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jjweerts's Profile

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Mexico City - Two Dinner Tour

Going to Mexico City with a good friend of mine. Staying in Polanco at the W but totally willing to cab it for a must-have. We have two nights and an afternoon for a good lunch.

Looking for a good fine dining recommendation for dinner as well as some fun cant-miss spots for a more casual dinner / lunch. I love tequilla, so a place with a good selection would be nice.

I think I've been to Izote before - I was in Mexico City roughly three years with another friend and I took him there. Liked it but wouldn't go back.

Aug 20, 2007
jjweerts in Mexico

Ethiopian suggestions?

I checked out Mama Destas and didn't really like it. I had the vegetarian sampler...a little on the dull side.

The owner was wonderfully friendly, however.

Feb 18, 2007
jjweerts in Chicago Area

Best Sushi in Chicago?

I went to Kaze last week and I must say that place is the bomb. I liked it so much that I went back to Mirai (one of my favorites) for comparison purposes right afterward - blows it out of the water plus it was a little cheaper and they had a more interesting by-the-glass sake selection.

Mirai and Kaze are both a little different, however. Kaze has nigiris and sashimis that are prepared with elaborate sauces, etc. Mirai is a little bit more traditional (but not traditional in a Katsu way). Fish was great there, plus they have a $40 tasting menu on Tuesdays.

Feb 16, 2007
jjweerts in Chicago Area

Madison Restaurant Week

I totally missed the thing about there being a restaurant week...sorry. Just shot from the hip with my favorite places - don't know if any of those actually were participating or not.

I miss Madison and love showing people the good spots. Let me know if you ever need any help.

JW

Feb 03, 2007
jjweerts in General Midwest Archive

Madison Restaurant Week

That is an excellent choice - when I was there 4 years ago I remember it being great. I used to work downtown. If you are looking for other recommendations, L'Etiole is right next door, which is probably the best restaurant in Madison and one of the best in the Midwest. Both L'Etiole and Harvest do the local organic thing - ample supply of local farms in SW WI.

My other recommendations (these are all downtown and upscale):

1) Tornado Room - West Main Street. Traditional steakhouse, very delicious.
2) Blue Marlin - right down the street from Harvest. Seafood.
3) Restaurant Magnus - near the convention center. They do sort of a pan South America thing and have a good appetizer list. They have a really nice bar.
4) Opus - King Street. A nice little bar...only appetizers and a little Sushi. Try the fondue. Once again this is more of a bar and go there to chill.
5) Murimoto - Also on King Street. Up the street from Opus. This is a Japanese place but they don't have sushi proper only rolls and dishes prepared with Japanese influence.
6) If you want real sushi Wasabi on State Street is good. Don't let anyone tell you to go anywhere else.
7) Orpheum Theatre - in the lobby of a cool old theather. The food is good but nothing exciting. I'd go there just to check out the space.

Don't let anyone tell you to go to Tutto Pasta or Frida- they cast an embarassing light on my hometown.

JW

Jan 31, 2007
jjweerts in General Midwest Archive

Ethiopian suggestions?

I have never had any service problems there - it's laid back (i.e ethiopian), and sometimes really croweded so if you want to go on Friday or Saturday get there early or late.

Jan 28, 2007
jjweerts in Chicago Area

Nashville / Louisville

I went to the Palm and spent way too much money. Thanks for the tip. I didn't know it was a chain and a-la Smith and Wollensky (SP?) the first was in NYC. They have like 20 locations.

Good service, good wine, food was excellent although it was late and they had run out of a number of things.

They have two in Chicago, hometown, one in the Burbs and one by the Hyatt Regency downtown. It's weird to bump into a chain that I didn't know about, especially one that's good.

Dec 04, 2006
jjweerts in General South Archive

Nashville / Louisville

Staying at the Opryland Radisson...looking for something good and interesting...I prefer nicer places I guess but have no real preference for what type of food. This Wild Boar place mentioned below sounds interesting.

Dec 02, 2006
jjweerts in General South Archive

Nashville / Louisville

I am going to be in Nashville on Sunday night and Louisville on Tuesday night. Looking for excellent places to eat, $$ no object, preferably places that stay open late.

Any type of food - I'm not into steak, though.

JW

Dec 01, 2006
jjweerts in General South Archive

Tofurky-anyone try it?

I used to work at WF and had a little Tofurkey every time holiday season rolled around - it's OK. I actually really like the gravy that comes with it...I forget what else it comes with.

