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Singapore Style Fried Rice Noodle

King Wah serves up very good Singapore Style Vermicelli Noodles, that is, if it's still around. Here's a similar post:

Also check out the Pad Kee Mao made with Vermiceli noodles at Thai Wild Ginger located on Clybourn Avenue at Webster in Chicago. Tasty stuff!

Thai Wild Ginger Restaurant
2203 N Clybourn Ave, Chicago, IL 60614

King Wah
2223 S Wentworth Ave, Chicago, IL 60616

Feb 09, 2011
amoncada in Chicago Area

Where to buy dried hominy?

Yep, that's it!

Feb 03, 2011
amoncada in Chicago Area

Where to buy dried hominy?

You're welcome. Also check out Harvest Market on Lawrence, in Albany Park, on the way to Cermak Produce. It's a fabulous ethnic grocery store.

Feb 03, 2011
amoncada in Chicago Area

Bialetti ceramic nonstick

I've had really great results with Swiss Diamond nonstick (teflon alternative) fry pans.

I own a nonstick fry pan by Sitram, sold as the Sitram Cybernox line (teflon alternative). Looks like regular stainless steel, but has better nonstick properties...although not as good as regular nonstick. It's not the best for omelettes, but great for veggies and searing, etc. We'll call it a semi-nonstick fry pan.

Yeah, I wonder about the toxicity of the newest nonstick cooking surfaces. The Bialetti ceramic nonstick pans sound interesting!

Jan 29, 2011
amoncada in Cookware

Roti the Restaurant (not the bread)

Yeah, love it! Slightly, 'chain-ey', in appearance, but was pleasantly surprised! Plus they have gluten-free pitas, nice! Children 10 and under eat free during the dinner hour, that is, when you sign up for the Roti Rewards program. Can't wait to go back.

Jan 20, 2011
amoncada in Chicago Area

Chicken Wings

Juicy grilled wings and drumsticks: The garlic pomegranate grilled wings at Noon-o-Kabab are quite good. Also try Juan's Grilled wings at Jake Melnicks Bar and Grill.

Bar and Grill
24204 W Lockport St, Plainfield, IL 60544

Jan 18, 2011
amoncada in Chicago Area

Best fish tacos in Chicago area?

Feast in Bucktown serves up some of the best blackened (not breaded) fish tacos, seriously good! I recall having decent fish tacos at Los Nopales.

Jan 10, 2011
amoncada in Chicago Area

Brining turkeys- a messy waste of time?


Avoid the brining method and cook the turkey with the BREAST SIDE DOWN for the first 60% of the cooking time, then the reverse for the remaining 40%. Yep, this will cook a nice juicy turkey with a tender breast, every time!

Dec 22, 2010
amoncada in Home Cooking

Take-out Tamales

Yep, they're great too! La Casa Del Pueblo serves the real thing, exactly what I grew up with at home.

The sopes, enchiladas, tostadas, one might think, that they're the same ole same ole like at most other mom and pop restaurants, not a chance...Woah, they're awesome!!!!

Dec 20, 2010
amoncada in Chicago Area

Take-out Tamales

Great rec Tim N...the chicken, bean, and cheese with chile's tamales are standouts! The sopes, tostadas, soups, mole rojo, and of course many other homestyle dishes are all authentic and fantastic! Love this place!

Dec 20, 2010
amoncada in Chicago Area

favorite byob places

90 Miles To Cuba on Armitage Avenue in West Bucktown for really good Cuban, plus it's BYOB and totally fun. Yep, they will serve up a pitcher of Mojitos sans the liquor. The enclosed heated patio is quite fun...diner beware, it can get pretty noisy on the weekend evenings. It is especially busy with holiday parties at the moment...must have been 8 separate birthday, Xmas, and bachelorette parties going on last Friday night. Weeknights and lunch daily is more subdued.

Dec 15, 2010
amoncada in Chicago Area

Middle eastern food in chicago?

Hmm, the best Shawerma you ask? I Love, Love Shawerma!!!! I've tried the shawerma at Middle Eastern restaurants all over the city. Babylon in Bucktown on Damen serves the best, plus Middle Eastern Cafe and Grill (old chef from Babylon opened his own place) on Lincoln Avenue at Wilson. Al Kayameih and Semiramis are fantastic too!

Zad on Broadway in Lincoln Park serves a pretty decent shawerma too.

Dec 10, 2010
amoncada in Chicago Area

Where to buy dried hominy?

It's sold at Cermak Produce on Kedzie at Bearteau, 2 blocks north of Irving Park Road, in frozen, dried, and canned form. I especially like to use the fresh frozen variety in soups, YUM!

