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10 days in Buenos Aires

A few quick throughts from my recent trip:
1. Parilla Pena (ate there based on this thread): our best parilla. Probably serves the best empanada we had anywhere. Also, the chimicuri sauce was our favorite.
2. Cabana Las Lilas: wasn't bad, but didn't do a lot for me.
3. Osaka: a fun "scene" place in Palermo with peruvian japanese fusion. We liked it a lot. The ceviche was the best I've had. This is a mini chain with restaurants in LA, Santiago and one or two other south american cities.
4. Mendozo: Asafran: really good, creative, upscale food.
5. Ruca Malen: outside Mendoza, with an oustanding lunch in a breathtaking pavillion.

Dec 22, 2011
jjo in Latin America & Caribbean

Food markets for tourist

I don't disagree. I take the Union Pacific line every day, so I've bought lots at the French Market and there is very good food there. (Get the Montreal Pastrami at Fumare). However, my wife and I spent a great hour or so in the Chelsea Market; it's a destination place for foodies just to look. The French Market, in my opinion, is not.

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French Market
131 North Clinton, Chicago, IL 60661

Nov 17, 2011
jjo in Chicago Area

Food markets for tourist

I don't think Chicago has anything remotely like the Chelsea Market in New York. The French Market is no destination I'd bring out of towners. Our farmers markets, other than the Green City Market (I've not seen what they have in the Winter) are all shut down.

I would think more of ethnic market places. The best is proably Mitsuwa and Super H Mart, which are two massive Asian supermarkets. They are, however, both in the suburbs. In the city, I'd stroll the Indo-Pak stores on Devon Avenue, or trolll the polish places on Milwaukee Ave.

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Super H Mart
801 Civic Center Dr, Niles, IL

Green City Market
1750 N Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60614

French Market
131 North Clinton, Chicago, IL 60661

Nov 16, 2011
jjo in Chicago Area

Bulk Foods - Ricci Nuts is GONE!

Nuts on Clark or your nearest Trader Joe.

Nov 08, 2011
jjo in Chicago Area

Les Nomades Question & Bonus Topolobampo Inquiry

I have requested substitutions on tasting menus at other restaurants and it is generally no trouble at all. The only "rule" that you typically run into is that all parties at a table need to be doing a tasting menu of the same number of courses.

Oct 27, 2011
jjo in Chicago Area

Dinner at Mercat a la Planxa - 9/24/2011

I, too have eaten at Mercat probablyh 8-10 times without ever having a service issue. It has been our go to place before any dowtown event.

Oct 19, 2011
jjo in Chicago Area

where to get local pasture raised duck eggs?

At the Evanston Farmer's Market theirs is a stand that sells both duck parts and duck eggs they raise themselvers. They definitely let the ducks run around. There is no name on the stand, but they have a board up showing the meat they sell (the pork is excellent). I think they are called Gast Farms, but as I say, there is no sign.

Sep 13, 2011
jjo in Chicago Area

Farm to Table type in Vancouver

Thanks. Both of these look great.

Sep 08, 2011
jjo in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Farm to Table type in Vancouver

Looking for moderately high end for one night next weekend. It's not so much the philosophy as those who focus on local stuff tend to be the chefs I like.

Thanks,

Sep 06, 2011
jjo in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Best BYOBs in the City

I enjoyed a recent meal at HB Home Bistro on North Halsted.

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HB Home Bistro
3404 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60657

Jul 19, 2011
jjo in Chicago Area

Birrierias, Soul Food, Jewish Delis, and more?

Definitely head to Zaragoza. The homemade tortillas alone are worth the trip. In addition to the birria, be sure to get something that comes with the salsa in the mocahete. A simple quesadilla works fine. I love the Bayless places, but if you want the small, family run, authentic ethnic experience, Zaragoza is perfect.

May 20, 2011
jjo in Chicago Area

Alinea and then ?? Trotter or L20 or ?

