By Benita Zepeda
As a recent college graduate, it’s no secret my budget is tight and spending should be monitored. However, I’m also a person who appreciates a good beer after a long day at work. After a steady diet of Bud Light, Miller Highlife and Pabst Blue Ribbon, I’ve realized that my sense of taste has grown up as well. This is why I’ve decided that when I’m going to spend my hard-earned cash on a brew, I want it to be surprising and satisfying.
There are several places in Chicago that have impressive beer selections. Some of my favorites include Small Bar in Logan Square, St. Andrew’s Inn in Edgewater, and Kuma’s Corner in Avondale. These are my top picks from each place and why they’re worth your time, and money. Read More
Chicago was never really ground zero for seafood lovers. I remember a few years ago, struggling to come up with a suggestion or two – beyond the obvious choice, Shaw’s – for a friend who was looking for something other than Catch 35. Yet over the past two years, the city has seen more new seafood options than Dudley Nieto and Brandon Baltzley have had employers. The Fish Guy Market may have closed recently, but it’s just temporary; Dirk’s Fish & Gourmet Shop remains the city’s best source for fishmonger fans – Dirk is always on hand to offer advice on species, sources and cooking methods.
Cooking en papillote – or in parchment paper – has long been a preferred method of steaming fish and vegetables, while also providing a semi-dramatic tableside presentation. At Langdon Hall, tucked away in the countryside of Cambridge, Ontario (about an hour from the Toronto airport), Chef Jonathan Gushue loves to cook this way, which locks in juices and keeps everything moist. He showed me how he makes a simple foraged mushroom dish this way, with the addition of some fresh mint.
Chicago’s “Little India,” also known as Devon Avenue, stretches in a long, east-west line dissecting West Rogers Park. As you drive down the street, you’ll notice most of the restaurants offer food from the Northern regions of India – Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab being the most widely represented. Yet finding the wonderfully tropical, coconut-influenced flavors from the south – mainly Kerala – is more elusive. That’s why Mysore Woodlands stands out from the crowd. Read More
by Rebecca Zborowski
As a native of Texas, I spent my childhood exposed to incredible, authentic smokehouse barbeque. Moving to the Midwest only served to underline how uniquely succulent (and rare) Texas pit-cooking is. On a recent family outing, however, I discovered The Texan in Algonquin, about an hour northwest of the city.
by Rebecca Zborowski
I feel I should start this post by clarifying that nobody loves fall and all of the food and festivities surrounding it more than I do. I wanted to like pumpkin beer – no, I wanted to love it and look forward to it all year long. But after sampling three wildly different brews, I can’t, in good conscience, recommend it. For an autumnal drink, it’s better to stick with spiked ciders or harvest/Oktoberfest ales than the artificial, overpriced disappointment that is pumpkin beer.