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Cactus Leaves

Anyone know where I can reliably source cactus leaves?

We live in the Gold Coast and don't have car so keep that in mind when recommending places to purchase (so ideally near mass transit or a reasonable bicycle ride).

Thanks in advance.

Jun 18, 2011
gls_junk in Chicago Area

sourcing sea urchin?

Where can one purchase sea urchin at the retail level? My preference would be for in-city purveyors since we do not have a car.

Nov 07, 2010
gls_junk in Chicago Area

anyone tried gaztro wagon (naanwich)?

I guess I'm replying to my own question. Today, the Gaztro Wagon made it downtown near the financial district so a bunch of co-workers and I made the trek to Merchandise Mart to check it out. We arrived and quickly there were 50-70 people in line (we were in the middle of the line). When we got our sandwiches and left there were still that many people in line.

Today, they were serving up the pork shoulder, wild boar belly, short rib, slow roasted lamb, and the portobello. I ordered a boar belly and split a lamb.

As for the food, I would say it's a change of pace and there is a novelty factor, but I can't recommend it highly. I assume it's a Chicago regulatory/licensing thing, but there is still no cooking involved on the food truck. All the sandwiches are prepared off-site and loaded onto warmers/ovens on the truck. This makes for fast service. I didn't really like the texture of the naan. I don't know if it is because it sat in the warmers steaming or if it's poor execution on the naan making (oven not hot enough). All the food was salty (and that's saying a lot for me because I love salt).

Aug 26, 2010
gls_junk in Chicago Area

anyone tried gaztro wagon (naanwich)?

looking for a review.

how crowded does it get?

Aug 25, 2010
gls_junk in Chicago Area

Farmer's Markets - for a tourist....

If you are going on Saturday, the major market in the city is the Green City Market in Lincoln Park (1750 N Clark). This is different from the other listing for Lincoln Park (which isn't too far away). Also nearby is Division Street.

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

Aug 16, 2010
gls_junk in Chicago Area

name of restaurant in Old Town/has anyone been?

Looking for the name of the restaurant behind Sammy's Red Hots in Old Town (238 W Division). I noticed it walking buy. Got a lot of traffic from the cabbies from the cars in the parking lot. has anyone ever been?

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Sammy's Red Hots
238 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60610

Jun 25, 2010
gls_junk in Chicago Area

Please help me with a dinner rec for a hard-to-please group!

I would consider Mercat a la Planxa (Stapas). Since it's tapas, all the plates are "small" so even if one guest doesn't like it there will be others that will be more to their taste. Gives you the utmost flexibility for a picky crowd.

Feb 21, 2010
gls_junk in Chicago Area

How is this for a proposed itinerary for 15th wedding annvy

as far as drinks - head over to Pat O Briens. get a seat in the piano bar. have 2 of anything they are know (hurricanes or maybe the rainbow). good luck finding your way home! :-)

last time i did this - i literally blacked out between exiting the bar and waking up the next morning in my hotel room.

Dec 30, 2009
gls_junk in New Orleans

Small party catering

I've been to a cocktail party done by these fellows. Worth checking out.

http://www.figcatering.com/

Dec 29, 2009
gls_junk in Chicago Area

Feast of the seven fishes?

Inspired by Bobby Flay's latest Throwdown. Are there any Italian places that do an excellent feast each year?

Dec 06, 2009
gls_junk in Chicago Area

Coming from Boston with an appetite and need recs!

In Chicago - you should probably check out the Mexican scene. It starts of course with Rick Bayless with Topolobampo/Frontera Grill. He now has Xoco. There are a ton of other options.

There is Greek Town in Chicago, but frankly I've not been impressed.

IMHO take a pass on sushi in Chicago.

Places I would check out Mercat a la Planxa, Publican, The Gage, Sunda. I love Lou Malnati's for deep dish but also check out Piece.

For street food, you should check out Maxwell Street Market on Sunday morning (if it's still open - might be closed seasonally).

Oct 16, 2009
gls_junk in Chicago Area

Saturday LUNCH down near the Museum of Science and Industry

Been a while since I was down at U of C.

You might check out the following: Calypso Cafe (Obama fave), Medici (pizza, sandwiches, salads).

Oct 16, 2009
gls_junk in Chicago Area

Solo in Chicago

i definitely suggest checking out the new maxwell street market for some street meat. good for a sunday breakfast or lunch.

