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Looking for fresh red Jalapenos in Chicago

Not sure where you've checked so far, but any decent sized Mexican market should be a good bet. Jimenez, or Cermak Produce would be my first thought to check for stores with multiple locations.

Aug 09, 2014
gordeaux in Chicago Area

Attention Chefs: Can we all agree that bacon is over?

Bacon can surely be "out" for those who ever thought it was "in." Just like sriracha, cilantro, avocado... whatever. I'll still use them the same as I always have.

P.S. If you're over it, who ordered those dishes.

Jul 25, 2014
gordeaux in General Topics

How to get better results with a microwave?

Use the power levels correctly.

Know which foods should never be heated in the nuke, or, know which foods will be crappy if heated in the nuke, and weigh out the options. Sometimes I'll use it for leftover pizza, but I know it's gonna be crappy, and sometimes that's ok.

Jul 25, 2014
gordeaux in Home Cooking

Famous foods from your region you find tasty and delicious.

I'll concede to the Lou's deep dish, because I have a fondness for a Lou's once in a long while when they are done correctly. But, a Lou's extra thin still trumps a Lou's deep 90% of the time, imo. Leaving out the other styles (NY, and Neo,) what is your preference when getting a pie without out-of-towners? Tavern, DD, or Stuft? I, and everyone I know, will say Tavern. Do I know everyone in the city? No. Not at all. Just my 2 cents for the thread. Most of the folks I know do say that DD and stuft are for tourists.

Jul 12, 2014
gordeaux in General Topics

Famous foods from your region you find tasty and delicious.

Plenty in Chicago, but the things I would miss that a lot of ppl might not know, or are overlooked:

Combo with hot giardiniera

Tavern style thin crust pizza (deep dish and stuffed pizza are for tourists)

There is CRAZY good Mexican food here. A lot of my L.A. hound friends bee line it for Mexican food when they get in town. The taqueria choices are endless, and some of them are insanely good. Sure, there's plenty of crappy ones, too.

Rib Tips / hot links from an Aquarium smoker joint.

GArrett's popcorn. Chicago Mix. Heaven in a bag.

Jul 12, 2014
gordeaux in General Topics

Famous Regional Food you find embarrassing or disgusting?

In Chicago, most places DO bbq the tips. It's normally the baby back ribs that are baked. Spares and tips are usually 'qued in the Chicago q joints.

Jul 11, 2014
gordeaux in General Topics

Famous Regional Food you find embarrassing or disgusting?

Two schools, JungMann. When I think of Chicago q, it's tips, spares, and links. Some call it "SouthSide" BBQ. BUT, there's so many places on the "north" side that are famous for their baked bbq ribs, that within the city/burbs, some ppl think bbq is a slab of baby backs baked in bbq sauce. I'm sure plenty of folks from places that know bbq have come to Chicago and been pointed to places like Twin Anchors, Fireplace, Portillo's, pretty much any Greek diner for "The Best BBQ Ribs," and gotten a plate full of braised pork on bones, slathered in candy sauce, that no smoke ever touched.

Jul 10, 2014
gordeaux in General Topics

Famous Regional Food you find embarrassing or disgusting?

Agreed on the beef.

I think a Lou's deep dish can be a thing of beauty, but the Chicago "Stuffed" pizza is flat out gross. More ppl really need to know about Chicago style "Tavern Thin Crust."

I also think the "Chicago Style" dog needs to lose the green relish. That stuff is embarrassingly gross, imo.

One more thing that fits the bill: the fake, baked "bbq" ribs slathered in sugary sauce, and then braised in the oven. There's a lot of real/good bbq in Chicago popping up, and there has also been a Chicago Style bbq for a while that deserves to be recognized (tips/links/spares.) Why those places that are slinging baked pork became somewhat famous as "Chicago BBQ" is beyond me.

Jul 09, 2014
gordeaux in General Topics

What I bought today at my Asian market

Lime leaf
Holy basil
Maesri red curry paste
Coconut milk
Frozen dumplings
Premium oyster sauce
Chow fun noodles
Hot chili sesame oil
Sushi rice
Frozen tobiko
Frozen masago
Ichmi togarashi
Wasabi powder
Rice flake
Rice noodle
Lo mein noodle
Black bean sauce
Chili garlic sauce
Watch for sneaky surprise prices on fozen shrimp, and squid, chicken feet, necks, pork neckbones
Chinese sausages
Thai issan sausage.

Jun 29, 2014
gordeaux in General Topics

Best Local Sausage (?)