Oh and while you are there, pick up a can of Juanita's Chicken Posole, really fantastic stuff!!....tastes nearly as good as homemade and more like a New Mexican style posole. Juanita's Posole is one of the very few canned soups that I will eat as I prefer everything made from scratch.

Dec 10, 2010
amoncada in Chicago Area

Best Hole in the Wall Mexican for a Burrito

Yep, gordeaux is spot on!!!! Las Asadas and Taqueria El Asadero are tops in the city for steak and chicken tacos and burritos, really tough to beat. I like La Pasadita Express on West Irving Park Rd better than the original locations on Ashland general, the quality control with all of the La Pasadita taquerias is poor at best!!! I've complained to the owners and managers on a number of occasions. They don't seem to care, so I will always go out of my way for Taqueria El Asadero and Las Asadas!!
Also, there's a great steak taco cart at the Maxwell St. Market located on DesPlaines...darn, can't remember the name. They sell quite a few....maybe 2000 to 3000 a day.

Taqueria El Asadero
2213 W Montrose Ave, Chicago, IL 60618

Dec 10, 2010
amoncada in Chicago Area

Best Gluten Free Pizza, period!!! Father & Son Pizzeria/Marcello's Restaurant

It seems that Gluten Free pizza, or pretty much anything Gluten-Free for that matter, is gaining ground on store shelves and restaurant menu's these days. I've been Gluten-Free for five years now (well, expect for once a year for October Fest when I indulge in a couple of frosty German BBK's at the Huettenbar, NICE!).

One thing I'm sure that all us Celiacs can agree on is that the Gluten-Free pizza options are pretty bad. Well, not anymore! The folks at Father & Son Pizza/Marcello's Restaurant's have hit it out of the park!!! While I've had a couple of decent slices in San Franciso and here locally, nothing compares to the Gluten-Free pan pizza at Father & Son!! It is head and shoulders above the competition, nearly as good as regular pizza. Oh, and the gluten-free thin, as well as, the original is quite good too! Just to clarify, they already had a good start with their top notch sauce,sausage, and cheeses!!!

Here's the scoop, apparently, the owner's at Father & Son worked with the staff and a test lab for almost a year to fine tune the dough, wow is it good! Let me just say that it is a complete pain in the a.....s to make a truly gluten-free pizza in an existing commercial kitchen without making any equipment changes or modifications! Thank you for jumping through those hoops!

It looks like a new location is opening in Evanston!

Father & Son Restaurant
2475 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Dec 08, 2010
amoncada in Chicago Area

help finding good ethnic restaurants in the North Shore

Hmm, interesting...I will have to check out Avli and Larsa's! What are a few of the standout dishes/sides/etc.? Avli's menu / vibe / space looks great...and hey have a
lovely courtyard too.

Avli Restaurant
566 Chestnut Street, Winnetka, IL 60093

Dec 05, 2010
amoncada in Chicago Area

Best Steak/ Steakhouse on a budget?

How about steak at a mom and pop Italian restaurant, Greektown(Santorini's or Greek Islands), at a Colombian Steakhouse, etc or Tufano's Vernon Park Tap has been around for 60 years, serves very decent standard Italian fare & steaks in a cozy yet busy atmosphere..dirt cheap too! Also try Las Tablas on Irving Park Road for some Colombian style Churrasco/Steak. Also try Siboney Cuban Cuisine for the Argentinian style Churrasco music on weekends. These three restaurants serve up very good steak, plus each have their unique fun atmosphere. Good luck and please report back.

Las Tablas Restaurant
4920 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago, IL 60641

1073 W Vernon Park Pl Ste 1, Chicago, IL 60607

Nov 19, 2010
amoncada in Chicago Area

Where can I find really good cans of sardine?

Check out Caputo's Italian market on Grand at Harlem Avenue's...fantastic huge ethnic market! Great tuna and sardine selection! Try Gento and Genova brand canned fish in Olive oil. Riviera Foods on Harlem, north of Diversey is a great little gem as well, dirt cheap too! Be sure to pick up some Italian sausage and fine aged cheeses.

Jerry's Produce on Northwest Highway in Niles is another great ethnic store! I second the recommendation for Tony's, they definitely have a few fine Italian and Spanish sardine and tuna varieties. I will give the Roland variety a try.

Nov 18, 2010
amoncada in Chicago Area

Looking for neighborhood pub (food & drink) recommendations....

I definitely refute Nsxtasy's claim that The Map Room and The Hopleaf do not fit the bill as a pub. The Maproom is a bonifide is a perfect example of what you describe, in fact, locals/regulars abound, populate this place from the late morning until close. It's a place where the bartenders and regulars are on a first name basis, and of course they know your drink of choice.

