eating my way across chicago.

  • Location: chicago, il
  • Favorite foods: raspberries, kale, boeuf bourignon, mashed potatoes, chickpeas, my homemade seitan, blue moon ice cream

8 Must-Eat Mexican Sandwiches in Chicago

Wrong on the pambazo - El Habanero's is incredible!

The Le Creuset Wooden Scraping Spoon is My New Favorite Spoon

I've had the Ruhlman flat spoons for years. They're perfect for scraping fond up from the bottom of a pan for sauces/soups. He just had a cyber sale or whatever, too. I bought the 3-pack and have yet to use the largest one, if that helps anyone.

Meet the Venezuelan Arepa King of NYC

@Copperkettle218 were it stuffed then cooked it would be a pupusa (

Cellar Door Provisions Serves Sensational Bread in Logan Square

You can still get crusty loaves at: Provenance, Dill Pickle, and Half Italian. As well as La Farine up Milwaukee...

Behind the Scenes at Co-Op Sauce: Awesome Sauce for a Good Cause

Anne's last name is Kostroski, and she runs Crumb bread which is also awesome (

Gift Guide: For the Vegetarian Cook

As someone who cooks mostly vegetarian myself, I find some of this list a bit odd. For beans I use my Le Creuset dutch oven (the low temp oven method and I make a huge batch and freeze most of it), and for soups this time of year; my food processor is invaluable, as is my kitchen aid mixer. I've never used the peeler you show, I use the straight one with ease. ;)

For books I find Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian is my go-to, along with this other weird Vegetarian book my mom got me in college - I can't find it on amazon but the beginning pages have VERY useful information about the different types of rice, spices, cruciferous vegetables, nightshades, etc.

8 Great Places to Buy Sausage in Chicago (And Nearby)

I don't trust a list without Paulina Meat Market.

The Search for America's Best Tacos: Midwest Contenders

If Cincinnati is in the Midwest, then Newport, KY is (it's just across the Ohio river).
It's funny how you can always tell where the SE team lives or is from, because they don't venture from those cities too awfully much.

The Serious Eats Chicago Lenten Fried Fish Survival Guide

Growing up in northeast Ohio and being very used to the Friday Night Fish Fry (especially in the summer, and with Lake Erie perch, no less!), it has always been rather odd to me that it didn't exist here in Chicago. Then again, it doesn't seem like many people here actually FISH the Lake Michigan, and I certainly wouldn't fish the Chicago River...

and Nick, if you end up doing a piece on fish tacos and don't include El Cid, I will not be able to forgive you.

Staff Picks: The Most Romantic Restaurants in Chicago

yeah, on the affordable end, I'd add Lula (the old room, the new half's a bit lighter/brighter).

Lunch in the Loop: Native Foods Cafe

Since the loop is kind of large (or some people have limited lunch time in which to run more than a couple of blocks to grab a bite), I think it would be helpful to put the address of the restaurant up under the photo, much like where you have "Get the Recipe", so one can decide whether or not it's worth clicking further to look at awesome food that may be 5 blocks from their office instead of around the corner. =)

The Food Lab: The Best Vegetarian Bean Chili

Kenji - why no chocolate or coffee in this one, as compared to your meaty "Best Chili Ever" recipe?
I think someone may have posted this recipe in your BCE comments, and I've followed it for veggie chili before and it's been amazing. I suppose you could put in wheat berries or barley or something if you weren't into TVP.

Check Out Our Game Day Page!

What, no crack dip in the Munchies section? I'm sorry, "Buffalo wings in dip form", whatever, that shit's the best on football Sunday! Unless you assume we all already know how to make it, in which case, you're right, we should! ;-)

Milwaukee: Don't Be Fooled by Appearences at INdustri Cafe; These Messy Burgers are Great

a friend got a groupon for this place shortly after it opened and we went - cocktails were killer, beer list was awesome, and the food was great. I believe she's gone back since and has not been disappointed. neither of us got the burger but holy cow does it look good (pun intented. I think...)

The Food Lab, Drinks Edition: Is Mexican Coke Better?

Don't you wonder, too, how much of it is the fact that people you're working with (most, at least) have only ever had HFCS Coke their entire lives? That people are picking the old familiar flavor over something they've maybe had a handful of times?

Additionally, I have seen glass bottles in my still pretty darn Hispanic neighborhood with "Mexican Coke" with HFCS, so it is out there. I was almost tricked but luckily I read the ingredient label before I bought the darn thing.

The Eight Best Pizzas In Chicago

wrong wrong wrong, simply for the exclusion of Coalfire.

Scooped: Roasted Plum, Ginger, and Honey Ice Cream

no cornstarch or egg for thickener? doesn't this get icy rather quickly?

Bread Baking: Jam Muffins

made these for breakfast today with apricot peach jam and almond milk, threw some slivered almonds into the batter, and topped with a few almonds and a brown sugar/cinnamon mix.

as far as jam use, my partner has gotten me into the habit of putting jam on all manner of deli sandwiches - one piece of bread gets mustard, the other gets whatever kind of jam goes best with the meat (blackberry w/ ham, apricot or quince w/ turkey).

Served: My Life in Cheese Begins

Hey Hannah, last paragraph of "Getting in With the Cheese" - it's once IN a while, not once and a while. FYI.
Otherwise keep up the good work (and as I've said before, consider getting someone to proofread before you post here ;)

Snapshots from Norway: Kvikk Lunsj, More Than a Norwegian Kit Kat Bar

what @agoodcooker said - a friend returned from Kyoto with at least 12 different varieties of Kit Kats, from green tea to soy to melon flavored ones. that would be the real taste test.

