When I arrived in Phoenix I found myself going to far too many fancy pants modern Mexican restaurants. So I asked around for where I could find the good stuff and was directed to Burrito Express. It sat on my list for a while as I tried plentiful other places, but I finally made it to the Scottsdale location and found that it had burritos and they were prepared in an express manner, hence the name.
Have you ever been hanging out and watching some sort of food program on TV only to realize it is covering a city or town you’re about to visit? If so, we friggin’ good for you, because I just had that experience for the first time and it was glorious. It began with an episode of Man vs. Food covering Duluth, Minnesota of all places. The restaurant was Northern Waters Smokehaus and despite all of my great memories of the classic restaurants in Duluth’s Canal Park, I was excited to try out something new.
Old Town Scottsdale has a dark side. I thought I was going out for a night of Mexican food and bowling, only to find this dark side. When I arrived at Casa Amigos I was a little taken aback by the loud music not only playing from within, but also at every other place around Casa Amigos. You might say I was even more taken aback by the weird semi-night life that was also happening within. It was like college, but not. Vegas, but not. Twerking, but not. I suppose Old Town Scottsdale is really its own special kind of place, but I was interested in the food.
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.
When you see a place called Sip, I think it’s fair to assume it won’t be serving food and instead focuses on drinks. But Sip Coffee and Beer Kitchen is more than just a place for caffeine and liquid depressants. It’s also a place to grab some food. And, on Friday nights it’s happy hour prices for appetizers.
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.
Despite spending several days in Holland, on our last day we found a part of town that we hadn’t ever seen before. It’s called Washington Square and is probably one of the coolest single block stretches of storefronts in the state of Michigan, if not the world. Within that stretch is a cozy and homey-feeling restaurant called The Biscuit, which may or may not have its own pet blue dragon in the cellar (you’ll have to ask someone who works there). They only serve breakfast and lunch, so we attended for the former.
Custom burritos are boring right? They’re so 2000-something. Enchiladas, though? Maybe their time is now. After all, they’re basically just glorified mini burritos covered in sauce. Gadzooks in Arcadia is banking on that…and soups because why not? Plus, they’ve fancied the concept up by adding ceramic dishes and premium ingredients.
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 may not be the most creative thing to name a restaurant after the street that it’s on. But when that street is 8th Street in the center of Holland, Michigan, it’s not just any street. This street is the beating heart of the town and so 8th Street Grille is a name that carries some clout, as well as a bunch of American food and local beers.