Thursday, October 16, 2014

My Trip to Chicago, IL (Day 3): Gibson's Bar & Steakhouse

For our last dinner in Chicago, we went for steak. We definitely wanted to try an old school steakhouse and gladly settled on Gibson’s. We’ve read plenty about it and have also seen it on the League (not that any of the characters actually eat there).

We arrive to a very bustling scene. Apparently a lot of popular restaurants are in this area. It certainly seemed like a place to be seen. And that was validated as sports car after sports car pulls up to valet with the driver (usually an older gentleman) and his hot young date step out, pose, and head on into one of the restaurants. I stood outside and watched as people paraded themselves up and down the streets showing off what they had. It was quite entertaining actually. Some people call the neighborhood the Viagra Triangle. Take that as you will.

Anyway, back to food. As our party was led through the dining room through cramped quarters and jovial patrons, we spied on what other people were eating. Steak was clearly the choice but we looked and sides and even desserts. There was a lot to absorb. Once seated, we looked over the menu while the waiter introduced himself. We came back later with a platter displaying many of the steak offerings of the night but raw. We could see the difference of marbling between different cuts. By the way, they wet age their steaks. They also had a 2 lb lobster tail for viewing pleasure too.
After much consideration, I chose the bone-in strip steak while Mr. M&P had the bone-in ribeye and our guest had the filet. To share, we ordered the mashed potatoes with red eye gravy, creamed spinach, and asparagus with hollandaise sauce. But before all that food graced our table, every entrĂ©e order comes with a starter of a salad or soup. While the rest of my party chose the salad, I had the soup which was a seafood gumbo that night. Rich, deep ocean flavors with chunks of seafood around. My only complaint was that it was a bit salty. I guess that the soup was made ahead of time and sat as the night went on allowing it to reduce and the seasonings becoming more apparent. I’ve experienced this at several restaurants before and it’s not uncommon.
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My Trip to Chicago, IL (Day 3): Lou Malnati's

On our last full day in Chicago, we decided to have deep dish pizza for lunch again. We're on vacation so why not splurge of gluttony?
This time, we headed to Lou Malnati's. Similar to Gino's, they have several locations around the city but obviously we went to the one that was within walking distance to where we needed to be. We planned on having an early lunch in order to beat the crowd (it was a Saturday) and get to where we needed to be going. That decision turned out to be smart because by the time we left, there was a line waiting to be seated. You see, deep dish pizza takes awhile to cook. Any good waitress will let you know that it's a 45 minute wait for your pizza to arrive. So if you know which pizza you're going to order, then do it right when you're seated. Then mull over the appetizers or drinks.
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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

My Trip to Chicago, IL (Day 2): The Girl and the Goat

For our second night out, we had reservations to the Girl and the Goat. I've been a big fan of Chef Stephanie Izzard since her Top Chef days. Her restaurant has been revered over and over again by critics. And friends of our have also recommended it. So it was a no brainer to have dinner here. Their menu is made for sharing which is great for groups, big or small.
To start, we had the fried Naked Cowboy oysters with egg salad and capers. Plump crispy oysters giving a sweet yet briny flavor. Nicely executed and delicious. The flavors worked really well together.
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My Trip to Chicago, IL (Day 2): Gino's East

On the next day, we decided to get some infamous Chicago style deep dish pizza. We've heard good things about Gino's East from its old school low key decor and good buttery crusts.
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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

My Trip to Chicago, IL (Day 1): Alinea

And the good eating just won't stop. On our first night in Chicago, we went to Alinea. Oh yes, we did. And although I was allowed to take pictures of my meal, I decided to opt out. Why? Well, sometimes I just want to enjoy the meal and forget about having to take the perfect picture. And this was the kind of meal that I really wanted to enjoy. Lucky for you, my readers, they provided me with the menu after dinner. So please read on below because this was the most interesting and interactive meal I have ever had. And I can honestly say that it was one of the best meals I've ever had too. Yup, it really impressed me.
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My Trip to Chicago, IL (Day 1): Frontera Grill

After having a double cheeseburger for breakfast then some doughnuts from Glazed and Infused for dessert, it was then time for our lunch reservation at Frontera Grill. You didn't expect me to go all the way to Chicago without going to a Rick Bayless restaurant, did you?
To start, we had to have try the guacamole ($9.50) which came with some homemade tortilla chips and two types of salsas: roasted tomato and tomatillo. This was excellent. Light, refreshing,and full of flavor. Even the complimentary salsas were fantastic.
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My Trip to Chicago, IL (Day 1): Billy Goat Tavern

When we landed in Chicago, I was starving. It was still pretty early in the morning and wasn't time for our lunch reservation yet. So as we walked towards our hotel from the train station, we passed by a sign for none other that the Billy Goat Tavern. I was immediately excited because I knew it was serving burgers at this hour. So we dropped off our luggage and headed straight there. We were practically the only patrons there at that hour. But shortly after more people came in for the lunch rush.
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Monday, October 13, 2014

My Trip to Chicago, IL: Doughnuts Galore!

While planning my trip to Chicago with Mr. M&P, I saw that they had a lot of well regarded doughnut places. So what was I to do but to create a map of doughnut places to try. While some places were completely far from where we were staying or visiting, others were well within walking distance from our hotel. So we planned on having some doughnuts every morning for breakfast. What better fuel was there to get us going for the day? First up, Glazed and Infused. The location we went to was a little storefront located within another restaurant. You actually have to enter through the restaurant in order to get to the doughnut counter. Or you can walk up to the take out window.
On this first day, we were a little wide eyed and decided to order 3 doughnuts to share. This was a bit more than what we could finish. Of course, this was after we had gone for a burger already. But more on that later. The doughnuts pictured above are: white chocolate passionfruit, chocolate, and maple bacon. The white chocolate passionfruit was our favorite actually. Creme filled, sweet, but also lightly tart as well. It was a well sized and well balanced doughnut. In fact, this was our favorite doughnut from the whole trip.

The chocolate doughnut was good but didn't hit that "oooh chocolate" spot. We couldn't pinpoint what was missing though. And surprisingly, the maple bacon doughnut wasn't that great. The bacon was overly smoky and overpowered the flavors of everything else.
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Friday, October 10, 2014

Lunch Week 34: Rice Cakes with Pork and Vegetables

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch the next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it every week unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided.

So my lunch for the week: Rice Cakes with Pork and Vegetables
This week's lunch is something I've made before but I've been experimenting with it. I'm not completely satisfied with how I've been executing this dish but I get one step closer every time. And therefore, there is no step by step nor written recipe...yet. I'm still going to work on this until I'm entirely happy with the dish.

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Monday, October 6, 2014

Upcoming Posts

Hi Readers!

I'm a bit behind on my posts this week. So I'm going to take this time to catch up on some interesting eating adventures to write up. But here's a hint: Chicago!

In the meantime, eat well! I'll be back next week. Enjoy!
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Friday, October 3, 2014

Lunch Week 33: Peruvian Chicken with Aji Verde Sauce and Roasted Butternut Squash

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch the next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it every week unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided.

So my lunch for the week: Peruvian Chicken with Aji Verde Sauce and Roasted Butternut Squash
This chicken is one of my more favorite things to make for lunch. I'm not sure why I don't make it more often though. It's so delicious and easy to make in big batches. And it's really versatile meaning you can serve almost anything on the side. Although I made it a bit spicier than normal, I do suggest a soothing side like a salad or avocado. I opted for roasted butternut squash this time considering it's in season now.
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