Pauina is definitely worth stopping. I'd also suggest getting some hot-links. Should be able to find them at any Jewel or Tony's (I'd try Tony's first.) Frozen sausage section - look for Moo&Oink brand in a red box. Get turkey if they have them. if not, pork or beef will do.

Jun 26, 2014
gordeaux in Chicago Area

Your favorite grilled chicken wing recipe!?!?

You are DEFINITELY not crazy, but your idea of unbearably hot might be completely different than 50 other people, and each of them might be different than each other.

Side note: Drinking water to cool down mouth heat is generally not very effective

Jun 18, 2014
gordeaux in Home Cooking

Your favorite grilled chicken wing recipe!?!?

They have a "mild" which is still nicely spicy, and a "hot and spicy" which is hotter. I'd say if you are someone who doesn't immediately say "I want the hot one," you should start with the mild if you can find it. Each person's taste buds are different. My rule of thumb is if anyone asks "How hot is it?" that probably means they have limited heat preference.

If the store you find it doesn't carry the mild one, get the hot one. The stuff will still be absolutely luscious, but it's got a good kick to it. Remember, let it marinate overnight, and get some of the paste under the skin. If you can't find Walkerswood brand, try a different brand, and then when you love that brand, just know that Walkerswood is probably better. I've tried several of the other brands in the short squat little jar - all decent, but WW has always been better. Sheesh - I should be on their p.r. firm.

Jun 18, 2014
gordeaux in Home Cooking

Your favorite grilled chicken wing recipe!?!?

I'll 3rd the WW jerk seasoning in the jar. Always let it marinate overnight, and make sure to get some under the skin. It's a little bit of work when dealing with wings, but if you want an easy guaranteed "wow," the WW product will do it.

Jun 16, 2014
gordeaux in Home Cooking

Curry Rules the Food World!!

Dying to hear what "Bunny Chow" is. I'll web it up, but would love to hear a description from you!

A loaf, or a part of a loaf of bread hollowed out and filled with some sort of gravy (curry) dish?

Jun 15, 2014
gordeaux in General Topics

Curry Rules the Food World!!

Keep expanding your palate and cooking skills. You might look back on your post one day and giggle a lil.

Jun 14, 2014
gordeaux in General Topics

Cheap Foods that Become Popular

I actually view it as a challenge, and try to have fun with it. I can still find stuff for decent prices every once in a while- really good sales / loss leaders, etc. I build the week's menu around that stuff, or buy in bulk, and use the vac sealer and freezer. This week it's choice sirloin tip steaks at 2.99/lb. Gonna go today and buy about 6 month's worth. The s/o thinks I'm nuts, but the savings definitely add up. I also load up the freezer around the holidays. The steaks I buy during the 4th of July sales will be just fine vac packed and frozen for some nice ribeye dinners during xmas season when the family is over.

Jun 08, 2014
gordeaux in General Topics

Cheap Foods that Become Popular

Skirt steak

Wings were out of control over the winter, but I've seen prices start to lower. They are still well over the norm from a few years ago.

Thighs (boneless more generally more expensive than breasts now in my neck of the woods, for good reason)

Short ribs have been inching up

Flat Irons are prolly next for beef to start trending higher.

Jun 08, 2014
gordeaux in General Topics

New England Lobster Roll sans lobster?

If you can find it, I've always likened broiled orange roughy (with butter, of course) to lobster more than monkfish.

Jun 04, 2014
gordeaux in Home Cooking

What you don't know about Starbucks

The upcharge for soymilk is negated if you use a Starbucks rechargeable card in my area.

May 31, 2014
gordeaux in Chains

Do you butter your French toast?

I butter French Toast, and anything else I can possibly butter.

May 26, 2014
gordeaux in General Topics

The best thing you've never had?

Kouign Aman.
I have a few bakeries that do them near me, but still haven't partaken. I have the frozen TJ's version in the freezer, just haven't done em up yet - but those can't be nearly as good as bakery version.

I've still never done an omakase, either.

May 07, 2014
gordeaux in General Topics

Kraft "Creamy" Salad Dressings

Back in the 80's, my folks used to by things like "Creamy Cucumber," and "Ranch." They didn't seem like sugar laden goo to me back then. Have my tastes changed? They are like candy sweet and foreign now, Like all chemically. Anyone else have same experience? Have I changed, or have they?

Apr 27, 2014
gordeaux in General Topics

SE WI area - Any opinions on Dickey's Barbecue Restaurant?

