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SBakall's Profile

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Best Short Ribs in the City?

I second for San Soo Gab San for Korean BBQ short ribs... This is a favorite restaurant of ours that we visit weekly. The restaurant can get a little smoky, the service can be less than perfect and few of the waitresses speak English so communicating can sometimes be a little difficult.. Knowing all of that, we still come back week after week because the food is delicious, the portions are large and the price is right. One night, we counted 24 banchans (little side dishes that come with Korean meals)served to our party of 3 to enjoy with our BBQ... All were delicious and we never leave hungry!

Oct 13, 2011
SBakall in Chicago Area

BIG Group Dinner for New to Chicago

Scoozi's (another Lettuce restaurant) also has a very nice private room. Just give them your budget and they can work with it.

Another suggestion would be to go to Chinatown! It's a short cab ride or subway ride if your group feels the need to experience Chicago public transportation, away and definitely good for the budget. At $50 a person, you could have a huge feast.. Many of the restaurants in Chinatown Square (a development just across the street from old Chinatown) do Chinese Hot Pot for around $17 a person, all you can eat, which usually includes 3 HUGE trays of meats, veggies and seafood... Or, just sit down at one of the many other places and order up a feast!

Lastly, another great spot is Cafe Iberico on LaSalle just south of Chicago Avenue, not too far off the Gold Coast/River North area. This place is always busy, loud and a ton of fun... They serve fabulous tapas and excellent sangria!

Whatever you do, look up these restaurants before you get here and MAKE A RESERVATION! Most of the restaurants in these areas are quite busy but can accommodate you if you give them a call ahead of time.

Enjoy!

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Cafe Iberico
737 N Lasalle Drive, Chicago, IL 60654

Scoozi
410 West Huron, Chicago, IL 60610

Jul 09, 2011
SBakall in Chicago Area

Best Korean in Chicago?

We have Korean food every week and hands down - THE BEST dolsot bi bim bop (served sizzling hot in a stone bowl) in the city is at Ban Po Jung located at 3450 W Foster Ave, on the East end of Northeastern University. It's owned by the cutest couple who work there every day.. The place is filled with Korean diners (always a good thing when in a Korean restaurant!) and the prices are very reasonable. Along with their many side dishes, they also serve up a free veggie pancake and a fried fish for each person. Don't let the looks of the fish fool you because it is absolutely delish!

You ask why I say THE BEST bi bim bop? Once you finish the bibimbop, underneath, is the most delicious crispy rice "crust" that just slips out easily from the bowl for that final delicious blow.. In fact, there have been times when I couldn't finish the bibimbop and had to scoop it out onto my plate just so I could attack the crispy rice crust below. Not sure what they do to their bowl, but this is the only Korean restaurant I've ever eaten this dish at where you don't have to jackhammer the crust out.

Enjoy!

Jul 09, 2011
SBakall in Chicago Area

Grey truffle salt

I recently returned from a trip to Oregon where I purchased a bunch of Oregon white truffles.. While these are not considered by the French or Italians to even merit the name truffle, they were a fraction (and I mean pennies to the dollar) of their European counterparts and I've enjoyed them in many delicious dishes for the past month..

I've shaved them into eggs, mashed potatoes, mixed them into an aioli which I spread on toasted bread that brought my BLT to the next level. I also made a batch of simple cheese fondue which I and mixed some shaved truffles into and served with some rustic bread dippers... I incorporated some shaved truffles into a buerre blanc which I used to top my grilled halibut and tonight, I'm going to shave a bunch more to make my own truffle salt. I know this salt won't be as intense smelling as the small $30 a jar variety, but I guarantee, it will still impart a nice aroma. Made with pink Himalayan sea salt, my truffle salt will cost about $3.77 for the same amount of truffle salt. and I plan on incorporating more truffle to salt than they did.

Yes, I've had both French and Italian truffles and yes, they were unbelievably delicious, but they're so expensive that I've only ever been able to have them a few times on very special occasions. I would rather buy and use the much lesser expensive Oregon truffles and eat them with anything and everything I wanted, than to wait for that one meal in a year that I might be able to afford French truffles.

European truffle farmers highly criticize any and all truffles grown in any other parts of the world other than their own, because anyone selling their truffles for less than they do threatens to devalue their market, thus causing them to fetch less money for their goods, so instead, they slam these other truffles and call them inferior.

Don't know about you, but I know I'll be happily enjoying my inferior truffles on soft boiled eggs this weekend....

Jul 08, 2010
SBakall in Home Cooking

Sea Salt vs. Kosher Salt for Truffle Salt

Just got back from an awesome trip to Portland and the fab Farmer's Market at PSU there and picked up 5 golf ball size Oregon White Truffles and 1 similar size Italian Black Truffle. One of the uses I planned for the white truffles was to grind them down to make a nice truffle salt to share with some friends and family. My big dilemma is whether or not a med coarse sea salt or kosher salt would be better suited for this application, or doesn't it matter which salt I use?