Drinking the Bottom Shelf: Evan Williams Bourbon vs. Jack Daniel's

@WannabeTVchef - I believe the word you're looking for is sordid...

Serious Heat: Stovetop Chipotle Mac and Cheese

Uhh... it's adobo sauce.

Drinking the Bottom Shelf: Evan Williams Bourbon vs. Jack Daniel's

I'm with others that would take Jim over Jack any day; I've heard nothing but good things from friends about this Evan character, I'll have to check him out next time I'm in the market.

Also, I don't get the "awful penmanship" jab, unless it's an inside joke. I prefer legible penmanship like that to the bubbly writing you often see come out of young women (says a woman who is no longer so young).

Nordstrom's Tomato Basil Soup

Yes! This soup is the best, though that cafe is damn pricey.

@GretaGrace - I have a friend that works in advertising and one of his clients is Depend. that's right, the old people diapers have the same problem Nordstrom does. ;)

Going Nuts for Horchata

god, I hate Vampire Weekend. but I love horchata more, mostly because I want to make horchata ice cream. yum.

Michelle Obama Caught in 'Que Controversy??

Barbecue, that is. Apparently people in Charlotte are offended that the first lady said it was a good town for BBQ, when in fact the state's Barbeque Center is in Lexington.

What say you, doth the media protest too much?
Living in Chicago myself, which has seen a boom in BBQ business in the past few years, I think her acknowledging the state's finely sauced meat is a wonderful thing, even if she didn't get the exact city it's famous for correct.

Super Bowl of Beer

Since the Sam Adams article was just an excuse to write about Sam Adams (which is fine, but when two teams from small markets are playing, wouldn't it be nice to at least highlight what they have to offer??)

What are your favorite beers from either Pittsburgh?
(I'll allow for the entire state of PA, since the only beer I think of when I think of Pittsburgh is Iron City, which... more like Iron Shitty)

What are your favorite beers from Wisconsin?

SE Editors - it's pretty sad when MSNBC does a better job of covering this than you do!

Glogg advice?

First off, yes, I have already read this talk thread.

My partner and I recently had some fantastic glogg at The Whistler here in Chicago -- it had the requisite raisins and almonds in it, but the bartender said he'd put a bit of almond syrup in as well. Any other advice? What kind of wine to use? Do you have to use vodka (seems a little out of place for a warming winter drink, unless you're only using it because it's a neutral spirit and shouldn't effect the other flavors you're adding)? We bought some figs and they will likely be part of the drink somehow.

Thanks in advance!

best way to cook beans from dry?

this seems like cooking 101, but I have a real issue with cooking beans it would seem.

I've bought good beans (Rancho Gordo), soaked them overnight in cold water in the fridge, and tried my darndest to bring them just to a boil and then turn them down to barely a simmer so as not to agitate them and have them burst/skins crack. I'm cooking mostly in just water, sometimes with some carrot or onion thrown in, never salt until the very end.

can anyone tell me what I'm doing wrong? or am I just not meant to cook beans??

strata help?

First attempt at making strata this weekend didn't go so well. It came out french toast-like consistency bread on the bottom with veggies on top, not very covered in eggy goodness. I loosely followed this recipe with regards to egg/milk amounts, doing kale, onion, and tomatoes for veggies. No cheese because the SO doesn't do cheese. My bread may not have been dry enough because it was so f%^*ing humid this weekend in Chicago, and I'd like to have the oven on as little as possible.

Any tips/suggestions for what I may have done wrong, or advice to make it right?

Nigel Slater's Grilled Eggplant with Creamed Feta

For a long time, I could never get into eggplant. It always seemed mushy and bitter to me, and preparations were often oily, so I tended to avoid it. But then I discovered long, skinny varieties of eggplant from Asia (you often see them at farmers' markets) that come in all different colors, have a thinner skin, and less bitter seeds. Their flavor is more mild and delicate, and they just might convert you, too. More

The Pizza Lab: Three Doughs to Know

We've gone through a lot of pizza styles and recipes here at The Pizza Lab, but I still often get asked "what's the best pizza crust recipe you know?" When I'm in the mood to fire up the grill or heat up the broiler, I might take my time and make a Neapolitan-style lean dough. If I want to relive my childhood without stepping out my apartment door, it's a New York-style. Company coming over and I want to feed a crowd without messing up the kitchen? It's Sicilian-style square pie all the way. Here's a brief run-down on the three recipes that every home pie-maker should have in their arsenal to tackle all manner of pizza-centric circumstances. More

The Food Lab: The Best Way To Grill Sausages

Haven't you ever wished that your juicy pork chops were perfectly seasoned all the way to the center? Or that your tender pork tenderloin were just a bit juicier and fattier? Or maybe that your flavorful, smoky ribs had a decisive snap to their bite? Sausages combine the best characteristics of all the other popular cuts of pork into one perfectly juicy, always tender, well-seasoned through-and-through package. They really are one of the ideal foods for the backyard grill. That is, provided two simple things: you start with great sausages, and you don't mess'em up. That's easier said than done. More

Chickpea, Coconut, and Cashew Curry

When I'm saying to myself, "What would my wife want for dinner?," the answer, more often than not, is chickpeas. And I'm not talking fancy, soaked overnight, simmered in flavorful liquid, carefully cooked chickpeas; I'm talking chickpeas drained out of a can and used as the base for a quick dish. This 30-minute curry is intense with garam masala and ginger, cooled by coconut milk and ground toasted cashews. More

Pickled Kumquats

Save a bit of the winter citrus season by pickling kumquat halves in a slightly spiced vinegar syrup. Eat the fruit with cheese, meat or salad. The leftover liquid can be drizzled into sparkling water or whisked into vinaigrettes. More