Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Chamchijeon (Korean Tuna Pancakes)

Turn a can of tuna into these crispy little snacks!  They're absolutely delicious.  A can of tuna makes six little pancakes, and I devoured them in about two minutes.  Note to self: always make a double batch.

Chamchijeon (Korean Tuna Pancakes)

This recipe comes from Maangchi, who is my go-to Korean cooking expert.  Pretty much everything I have ever made using her recipes have turned out well, and this was no exception.  The funny thing is, there's really nothing about the recipe that indicates that it's Korean... or even Asian.  Okay, maybe the sesame oil, which imparts an "Asiany" flavor.  But if you left that out, it's really just made up of familiar, run-of-the-mill ingredients that aren't Asian in origin.

It couldn't be easier.  Mix everything together, then fry for about two minutes on each side.  Then viola!  Delicious little tuna snacks that don't taste tuna-y.  You know what I mean; canned tuna always imparts a very distinctive kind of tuna flavor... these pancakes don't have that.  At least not while hot.  I don't know what they'd taste like cold, as I ate them all too quickly.  Maangchi says that this can serve as a cold appetizer, so I have no reason to doubt her.

Chamchijeon (Korean Tuna Pancakes) Mixture

I love that they don't have to be deep fried.  While I love deep-fried foods, I don't like the mess of dealing with leftover oil at home.  For these, you just use a tablespoon or two of canola oil, like you're going to stir-fry vegetables or make scrambled eggs.  Easy peasy!

Maangchi's original recipe calls for a teaspoon of salt.  This seemed really excessive to me, and in fact, in her own video at the end, after she tastes them, she admits they're on the salty side.  She says it's fine because they're intended to be served with rice.  Me, I just drastically cut the amount of salt called for and it was fine, especially because I didn't eat them with rice.

Chamchijeon (Korean Tuna Pancakes)

The dipping sauce she recommends for them is a mixture of soy sauce and vinegar -- she didn't specify what kind, but I used black.  Soy sauce, black vinegar, and some hot chili paste is my go-to sauce for potstickers, and it worked just as well for these little snacks.  However, I can also see myself leaving out the sesame oil, squeezing lemon juice over them, and dipping them in aioli.

Chamchijeon (Korean Tuna Pancakes) (adapted from Maangchi)

  • 1 5oz can of tuna packed in water, drained
  • 3 tbsp onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1-2 tbsp canola oil, for frying
  1. Heat your pan on medium-high heat with the canola oil.
  2. Meanwhile, thoroughly mix together the rest of the ingredients.  It should be fairly wet and stick together well.  If it doesn't, add a little more oil or water.
  3. Divide the mixture into six portions.  Drop by the spoonful into the hot pan, and gently shape them into rounds if you care about shape.
  4. When the bottoms are nicely browned, about 1-2 minutes, flip them over, pressing gently.  Fry until browned as well, then eat immediately ... or not.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Chicago Eats (part 3)

Okay, now comes the restaurant that totally knocked our socks off. It was Girl and the Goat. Keep in mind that this was the place where we had 10pm reservations, so it was really tempting not to go. I wasn't that hungry (considering I'd already had 3 meals that day), R. was napping, her leg was hurting because of the tattoo she'd gotten earlier that day, it was late, how good could the food be, look at our experience with Publican, which wasn't all that, etc. They had to overcome A LOT to make the visit worth it.

But I decided that it wasn't every day that I was in Chicago, I'd regret it later if I didn't give it a shot, so I overrode my reluctance, roused R., and off we went. We decided not to bring our "real" cameras, because it was dark and dinner lighting was never good for photos, etc. Oh, how we would come to rue this decision.

Girl and the Goat Kitchen

We got there early, at 9:30pm, hoping they'd be able to seat us early. The good news was, they were. The bad news was, it was at a table similar to the one we were seated at, at Publican -- right in front of the kitchen where the food preparation was happening. "Oh no, not this again," was my dreaded first thought. My second thought was, "OMG the lighting's not bad at all and we're right in front of the kitchen. Why didn't we bring our cameras?!" So unfortunately, all the photos you see here kind of suck. They were taken by R.'s little standard digital camera, and my phone camera, which is really good for a phone camera, but nonetheless sucks.

