chicgail's Profile

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Noteworthy food near Chicago Botanic Gardens?

The Botanic Gardens, itself, has a lovely cafe for lunch or Sunday brunch. I recommend it.
http://www.chicagobotanic.org/cafe

1 day ago
chicgail in Chicago Area

Mrs. Alfred Hitchcock in the kitchen

<<Don't google "stripper of beef.">>

Of course I did. At least it wasn't Santorum.

Coming to a Wendy's Near You

Really? You think it's all about the individual? Doesn't s/he work hard enough? Do well enough?

I'm one of the lucky ones. I'm white, educated, with parents who gave me a boost. They had a little money. They lived in "good" neighborhoods. They sacrificed to educate me. They made sure I was taken care of. If they didn't have, I wouldn't have had a chance.

The system is rigged against the have-nots. You know it and I know it. No matter how hard a poor black woman works, she's not likely to get out of the cycle. And the men around her are going to be incarcerated for things that white men don't even get bothered about (loitering, smoking a joint, resisting arrest, etc.).

The system is broken. The haves get more. The have-nots get less. Occasionally someone poor, rural, urban, Black, Appalachian - whatever - will break out of the cycle. But it is the exception.

And the notion that everything is ok as long as I'm ok and my family is ok is nonsense. The world doesn't work unless it works for all ofus.

NYC Street Vendor Selling $30 Hot Dogs?

I don't know about his green card, but he sure does understand capitalism.

Wow, a Whole Year has gone by....

Apparently the network is preparing another "Next Food Network Star" season to begin in June, with auditions held last Fall. I wonder if they will learn from their missteps.

May 12, 2015
chicgail in Food Media & News

RPM or Bavette's?

This probably won't help you decide but I also think Bavette's is terrific. I haven't tried RPM, but Chicago Magazine raves about it.

http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Mag...

May 05, 2015
chicgail in Chicago Area

Dinner for Husband's 33rd Birthday

I heartily second Boka.

I also love El Ideas if "public transportation" includes a taxi. It is the definition of not stuffy. The kitchen is open and you can go in and watch while they prepare and plate. The chef personally tells you about each course.

Also Momotaro which is new an pan asian from the Boka Group: one of the best meals I've had in Chicago. Ever.

Apr 27, 2015
chicgail in Chicago Area

Sizzler - the essential TV ad must see.

That's almost 5 minutes long. It's not a TV ad. Even in 1991. But it was produced for some audience. I wonder how it was used and for what audience. I hope they didn't show it to diabetics without supplemental insulin.

Apr 16, 2015
chicgail in Food Media & News

Bobby Flay and Wife to Split

This is any of our business, because ...?

Apr 13, 2015
chicgail in Food Media & News

Burt's Place Pizza - a review of sorts

That's helpful.
Burt was clearly hands on and there was charred cheese along the edges and part of the bottom of the crust. I liked that. It was the 3/4 inch of soft bready dough in the middle and above the charred cheese at the edges that put me off.
And it is absolutely a matter of personal preference. My son (a chef as it happens) loved it.
I don't remember Pequod's pizza being that bready. We Chicagoans sure do have our opinions about pizza.
Thanks.

Apr 13, 2015
chicgail in Chicago Area

Burt's Place Pizza - a review of sorts

Burts Place comes up in virtually every post about pizza in Chicago. Burt, himself, is iconic and has the chops - he started Gullivers, Pequods and others. The place has some historical significance, having been a turn-of-the-century blacksmith shop in what is now Morton Grove. The waitresses look like they have been there since the beginning. Anthony Boudain ate there and booth he sat in in still marked.

And yet I had never been there. So when my son wanted to try this legendary deep dish pizza, we were excited.

We went through all the rigamarole: made reservations, ordered in advance, arrived early, brought cash.

We had a salad: a plate of damp romaine lettuce, a couple of red pepper strips, a handful of sliced olives and a little chopped raw onion with a bowl of bottled dressing on the side. No problem. We were there for the pizza.

