and support from you guys. Are there any mandoline experts in the house? It is a Bron.

I have not yet eaten breakfast, but I did make a 6am run to Starbucks. We ran out of coffee beans yesterday, and I neglected to pick any up. I would much prefer to go to an independent coffee house, but the Starbucks is just a two minute walk from my front door. I walked out my door at 6:01, and came back in with my coffee at 6:07. You really can't beat that.

Danielle Altshuler Wiley

a.k.a. Foodmomiac

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A fancy breakfast just for you guys. :smile:

Here is the recipe:

gallery_19707_3742_4961.jpg

As you can see (maybe - my handwriting is awful), this is from the Moosewood Cookbook. I don't have the Moosewood Cookbook, though. I got this recipe from my friend Abby back in the mid-90's. She told me it was foolproof and read it to me over the phone. It is indeed foolproof - makes perfect crepes every time.

Here is the batter:

gallery_19707_3742_74391.jpg

And, the final product. I filled them with Chestnut Milk Jam from Fauchon. Michael and I went to Fauchon in 2003 (on a trip we took to Paris for my 30th birthday). I've been holding the jar since then, waiting for the perfect moment. I pulled it out this morning and realized it was expired. I ate it anyway, and it was marvelous. If I don't post later, I'm dead of botulism. It was worth it though. :wink:

gallery_19707_3742_1942.jpg

David Lebovitz wrote a blog post once about foods that are too good to eat. The chestnut milk jam was always that food for me. I'm glad I finallly opened it.

Small change on my itinerary, by the way. I'll be taking Max with me on my tour of Koreatown. The babysitter is sick. :shock:

Danielle Altshuler Wiley

a.k.a. Foodmomiac

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Michael thought I should up the ante by announcing that I would cut all of the vegetables using my mandoline. My mandoline has been sitting on a shelf since I got it for my birthday about five years ago. The thing terrifies me. It is now covered with dust, and is on a new shelf here in Chicago. It truly would be ideal for my bibimbap veggies, but I might need some guidance and support from you guys. Are there any mandoline experts in the house? It is a Bron.

I'm not a mandoline expert by any means but my mandoline technique improved dramatically when I bought a 'cut resistant' kevlar glove at a restaurant supply store and stopped using the feeder/guard contraption on mine (mine is not a Bron).

I'm still careful about not hitting the blade but my confidence improved and you get far better control when you are actually holding what you are trying to slice.

Stephen Bunge

St Paul, MN

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My advice for using a mandoline - sacrifice the veggies rather than your flesh - in other words quit while you are ahead and toss the uncut veggies into the freezer for a stock in the future. Don't get anal about slicing down to the last vestige of veggies!

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

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