It was hot as hell, sitting there. That's one negative. You're right near the stoves, and they are BLASTING heat. I don't know how the cooks stand it. They said they just don't think about it, because if they did, then they'd really feel it and be miserable.

Our server Meadows was awesome. He promised that sitting at this table was like no other table in the restaurant. He was super nice and friendly, made great suggestions, and was generally the kind of server you always want to have.  Also awesome were Alexis, Sean, and Juan, the cooks who chatted with us as they prepared plate after plate of delicious food. They were all really warm and friendly -- the total opposite of the people we encountered at Publican, sitting at a similar table. We had so much freaking fun sitting there, chatting with them and eating the yummylicious food. We really DID feel special, that we had the best seats in the house, that we were treasured guests.

Girl and the Goat Menu

The food was spectacular. Like, these pictures do them NO justice. Even had we had our Nikons, the pictures and my words still wouldn't have done the food justice, because food this good needs to be tasted to be truly understood how good it was. It was all simple things, well prepared. R. is the pickiest eater in the WORLD -- she has so many taste and texture issues -- yet the food was so well prepared that she ate things neither she nor I ever thought she would eat, and LIKED IT.

We both started with a bread. We didn't know it, but this was perhaps not the wisest decision, because sitting where we sat, the kitchen gave us food to sample fo free and so we had more food than we could finish. Plus for me, the bread was my least favorite thing. It was one of R.'s favorites, though. She ordered sweet onion butter and herb oil, while I had chicken liver butter and carrot sage oil. I'm only including a pic of one bread because they both basically looked the same.


The first thing we got to try was the escargot ravioli. We didn't order it, they just gave it to us to sample. So awesome. And it was soooo good! I was a huge fan of this dish. Escargot ravioli, bacon, tamarind-miso sauce, crispy onions.

Escargot Ravioli

I love beets, so whenever there's a beet salad I'm likely to order it. Roasted beets, green beans, white anchovy, avocado creme fraiche.

Roasted Beets and Green Beans

All mixed together:

Roasted Beets and Green Beans

R. ordered English pea pods, which you were supposed to eat like you would edamame, by just sucking out the peas, but they were so well prepared that I just went ahead and ate the shells sometimes.

Marinated English Pea Pods

The real star vegetable, however, were the green beans, which neither of us ordered, but which they once again gave us to try. See, it totally DOES pay to sit at this table!! Okay, these green beans were out of this WORLD. It was a favorite of both me and R. It looks like nothing special, but it was so amazingly good. Sauteed green beans, fish sauce vinaigrette, cashews.

Haha I just read this on Yelp: "Everything. Was. Amazing. The green beans especially. I don't know what kind of crack sauce Stephanie Izard has come up with, but I want to bathe in it."

Sauteed Green Beans

I also got the hiramasa (I learned that's another word for yellowtail -- my favorite sushi fish!) crudo. Flavored with crisp pork belly, aji aioli, caperberries.

Hiramasa Crudo

And after ALL THAT, we still had to eat our entrees!!

R.'s: Pan-roasted halibut, brandade, grilled asparagus, green garlic, blackberry.

Pan-Roasted Halibut

Mine: Wood oven roasted pig face, sunny side egg, tamarind, cilantro, potato stix.

Wood Oven Roasted Pig Face

Me mixing it all up...

Wood Oven Roasted Pig Face

Okay, so funny story about the pig face. And not just that it's simply called "pig face" on the menu. When we had dinner with R.'s Chicago friends, J. told us about when she went to Bacon Fest, and talked about how one of the vendors had given her the cheek of a pig. While those of us who were foodies ooohed and aaahed, R. sat there totally flummoxed as to why this would be a good thing. Fast forward to Girl and the Goat, and her trying my entree: "Ohmygod, I LOVE PIG FACE!!!!! I now totally understand!!" HAHA.

So yeah, the way they prepare it is that they braise the pig heads for 12 hours. Then they peel back the skin and pick off all the meat from the head. This mixture is then rolled into a log and chilled. Then once it's solid, you can slice it. Here are the pig heads braising, which Juan was nice enough to take a photo for us:

Braising Pig Heads

This is Juan. He is awesome. He was the one who did most of the work entertaining me and R., because his station was right in front of us. Here he's "hiding" what he's doing, because once he realized R. was taking photographs of everything, he didn't want her to take a photo mid-plating so that it would look less than perfect. Little did he know how much our cameras sucked.

