Mixing Mexican and Korean isn’t something new. But doing that in Chicago? Maybe. Just maybe. Thus, I found myself at Del Seoul, a perfectly fused name of a restaurant in Lincoln Park. What’s unique about Del Seoul is that it’s not simply content to drop Korean meats into Mexican conduits, but has expanded Korean-style offerings and more.
Being a true city, Chicago has plenty of late-night food. On one of my nights there, a buddy took me to The Vig in Old Town after a few beers because it supposedly has an amazing fried chicken sandwich. The trouble is that they don’t have the full menu at night and that limited menu does not include the aforementioned fried chicken sandwich. There was, however, live music to make up for it and a chicken parmesan sandwich that would attempt to quench my hunger for fried fowl.
What do you do when the best dumpling place in Chicago’s Chinatown is under construction? Generally, perhaps avoid going to Chinatown at all. But when you’re already there, the situation is a bit different. We made a decision to head to MCCB (Modern Chinese Cook Book) for some Sichuan-style Chinese food. It made the decision a lot easier when I saw the restaurant was mostly full of Asian people.
It is easily one of the punniest names out there. Yeah, really creative to combine “eat” and “Italy” to create a restaurant and market name. But there is no doubt that judging the name of a restaurant is like judging a book by its cover. It’s what’s inside that counts and apparently the inside of Eataly has impressed enough people to open up locations in the biggest cities in the US. I paid a quick visit to the Chicago location when I was in need of a snack.
There are girls. There are goats. Then, there is The Girl and the Goat. It isn’t just some restaurant, but is a restaurant that still requires booking two months in advance even though it’s been around for the better part of a decade. Of course, it also happens to be in Chicago, which has a lot of people who like food. It probably doesn’t hurt that the founder and Executive Chef, Stephanie Izard, won Top Chef, went to the University of Michigan and honed her skills at the Scottsdale Culinary Institute.
Lettuce Entertain You is kind of a juggernaut of restaurant groups in Chicago. It’s hard to throw a stone in the city without hitting one of their many successful restaurants, and their empire goes beyond just the Second City. Yet, while in that city my sister booked us a table at RPM Italian, which I can only assume stands for Rotations Per Minute Italian. Oh and the super skinny lady from E! News is somehow involved, but I’m guessing she doesn’t eat much of the food.
In need of breakfast in Chicago, we took a walk to Elly’s Pancake House in Old Town. It turned out that Elly’s was a lot more than a pancake house and was actually a lot like a greasy spoon diner given its plethora of choices. Nonetheless, something caught my eye immediately and didn’t let go despite my perusing of the entire menu. It was the Breakfast Burrito and I intended to see if this pancake house could handle it.
To those in the know (or from Chicago), the city has more food claims to fame than just deep dish pizza. After all, the second city was pretty much the meat capital of the country for the better part of its existence. Out of this rose a place called Portillo’s, serving up Italian beef and hot dogs to match up with the city’s non-meat inhabitants. To be honest, I didn’t know much about Portillo’s growing up and spending time in Chicago, but a year or so ago I had a boss originally from Chicago that loved the place and alerted me about a location of theirs in Buena Park, just outside of Anaheim.
While I was in undergrad, a sandwich shop called Potbelly made its way onto campus in Ann Arbor. I appreciated its existence, but definitely didn’t take as much advantage of it as I should have. Potbelly still hasn’t made its way out west, but on a recent layover at Midway Airport in Chicago, I found myself reacquainted with that college delight.
A long, long time ago, I was a fledgling meat blogger just getting his bearings. In a desperate attempt to eat Giordano’s and get it on the blog, I bought a half-baked pie in Chicago, packed it in ice and brought it back to LA to finish the baking myself. The result was delicious, and while I reviewed it, I always felt that it was unfair to judge a restaurant in which much of the cooking was up to me. Since those days, very little has changed, but my desire for Giordano’s has only grown stronger. So on my last visit to Chicago, I made sure to hit Giordano’s for real, or to at least have some of my family pick it up for me in Evanston.