I travel to the U.P. from Chicago several times per year. I've stopped at the Dickey's across from the Woodman's right off of 94 several times since it's opened. The sides are abysmal in general, and the bbq is highly variable. The spares are generally a good bet, imo, and the jalapeno cheese sausage is pretty good. The other meats, however...you should DEFINITELY ask to sample before purchasing. They let you sample - no big deal.

My fallback is spares and spicy sausage for decent eats if the other meats are garbage that day and time. Waffle fries and beans for sides have been the least horrid, but that ain't sayin much. You'll see.

Apr 23, 2014
gordeaux in Great Lakes

Updating Devon Indian Restaurants?

Are you looking for nice decor?

If decor is not an object, I'm in the Khan BBQ camp for the food.
Chicken Boti
Seekh Kebab
A goat gravy dish
Aloo Gobi, and a saag
Frontier rice
And a few paratha.

If decor is totally not an object, then Ghareeb Nawaz or Hyderbaad House are total dives with decent eats. Ghareeb Nawaz is dirt cheap. There are land mines all over Ghareeb's menu, but I can vouch for:

Chili Chicken rice
Chana Masala
any Goat curry if bones don't freak you out.
You might wanna try Hema's Kitchen as well.I haven't been there in AGES, but it was my first real foray into Pakistani food, and I loved it back in the day.

Uru-swati is a great joint for vegetarian fare.

Or,check on Groupon, and pick a joint that has a groupon on offer.

Khan BBQ would be my choice tho. Not the greatest ambience, but they know their way around meat and charcoal.

Apr 09, 2014
gordeaux in Chicago Area

First Time at Devon Ave or up north generally

My guess would be Indian or Thai might be a great choice to cater to the vegan, but you might wanna look into one of the Ethiopian joints too.

If you're gonna have booze, I'd stick with a Thai BYOB. I'd also pre-plan the menu depending on the group size. The kitchen won't get taxed, and they might make some special treats for you.

For Indian, (well, Pakistani, really,)I'm still partial to Khan BBQ. Most of the places will have some vegetarian and vegan options, but the Pakistani places will have more meat on the menu, and the veggie dishes will be hit or miss (in general.) If you wanna go to a cheap dive and order everything on the menu and still laugh at the bill, check out Ghareeb Nawaz, but it's a dive, and it's not pretending not to be a dive. Tiffin might be a decent middle of the road Indian / Pakistani mix with a decent ambience as well.

Another great option for booze and a crowd would be San Soo Gab San for Korean BBQ. There will be items for the vegan, I think, but the star attraction will be the live fire and self grilling your meats, and the "I have no idea what I just ate, but I need another order of it" moments that are sure to be had. That might make the vegan feel a little left out tho.

My two cents is this tho - if you want to have booze, go with a Thai BYOB, and pre-plan the menu. I LOVE doing that with a group, but that's me. I'm a big fan of Sticky Rice, but a bigger fan of TAC Quick, and Rainbow.

Oh yeah - ever been to Sun Wah BBQ??
Maybe a Vietnamese place?
Check your bucket list, and see which option would be the best for the vegan of the group?

Apr 08, 2014
gordeaux in Chicago Area

Deli Cole Slaw Surprise

Why do people even want sweet cole slaw?
I get it - to each, their own, but, I never get the lure of thinking "cabbage, mayo, onions...all I need now is some SUGAR!!"

Apr 06, 2014
gordeaux in General Topics

Surprising sodium content foods?

Some sodas. Those delicious diet cranberry sodas that start popping up around fall. I sometimes wind up sucking down a 2 liter over the course of two days being couped up in the house around the hoilidays. Matter of fact, I still have a diet Cranberry Sierra Mist 2 liter left over because I bought several btls of the stuff last bird day. I drank a few and then I read the label. 85 migs per 8oz. I don't think I'll touch it again. Not huge, but it adds up when you think you are "just drinking diet soda." (and I admittedly drink too much of it - so taking in sodium while doing it is not preferrable.)

Apr 03, 2014
gordeaux in General Topics

Are there such things as greengrocers, butcher shops and fish shops in the States?

I'm currently in Chicago, and we have all three, though many of the fruit markets do have a small selection of meats.

Mar 02, 2014
gordeaux in General Topics

frozen fish from China: worth a try?

Your description of the fish you are asking about is "frozen, cheap, and Chinese."

Good luck with all that.

Mar 01, 2014
gordeaux in General Topics

Favorite spot for coffee and pastries/desserts?

Bad Wolf, of course, but, it should be noted that in the afternoon, depending on what time, there's a chance that day's pastry stock will be a distant memory. There's no doubt that it's stellar. No doubt at all.

Mar 01, 2014
gordeaux in Chicago Area