I'm not vegan, nor do I eat alot of vegan food - the stuff sits like a rock. I'd definitely have something else with it.

JW

Nov 14, 2006
jjweerts in General Topics

Good place to eat at bar alone?

There's a place on I like to go to called PS 450. 450 Park Avenue South Between 30th & 31st Streets. Young staff - fun place. They have a good variety of food (not just burgers) but the stuff is relatively standard (quesadillas, salads, etc.)

I really like the lounge at the Hotel Roger Williams on Madison - set up like a living room and very cozy. They have cheeses and ligher food - a little on the pricey side buy still really cool. Once again, very friendly staff.

The Carlton Hotel (also on Madison) has like three or four different bars but I've never eaten there. Also really cool.

Nov 13, 2006
jjweerts in Manhattan

Central Wisconsin, Chowishness in General

Honestly, I've never been to Back When for dinner. It's been closed when I've tried to go, so I'll be sure to check it out the next time I'm in town. It sounds like we're on the same page in terms of the WW...I love that type of stuff.

JW

Nov 05, 2006
jjweerts in Great Lakes

Nice dinner without a coat and tie?

So - where did you go and how was it?

Oct 30, 2006
jjweerts in Chicago Area

Always Working Late - Loop Delivery Recs

Thanks - I've actually heard alot about that Oasis place, so I'll have to try it out.

Been to Naniwa - good idea. Thanks!

Oct 29, 2006
jjweerts in Chicago Area

Always Working Late - Loop Delivery Recs

I work for a consulting company in the Loop and we've been swamped with jobs that keep us here late and / or on the weekends.

When I used to work in NYC I was amazed by the entire food delivery industry which revolves around people working late. Here you don't have as many options but I'm sure good places exist.

I'm tired of going back to the well on the same old s*hit. I need to mix it up a little. Here is where we are constantly ordering from:

1) Leona's - Boring
2) Star of Siam - I like it and this is always going to be on the list but you can't eat thai everyday
3) Pat's - Delicious but heavy
4) Siam Rice - This place is a joke and I don't know why it's in business
5) Giordanos - See number 3
6) Golden Budha - I get it occaisonally, but not popular with the co-workers

The only rules:

1) Reasonably priced (~$15 per head)
2) No CEO deliveries

No preference on types of food - middle eastern is missing from the mix, as well as mexican and sushi.

Oct 29, 2006
jjweerts in Chicago Area

Loop Middle Eastern

I'm happy you found a new spot - good stuff. I actually think the shwarma sandwiches are delicious...go there at like 12:30 as the line moves quickly and the turnover is high. I've had some dry-ish shwarma if you go too early / late.

Also, they have great Gyros as well as Kofte. They make small batches of Kofte so they are usually juicy.

Oct 26, 2006
jjweerts in Chicago Area

Uber-Chowhound visits Chicago -- need steak, expectations high

I personally think you should try two or three of everyone's various recommendations (if you have the time and the money) and give us a review. You obviously love your steak, which is a hotly debated topic here in the Chi.

When I was in NYC I used to love Smith & Wollensky - I've heard it's good here to but have never been and that probably won't interest you.

I personally love the Erie Cafe - what does everyone else think of this place. I don't usually get steak there.

I went to Carmichaels (SP?) like four years ago and thought it was good - have not been back but I have frends who tell me that it's the best steak place in town.

I went to the Chicago Chop House once but thought that the food was just OK considering how expensive it was. I absolutely loved the salad - super fresh iceberg supper club style with home made french dressing.

JW

Oct 25, 2006
jjweerts in Chicago Area

Loop Middle Eastern

I beleive I've tried all of the usual suspects:

1) Haifa, which kindof sucks but works

2) Petra, which is a little far away from my office but I thought it was better than Haifa

3) Taza, which is a new place on Franklin that I personally love

Are there any other places out there worth checking out? I'm located a approx. Washington and Frankin.

JW

Oct 23, 2006
jjweerts in Chicago Area

Central Wisconsin, Chowishness in General

What did you think of the wine list?

Oct 13, 2006
jjweerts in Great Lakes

Loop Indian Delivery - Not Through CEO

Does anyone know of a decent Indian restraunt that delivers to the loop and DOESN'T use CEO deliveries? I hate using those guys.

Oct 11, 2006
jjweerts in Chicago Area

Nice dinner without a coat and tie?

I would say Avec or Blackbird.

