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eG Foodblog: daniellewiley - Interactive Wanderings in the Windy City


daniellewiley
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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?).

We were also members of Angelic Organics (Farmer John) for four years and absolutely loved it. They have drop-offs all over Chicago, so there's probably one near you. The produce is great, and they do a good job of keeping you up-to-date on the farm. We never made it to the farm, actually, but I am sure that would be fun with kids, they usually have at least two picnics a year.

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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:

I've done that before - waiting to use something for just the right meal or occasion, and it gets too old to use. My friend and I were talking about that the other day - she was using a spa gift certificate on the very last day before it expired. Hope you make it to the end of the blog before the botulism sets in.

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

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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.

Your consolation prize for living in Rochester is Wegmans. Something tells me that Chicago-area supermarkets haven't yet reached their level.

But I'm surprised that local produce and other foodstuffs are that hard to find in the Windy City. Most sizable US cities in agricultural regions have centrally located markets that feature local foodstuffs, including produce and meats sold by the producers directly. Even in my hometown of Kansas City, you could go down to the City Market on weekends and take your pick of lots of fresh, locally grown produce. I would think that the city Carl Sandburg famously called "hog butcher to the world" would have something similar within its limits. Are you telling me it doesn't?

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

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

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ronnie_surburban can't understand it, but I didn't love Lou Malnati's. I really liked the crust (we got deep dish), but the cheese/sauce/sausage bit weren't my favorite.

LOL . . . no, I can definitely understand it. I just don't agree :wink::biggrin:

But seriously, as I mentioned on the other thread (and as Josh indicates below), the main Chicago deep dish outlets all turn out fairly similar product. It may just come down to a style preference. But, if you do end up trying Due, I'd be curious to know what you think. It used to be my favorite but has slid, IMO, lately.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

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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.

Your consolation prize for living in Rochester is Wegmans. Something tells me that Chicago-area supermarkets haven't yet reached their level.

But I'm surprised that local produce and other foodstuffs are that hard to find in the Windy City. Most sizable US cities in agricultural regions have centrally located markets that feature local foodstuffs, including produce and meats sold by the producers directly. Even in my hometown of Kansas City, you could go down to the City Market on weekends and take your pick of lots of fresh, locally grown produce. I would think that the city Carl Sandburg famously called "hog butcher to the world" would have something similar within its limits. Are you telling me it doesn't?

Actually, I think that the Green City Market is phenomenal, and everything there is local. Click!

Additionally, my local Whole Foods has a decent selection of local produce.

Danielle Altshuler Wiley

a.k.a. Foodmomiac

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Your consolation prize for living in Rochester is Wegmans.  Something tells me that Chicago-area supermarkets haven't yet reached their level.

But I'm surprised that local produce and other foodstuffs are that hard to find in the Windy City. Most sizable US cities in agricultural regions have centrally located markets that feature local foodstuffs, including produce and meats sold by the producers directly.  Even in my hometown of Kansas City, you could go down to the City Market on weekends and take your pick of lots of fresh, locally grown produce. I would think that the city Carl Sandburg famously called "hog butcher to the world" would have something similar within its limits.  Are you telling me it doesn't?

The Green City Market is pretty incredible but it is relatively new (I think maybe five years old), and was not anywhere close to where I was living (the South Side - Hyde Park). Chicago has always had some small neighborhood farmer's markets, but I grew up in a farming town and always found them dissappointing. I guess I was probably spoiled by the Madison, WI farmer's market and always wondered why Chicago didn't have anything as incredible, or why so many of the products there are not available in Chicago.

Maybe it's the Wegman's advantage, but here in Rochester we have found local produce clearly marked at the grocery store (which is one place I rarely saw it in Chicago) as well as a much higher density of farmer's markets, open on all different days of the week! Chicago, does however, have loads of great local producers of all kinds of foodstuffs - I really miss El Milagro tortillas!!!! - and if you know where to go, you can also get plenty of local produce, I just think that it's easier here (but then again, in some ways, everything is!).

