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MDhaliwal's Profile

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Substitution for Yogurt in parve recipes?

I'd second Whole Soy & Co. It is listed as Pareve on the containers and is my favorite yogurt substitute. If it works for you, it's a great product!

Nov 13, 2011
MDhaliwal in Kosher

ADA, OKLAHOMA

Having traveled to Ada, I can guarantee that Kosher is not part of the standard vocabulary in the area. Luckily, a Whole Foods opened up in Oklahoma City about three weeks ago (I've been told). It's quite nice and has a wide assortment of items that could work (fruits, vegetables, vegan items, etc). In Ada itself, there's a very large Walmart, which has a full grocery store. Going back to the bread comment, ironically, finding bread was one of the tougher items while I was in town. Luckily I found a package of parve bagels!

Besides for that, it's few and far between. As an aside, there's at least a movie theater in Ada with very low ticket costs and current films. Doesn't really help feed anyone, though it can help take your mind off food for an hour or two!

Nov 13, 2011
MDhaliwal in Kosher

Kosher Thanksgiving in Chicago

To follow-up on my own post -

Shallots is doing a Thanksgiving menu again this year. They didn't have a menu printed to show me, but they said it was going to be similar to last year's.

Hope this helps!

Nov 13, 2011
MDhaliwal in Kosher

Kosher Thanksgiving in Chicago

Shallots does a Thanksgiving event every year. I usually go over there after Shabbat is out, I'll ask for you, if you like. We actually had Shabbat dinner with a family last week who had their Thanksgiving at Shallots last year and they said it was really excellent. I've ordered some of their Thanksgiving items in the past (soups, appetizers/finger food) and it was a big hit last year for us. Never had their full Thanksgiving dinner though.

I'll let you know what I find out! I'd almost be certain they're doing it again.

Nov 11, 2011
MDhaliwal in Kosher

New Kosher Deli in Skokie - Srulie's

I actually just came upon the place last week. Ultra good comfort food! Ironically, I ate most of the same things you did!

I tried their Cozy Dog. Very tasty! I always eat Kosher hot dogs, but it seemed more enjoyable than the standard Kosher dog. I took two of the Schnitzel Pastrami Deluxe sandwiches to go; tasted great even after being in the fridge. I also tried the Kishke which was out of this world good. We also took some chopped liver to go, which I haven't tried yet, but my household loves.

This is a great find of a place that this area sorely needs!

May 02, 2010
MDhaliwal in Kosher

Kosher Wedding in Chicago 2009

I eat at Shallots Bistro in Skokie pretty often (weekly-ish now - though this is a fairly new practice for me) and have used them for catering social events in my home and corporate events at my office; the last being in the past week or so. They've always provided a very good product and service to me, making things very simple.

They also have a few new chefs there. I had noticed some new items randomly showing up and asked about it. One set of dishes was obvious, as they just started serving sushi and the sushi chef visited my table to see how we were enjoying it during one visit. I was pretty sure they weren't staffed for this before. This is also one of the reasons I'm there more often; I do love sushi! :D

I had also noticed some new desserts and savory dishes, as they were serving lamb shanks the other night; something I hadn't seen there in quite some time. The waitress informed me that it was a recipe prepared by their new chef. According to the folks there, he's cooked for various celebrities and personalities; his resume sounded impressive at least. I asked how long he had been there for and he evidently worked on my last catering order as he is accustomed to catering various events.

Take it for what it's worth. My last event wasn't a wedding, but more office friendly foods and everyone seemed to really enjoy what they prepared. As a side note, the lamb shanks were really quite good!

Good luck with the decision making! I'd be interested in hearing what you eventually decide on. My wife and I spent a long time trying to decide how to work the food at our wedding. It worked out in the end, but only because we had a lot of help from some great people. I'm always eager to hear about other experiences with Kosher food in the area, as it really can be hit or miss in Chicago.

Jun 15, 2009
MDhaliwal in Chicago Area

Gladstone's Kosher Steakhouse Closed

I'll second that. I was only in town there once, but myself and my guests all really enjoyed our meals. Everything was really superb!

Jun 05, 2009
MDhaliwal in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Shallots Bistro--wine and dinner pairing

Any other Chowhound'ers make it out last night? I had a great time at the dinner! I'm not a huge wine fan, but I did enjoy the selections included and really enjoyed the medjool date wrapped in beef fry. It was unexpected and kind of a fun way to start off the evening!