Blackbird is one of the nicest restaurants in the city, and you don't need a jacket and tie. It is a little 'sceney' so you may still want to look nice (not sure how informal you are going), and also quite expensive. I was there drunk and super late one night so I'm not the best person to ask about it - there are a ton of posts on the place I'm sure.

http://www.blackbirdrestaurant.com/

The owners of Blackbird have another restaurant next door called Avec. This is one of my favorite places in the city. The food is excellent - mostly eclectic small plates for sharing but they have entrees as well. It's not stuck up and it's reasonably priced. Get the focaccia, the bacon wrapped dates, and the octopus.

The downside - it's always busy and the place is pretty small so you dine in close quarters. Plus, they don't take reservations, so unless you eat early or late you have to show up way in advance to put your name on the list.

http://www.avecrestaurant.com/

Oct 10, 2006
jjweerts in Chicago Area

Best Chicken Tikka Masala

I would have to agree with you on Tiffin - I have been there three times. The first time we got a large plate of Tandoori Chicken that was big enough to kill a horse but dry and actually sort of gross. The other times I went I had a curry and the aforementioned Chicken Tikka Masala, which were OK but nothing to go out of the way for.

Oct 10, 2006
jjweerts in Chicago Area

Best Chicken Tikka Masala

This is my absolute favorite Indian dish - be it authentic or not.

I actually had versions in Mumbai and Goa (and Dubai) and they were all fantastic. In general the mix of spices used in India is more interesting and has more of a bold, fresh taste.

Anyone know of a good spot for this in Chicago proper?

I've been to Tiffin on Devon, which the hounds have recommended before. I didn't like the Tikka Masala - it was very thin and a little on the bland side (it tastes like the dish that is sometimes referred to as Butter Chicken)

Also, I've seen Kababish of London recommended for Desi food. Has anyone tried it (or is it even available) there? No website yet.

Thanks,

JW

Oct 09, 2006
jjweerts in Chicago Area

Houndin' Around the World - Dubai

Thanks - I would agree on the Jumeirah Restaurants.

I dug Asha's, which is in Wafi City - tasty, 'modern Indian' food. A little PF Chang's-y but really good.

I have also heard that Verre is the best place in the city - when I was in Dubai a month ago it was temporarily closed due to renovations, so I missed out.

JW

Oct 04, 2006
jjweerts in Middle East & Africa

Central Wisconsin, Chowishness in General

I sure will AZGramps. Thanks for the rec. I'm happy that someone else has been to, and appreciated, the Roxy. Did you get the surf and turf?

Sep 29, 2006
jjweerts in Great Lakes

Mulan - anyone been?

I hope not.

Sep 19, 2006
jjweerts in Chicago Area

Mulan - anyone been?

Lion as in the cat.

Sep 19, 2006
jjweerts in Chicago Area

Mulan - anyone been?

I ended up going there tonight. I thought it was delicious. It turns out that they have three tasting menu options - a four course, a seven course, and a nine course.

I had the four-course which was only $35. The courses were as follows:

1) Mako shark with pomegranate vinaigrette - it was served sashimi style
2) Steamed shrimp with sesame dressing - a small salad
3) Lion and cream cheese sauce - just what it says, served rare, with a little carrot and edamame.
4) Black pork and crab ravioli - this is one of the entrees on the regular menu. They way it read sounded like it was a dumpling made out of pork and crab. It's actually a boneless pork chop with one crab ravioli. Delicious nevertheless.

The portions were huge for a tasting menu. $35 was a steal, as the pork dish was the size of a normal entree! In traditional Heat style the dishes were very interesting – they were all delicious, with some more memorable than others.

The lion was a special request which was graciously accommodated.

Staff exceptionally friendly. Restaurant very well designed and very pretty.

I guess it has only been open for approximately one month.

Call for directions if driving (the Wells street address not entirely accurate). Not the most visible location. The Red Line is the best way to go as it is close to the East gate of Chinatown Plaza.

Sep 18, 2006
jjweerts in Chicago Area

Central Wisconsin, Chowishness in General

Thanks - i've never heard of that place and I'll check it out the next time I'm up there.

Sep 18, 2006
jjweerts in Great Lakes

Mulan - anyone been?

Chef Kee Chan of Heat fame as opened a new restaurant in Chinatown. Looks like a general asian type place. Has anyone been there? I love Heat - I'm sure that the price of Mulan is on par, so I'd like some intelligent advice before I take the plunge!

http://www.mulanrestaurant.com/

The menu looks interesting, and the website says they now have a liquor license.

Could not find any threads on this - aplogies if I missed something.

JW

Sep 17, 2006
jjweerts in Chicago Area