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Wow, having the babysitter cancel made things super difficult today. Sorry for the delay in posting about our trip to Koreatown.

So, anyway, after Max woke up from his morning nap, we headed up to Koreatown, and never got out of the car.

Exciting, huh?

Actually, Koreatown didn't have too much in the way of food shopping. There were some small bodega-type shops (obviously not bodegas, but that size), and then a lot of other storefronts, but none that fit my needs. I saw a book/comic store, a Korean insurance agent and tons of travel agencies. Luckily, I had the address of a great Korean market, thanks to a fellow eGulleter who emailed me. So, we traveled south just a bit (back towards my house, actually), and went to Chicago Food Corp, quite possibly one of the coolest food marts I have ever had the pleasure of visiting.

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Here are some signs outside:

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When you walk into the store, you see a very large produce section. Some stuff is standard (like cucumbers, carrots), and some is more unique. I had never seen sesame leaves before:

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Here is the Ramen aisle:

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On the opposite side of the store from the produce is one of the greatest inventions of Asian Market history. The Panchan Bar!:

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And, if that isn't enough for you, behold: The Wall of Kimchi:

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As you walk through the store, the overwhelming thing you notice is the mouthwatering scent that fills the air. This is courtesy of the small cafe at the back of the store. The cafe was PACKED, and with all sorts of people. I loved the diversity. There was a latino man with sweat pouring off his head as he devored his super spicy lunch. There were Koreans, natch. There were also a bunch of white folk like me. :biggrin:

This is the cutest white folk I saw there:

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And my lunch, Duk Mandoo Gook - rice cake and dumpling soup. It was served with a side of kimchi. Max LOVED the soup. I gave him pieces of the rice cake and dumpling. He devored them. This bowl was enormous, and I ended up paying an extra 50 cents to get a to go container.

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Here's our take:

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I'm about to prepare the bibimbap. Be back in a bit with the details.

Danielle Altshuler Wiley

a.k.a. Foodmomiac

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Michael and I have a bit of a love affair with Korean food, and for kind of a strange reason. Before we met, he dated a Korean woman in New York. Theirs was an incredibly tumultuous relationship (she was crazy), but he did get one great thing out of the fiasco; a love of Korean food, and a knowledge of all of the great Korean joints in NYC.

When we first met, we were living in New York, and he took me to all of his favorite places. We'd have late night Korean barbecue at Kang Suh and make bulgolgi with ingredients from the awesome market on 32nd Street. Even though I don't like thinking of Michael with Anna, I am certainly glad that he knew her. Before I met Michael, I had never tasted Korean food, and now it's one of my favorite things to eat.

Tonight, though, was the first time I made Bibimbap! And, was it good!

I marinaded the bulgolgi in Kris' marinade and then cooked it on my cast iron griddle. I blanched carrot and zucchini (separately), and tossed with rice vinegar, sesame oil and sesame seed. I julienned cucumber (with a knife - no time to tackle the mandoline tonight) and tossed it with rice vinegar, sesame oil and sesame seed as well. We also put out kimchi, salted radish, mixed seaweed, marinated bean sprouts and a marinated spinach mix. We also fried up two eggs. For rice, we cheated a bit and microwaved some frozen brown rice from Trader Joe's. As I mentioned earlier, today was crazy hectic, and avoiding the rice cooking portion of the evening helped me out a bit.

Here is the finished version:

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Here it is all mixed up:

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This is the Kids' Version, with no yolk, and just cucumber, carrot, rice and meat:

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And, our third child, begging for a taste of the bulgolgi:

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Danielle Altshuler Wiley

a.k.a. Foodmomiac

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That bulgolgi looks delicious. Now to the important question - did your furry child end up getting a taste?

Kathy

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

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Danielle,

Just coming out of lurk-dom to say that I am really enjoying your foodblog. Welcome to Chicago! We also live in Lakeview although we are moving soon to Lincoln Square.

