Tuesday, May 19, 2015

April Roundup

April Roundup... I know we are beyond halfway through May so this post is a little late, but I think I like this whole monthly round up thing. I take pictures of my food all.the.time but mostly those pictures go entirely unused. Since I am not devoting a blog post to every bite I take or scrambled egg I make I figure I should at least have somewhere I can dump pictures of those yummy tidbits so that I can look back fondly on a Dahlicious month, or give you out there in the blogosphere a chance to be inspired or just make you hungry.

So here goes April...

First stop was a new ramen shop in our neighborhood called Ramen Takeya. It was pretty good, but truthfully the half spice at High Five Ramen and the pork ramen at Sushi Dokku are my personal preference in the West Loop if you are looking for insanely flavorful ramen broths with the best pieces of pork in YOUR LIFE. Side note Sushi Dokku has quickly become one of my most favorite restaurants in Chi town. If you get a chance to eat there do not pass up a spot at the bar right in front of the master sushi chefs, you will be infinitely entertained by their artistic abilities.

Second stop in April was a weekend trip to ATL. I did some planning and we found a perfect spot Friday night that I would highly recommend, despite not having taken any pictures. If you love seafood and a cool scene check out The Optimist . The next morning we also ventured to a sweet spot I found online called The General Muir - think hipster Jewish deli. The food was classic Jewish deli food with just the right amount of "twist" - I don't like when classics are twisted too much, and this place had just the right balance. I opted for the Avenue A Bagel which was a perfect open face bagel with schmear (cream cheese), nova lox, diced cukes, small hunks of avocado, tender little pieces of grapefruit, a few salty capers and a sprinkle of fresh dill. OMG - this is a genius combination. The creamy cream cheese and avocado with the fatty lox were complimented so perfectly with the salt and fresh acidity of the capers and most importantly the grapefruit. And the fresh dill... forgetaboutit. (side note, it really comes with diced raw onion but I'm not a fan of those guys so I opted for none).

The next night we did a bigger dinner at South City Kitchen where I made my companion share the fried chicken & the shrimp n' grits. I think he was happy with those suggestions.

Lastly on Easter morning we topped the trip off with brunch at Buckhead Diner where I enjoyed eggs benny with grits and asparagus.

Avenue A at General Muir
Fried chicken, collard greens, and mashed potatoes at South City Kitchen

Shrimp n Grits at South City Kitchen
Eggs Benny & Grits at Buckhead Diner

Next up, as you can see, after that decadent ATL trip I decided to go light with lunch to go by the pool at Soho House...Kale Salad with Grilled Chicken... womp womp womp.

Salad... Chicken... good for you stuff

Pasta Galore - my most favorite pasta in all of Chicago is far and away the pappardelle in marinara at Rosebud on Taylor. If you love wide noodles and a perfectly silky buttery velvety tomato sauce do yourself a favor and go. NOW. Also their carbonara is good & their meatballs, get those too.

Fusilli Carbonara
Pasta, Pasta, Meatballs, Face

Home Cookin'... here's some really exciting breakfast at home (not, but it was pretty healthful and fine). Turkey bacon, fried egg, & Greek yogurt w/berries. Also how cute are these little snack bags I made one week for work with mini guacamole pods by Earl's and these super colorful heirloom baby carrots??

Mexican Fruit Salad (Fruta Con Chile as they call it under appetizers) from De Cero Tacos - we got taco's one Thursday night from a place down the street and for dessert we got our favorite little fruit snack to go. The roomie and I have been obsessed with this lately, fresh fruit like watermelon, pineapple and even cucumber with just a sprinkle of chili pepper, a pinch of salt and  big squeeze of lemon or lime juice. UH Mazing - here is the description in their menu:

Fruta con Chile Cucumber, jicama, mango, pineapple, watermelon, Tajin chile, lime, Valentina

Best Bite in Town: My favorite dish in all of Chicago, all of Illinois (okay I haven't really been anywhere else in Illinois), all of the Midwest, honestly maybe of all time is the steak tartare at Gilt Bar. It is beyond perfection and crave worthy at all times of the day. It starts with a homemade sort of sourdough toast as the base. Then it comes with a tangy and super indulgent dijonaise, a perfectly seasoned steak tartare mix with a lovely little gooey yolk and lastly is accompanied by a big old bottle of sriracha. A few dribbles of that over top and an occasional bite of little pickle on the side and you my friend have found your way to heaven.
*Side Note #1: If you go to Gilt with one other person and want the most amazing entire meal here is what to order... Start with the steak tartare obviously, then share the winter greens which is a bunch of lovely lettuces including shaved fennel tossed in a really light lemon vinaigrette. For mains share the salmon (and say yes to letting them cook it with a very rare center) and a side of the mashed potatoes. Then savor every single bite of this combination - the crispy salmon with a tender inside under a sauce of lemon/butter/crispy fried capers along with smooth decadent mashed potatoes. Top it off with their chocolate cream pie which is also the best dessert in town.
*Side Note #2: Go to ALL of the other restaurants owned by this group (Hog Salt) run by Chef Brendan Sodikoff because they are amazing... Bavette's for a steak dinner, Cocello for Italian, Au Cheval for a burger with a side of bacon, Green Street Smoked Meats for BBQ, High Five Ramen for ramen, Maude's Liquor Bar for oysters & a cocktail, and the Doughnut Vault for a long line for great doughnuts. Also apparently a new pizza by the slice place that I have yet to try called Roxie's By the Slice

It's like rays of light from the heavens are shining on this plate of gold, am I right??

With that perfect salad...

Speaking of pizza... I didn't eat this particular kind, but below is a photo of mac n cheese pizza (and some other crazy kind next to it). We grabbed a slice from this famous joint in Madison Wisconsin on our walk home from a wedding. You can imagine how Ian's Pizza is packed midnight-2am with the college crowd....
Too much for me.. I had a slice of pepperoni

Home Cookin' Round Two - I'll spare any details but here are two things I made this month that have already been featured on Dahlicious. Quinoa bowls for lunch at work and Crispy Chicken Breasts

More Pasta... not as good as Rosebud, actually not even close, but it did the trick for a craving of a big bowl of super unhealthy creamy carbs. I present the Farfalle  Polo from The Pasta Bowl.

On the lighter side... We have a great deli down the street called JP Grazianao's that makes Dahlicious Italian subs, but on the particular day of this visit I had to be "good". I chose to have my sub as a salad and went with the tuna. It was a perfect light lunch and more food than I could possibly finish! Also good in the hood for great subs and the best focaccia pizza is Damato's Bakery.

Tuna Salad Sando Salad

And although I didn't eat any doughnuts that day, here is a shot of us waiting in line for a doughnut at Glazed and Infused where we saw what I think need's to be my nephew's next birthday cake...

Happy Eating everyone!!!

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