Juan at Girl and the Goat

This is the hanger steak. Neither of us ordered it, but once I had tasted the food you don't know how much I regretted that I didn't. Spring Hill makes the best hanger steak in Seattle, but I bet this place would have given it a run for its money. Still, if I had gotten it, I wouldn't have gotten the pig face. So you know.

Grilled Hanger Steak

Even though we were stuffed to the gills at this point (do not forget I already ate 3 meals that day ... I don't know how I did it), we ordered dessert, because how could we not? R. loved hers and I liked mine, but I would have rather have had the hanger steak. :D

Mine (left): rhubarb and lemon, shortcake, buttermilk panna cotta, lemon gelato, salted graham cracker

Hers (right): blood orange sorbet, parsnip pot de creme, pistachio cake, three sisters cornmeal crust

Blood Orange Sorbet and Rhubarb & Lemon Shortcake

Okay, and lest you think this was folie a deux, or that we only thought it was great because we got special treatment, I want to share two things with you:

1) Currently on Yelp, Girl and the Goat has over 730 reviews with an average 4.5 rating. That is hard to do.

2) In the middle of our dinner, the table behind us (a group of about 10 people) starting applauding the kitchen. Okay, when people are so moved by your food that they start spontaneously applauding, you know it's good.

The entire dining experience was just great. We sat at "table 5," which seats two. There's another table at the other end, "table 4," that also seats two -- I'm sure that would be great as well. Book early, or do as we did and just go at whatever time you can. It's worth it!

Another favorite place of mine that we went to was Kuma's Corner -- the burgers were wonderful. I ordered my burger medium rare and it came perfectly, with pink in the middle and seasoned just right. The meat was just good. They also had house-made chips, but I went with the fries and they were meh (which is fine, because the fewer fries I eat, the better). Also, the burger was huge. It comes with 10oz of beef, which is just over half a pound. O.o

I got the Neurosis: cheddar, Swiss, sauteed mushrooms, caramelized onions, horseradish mayo

Neurosis Burger at Kuma's

They also have "make your own" mac & cheese, and R., being a mac & cheese lover, couldn't resist. She got that AND a burger. So yeah, there was a loooooooooooot of food left, which unfortunately ended up getting tossed, because when were we going to be able to eat it? :-(

Kuma's Mac & Cheese

Finally, for dinner, we went to Frontera Grill. My camera was out of battery by this point, so I had to use my phone camera again, and I think R. had her D40, but the lighting wasn't great. So please pardon the (mostly) crappy photos once again.

We had time to kill before our reservations and we spent it having drinks and what not, so we weren't even hungry, but we put our game faces on and ordered too much food.

I had two appetizers, the ceviche Yucateco (steamed mexican blue shrimp and calamari, lime, orange, habanero, avocado, jicama, and cilantro), and the tamal de hongos (banana leaf-steamed tamal of wild and cultivated mushrooms, epazote, roasted chilaca chile cream, tany wild argula). The ceviche was small, but came with filling chips. The mushroom tamale was very good. I'm usually not a fan of tamales; they're so dry and boring, but this one was done right.

Tamal de Hongos

Ceviche Yucateco

R. got the sopes rancheros (crispy corn masa boats, savory shredded beef, roasted tomato, avocado, homemade fresh cheese), which she LOVED.

Sopes Rancheros

A. got the Topolobampo tortilla soup (dark broth flavored with pasilla, with grilled chicken, avocado, hand-made Jack cheese, thick cream and crisp tortilla strips).

Topolobampo Tortilla Soup

I don't know what we were THINKING, getting all this food. I mean, I guess I was thinking, I'm at a Rick Bayless restaurant, I can't NOT order a bunch of stuff to try!

R. and I actually both got the same entree, which tells me that I wasn't very adventurous in my selection (I wasn't), but it just sounded so good. Maybe I was thinking about the hanger steak from Girl and the Goat. In any case, we both got the tacos al carbon, with the skirt steak (mine medium rare, hers well done), which came with a bowl of delicious beans, a generous helping of guacamole, and homemade tortillas. It was good, but I was SO FULL by this point that I could only eat one of the tortillas. I did eat all the steak and some of the beans. You know how full I was when I tell you that I actually left some guacamole uneaten, which is unheard of.