And out it came. One sausage and mushroom; one vegetarian and one cheese. Super hot right from the oven. I took my first bite of the sausage and mushroom - the point of a triangular slice. Great sausage; good cheese, but the crust - it was thick soft bread. Wait! What about a crunchy crust?

Maybe there are different styles of deep dish pizza. Maybe I just wasn't used to it. Maybe it came out of the oven a little too soon.

Had this been my first taste of deep dish pizza I would have been disappointed. I would have echoed what many have said about this style of pizza that was invented in my home town. It was a thick slice of - admittedly good - chewy Italian bread topped with cheese, tomato sauce, sausage and mushrooms. But not pizza as I know pizza.

A life-long Chicagoan, I was practically weaned on Uno and Due pizza and Lou Malnoti, while it is a factory, does a darn good job. Tonight I was underwhelmed. As fun and charming and picturesque as the place was, I would never recommend the pizza. Did I miss something?

Talk among yourselves.

Apr 12, 2015
chicgail in Chicago Area

Is ATWOOD a good choice?

I have not been to Green Street Meats. It looks like the real deal but I've had BBQ in Texas and Chicago BBQ just doesn't measure up - at least in my experience so far. It would be nice to have a bit of that here. I'd love to hear what others say.

I also think it would be nice if Atwood was an entirely different restaurant, but given that it has a particular existing market that it has been catering to, I would expect it to be doing some dramatic re-marketing to create a whole new buzz. That hasn't happened.

I know there is some really cool stuff we haven't mentioned. I'll keep thinking.

Apr 11, 2015
chicgail in Chicago Area

Is ATWOOD a good choice?

Atwood isn't what I would call a great restaurant, but it's close to the theater and it is "solid." It's a restaurant hotel and gets a nice business lunch business. I ate there before the theater a while ago and it was fine. I just don't want you to get your expectations too high.

If you don't mind taxiing instead of walking - or if the weather is good and you have the time for a walk - I would suggest a few places on the other side of the Chicago river. GT Oyster comes to mind, as does Bin 36, and Sienna Tavern. Coco Pazzo is good Italian. Many people also like The Gage, a gastro pub just a few blocks away.

Apr 11, 2015
chicgail in Chicago Area

Where are the ramps?

I was there two days ago and didn't see them. But $1/ramp is for sure a little steep.

Apr 09, 2015
chicgail in Chicago Area

The "Food Babe" Blogger Is Full of Shit

You are right of course. I knew I had read something like that somewhere and I couldn't remember who. Apologies. I didn't take the time to check.

Apr 08, 2015
chicgail in Food Media & News

The "Food Babe" Blogger Is Full of Shit

ick.

Apr 07, 2015
chicgail in Food Media & News
1

The "Food Babe" Blogger Is Full of Shit

She reminds me of the Jude Law character in Contagion: the blogger who tried to convince millions of terrified people dying in a global pandemic that they needed to consume forsythia, some homeopathic concoction. He totally made it up and was making a fortune.

Apr 07, 2015
chicgail in Food Media & News

The "Food Babe" Blogger Is Full of Shit

I think my irritation here is the particular world of the political eating police. The ones who bought out all the kale before the predicted NYC snowstorm that didn't happen. Kale, quinoa, chia and the like are fine, nutritious foods. I know someone who moved to California from Chicago only to brag openly that "everyone eats kale here."

They're just not magical. Eating them doesn't mean that you will live forever or that they will prevent cancer or heart disease.

Eating a lot of sugar is not a great idea on a regular basis, but let's not get crazy here.

GMOs? I've seen nothing that convinces me that they are dangerous. (Monsanto's Roundup practices make me a little sick, however.)

A little good sense is called for. Eat fresh. Not too much. Mostly things that grow in the ground. Moderation. And stop judging everyone else.

Tried and true Braised Brisket Recipe?

Oven-braised smoked brisket. Here's my recipe:

Cowboy Barbecued Brisket – best brisket ever
It's best smoked, but if you don't have a smoker or it's too cold to use it, this is the oven alternative.