I'm sure you have tons of suggestions about where to go, but here are a few of my favorites in the general neighborhood... We just did an ethnic food whirlwind weekend when my mom was visiting from out-of-state. Laschett's on Irving Park for German; a Lebanese place on Kedzie, just south of Lawrence (sorry, don't remember the name but it's next to a great Middle Eastern market owned by the same folks); and Vietnamese delivered from Viet-Dong on Clark (near School). We have a toddler also and all of these places are really kid-friendly.

Thanks for posting about the Chicago Food Corp! I've never been there - I'm personally not a huge Korean fan, but my husband LOVES Korean food, so maybe I will take him there for his birthday this weekend. The wall of kim-chee will make him a very happy man.

Jules

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Hi! Sorry I'm late. Terrific blog. I've only been in Chicago once for a weekend about 15 years ago, so I don't have much to offer in the way of food observations about that city. So I'll certainly look forward to learning more about it. And about Korean food, too--I know a little, but not as much as I'd like to know.

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Even more important:

Where was the Pocky?

I meant to get some! You know, the shopping carts at the store didn't have straps, so shopping was a little scary. Max has a tendency to try to stand up.

Which is my long way of saying - I forgot!

(I also forgot the kochujang, and had to drive back to get it. Luckily, I hadn't gone far. I called my sister-in-law when I left the store, and she asked me what I got. I told her, and she said, "what about the kochujang?" duh)

Danielle Altshuler Wiley

a.k.a. Foodmomiac

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Note to self:

Soju and Pale Ale don't mix well.

I'm drinking EmergenC (this time for a hangover), coffee and taking some tylenol. Breakfast of champions. :-)

We also live in Lakeview although we are moving soon to Lincoln Square.

I'm sure you have tons of suggestions about where to go, but here are a few of my favorites in the general neighborhood... We just did an ethnic food whirlwind weekend when my mom was visiting from out-of-state. Laschett's on Irving Park for German; a Lebanese place on Kedzie, just south of Lawrence (sorry, don't remember the name but it's next to a great Middle Eastern market owned by the same folks); and Vietnamese delivered from Viet-Dong on Clark (near School). We have a toddler also and all of these places are really kid-friendly.

Thanks for delurking Jules! It seems that everyone is heading to Lincoln Square! Some good friends of ours just made that move. We are considering it as well.

I had heard of the great Lebanese markets and restaurants on Kedzie. I will need to check those out. Vietnamese scares me a little bit because I am allergic to fish sauce (I know, it sucks). I also worry sometimes about Thai, but I seem to be able to order some standard dishes without the Nam Pla. Anyone out there with advice for eating fishless Vietnamese food? I do love it.

Danielle Altshuler Wiley

a.k.a. Foodmomiac

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This is the Kids' Version, with no yolk, and just cucumber, carrot, rice and meat:

gallery_19707_3742_100451.jpg

Why no yolk for the kids?

You know, the shopping carts at the store didn't have straps, so shopping was a little scary. Max has a tendency to try to stand up.

Which is my long way of saying - I forgot!

Ohmigod. The more I read, Danielle, the more convinced I am that we are leading parallel lives. Our TJs has small carts with high centers of gravity. A few months ago Madeleine pulled one over on its side with Dax in it. Strapped in, thankfully. However, even the straps are not enough to hold back DangerBoy. I try to keep a hand on him at all times. Which means that I am a total scatter-brain on any shopping expedition that includes him.

Bridget Avila

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Bavila - no yolk for Dylan because she decided recently that she hates it. I let her create her own bibimbap buffet-style.

Max just had pieces of everything on his booster seat tray - beef, squash, carrot, rice.

Sounds like Max and Dax are VERY similar. I'm glad I'm not the only one losing my mind!

Breakfast today was another two chestnut crepes, made with batter leftover from yesterday.

For tonight, dinner is just me and the kids, so I'd like to keep things simple. I'm also on a deadline for work, so time is at a premium. We can do a rotisserie chicken from Costco, with fun sides. Any suggestions? What do you guys eat with your rotisserie chickens?