Aug 30, 2009
gls_junk in Chicago Area

New Maxwell Street Market any good?

dont forget the ojo tacos which i believe are served by Tito's Tacos (run by Jose and Mario)

Aug 30, 2009
gls_junk in Chicago Area

Ankimo

Admitted sushi snob so I'm not optimistic.

Anyone ever see ankimo (aka fois gras of the sea, aka monkfish liver) served in Chicago?

Aug 30, 2009
gls_junk in Chicago Area

Fresh quail eggs

+1 on Richwell. No idea how fresh. I've always wondered the same.

Jul 20, 2009
gls_junk in Chicago Area

Need suggestions near Grant Park (south)

I'd throw a couple more on the list. Down south I would add Custom House, Mercat a la Planxa (still closed?), Opera, Oysy.

Most of the suggestions to date have you going south or staying south. It isn't too difficult to walk north (The Gage, Rosebud Prime, etc.).

Jul 20, 2009
gls_junk in Chicago Area

Restaurant Recommendations, Please

across the street from steppenwolf is Boka - been there a couple of times and was pleased

http://bokachicago.com/

near union station on a sunday i think the pickings are slimmer.

Jul 20, 2009
gls_junk in Chicago Area

Jerk Chicken?

the best jerk chicken i have had is off a roach coach that comes by the Loop at lunch sometimes during the work week. then again i admit i am not an expert on jerk chicken. i also like their oxtail, goat curry, and empanadas.

i would second the thumbs down on calypso. was never impressed by it when i was at the Booth School.

i admit this is not very helpful.

Jul 20, 2009
gls_junk in Chicago Area

Lakeshore Drive

check out the Viagara triangle (bounded by Rush, State, and Chicago). bunch of restaurants and bars there where the cougars hang out.

Jul 01, 2009
gls_junk in Chicago Area

Any good TAPAS in Chicago?

A third vote for Mercat. By far the best tapas in Chicago although priced at a premium.

They also do the whole-roasted suckling pig (look at the website) which has to be pre-ordered. Loved it.

Jul 01, 2009
gls_junk in Chicago Area

Chicago Seafood (Bachelor Party)

I really C-House.

Jun 30, 2009
gls_junk in Chicago Area

The Gage, Loop

I agree The Gage is good, not great. I am partial to snacking on the curry fries (french fries served with a curry dipping sauce).

Definitely drink the Goose Island Matilda (Belgian pale ale style).

Jun 30, 2009
gls_junk in Chicago Area

20 librarians in search of a bar

same might be said for Zed 451's rooftop bar

Jun 30, 2009
gls_junk in Chicago Area

20 librarians in search of a bar

You might look into the C-View bar on the rooftop of the Affinia hotel. Very cool space. I don't know what it would take to RSVP that space.

http://www.affinia.com/Chicago-Hotel....

Jun 30, 2009
gls_junk in Chicago Area

Returning to Chicago after 10 year absence

Smoque BBQ has the best BBQ - brisket and ribs.

Jun 23, 2009
gls_junk in Chicago Area

All-you-can-eat lunch spots (Loop)

Couple of guys at work were discussing doing a Friday all-you-can-eat lunch routine. Looking for spots in the Loop area where it's an option.

So far we have come up with the following:

Brazilian steakhouses (Fogo, Brazzaz)
Flattop Grill
India House
India Curry House
Ruby of Siam

Any other ideas come to mind?

May 20, 2009
gls_junk in Chicago Area

Food and Drinks for NCAA Game Today

Looking for a place to go in the Loop/River North area.

I want a place that won't be too crowded. I want place that doesn't require reservations. It would be nice if it served some fine Belgian beers.

Mar 28, 2009
gls_junk in Chicago Area

Need a casual Friday night place near Hotel Monaco

Regarding the recommendation of tapas - mercata a la planxa has way better food than cafe iberico - no contest.

If you have big appetites and the wallet (a bit pricey), the roasted suckling pig they do is wonderful. They use the whole pig (techinically you get a head and half a body) so not for the squeamish either. You need to order 48 hours in advance.

Feb 06, 2009
gls_junk in Chicago Area

lunch places near 200 west jackson blvd (loop)

definitely perry's

Feb 06, 2009
gls_junk in Chicago Area