Feb 05, 2009
MDhaliwal in Kosher

Shallots Bistro--wine and dinner pairing

I know I'm going with friends! Shallots always has great food, so getting multiple courses of food and wine for that price seems like a win-win!

Jan 24, 2009
MDhaliwal in Kosher

Mizrahi restaurant in Highland Park, IL

I'll second Weinstein5. The food there is very good and enjoyable. I've mainly had it as takeout, but the portion sizes are more than generous and the people there are very friendly.

Aug 04, 2008
MDhaliwal in Kosher

Kosher in Chicago

Well, if your expecting anything like NYC (where I just returned from), you'll be in for a surprise. The Kosher resources out here aren't as prevalent as most think they'd be. In fact, I'm actually in the process of launching a site dedicated to this topic! :)

Shallots Bistro in Skokie is a great restaurant. Very good food and a nice environment to enjoy dinner in. Their black hat dessert is top notch (having just done a tour of parve molten chocolate cakes during my trip to NYC). Just down the road from them is Zelda's Sweet Shoppe, which has a wonderful assortment of baked goods and cases of great chocolate truffles! Both of these are outside of the city of Chicago itself, but not all too far.

If you feel adventurous, up in the suburbs is Now We're Cookin' Grill, which is one of my long time favorites, with great burgers, ribs and anything else BBQ style. Near there is also Mizrahi Grill which has middle-eastern style food (pita sandwiches, kabobs, etc).

There's the Spertus Cafe in Chicago itself, which I have not been to. It's a collaboration of Wolfgang Puck and Laura Frankel (who used to be at Shallots).

Hope this helps!

Aug 04, 2008
MDhaliwal in Kosher

Pleasantly surprised at Prime

Glad you enjoyed it! I was just there this past week during my honeymoon and had a great time! Honestly, while they aren't cheap, I've never had any issues with their food or service; it's always been a great time!

We had the duck spring rolls and the "crab" cake appetizers this time. Both were very good...followed, of course, by steak! :)

Aug 04, 2008
MDhaliwal in Kosher

sushi in Lincolnshire, Il

Thanks! That actually is a real picture that I took in RT Lounge one evening. It was not touched up or modified, besides just scaling down the original, so that it fits into the web page and doesn't take too long to download. :)

Jul 29, 2008
MDhaliwal in Chicago Area

4 days in Northbrook area

Personally, I like Bob Chinn's. It's a casual place with tons of seafood options a large enough menu to provide something for nearly anyone eating with me, in type of food and price. I have had a few below par meals there and I do generally tend to like my seafood to be prepared in a fashion where I can really taste the fish itself. It's also one of the best places to go during Copper River Salmon season, which is one of my personal favorites, so they get a bit of an extra point in my book. :)

Jun 01, 2008
MDhaliwal in Chicago Area

Wheeling Chow?

So, I'm going to amend what I wrote about CJ. I haven't been back in months, at this point. Too much confusion whenever I went in. For what it's worth, I did enjoy the tuna appetizer and the salmon entree was generally good, but my experiences varied from good and enjoyable to "why did I come here?"

While their corporate office was great about checking ingredients for dietary limitations, the same salmon I'd always order would constantly change. On top of it, one of the managers in there (others were much better about it), seemed to get irritated when I would order my dinner with an allergy note. When I had the kitchen tell me something would contain and allergen, he then questioned why I requested that they change the dish and insisted the kitchen was wrong. He one time came to my table and said "I thought we finished with this?!" which did nothing to endear the restaurant to me.

I used to enjoy Cheesecake Factory too, but they also seemed to have trouble with allergens. After a very bad experience, they sent me gift cards to come back to the Lincolnshire location. I didn't make it through dinner before I had to leave due to illness, so I gave up on them.

Jun 01, 2008
MDhaliwal in Chicago Area

Sam's Club Tuna Steak

I was wandering through my local Sam's Club the other day and they had a "seafood stand" near the normal cooler that stocks the salmon and other assorted seafood. The person had different items on ice, I guess to promote awareness of the products. I did notice that they had tuna steaks available for purchase.

