Truly great sandwiches are studies in contrast. The soft chew of a Leidenheimer French bread encasing warm, fried shrimp, crisp lettuce and tomatoes in a New Orleans po’boy at the Parkway Tavern; the perfect crust of a D’Amato’s loaf housing a bevy of thinly-sliced, appropriately fatty Italian meats, dressed with fruity olive oil and thick slices of eggplant at Bari; even something as simple as a well-constructed club sandwich can make me swoon – as long as the bacon is crisp and the bread is properly toasted. Yet for my money, the Vietnamese banh mi ranks as one of my all-time favorite sandwiches. Read More
With all of the news recently that more breweries are on their way to Chicago - some homegrown, others, like Lagunitas, will be moving operations here – the annual Craft Beer Week couldn’t have come at a better time. The schedule is pretty extensive, and begins on May 17, running for 11 days. Plenty of people have weighed in with their recommendations already; we’ve picked five that we think are definitely worth your time. Read More
The Great Carnac, I am not. There is no crystal ball in my pantry, and the only kind of tarot that’s been dealt to me has been fried and served during dim sum service. But there is just so much going on this weekend – the NRA Show, the Beard Awards – that I think a few predictions are in order. Some are more likely to occur than others. Read More
If you really wanted to splurge on mom, you could obviously go to the Four Seasons or some all-you-can-eat extravaganza, but those kinds of meals are going to set you back at least $60 per person or more (plus tax & tip). I say let’s set a $40 ceiling, and spend the rest on some spa time or a tasteful gift. Mom would be pleased with your sensibility. Read More
That picture above looks pretty splendid, huh? It was taken two summers ago at the Dietzler Farm in Elkhorn, Wisconsin, part of the annual “Outstanding in the Field” tour. The tour bus (literally) snakes its way across the country all summer, pairing up local chefs with local farms, and usually hits the Illinois/Wisconsin/Michigan farms in late August. But for all the press OITF gets, there are other, home-grown organizations that also organize farm dinners. In some cases, the farms themselves organize things, and recruit a local chef to come over for the day and cook.
By virtue of my job, I eat out. A lot. So I’ve started to see patterns in how service staffs have been trained; in some cases, by corporate monoliths eager for profits and positive customer service surveys. I never really paid much attention, until I came back from Asia last week, where they present you with a menu, take your order and bring you your food. Chitchat is kept to a minimum, as they must surely realize that if you’re dining with others, you might want to actually speak with the people at your table, rather than have to be lectured to about the minutiae of the menu. Read More