Chicago

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by shroomgirl, Feb 9, 2006.

  1. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

    Messages:
    7,375
    Likes Received:
    68
    Exp:
    Professional Caterer
    What's new and happening in the Windy City? If you were to plan a foodie adventure where would you go in June? Special markets, special restaurants, bakeries, candy patisserie places, grocery stores, etc.....
     
  2. sushigaijin

    sushigaijin

    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    12
    Exp:
    Sous Chef
    that is a tough bill to cover, how much money do you want to spend?

    Erik.
     
  3. markv

    markv

    Messages:
    572
    Likes Received:
    10
    I've nevr been to Chicago but I've always wanted to go for a weekend and hit Bayless's Frontera Grill and Charlie Trotters.

    Mark
     
  4. markv

    markv

    Messages:
    572
    Likes Received:
    10
    I've never been to Chicago but I've always wanted to go for a weekend and hit Bayless's Frontera Grill and Charlie Trotters.

    Mark
     
  5. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

    Messages:
    7,375
    Likes Received:
    68
    Exp:
    Professional Caterer
    The last few times I visited Chicago......there was the Fancy Food Show with Beard Event afterwards with tastings from Chicago restaurants, CHIC winter farmers market, Swedish bakery, Patisserie/candy shop in Lincoln Park area with incredible treats, butcher shop down the road from Trotters, Cooking shop, Treasure Isle grocery, lunch at Blackbird, dinner at 4 Seasons when Sarah Stegnar was exec. chef, dinner at Fronteria Grill......if chocolate exhibit at the Science Museum was happening I'd go.....trips to farms, local food events....

    Pretty focused. Doesn't need to cost $$$$ but can if it's interesting enough.

    When I visited my mom in Santa Fe, it was hard getting her to grasp what was important to visit......
    The farmer's market was a natural but I wanted to be there when they were setting up....and talk to them in the lulls, about their farms, the market, the general selling in SF. We visited Taos and missed probably the highlite restaurant because we had to return a car.....Joesph's table. Though I did worm my way into a chocolate shop that was under construction and buy some killer chocs and hot choc with almond flour, cinnamon....XOCATL I believe was the name.
    Sage bakery......could have gone there every day.....simple clean clear knocked out of the ballpark high quality croissants, levan breads, sandwiches with character......

    Mudu Noodles and an Equidorian restaurant in a mall were my favs....and I went to a bunch of fancy places. I went to a 50-60 restaurant event and samples from a whole lotta places....

    The best info came from the editor of the newspaper food section and head editor for restaurant reviews.....she told me who was where, when to eat at a place (lunch is good, dinner better or forget lunch....or lunch takes 3 hours)
    she gave me the skinny on ICE a farm that serves lunch from products they grow, only on Tues-Thurs with 24+ hour notice....missed it by a day.

    Restaurants and events that have local foods usually are probable suspects in the search for fun great food. The Chili fest in Sept would be one.....
    Amazingly the flea market at the Opera had some incredible spices/chilis.

    So, it's not what something costs.....
    There's a breakfast place in Chicago I heard about that has breakfast fruit sushi.....that would be of interest. Or the place that's been around for ions that serves bangout cinnamon rolls. Or the diner that has fried chicken on waffles....or Tru....or Fronteria June 11.....
     
  6. sushigaijin

    sushigaijin

    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    12
    Exp:
    Sous Chef
    the green market will be open on wednesday and saturday mornings, that is worth a trip. unfortunately we dont really have a lot of open air markets here, the million degree below weather and a mayor who prefers phony irish bars to all others are prime culprits.