Has anyone had the tuna steaks from Sam's Club? Are they any good? I know that they used to have frozen steaks previously, but this was in the refrigerated area. If you have had them before, how "done" should they be when preparing them as part of a dish? I usually enjoy raw/rare preparations, but I also enjoy avoiding food poisoning a bit more! ;)

Thanks!

Apr 15, 2008
MDhaliwal in Home Cooking

Flemings Steakhouse

Yes, I have about a dozen or so times. Good food. Nice atmosphere. Great service. It's got a nice steakhouse feel with contemporary music, which seems a bit welcoming to me. No problems with dietary limitations/allergens. We took a group of about 10 there once and they did a superb job.

Apr 13, 2008
MDhaliwal in Chains

Kosher meat restaurant in Lake County, Illinois

Well, my wife brought home more Mizrahi Grill tonight. Absolutely wonderful. I got the Shish Kabobs with green beans and fries. Karen got the Jerusalem Mix Pita. Both were exceptionally enjoyable. We wound up taking ownership of the other's dinner during the course of eating for periods. The Pita presentation really tasted completely different than the Mix dinner. Somewhat expected, but with the same base, I thought it would taste a bit more familiar. My kabob was served without the skewer (this was to go) and was cooked perfectly.

My favorite part of the meal may have been the green beans. They were great and very much like a presentation that I used to get at a Greek restaurant years ago, with tomato mixed in. Very flavorful and matched the food very well.

I know we'll be back again!

Apr 07, 2008
MDhaliwal in Kosher

Kosher meat restaurant in Lake County, Illinois

True. I've gotten some very good Pastrami at Hungarian as well. It's not that my wife and I aren't adept at cooking, it'd just be nice to have a few options to go out to and enjoy a meat dinner.

I hadn't realized how much I missed hot pastrami sandwiches and brisket platters until I went back to NYC for work a couple of years back. I think I went through withdrawal when I returned to the Chicago 'burbs!

Hopefully Mizrahi will continue to garner more and more support and influence others to come to the area. My vote is just for an excellent, eat-in deli. ;)

Apr 07, 2008
MDhaliwal in Kosher

Kosher meat restaurant in Lake County, Illinois

I'm taking more to go tonight. You are right, it's long overdue to have any Kosher restaurants in this area. We could use a Kosher, excellent NY style deli. It's just not cost efficient enough for me to fly to NYC whenever I need a hot pastrami fix! ;)

I am very eager to see how they are a week later. Has anyone tried the Kabobs yet? I'm thinking about trying those tonight. According to the gentleman who answered the phone, the Mom's Special Kabob is ground beef, for anyone who's wondering. ;)

I'm hoping Mizrahi succeeds. Whenever I've talked to folks who have Kosher restaurants elsewhere in the country, about opening something in the Chicago suburbs, I'm always told that there just isn't enough demand and not enough people that would care. Personally, I think they're wrong! :)

Apr 07, 2008
MDhaliwal in Kosher

Kosher meat restaurant in Lake County, Illinois

I'd be interested in hearing what you try and how it turns out. I had the food to go from Mizrahi Grill and it was their opening night, so hopefully they're more in the swing of things by tonight!

Apr 03, 2008
MDhaliwal in Kosher

Kosher meat restaurant in Lake County, Illinois

I'm a bit mixed, so far. My wife took the food to go, so it wasn't at it's peak as far as temperature or presentation (both to be expected). Prices range from about $6 - $10 for a pita and about $16 - $25 for a dinner. The dinners included your choice of two sides and one salad (baba ganouj and the like).

We tried the Shwarma and Jerusalem Mix dinners. The Shwarma was simply the Shwarma meat presented with the two sides and the Jerusalem Mix included chicken, beef and lamb. The portions were nicely sized. The beef was a bit overdone, but both were nice meals. I liked the Jerusalem Mix better as a dinner. I think the Shwarma would have been better as a pita, which they also offer.

They were exceptionally busy tonight and they had a bit of trouble with the cash register, which delayed the food a bit more. It was opening night. :)

I'd go back and give it another whirl. I'm more than willing to admit, taking the food to go probably reduced the overall experience a bit. I could see the Pitas being very good, based on what I tried tonight. I wasn't blown away by the food, but even some of my favorite restaurants have lacked on opening night and for the first few weeks of being open.