Tacos al Carbon with Skirt Steak

A. had a half order of the marisquera de lujo for her entree, which came with half a dozen oysters and their accompaniments, ceviche fronterizo (lime-marinated Hawaiian albacore with tomatoes, olives, cilantro, green chile), and coctel atun tropical (sashimi-grade Hawaiian yellowfin tuna, avocado-tomatillo guacamole, tangy mango-grapefruit salsa). It looked enormous. I actually ate one of her oysters because she couldn't finish it all. :))

Marisquera de Lujo

Okay, so overall impression of Frontera Grill. It was good, definitely good. It wasn't the restaurant's fault that we had to kill time and for us that involved filling our stomachs before dinner. It was also reasonably priced, I thought. I mean, no worse than any upscale restaurant in Seattle. From what I'd heard from others I was expecting really sky-high prices, but eating in Chicago, at least the places we went, seemed actually much more favorably priced than here.

But I will also say that it's fairly difficult to wow 2 people who grew up eating Mexican food in southern California (and eat it still). I mean, the food was definitely more upscale, but didn't taste noticeably different from other good Mexican food I've had.

Our final official meal in Chicago was at Edwardo's, which wasn't the best choice, but we didn't know it at the time. Though their stuffed spinach pizza is apparently award-winning, it was only so-so. A friend of R.'s had sung its praises to high heaven, to the point where we were both intrigued. I loved the idea of spinach pizza, but I was a bit hesitant, because the guy normally doesn't like spinach and I do, so could we really agree on a spinach pizza? And also, given that he doesn't normally like spinach, I highly doubted he was a foodie like me, which meant he probably didn't have a very sophisticated palate. So... check, never taking restaurant/food advice from a non-foodie again, lol.

Stuffed Spinach Pizza

I mean, it was okay, certainly not terrible or anything. I might have liked it more had I been better able to taste the spinach, and Robbie said she would have liked it more if she had been less able to taste it. LOL. So yeah, it was our third trial of Chicago pizza, and it was a bust. We tried 3 different, well-recced places, so I think we gave it a fair shot. I can't imagine that Giordano's, the place we cut from the list, would have changed our minds completely. I do remember really loving Pizzeria Uno though, but I ate there when I was in D.C. and maybe they did it differently. Or maybe I just loved their spinach & broccoli pizza a little too much.

Before heading to the airport we did stop by Garrett (more popcorn for both of us) and Potbelly (for sandwiches to be eaten at the airport or on our flights home).

Oh Chicago -- thank you for being such a great foodie town!

View of Chicago

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Chicago Eats (part 2)

It was the week of Tulips on the Magnificent Mile while we were in Chicago.  So many gorgeous tulips everywhere.  It was awesome.

Tulips on the Magnificant Mile

Now on to the eats!

Chicago deep-dish pizza was given another shot.  We went to Lou Malnati's.  While overall I definitely prefer thin-crust pizza, this was probably my favorite of our deep-dish experiences.  We went during lunch and it was a great deal -- $7 for an individual pizza, a large salad, and a soft drink.

Lou Malnati's Deep Dish Pizza

Trying to learn from our first experience, we both got toppings.  I got my standard pepperoni and mushrooms, whereas my friend got sausage.  The sausage was weird... instead of individual little balls of sausage like we're used to, it was like, one big sausage patty under the cheese.  Oh that's the other thing about the deep-dish pizza in Chicago -- they seem to bake the cheese on the crust, and the sauce is spooned over the top.  I don't know if that's true of EVERY pizza place there, but it was for the 3 places we tried, so I figure it's a Thing.  Anyway, I enjoyed my pizza much more than I had the first time (though I still left most of the crust uneaten), and I liked the atmosphere and decor.

Lou Malnati's Deep Dish Pizza

We met up with some friends at Goose Island Brewery.

I ordered a softshell crab BLT.  In retrospect, it seems strange that I went to the midwest to eat seafood items several times, but it was always so casually on the menu and very reasonably priced!  Anyway, the sandwich was only okay... you couldn't really taste the crab.  And the house made chips were way over-seasoned; I had to trade them in for fries instead.

Softshell Crab BLT

One of our lunches was at Pastoral, an artisan cheese shop.  They sell lots of different cheeses, bread, spreads, things like that.  They also make sandwiches and have a few tables in the shop where you can eat them.