    If you are trying to get away from the usual suspects like blackbird, trotters, frontera, etc, there are a million second string restaurants that serve pretty good food. Arun's is haute thai, Heat serves live fish sliced tableside (Very expensive) and bombon on 22nd street is a good daytrip because the neighborhood there offers some killer mexican food. Chilpancingo has been regularly getting better guest reviews than topolobombo, for what it is worth i havent eaten at either. Katsu on peterson is mighty fine japanese food, not pretentious at all. Avec, down the street from blackbird, is absolutely solid. I cook at a restaurant/wine bar called Volo on the north side, i think the food and wine is **** good. the this-food-will-never-change-your-life-but-is-good category has some great ethnic restaurants, korean bbq, lithuanian food on the deep south side, polish food, mexican food, swedish food...there is a lot to eat here, its just a shame that we eat but a few times a day.

    i'm pretty sure the chocolate exhibit at the museum is gone now, but there has been a huge amount of chocolate restaurants that have opened in recent years..ethels chocolate lounges are popping up all over the place, hot chocolate in bucktown is well known, and the aforementioned bombon has a loyal following. you probably visited sweet mandy b's in lincoln park, which is just as good as homemade (but not really much better) and you dont hvae to make it yourself. good luck weeding through the mess, there is a lot to choose from and i havent even scratched the surface.

    edit: a couple of things i forgot. the fruit sushi place (frushi!) is called orange, and it is on clark street. The cinnemon roll place is probably ann sathers, go for the cinnemon rolls but save your appetite for ANYWHERE else in teh city. go to the ann sathers in andersonville, get the buns there, eat breakfast across the street at Svea, and then get desert at bonbon down the street. I would not miss maxwell street market on sunday AMs for the mexican tamales and gorditas, etc...but dont bring anything but your wallet, and keep an eye on that..i think they can smell tourists there. Sam's wine has a HUGE selection of wine, if you are into that. there are a number of good lunch specials on lincoln avenue around irving park, i prefer the ribeye at el llano but the half chicken at Pollo al Carbon is excellent too. so much food, so little time.

    Erik.
     
  7. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

    Messages:
    7,375
    Likes Received:
    68
    Exp:
    Professional Caterer
    aw Erik, it's always a challenge to explore a city's food scene......one of my favorite stores in NYC was a fluke walkin for water on the way to the airport...Garden of Eatin on 24th. Years ago I was at the outdoor flea market and stopped in this little grocery storefront....NYC abounds with them. But this one had more wild mushrooms than I'd EVER seen in a retail store, more fresh stuffed pastas, a better go-food selection than Zabars or Balduccis and the cheese monger found my heart when he shared a 5 year old gouda.....this was prior to it becoming popular.

    Thanks for the insider's version of Chicago. ummmmm tamales.......
    The candy shop had gorgeous jellies, incredible pasteries....I may have the location wrong, it was by a boutique area across from a design school near Lincoln Park....I bet I kept notes somewhere....probably wrote about it on Cheftalk.....now to access that archive.
     
  8. dave edwards

    dave edwards

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    At home cook
    We made a quick trip to Chicago two weeks ago, stayed at a Best Western in the North River area downtown, nothing fancy, clean , nice pool and very reasonable. Best of all, within a few walking blocks of some seriously good eating places. Ginos East, undoubtably the best pizza in the entire free world. (two blocks away) Ate at the Chicago Chop House, rated the best steak house in America, unbelievable meal (two blocks away) Hard rock cafe (one block away) and House of Blues (five blocks) so many other great places within a few blocks. I'm ready to go back just to inhale a slice of Ginos pizza, it's well worth the 4 hour drive!!:talk:
     
  9. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

    Messages:
    7,375
    Likes Received:
    68
    Exp:
    Professional Caterer
    Thanks for the heads up Dave and welcome to Cheftalk.
    4 hours from Chicago.....are you from STL area?
    I generally stay in the theatre district or downtown....Allegro has incredible rooms and Silverado, but I've also stayed at the Best Western on Ohio right off the magnificent mile....there was a great Lebanese restaurant across the street. Baton Rouge had some wonderful Syrian/Lebanese restaurants, I missed them as much as I missed the cajun ones.

    So was your pizza typical Chicago pizza, thick with sauce on top?