For the dry rub:
2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons coarse ground black pepper
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon onion powder
1T smoked paprika instead of to dry rub instead of Liquid Smoke in sauce
13- to 4-pound brisket, top cut, fat trimmed

For the brisket sauce:
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup strong brewed coffee
1/2 cup apple-cider vinegar
¼ C Brown sugar
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon liquid smoke or smoked paprike
1/2 teaspoon onion powder.

To make the dry rub, combine the ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well, pressing with the back of a spoon to remove any lumps.

Rub the brisket with the dry rub.

preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rub brisket with dry rub and place in a roasting pan or casserole just large enough to hold it. Add 2 cups beef stock, uncovered, 1 hour.

Reduce oven to 300 degrees. Cover pan tightly with foil and cook brisket until fork tender, 3 to 4 hours, depending on size. Remove and let stand, covered, 20 minutes.

Make the barbecue sauce by combining the ingredients in a pan and mixing well. Heat to boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

I usually refrigerate and this point, then slice, pour sauce over sliced brisket and reheat.

Apr 07, 2015
chicgail in Home Cooking
1

The "Food Babe" Blogger Is Full of Shit

Hooray. Time for someone to take this nonsense down.

Same Dilemma Every Year

And if you go back far enough, we are all Sepharic by origin.

Apr 07, 2015
chicgail in Home Cooking

Same Dilemma Every Year

Thanks, folks. Yes, it's a Passover thing. I always overestimate how much I need and then there's ton of brisket left. Love your ideas, especially the hash and tacos (corn tortillas should be fine - but frankly we're not all that observant of the holiday and even flour might happen).

Wish I could share it with all of you. Seriously.

Would you like to cook like Amy from Amy's Baking Co. of Kitchen Nightmares fame?

The Thing that wouldn't die.

Remember Carrie's arm coming up from the grave ... ?

Apr 04, 2015
chicgail in Food Media & News

Where are the ramps?

Rhubarb. Asparagus. Ramps. Foods of spring.

Is it too early?

I checked at Whole Foods on Ashland where I usually get them and they said they had a shipment, but they weren't looking so good so they didn't put them out.

Who's got 'em?

Apr 04, 2015
chicgail in Chicago Area

Same Dilemma Every Year

So now what do I do with the leftover brisket?

Apr 04, 2015
chicgail in Home Cooking

Lone Chef/Food Addict Exploring Chicago

There are lots of good hot dog joints around, but Portillos does it as well as most. You'll get the real deal. BTW, I vastly prefer their Vienna Polish sausage (not a traditional Polish sausage) to their hot dogs. Bigger, juicier, a bit spicier and with a terrific crunch when you bite into it.

Mar 24, 2015
chicgail in Chicago Area

Lone Chef/Food Addict Exploring Chicago

Good choices. I agree with ferret about losing Harold's - its decent chicken, but nothing remarkable.

L&E is an option for brunch, lunch or dinner.
Portillos is a good stop for either a Chicago hot dog or an Italian Beef - perhaps not the absolutely best in town but will give you a good sense of it.
Malnati's is as good a deep dish pizza option as you'll find, but I remain partial to the original Uno and Due who started it all in the 1940s. And then there are the other variations around town like Pizanos - all were based on the same family recipe..

Have a great time and let us know how it goes.

Mar 24, 2015
chicgail in Chicago Area

another spoilage question

<< who keeps leftover oatmeal, anyway?>>

I do. If I have leftovers, I like to form it into patties the next day, fry it up in a little butter and top it with maple syrup.

Mar 20, 2015
chicgail in General Topics

Is it safe to let my chicken stock simmer on the stove overnight while I sleep?

Are we talking about a nap or overnight. I wouldn't try it over night, but for an hour or so? Sure.

Mar 20, 2015
chicgail in General Topics

Is it safe to let my chicken stock simmer on the stove overnight while I sleep?

Stock can explode? How does that happen?

Mar 20, 2015
chicgail in General Topics