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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

Jerusalem-Style Grilling at Manara Restaurant in Bridgeview

So I take it you went. What did you think of it?

Charcoal Grilled Arrachera at Mezquite Pollo Express

Staff Picks: What's the Most Underrated Restaurant in Chicago?

Okay, if you say so. I got blown off though, for some reason. And this was pretty early when they might have wanted the publicity more.

Jerusalem-Style Grilling at Manara Restaurant in Bridgeview

Right. A Brazilian steakhouse. As this is a Jerusalem-style middle eastern restaurant.

Staff Picks: What's the Most Underrated Restaurant in Chicago?

"Brunch - I want to say Batter & Berries, although it's ridiculously crowded now it doesn't get much media hype."

I tried to write about it and kind of got a runaround about the chef that makes me think maybe the guy who opened it is no longer there. Or something. Anyway, didn't get very far trying to give it media hype...

Jerusalem-Style Grilling at Manara Restaurant in Bridgeview

Which Brazilian restaurants in Chicago have them?

Jerusalem-Style Grilling at Manara Restaurant in Bridgeview

Why does Chicago have claim to a Chicago style hot dog? I ate mustard, relish and onion on hot dogs growing up in Kansas.

In any case, it's not just a matter of the width of the skewer. Japanese restaurants have robata grills and they're under two feet long. I don't know of any restaurant of the other nationalities you mention in Chicago using actual charcoal here; it may exist in the home countries (indeed I'm sure it does) but there's no example of it here. My experience is clearly oven-baked or gas grilled skewers in Chicago.

Each of the places that claims to cook like they do in Jerusalem has a much longer wrought-iron apparatus of a particular look. That doesn't make it unique to Place X but it is perfectly reasonable for people who grew up with them in Place X to think of them as the style of Place X.

Unless there's something about the population of Place X that bugs you specifically.

Jerusalem-Style Grilling at Manara Restaurant in Bridgeview

Way back when the guy at Al-Bawadi told me they were the type of grill commonly found in Jerusalem. I'm sure it's not the only place, but that's how he thought of them.

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

To me some of these flavor enhancers have such a strong profile that you know it's them. It's like A1 sauce, there's no way to add A1 to something and not immediately say, hey, tastes like A1! Anyway, judicious use can still work, but in general, I'm happier with natural over shortcuts.

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...

http://chicago.seriouseats.com/2013/07/chill-cafe.html

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

http://www.tulipanhungarianpastry.com

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:

http://chicago.seriouseats.com/2013/09/the-choo-choo-restaurant-in-des-plaines.html

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.

http://royalcoffeechicago.com

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).

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