I ate very recently at Trotters and ate at L2O with Gras. I greatly prefer Trotters. L2O seemed to me to me more about presently pristine seafood, but without doing anything that wowed me. Trotters was a return after 10 years, and I loved it just as much as ever. I'm not saying Trotters is for everyone (that's a matter of personal preference), but I can say it hasn't "lost" anything.

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L2O
2300 Lincoln Park West, Chicago, IL 60614

Apr 20, 2011
jjo in Chicago Area

Boston-area visitors in Charleston for 4 nights--where to eat?

You may have quit, but you did a pefect job. Thanks!

Apr 16, 2011
jjo in Southeast

Boston-area visitors in Charleston for 4 nights--where to eat?

To add to this, could folks compare these restaurants: Magnolia, Cypress, FIG and SNOB?

Apr 15, 2011
jjo in Southeast

Everest vs. Charlie Trotters for a bday dinner?

I had the vegetable menu (it's not vegetarian, but they will make it so on request) this past Friday and it was one of my best meals ever. I did not see in either the food or the service any evidence of a restaurant "resting on its laurels." Every morsel was outstanding and prepared with great thought and care. They are not doing molecular gastronomy nor serving pork with everything, but I can't recall ever having better vegetable dishses than I had there. (My wife had the regular menu and loved it.) Just another opinion!

Apr 06, 2011
jjo in Chicago Area

Vegetarian/Vegetable Tasting Menu

I had the vegetable menu at Trotters this past weekend. It is, by the way, a vegtable menu, not a vegetarian menu, as they use meat products. However, they will happily make it vegetarian.

As for the food, it was one of the best meals I've ever had in Chicago. I don't think anyone in town has a better hand with vegetables. Indeed, even the regular menu uses vegetable broths and purees for many of the dishes. Different from many other places, there is no molecular grastronmy, and in many respects, Trotters' dishes are more subtle and nuanced than many other places in town. His dishes have great depth and balance, but don't slap you in the face with a big bold flavor. Just my opinion!

Apr 04, 2011
jjo in Chicago Area

great food and live music?

If you're up for jazz, I recommend the Green Mill in Uptown, which has the best atmosphere of any jazz club in town. While they don't serve food, there are three good restaurants on the same block, so you can walk from dinner to the club: Silver Seafood (authentic Chinese seafood), Demara (Ethiopian) and Marigold (upscale Indian). Also in the jazz vein is Andy's on Hubbard. The music is tops, and the food is O.K. I would eat elsewhere and go to Andy's, but if you must have food and music together, that's your best bet for jazz and its within walking distance of your hotel. The Green Mill is a 15 minute cab ride.

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The Green Mill
4802 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60640

Mar 31, 2011
jjo in Chicago Area

Grass Fed beef/organic steak houses Chicago

Prairie Fire, while not a "steak house", always offers several dishes with TallGrass Beef (Bill Kurtis's company), which is grass fed.

Mar 28, 2011
jjo in Chicago Area

In Chicago for 3 Days review my list and tell me what's missing

You want to get a bit our of your comfort zone and go for a something new and very Chicago? Go to Papa's Cache Sabroso at 2517 West Division and order a Jibarito. Papa's is a Puerto Rican place specializing in roast chicken, but they make a great Jibarito, an amazing sandwich that uses fried plaintain instead of bread. Seems like the kind of food you're looking for, but not the typical Italian beef, deep dish, etc.

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Papa's Cache Sabroso
2517 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60622

Mar 01, 2011
jjo in Chicago Area

Groupon today for Michael in Winnetka

I don't understand what happened here. Did they offer a Groupon with no restrictions, and then, when you showed up on a Friday or Saturday evening, said the Groupon is not valid for that time period?

Feb 11, 2011
jjo in Chicago Area

Casual Dinner In Northbrook Area

Check out Prairie Grass Cafe if you want something a bit above a are with good burgers, which is what Charlie Beinlich's is. Francesca's North is good for Italian.

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Francesca's North
1145 Church St, Northbrook, IL 60062

Jan 11, 2011
jjo in Chicago Area

picky girl looking for romantic, ecofriendly dinner spot...