The Hopleaf certainly qualifies and a pub too, with plenty of locals/regulars from immediate area. Granted, the food and vibe is more in line with a European European/Belgian style pub.

I stand by my recs.

The Map Room
1949 N Hoyne Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Hopleaf Bar
5148 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640

Jul 29, 2010
amoncada in Chicago Area

Looking for neighborhood pub (food & drink) recommendations....

The Map Room and The Hopleaf are a must do, plus they absolutely fit the 'neighborhood pub' requirement. The Hopleaf is in a great neighborhood with lots to see. Take a walk up and down Clark street and stop in the many shops and and of course Simon's Tavern and The Charlies Ale House.

Another great bar (although more of a bar than a pub) and music venue is the Green of the very best Jazz bars in the entire world. Very interesting crowd here. It was one of Capone's hangouts.

The Bucktown and Wicker Park neighborhoods, along Milwaukee, North, and Damen Avenue's have a ton of great bars and pubs...The Charleston (close to the Map Room), The Silver Cloud, and several more.

There a couple of great bars and pubs near The Wit, within a 6 block radius, like English, The Rooftop Bar next to John Marshal Law school, Millers Pub on Wabash, Dublins on State Street in the Gold Coast, The bar in the House of Blues Hotel, etc. Also check out some of the very best bar/pub food in the city at Bijon, kitchen open until 3-4 am.

The Map Room
1949 N Hoyne Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Charlies Ale House
5308 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640

Hopleaf Bar
5148 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640

Simon's Tavern
5210 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640

Jul 28, 2010
amoncada in Chicago Area

Looking for the best soup in Chicago!!

Fernando's Mexican restuarant on Lincoln Avenue just north of Roscoe serves FANTASTIC Mexican style chicken'll definitely want to order a second bowl.

Babylon on Damen Avenue in Bucktown serves amazing yellow lentil soup!

Opart Thai on Western and Lincoln makes a killer Tom Yum Kai!!

Carlucci's Italian Restaurant serves the very best Minestrone!!!

Jul 27, 2010
amoncada in Chicago Area

Looking for Speck in Chicago

Check out Riviera Foods on Harlem Avenue in Elmwood Park, it will take you back in time about 60 years...I"m almost positive I purchased Speck at Riviera. Prices are CRAZY CHEAP! Very few English words spoken there, which adds to the charm. Stop by the newest Caputo's at Grand and Harlem too...pretty amazing ethnic specialty-Italian/American/Polish store.

Jul 27, 2010
amoncada in Chicago Area

Authentic Chicken Mole Poblano and authentic greek and thai restaurant

Based on your description, it appears that you dined at Nuevo Leon located in Pilsen on 18th street, near the el train. People seem to love this place, but I personally think it's overrated and pretty darn greasy...although I do occasionally indulge in the refried beans appetizer piled high with jalapenos, tomatos, and onions on top, YUM! I grew up with moms authentic moles and guisados from that region of Mexico and beyond. I much prefer Los Nopales, no greasy food there. I hear great things about Sol de Mexico.

I would recommend Santorini's or Greek Islands for Greek cuisine. Santorini's is a little romantic, a bit upscale, and more expensive than Greek Islands.

Also check out Siboney Cuban Cuisine on Western Avenue in Bucktown for the very best Cuban food in Chicago!

Nuevo Leon Restaurant
1515 W 18th St, Chicago, IL 60608

Santorini's Restaurant
138 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60661

Jul 27, 2010
amoncada in Chicago Area

taqueria/taco trucks

I second Roger_Spark's rec for the Maxwell Street open market (actually, it's no longer on Maxwell street, it's now at Roosevelt and Des Plaines, just east of the Kennedy expressway). There are several great taco/tamale/torta/sope/huarache stands. I find that a few of these streetside mom and pop stands are far better than most storefront taquerias. STREET FOOD RULES!!

Also try Taqueria El Asadero at Montrose and Lincoln Avenue's OR Las Asadas (ask for the roasted black salsa, YUM!!!) on Western Avenue just north of Armitage, for the best char-grilled steak tacos and burrito's in the city!!!

Taqueria El Asadero
2213 W Montrose Ave, Chicago, IL 60618

Jul 21, 2010
amoncada in Chicago Area

Best Sandwich in the World

THE PILGRIM is pretty amazing stuff!!! I came accross it in Cape Cod at a popular sandwich shop. The fresh baked bread was outstanding as well. Anywho, here are the star ingredients (think Thanksgiving):

Roast Turkey
Cranberry sauce
Plus your favorite condiments


Apr 07, 2010
amoncada in General Topics

OMG- Roasted Cauliflower

If you like roasted cauliflower, you'll love roasted broccoli, leeks, and brussel sprouts with olive oil, kosher salt, and finished with fresh grated reggiano parmagino (a touch of butter works well too, optional).