Appreciate the replies. Thanks.

Jun 30, 2010
SBakall in Home Cooking

3/20-3/27 in Portland on a Foodie Road Trip.. What should we do?

Thanks, Nettie... I guess it's back to a car rental then..

Mar 12, 2010
SBakall in Metro Portland

3/20-3/27 in Portland on a Foodie Road Trip.. What should we do?

My plane doesn't land until nearly midnight.. so it will prob have to be cab ride in. That's ok. After a long day at work for me bef getting on a plane out there, a cab ride might be all I have enough energy for..

The area around Union Station on a Sunday is deader than dead... Union Station is on the west end of the Loop (downtown) and everything's closed on Sundays down there. There are def options tho.. 1/2 mile west of Union is Greek Town and 1/2 mile east is Lake Michigan and Millennium Park.. great people watching...

Thanks for all of your info, Jay...

Mar 12, 2010
SBakall in Metro Portland

3/20-3/27 in Portland on a Foodie Road Trip.. What should we do?

I wish there was a cheese class happening while we're in town.. The class we're taking at Lake Oswego is Farmhouse Tuscany and is offered by In Good Taste.

Are there places that I can rent a car in Portland or is the airport a better option? Also, how far is the airport from the downtown area where our hotel is at? Ideally, I would like to spend all day at the farmer's market on Saturday, then go to our cooking class via cab.. Then, rent a car for Sunday when we can drive out to the coast and stop along the way for breakfast, lunch & dinner. Then on Monday, check out the surrounding areas around our hotel and grab some local bites.

Our trip has been altered bec we're now flying out to SF on 3/23 vs. spending a whole week in Portland... I was able to get reservations for dinner at French Laundry so plans had to change..

Thanks for everyone's great tips... Anytime you want to come to Chicago, I can totally advise on what our city has to offer.. :)

Mar 11, 2010
SBakall in Metro Portland

3/20-3/27 in Portland on a Foodie Road Trip.. What should we do?

I just booked the class in Lake Oswego. Farmhouse Tuscany and will just rent a car for the day.

JAYINPORTLAND - please tell me Lake Oswego is in the same direction as the beautiful Coast you described above. I would love to take a nice drive along the coast and partake in our cooking class that night.

Thanks everyone!

Mar 02, 2010
SBakall in Metro Portland

3/20-3/27 in Portland on a Foodie Road Trip.. What should we do?

Sadly, the one class that's available is Extreme Cuisine.. deep fried crickets, rattlesnake, pigs tail, chicken feet and other challenging foods.. Wish we were staying for 2 weekends.... Thanks..

Mar 02, 2010
SBakall in Metro Portland

3/20-3/27 in Portland on a Foodie Road Trip.. What should we do?

We're there 3/19 to 3/23.

We're staying at the Nines which I believe is in or about the same vicinity as the Ace. We're also taking a late night flight out the 19th (vs. early am flight on the 20th) specifically because we want to hit the Farmer's Market at PSU so you all are definitely on the same page as we are.

I'm also trying to find a one-day cooking class but it seems there are few because it's your spring break week... In Good Taste normally offers them but while we're there, bec it''s spring break week, they're offering only kids cooking camps. The one that we could possibly do is in Lake Oswego which requies a car to get to. I'm not sure if a taxi would take us out there and bring us back... Any other suggestions???

Also, are there any cheese factories to tour? A friend at Whole Foods suggested Rogue Creamery but she wasn't sure if it was just a shop or if they offered cheesemaking tours.

Street food is a definite must. We live in Chicago where there is relatively little street food other than hot dogs and soft pretzels (both pretty inedible) but I've traveled all over the world and have had fab street food in S. Korea and S. America.

We will def look up bike rentals as well.. Great suggestion...

Please keep other suggestions coming should you think of any more.

Thanks in advance!

Mar 01, 2010
SBakall in Metro Portland

3/20-3/27 in Portland on a Foodie Road Trip.. What should we do?

I'm planning a visit to Portland from 3/20 to 3/27 and hoping for a week of discovering everything delicious and unique to this part of the country. We want to visit all of the various marketplaces and shops and experience foodie nirvana...

Can anyone suggest which part of town to stay in that would be safe, convenient and just an all-around awesome place to be for my daughter (age 19) and I?

Also, any suggestions as to what to do, where to go.. I have a week to try to figure this all out...

Thanks in advance....

Feb 26, 2010
SBakall in Metro Portland

Post Prom Suggestions - Near Shedd Aquarium

How about Melting Pot on Dearborn? Depending on what you order, you can keep the price down.

May 11, 2009
SBakall in Chicago Area