Apr 01, 2008
MDhaliwal in Kosher

Kosher meat restaurant in Lake County, Illinois

Everyone get your forks ready - I just called back and they are open today! :D

Apr 01, 2008
MDhaliwal in Kosher

Kosher meat restaurant in Lake County, Illinois

My wife heard from some folks at the Kosher section in the Jewel in Highland Park that they were due to open this week. I've called over and their voicemail has changed, but doesn't provide an opening date. I did leave a voice mail, so hopefully they'll call back.

Mar 31, 2008
MDhaliwal in Kosher

Pareve sour cream?

I love Tofutti Sour Supreme (the sour cream substitute). I've used it as a garnish on potatoes or on tacos. I've also made a great peaches and cream crumb cake with it and it turned out fabulous! After the first one, I wound up having to make a second one the same week since it was eaten so quickly!

I think they may have changed their ingredients recently, as the newer containers seem to have a firmer consistency, but the end result has still been great.

Feb 08, 2008
MDhaliwal in Kosher

Nicest Kosher Restaurant

I'll add in a vote for The Prime Grill. It's one of the few places that I must go to each time I make it back to NYC.

Feb 08, 2008
MDhaliwal in Kosher

Brooklyn Market in Buffalo Grove, IL?

Well, I'll answer my own question...

I stopped into the store between meetings today and gathered by the pork loin for sale in the butcher's case that it is not a Kosher establishment any longer.

It appears that another Kosher restaurant in the Chicago 'burbs is officially gone. Very disappointing.

Michael

Feb 08, 2008
MDhaliwal in Kosher

Brooklyn Market in Buffalo Grove, IL?

Hi,

I wasn't sure if this was better placed on the Chicago board or Kosher, so please move if necessary.

There was a Kosher restaurant called Brooklyn Market in Buffalo Grove, IL that moved to Skokie, IL and then closed up shop a while back. No one ever moved into the old location and we always held out hope that they might come back. Well, while driving tonight, we noticed lights on at the old Buffalo Grove location! On the way home, the lights were off again, but there was a "Grand Opening" sign in the window! The roads are kind of a mess, so we couldn't pull off and look too closely, but that's what we saw.

Is the restaurant back? Anyone know? The Brooklyn Market sign is still there. It'd be wonderful to have a Kosher restaurant in the area again!

Here's to hoping! I might try and swing by again tomorrow between meetings to see if there's any more information, if anyone else is interested.

Michael

Feb 07, 2008
MDhaliwal in Kosher

New Tramonto/Gand Restaurants in Wheeling

I just thought I'd pass on a bit more info about the Wheeling locations. I mentioned in the thread that I frequent the restaurants quite often. Well, I enjoyed the restaurants so much that my fiancé and I got married at Steak and Seafood back in October! I had been meaning to write in, but, well, I got married! :)

I have to say, they did an absolutely outstanding job. When I say "we got married", I really mean it! We had our rehearsal lunch at Osteria di Tramonto, as well as our dinner with our friends and family the night before. We had our ceremony in the Candle Room, which provided a very nice, intimate setting and fit our guests perfectly. We then had a sushi and cocktail reception in RT Lounge and a full dinner in the main Steakhouse. With the hotel (Westin) attached, it made sense to keep everything on premises, which made things amazingly easy for all of us involved!

My wife and I spent a great amount of time waiting for the right time and place to get married. Words cannot describe the level of absolute perfection that Steak and Seafood provided. Over the months of planning, we got to know most of the staff pretty well and they provided a very warm and personal experience for us and our guests. They were flexible in the meals, types of foods used and helped us truly have our own wedding, with our own tastes and wants; not just providing us with the means to have a wedding. People usually only remember the food at a wedding as being, well, food, but not much more. Even months later, people are still bringing up how wonderful the whole experience and food was.

We were the first people to have such an involved event and they didn't show any "opening night jitters". Hopefully this may help anyone who might be looking for a great place to hold a private event!

Jan 27, 2008
MDhaliwal in Chicago Area

Best Kosher Pastrami

My favorite during my more recent trips has been Ben's Deli.

www.bensdeli.net

"Best" is very subjective, but I enjoy their sandwiches and love their Pastrami. All of my guests have enjoyed their food as well, so that should be worth something!

Jul 24, 2007
MDhaliwal in Kosher