Roasted Veggies can be an elegant side dish all year long. They are a great holiday dish or even for a summer bbq. I add roasted slivered almond or chestnuts to the above recipe over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. You can cook it on a veggie grill pan on the grill too. I like to add balsamic red vinegar when grilling the veggies.

Mar 08, 2010
amoncada in Home Cooking

What to do with cod

Hmm, that recipe looks like a winner!!

Here's one of my recipes that works wonderfully with cod:

Roasted Cod with spring peas, dried thyme, tomatos, dry wine, and crushed garlic:


1 lb cod fish filets
3 roma tomatos seeded and diced (or one 15 ounce can of quality diced tomatos in broth) using most of the juice. Works really well with canned tomatoes!).
1/3 cup of dry white wine, preferrably a sauvignon blanc
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 cup fresh or frozen spring peas
1 large garlic clove fine chopped or mashed through the garlic press
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt and groud white pepper to taste


Gently wash and dry cod filets. Do not soak filets.
Pour 1-2 tablspoons olive oil over filets and slather evenly.
Rub 1/2 large mashed garlic clove, 1/4 teaspoon thyme, kosher salt, and pepper over fish and let stand for 1-2 hours.

Preheat roasting pan in oven to 400 degrees.

In a separate bowl combine peas, tomato in broth (if canned, remove about 1/3 of the liquid) with remaining garlic, 1/4 teaspoon thyme, 1/3 cup wine, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly and add half of the mixture to pan under filets and remaining half over fish.

Roast fish for 8-10 minutes or until desired doneness. No need to flip fish due to preheated pan.

Sauteed swiss chard or spinach and roasted asparagus goes well with this recipe.


Feb 28, 2010
amoncada in Home Cooking

Pancake Recipe without Milk

Pamela's Pancake & Waffle mix is pretty amazing!!!! Don't let the fact that it's wheat and gluten-free turn you off. Pamela's mix is way better than regular pancakes, taste's more like what you would find in a gourmet five star brunch. NO MILK NEEDED! There's dried/powdered buttermilk already added....just add oil, eggs, and water.

Pamela's can be found at Whole Foods or in t your local grocers organic section.

Feb 19, 2010
amoncada in Home Cooking

Tons of leftover basil, parsley, and red onions...

This is really simple, versatile, and delicious!

Purple Cabbage Salad with White Bean, Red Wine Vinegar, Red Onion, and fresh herbs:
Served with optional toasted bread topped with olive oil, garlic, and basil.

2 cups rough chopped purple cabbage (smallish pieces)
3-4 tbsp red wine vinegar
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2-3 tbsp fine diced red onion
fresh ground black pepper and kosher salt to taste
1 14ounce can washed rinsed cannelini (or any white bean) beans
1 large washed, seeded, and small diced roma tomato
1 large fine chopped garlic clove (optional)
1 tbsp fine chopped parsley
2 tbsp chopped basil (optional)
mixed salad greens (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, mix thoroughly, and let stand for 1-2 hours, mixing once more just before serving. It'll take this amount of time for the flavors to come this point, you'll be able to get a feel for adding more or less of any one ingredient...don't forget to write down these adjustments. Serve over mixed greens with warm toasty buttered bread.

Optional toasted bread topped with olive oil, chopped garlic, and basil:
In a separate bowl combine 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 tsp fine diced fresh garlic, a sprinkle of fresh chopped basil, and salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Spread mixture over warm toasted bread. Ready to eat!

FYI: I served this last night with homemade lentil soup and warm toasty bread! YUM!

Another delicious variation of the above recipe would be to add a can of drained tuna and 1 tbsp of mayo!

Feb 17, 2010
amoncada in Home Cooking

Wheat Free, Gluten Free, Celiac Safe Restaurants or Cafe's in Chicago

That's great that they offer GF soy sauce, the problem (can be quite dangerous for some Celiacs) is that they're using the same wok...major cross-contamination issue's.

It's nearly impossible to convince a cook to dedicate a separate wok and cooking utensils for GF cooking. As far as I know, Thai soy sauce is GF and made without incorporating wheat, however, many Thai restaurants use the more readily available Japanese or Korean soy sauces made with wheat. The owner of The Chicago Ale House on Lawrence in Ravenswood/Lincoln Square is Gluten-intollerant. Anyway, he uses GF Thai soy sauce only! Oh yeah, I should mention that they serve Persian, Thai, and American cuisine, which is pretty unique!

Feb 15, 2010
amoncada in Chicago Area