I know of no high end chef who mirrors your food philosphy, unfortunately. A few years ago, our city counsel famously passed a ban on foie gras. Nearly all the chefs were outraged. Charlier Trotter, as I recall, swan against the tide and said he'd stopped serving foie gras on ethical grounds. However, I'm fairly certain he serves veal and rabbit. They may not always be on his menu, but he serves them.

One place that comes to mind is Prairie Fire Cafe. I don't know how romantic it is, but it's a short cab ride from your hotel, and I know all of their beef is from Tallgrass, Bill Kurtis's grass fed beef operation.

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Tallgrass Restaurant
1006 S State St, Lockport, IL 60441

Dec 08, 2010
jjo in Chicago Area

help finding good ethnic restaurants in the North Shore

Glad you enjoyed it. Try it again on a warm summer night because the courtyard is lovely.

Dec 06, 2010
jjo in Chicago Area

help finding good ethnic restaurants in the North Shore

Kabul House, the superb Afghani restaurant, has reopened at 4949 Oakton in Skokie.
While Pita Inn is good for Middle Eastern, I prefer Larsa's at 3724 Dempster in Skokie, although I haven't been in a while.
Avli Estiatori in Winnetka is probably one of the best Greek restaurants in Chicago.

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Pita Inn
3910 Dempster St, Skokie, IL 60076

Avli Restaurant
566 Chestnut Street, Winnetka, IL 60093

Dec 01, 2010
jjo in Chicago Area

FRIDAY BREAKFAST FOR VISITING TRAVELER - PLEASE?

If you're willing to walk .75 of a mile (It could be fold) or hop a cab, I'd recommend XOCO, Rick Bayless' new place. They open at 8:00 and serve some great breakfast sandwiches plus churros and hot chocolate. There is no waiter service, however. You order at a counter and they bring the food to you. Also, it gets crowded.

Nov 30, 2010
jjo in Chicago Area

Restaurant Recommendations with Kids in Loop

For pizza, I'd suggest Pizano's at 61 east Madison. It's in the Loop and a good representation of Chicago pizza.
Just north of the loop you've got Rain Forest Cafe, Hard Rock Cafe and the rock and roll McDonalds. They are all rather touristy, but I know my kids would have loved them at that age. For a combination of fun and decent food, I'd second the recommendation for Greek Town, either Parthenon or Greek Islands. They are a very short cab ride from the Loop. Get the flaming cheese (saganaki) and the kids will be happy.

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Hard Rock Cafe
63 West Ontario, Chicago, IL 60610

Aug 25, 2010
jjo in Chicago Area

Anything new near The Palmer House hotel?

For beer and good bar good, The Gage on Michigan Ave has both.
For dinner, Mercat a la Planxa on south Michigan Ave is a modern tapas place.

Apr 20, 2010
jjo in Chicago Area

INTRODUCING DAUGHTER TO CHICAGO FOOD FOR FIRST TIME

If you're a foodie, a fan of Rick Bayless and money is not a concern, I strongly suggest dinner at Toplobompo, Bayless' more upscale place.

Apr 14, 2010
jjo in Chicago Area

Non-Restaurant Foodie Gems?

I think the Banh Mis at Saigon Sisters are terrific. I'm a huge fan of Nhu Lan, but you have to accept that Saigon Sisters is making a different and more complex kind of sandwhich. Try the one that's short rib in coconut milk or the meatball one. Sorry I can't remember the names. Saigon Sisters is taking the Banh Mi into new territory.

Apr 05, 2010
jjo in Chicago Area

Non-Restaurant Foodie Gems?

Here are some quick ideas to research:

Fox and Obel: Near downtown, and the best all around gourmet market.
Devon Avenue: Just go and walk and check out the Indo-Pak stores.
Mitsuwa: GIANT japanese market in Arlington Heights.
Super H Mart: GIANT Korean market in Niles.
Northwestern Cutlery: near downtown, where chefs for for knives, etc.
It you're hear on a Sunday morning, Maxwell Street market is a must.

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Super H Mart
801 Civic Center Dr, Niles, IL

Apr 02, 2010
jjo in Chicago Area