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Simit in Chicago?

No. I was in Istanbul a few years ago and have been hoping to get some ever since....

Nov 08, 2012
Springer in Chicago Area

Simit in Chicago?

Anyone ever found this Turkish sesame ring bread in Chicago?

Nov 08, 2012
Springer in Chicago Area

I know, I know but 1st time in Chicago and could use some help

Palmer House is a great location. Go North on Michigan across the river and restaurant heaven awaits. Generally, most of the food in your immediate area is not going to be great though - its set up for office workers. I'd avoid Chinese - Toronto is at least as good if not better in that area.

There's a million steak houses that are good. Gibson's is a great one - I'd also recommend Joe's Steak and Seafood - great steak. . Sullivans too. You might as well avoid the chains (Capital Grill, Ruths Chris, Smith and Wollensky) since you can eat there in other cities.
Seafood - Catch 35 is always good.

Pizza - I'd recommend Uno or Due, some people Gino's, others Lou Malnatis. Try one, at least.

You might want to consider Mexican food - that doesnt seem to popular in Toronto - and Frontera grill, (or Xoco for a more casual lunch) is excellent.

Jul 23, 2012
Springer in Chicago Area

New Mexico Chile

You'll never find Chimayo chile powder around here. I havent found decent NM chili powder anywhere.

You can order it online though. Thats what I do - unless I get a NM connection flying to Chicago.

Jul 06, 2011
Springer in Chicago Area

New Mexican as in from New Mexico

I can tell you that Flo's is fairly good - and I really like their red chile - you can buy it to go by the quart. If I recall, the owners are related to the owners of The Shed in Santa Fe.

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Santa Fe Restaurant
132 E Church St, Sandwich, IL 60548

Jul 06, 2011
Springer in Chicago Area

Great rye bread in Chicago?

I know this will seem like heresy, but I've looked for decent Jewish Rye with caraway seeds in Chicago ever since Augusta bakery closed twenty years ago. I've tried Baltic, etc. as well as toured lots of polish grocery stores.

The best I've found is at Jewel. Seriously. Jewel's Crusty Caraway Rye, when it's fresh baked, is fantastic. Crusty, soft and slightly chewy in the middle, and well seeded. Dont laugh until you try it.

Jun 11, 2011
Springer in Chicago Area

Middle Eastern, Turkish, or Moroccan in Lakeview or Lincoln Park

Check out A la Turka. Fantastic Turkish food, Around LIncoln and Belmont. Probably no delivery though - but the kebabs and kofte are outstanding.

Jan 13, 2011
Springer in Chicago Area

One day in Chicago - Mr. Beef or Johnnie's?

Johnnies is head and shoulders over Mr. Beef. No question. As a lifelong Chicagoan and dedicated IB fan, I found Johnnies about ten years ago and it consistently is better than any IB in town (i.e. the world). But from Deerfield, both might be a hassle. I second the Portillos suggestion (I think its better than Mr. Beef, myself) since a fresh Portillos is gonna be better than a frozen/shipped Als. But another option would be to go to the Johnnie's in Arlington Heights - its about as solid of a beef as the Elmwood Park location, with less ambiance.

Sep 02, 2010
Springer in Chicago Area

Reviews: In and Around Anaheim, & beyond

Are you kidding me? "Joe's Crab Shack has the best seafood in the area?".

I dont know what the rest of the article said. After I saw that, I was done.

Oct 17, 2009
Springer in Los Angeles Area

Where can I find Pisco Sours in Chicago?

Sushi Samba Rio has them - there is a bar attached.

Also, that Latin themed bar/restaurant in the old North Pier building has them.... I cant recall the name of the spot.. on Illinois near Navy Pier.

Jan 05, 2009
Springer in Chicago Area

Best Pizza with cracker-type crust?

OK- I love pizza with that cracker like, crispy, kinda burnt crust. I've only had it at two places - Barnabys (I know there is one in Niles and Schaumburg) and Vito and Nicks ( South Side on 95th street - the Joliet and Lemont versions are a bit lacking).

Does anyone know of any other places that make pizza like this? I'm in the close western suburbs, but I travel all over the place in the city and burbs, so location is irrelevant.

Nov 30, 2007
Springer in Chicago Area

Best Pizza with cracker-type crust?

OK- I love pizza with that cracker like, crispy, kinda burnt crust. I've only had it at two places - Barnabys (I know there is one in Niles and Schaumburg) and Vito and Nicks ( South Side on 95th street - the Joliet and Lemont versions are a bit lacking).

Does anyone know of any other places that make pizza like this? I'm in the close western suburbs, but I travel all over the place in the city and burbs, so location is irrelevant.

Nov 30, 2007
Springer in Chicago Area

good lunch place around Michigan Ave

I spent a week in New Orleans, eating at everything from Mothers Acme Oyster House to Commanders Palace, and happened to find myself at the Wabash Heaven on Seven the week afterward.

