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Mike Gebert

Mike Gebert

Royal Coffee Serves Ethiopian Breakfast With its Ethiopian Beans

At first glance it looks like any cafe for coffee and wi-fi, with a breakfast menu of the American standards and sandwiches and panini for lunch. But then you notice signage on the walls talking up the virtues of single-origin coffee from Ethiopia. The cafe, it turns out, is run by an importer, and it offers a small but intriguing menu of Ethiopian dishes. More

Fantastic Flor de Calabaza at El Huarache de Maria

El Huarache de Maria means "Maria's Slipper," and it specializes in the long freshly-made tortillas called huaraches, which here would seem to suggest that Maria wears a 27EEEE. So that's what the flor de la calabaza go on here, and combined with their smoky, robust refried beans, it's a first-rate version. More

American Diner Classics Still Done the Old Way at Central Kitchen & Tap

I don't believe in seasonings that make everything taste like that seasoning. That's not a seasoning, that's spray paint.

Other Serious Eatsers in other cities may have other views....

Vesecky's Keeps the Bohemian Bakery Alive in Berwyn

Meat guy: so your feeling is that after coming home with a loaf of bread, hot cross buns, kolachky and more, I ran the risk of going hungry by not picking up a kolachky the size of a hubcap, too?

Pixie: I didn't see anything like that there, but check out the Smetannik at Chill Cafe...


which is pretty similar. Unfortunately my favorite spot for that kind of layered torte is a bit far for a casual jaunt:


Staff Picks: What's the Best Burger in Chicago?

"Perhaps this is only Chicago proper. Nothing west of Cicero Ave."

Besides the mention of Paradise Pup (which I considered naming), check out this-- both the post and the comments:


Staff Picks: What's the Best Burger in Chicago?

Madopal: Oh sorry, I thought I read something like 2691 Milwaukee. I'm sure you're right.

Staff Picks: What's the Best Burger in Chicago?

Speaking just for me, no, not really. I would recommend Leadbelly in Portage Park (and coming soon Logan Squarish) for a better version of the same act-- fun toppings, better meat and really nice housebaked buns.

Royal Coffee Serves Ethiopian Breakfast With its Ethiopian Beans

Yes I got it, will respond soon. Thanks.


Great Unknown Pizza Expedition #3 (straight south)

CPD, email me at [my name all squished together] at gmail.com. Love to include you in a future G.U.P. hunt.

Great Unknown Pizza Expedition #3 (straight south)

So here's where we went, I promise we'll hit the others someday...

Great Unknown Pizza Expedition #3 (straight south)

Thanks for the kind words, CPD. Chesdan's is definitely on the someday list, but we're trying to stay within a fairly close area each time because I think you get a sense of what the neighborhood is about as opposed to, here's three pizzas from a 20-square mile area on the south side. So we're looking at a group pretty close along 95th (though I'm pretty intrigued by one a little further south in Alsip called Nino's, which no one has ever talked about except on Yelp, but seems to have some history like a lot of these). Some others we're looking at include Roseangela's, Palermo's and Phil's (again both in that area, not other places of the same name further north). Thoughts?

Heartwarming Italian at Fiore's Delicatessen in West Town

Yes, I think so. Not Italian delis necessarily, but groceries, tailored to whatever the ethnicity of the area was. When I first moved to Chicago I lived near DePaul and at that point there was still an Italian deli on a corner Armitage-- I forget where but long since a shoe store, I'm sure-- where the guy explained to me why it was better that they made the ricotta themselves, rather than having a Kraft tub of it.

If you walk around the north side and look for the type of building that was often a grocery-- the corner of the building is sort of notched for the entrance, often with a pillar in the middle-- you see them all over, often on side streets within neighborhoods. So yes, there was a time when they were all over.

Mr. G's In Logan Square Closed

Too bad, I thought that place was pretty decent for its type.

Svea Restaurant Keeps the Swedish Flame Alive in Andersonville

I don't know which brand, no. Also, they're not really the size of a tree stump each, that photo is oddly deceptive.

Svea Restaurant Keeps the Swedish Flame Alive in Andersonville

You have done a great service, allowing people to hear that without having to eat lutefisk.

Learning the Ways of the Crawfish Boil at Toon's Bar & Grill

Great pics and report!

The Iskender Kebab at Cafe Orchid is the Deep Dish Pizza of Turkish Food

Proceed directly to Bennigan's :)

Eat This Now: Chaufa Aeropuerto at Tanta

Though I have to say, I would have loved a combination of Korean food with a Galley Boy from Swenson's in Canton (the home of the Football Hall of Fame).

Experience Chicago's Noble Cheap Steak Tradition at El Azteca

Cathy Lambrecht says of Roumanian Steak on Facebook: "They took it off the menu at Manny's. If you call in advance, they might make for you. Apparently, they were not selling enough."

Sarcon, I agree, Los Nopales is one of the best Mexican steak places.

Experience Chicago's Noble Cheap Steak Tradition at El Azteca

It's not on Manny's dinner menu at present:


I expect it also survives in some old coffeeshops around town, but I don't know that I'm up to eating cheap steak in those searching for the great one.

I agree about South American places though.

Don't Miss the New Dumpling Stand at Joong Boo Market

You can see them inside the kimchi one in the cross-section pic, but they weren't a major component.

Don't Miss the New Dumpling Stand at Joong Boo Market

Cool display! Thanks, EugeneK.

Don't Miss the New Dumpling Stand at Joong Boo Market

It was thick but fluffy, not gummy. That said, it's hard to judge against other mandu in my memory just because it was so different in size.

Is Pizza Castle the Second Best Pizzeria on Chicago's South Side?

When Chicago becomes drivable again, the next installment of the Great Unknown Pizza recons will surely happen, and I'm sure we'd both happily meet up with anybody who knows an area and wants to show off their local faves. You can email me at mikegebert at gmail.

Somethin' Sweet Donuts Serves Hardworking Doughnuts for the City that Works

Can't say I remembered that one, but interesting that it goes so far back.

Is Pizza Castle the Second Best Pizzeria on Chicago's South Side?

Funny, I saw a similar pic of the signage on the Yelp review and almost rejected it when we were planning our stops for the same reason. But Zemans read through the reviews there, and said we had to give it a shot. You can read more about our methodology, and some places that didn't quite make it, here: http://skyfullofbacon.com/blog/?p=4322

As for cornmeal, I don't remember but yeah, doesn't look like any. Faulds ovens get plenty hot so I guess you don't necessarily need it.

Is Pizza Castle the Second Best Pizzeria on Chicago's South Side?

Well, it looks an awful lot like every other thin crust pizza in Chicago, but since you asked...

Video: 'Sky Full of Bacon' Goes Behind the Scenes at Hoosier Mama in Chicago

If you're not in the mood for pie, you will be after watching Michael Gebert's latest episode of Sky Full of Bacon that takes us behind the scenes at Chicago's beloved pie shop Hoosier Mama. Owner Paula Haney and her staff make pies the old fashioned way with all-butter crusts filled with local, seasonal ingredients, and revive recipes from the 19th and early 20th-century (oatmeal pie, anyone?). Haney talks about how she started the business, how she makes pie, and her thoughts about the pie lifestyle. Watch the video after the jump.... More