Also, is anyone interested in seeing pictures from our trip to the Italian markets on Sunday? Seems like I won't be headed anywhere super interesting today, so that might make up for it.

Danielle Altshuler Wiley

a.k.a. Foodmomiac

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I have three and four year old girls. Shopping carts are a nightmare. I was at a liquor store with a cartful of wine and cases beer. My oldest insisted on pushing it and WHAM! it fell over right next to my 3year old. There were a few broken bottles. Kids want in, they want out, they want to push-it is always a fight. I think my food bills are lower since I can not concentrate and forget many items. I am so glad that you are introducing your kids to various ethnic foods. We have done so since they have been able to eat food and it has made dining out easier. Now if we can just get them to stop spilling! Try Nonna Kabob on Kedzie south of Lawrence for persian fare. The markets across the street (west side) have wonderful selection of olives and fresh feta. Get the super creamy feta, olives, fresh pita and some sumac-yum! .

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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For tonight, dinner is just me and the kids, so I'd like to keep things simple. I'm also on a deadline for work, so time is at a premium. We can do a rotisserie chicken from Costco, with fun sides. Any suggestions? What do you guys eat with your rotisserie chickens?

I've made this acorn squash with chile vinaigrette a couple of times this month. Sooo good! And pretty low-maintenance.

Bridget Avila

My Blog

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I'm drinking EmergenC (this time for a hangover), coffee and taking some tylenol. Breakfast of champions. :-)

Next time skip the Tylenol (acetominophen) in favor of ibuprofen. Acetominophen is toxic to your liver, and so the acetominophen and alcohol combo is a poor one. If you take the ibuprofen (otherwise known as "Vitamin I" in our house for this exact reason) before bed, along with a giant glass of water, you might be able to skip the hangover altogether.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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OK, Jean. Here's my trip to the Italian markets. I think you will find that you are already familiar with the three places I visited (you might have recommended them yourself in the Heartland forum), but hopefully, you'll see something of interest regardless. :smile:

On Sunday, Max and I headed all the way over to Harlem Avenue (pretty far from my house) to do some shopping at the Italian market. We researched on eGullet beforehand, of course, so I had some addresses in my notebook.

We first hit Gino's and Pasta Fresh. These stores are right next to each other in a cute little strip mall. They are connected by a doorway inside, but I'm not sure on their relationship to each other. Other stores in the strip mall are all very European. I saw a lot of European beauty products, etc. that were clearly imported. There was also a little Italian gift shop.

Here is what I mean by cute strip mall:

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We went to Gino's first. They have a LOT of stuff. We saw whole Prosciutto (what do you do with that much Prosciutto??):

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And whole Mortadella (same question for this):

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There was also a meat counter. Here we bought some aged sausage. They had some beautiful fresh sausage that I will buy in the future:

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Gino's was great for dried goods. There was every variety of DeCecco, and other brands as well. I saw a ton of brands of San Marzano tomatoes. I bought Michael some canned and some jarred tuna (I'm allergic), and I also picked up some polenta and some arborio rice.

Then, we headed next door to Pasta Fresh. They make their own pasta here daily. There was a big focus on stuffed pastas. Here you can see some of the variety. There is more in back as well:

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Here is Max drooling over ravioli:

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This is the back room where they make the pasta. The two guys on the left were having a very serious conversation, half in English, half in Italian. Their outfits and hairstyles were very Soprano's. Unfortunately, James Gandolfini was nowhere to be found. :wub:

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We then drove south a few blocks to go to Caputo's. I heard they had terrific fresh mozzarella. Here is Caputo's:

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Here is Max's reaction to visiting yet another store:

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And our take. The mozzarella:

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The sausage from Gino's:

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Fresh ziti (it was still soft) from Pasta Fresh:

gallery_19707_3742_11682.jpg

Danielle Altshuler Wiley

a.k.a. Foodmomiac

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