I thought the style and quality were easily the equal of many New Orleans restaurants, and the gumbo was very authentic.

Nov 30, 2007
Springer in Chicago Area

Fam of 5 (kids 4,6,8), 2 nights in Chicago- Best downtown?

Decent wine list tends not to equate to family friendly food and fun. When you say 'downtown' - I'll assume you'll be on the near north side in hotelville.

Family food/fun- I know we adults all hate the rainforest cafe, but three kids under 8 would be estatic. Ed Debevics is another fave of kids. Dave and Busters, ESPN zone all have food, fun and games. But you might know this stuff already. But dont be a kid restaurant snob... deal with the applebees quality food so the kids can eat in a rainforest. Dont forget to talk to your hotel concierge to get into these places more quickly than you can off the street.

If you are looking for more interesting food, you might want to shoot for Big Bowl - good pan asian stuff, and the kids get really cool stuff- these wiki stick things, really cool kiddie cocktail glasses, etc. A decent wine list can certainly be had. You can try places like Reza's for middle eastern kabob like food , Scoozi or Maggiano's for Italian, or take a cab to Greektown and see some belly dancing!

Mar 19, 2007
Springer in Chicago Area

Battle Beef on Ontario-- Al"s vs. Portillo's

Al's beef is really only good at the Taylor St. location. The other franchise locations are OK, but the Ontario seems to be the worst. I dont get the Mr. Beef thing. Its always been mediocre to me, but I'm a guy who likes a nice, peppery juice with an IB, not just bland jus.

Portillos is decent beef, but if you want a better beef from a chain, I'd recommend Buena.

Thanks for the tip on Pauls in Westchester - I'll have to try it soon. If you go there - you might want to travel down 31st st. about a quarter mile east for the best (and leanest) Italian Sausage I have ever had - at Albani's Deli (? I may have the name wrong) - you have to buy them and grill them yourself.

Mar 16, 2007
Springer in Chicago Area

Suggestion for B-day party restaurant for 9 year olds?

I agree, we used to have a saying - 'freinds dont let friends eat at Leonas". Thanks for the Scoozi idea- I never really thought of it as a pizza place -or that kid friendly, but I guess it really would work for both.

Mar 16, 2007
Springer in Chicago Area

The Three Stages of Beer Appreciation

In regards to the stages of beer appreciation, I read this a long time ago in a homebrewing digest. I think it might apply now.

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Stages of the Beer Discovery Experience
(starting from adolescence)

1) You drink Budmilloors because it's cheap, you want to get
drunk, and you really don't like beer anyway.
You cannot distinguish marketing ploys from taste.
(ex. Genuine Draft, Ice beer, Dry beer etc.)

2) As you get older, you still like to get drunk, but you
have a bit of cash to spend. You also tend to drink beer
'cause you like it. You drink Budmilloors taste-alikes like
oh... Leinenkugel. Killian's Red, or for that matter, anything
"Red."

3) You graduate from Budmilloors to Pete's Wicked Ale, or
some kind of non-mainstream beer, such as Sam Adams.
You begin to distinguish taste. You try and actually
start to enjoy darker beers like stouts and such.
You start to ridicule Budmilloors. Mass marketing of
"craft brews" still plays a role in your taste.

4) Now you differentiate between "good" and "bad" well-brewed
beers. You discover the Sierra Nevadas of the world, and
other truly exceptional beers. You use these handful of
select brews as your gold standard. All other beers are
crap. The beer that originally tasted exceptional at
stage 1,2 or 3, is now poor.

5) You gradually begin to realize that other beers have their
place in the world too. In fact, the simple fact that
SNPA, PU or Guinness exists as a benchmark begins
to allow you to evaluate beer on a comparative scale,
and you appreciate the differences and variations in
styles. Lambic and funky beers are valued as samples of a style.
You become more tolerant of Budmilloors.

6) You reach the Zen of beer tasting. All beer has a
purpose in life, and who are you to foist your taste
on anyone else anyway? Taste is relative. You realize
that maybe you should have a Bud when mowing the lawn
instead of a barley wine. All beer serves its own
purpose. Even Schlitz exists for a reason (Tonya Harding's
drinking buddies?). No beer "kicks ass" (to use Usenet
terminology) or is swill. It simply is.

Mar 15, 2007
Springer in Beer

Suggestion for B-day party restaurant for 9 year olds?

I'm looking for suggestions to have a birthday dinner for about 7 nine year old girls. My daughter wanted to have it at Ed Debevics (a big hit with the 9 year old crowd), but we realized we will be having the party on a Friday in Lent with a bunch of catholic school kids at the party. Somehow, I dont think Ed's will work.

Any other suggestions for a cool, non meat dinner at a restaurant on the Near North side?
I was thinking possibly Leona's for some pizza, but I thought I might throw it out to you Chowhounders to see what I've missed.

Mar 15, 2007
Springer in Chicago Area