I got the Sandwich Campagne, which was country pate, Gruyere cheese, whole grain dijon mustard, and cornichons.  It was good, but incredibly strong and filling -- I would have preferred only eating half and getting half of something else.

Sandwich Campagne

My friend got a turkey, ham, and fresh mozzarella sandwich.  It was such a mild sandwich that when she gave me some to try, after eating my sandwich I couldn't even taste hers!

Ham, Turkey, and Cheese Sandwich

The following encompasses meals from several places in Chinatown.

This first was a place called Moon Palace, which had come highly recommended by a couple of R.'s friends.  Being Chinese, however, I am already pretty picky about authenticity and there were several things about the place that gave me pause.  First, they billed themselves as a restaurant that specialized in Shanghainese and Mandarin fare.  Okay, when you combine cuisines, it's already kind of iffy.  Jack of all trades, master of none, and all that.  But on top of this, both my mom and dad's families are from Shanghai and I LOVE that cuisine, which emphasizes dumplings (meat and veggies in a thin flour wrapping then steamed, baked, and/or fried), and I knew just from seeing the menu online that this was NOT authentically Shanghainese.  When we got there, most of the patrons were not Asian -- another bad sign.  And the final bad sign was that we had to ask for chopsticks; the default place settings had forks.

However, I have to give the place its due.  Despite all the bad signs, the food was actually pretty good.  It at least tasted right.

We ordered "wo teet" -- pan-fried dumplings (like gyozas) and Shanghai-style fried noodles, which was made with flat noodles instead of round noodles and didn't have any spinach, but otherwise tasted authentic.  Neither item actually compared well to the same items you could get at a real, good Shanghainese restaurant, but like I said, they were decent.  Next time I'll have to get specific recommendations for Chinatown.

"Wo Teet" - Pan-Fried Potstickers

Shanghai Style Thick Fried Noodles

My friend also wanted some deep-fried wontons, which came crispy and hot, so they were delicious.

Deep Fried Wontons

For breakfast one day, I went to a Chinese bakery, Chiu Quon, and got three delicious items, all for under $3.  I got a Chinese egg tart, a ham and cheese stuffed roll, and a raisin twist (I only ate half of that and saved the rest for later).  All very good, very typical of Chinese bakery fare.

Display of Various Buns at Chinese Bakery

"Dan tat" - Chinese Egg Custard Tart

Raisin Bread at Chinese Bakery

Ham and Cheese Bun

Display of Cookies and Pastries at Chinese Bakery

At BBQ King House, I got the 3-item BBQ combination over rice, which also came with a small bowl of soup.  The 3 items I chose were: calamari, roasted duck, and their "Princess" chicken, which came with a lovely green onion and ginger sauce.  It was good, but the Chinese BBQ places I've been to in Southern California (like Sam Woo) are better.  It may be that I just didn't go to the right place.  Anyway, it was definitely decent.

Chinese BBQ Plate on Rice

Here is some fried butterfish from Ken Kee.  It was again good/decent, but nothing so spectacular that I haven't had the same or better in SoCal.

Fried Butterfish in Miso Sauce at Ken Kee

Haha, and here is just the bones.  It looked so like a cartoon fish that cats drag out of trashcans that I couldn't resist.

Fried Butterfish Bones at Ken Kee

I'll make one more Chicago eats post after this, which will encompass the rest of the trip. :-)

View of Chicago's Museum Campus

Monday, May 16, 2011

Chicago Eats (Part 1)

I was in Chicago last week, enjoying the many culinary delights to be found there. I didn't get to go to Alinea, supposedly the best restaurant in the country.  I couldn't convince my non-foodie friend R., who I was traveling with, to pay the $200/person prix fixe cost. :-)  I ate a lot though, and I want to share it!  I'll do so chronologically, include a few restaurants at a time, and split this into several posts.

There was a Gino's East attached to our first hotel (we stayed at three total), so we went there for an early dinner because it was lunchtime for our body clocks.  Apparently it's the original Gino's East location, which they moved from, then recently moved back.  Anyway, this was our first clue that perhaps Chicago-style pizza was not for us.  First, we were told it would take an extra 35-40 minutes, which is true at ALL the pizza places we went to.  Apparently it just takes extra time to make that kind of crust.  But there was just too much of it.  I'm not a crust kind of person in the first place, and if I HAD to eat crust I'd probably prefer this kind (which is crazy thick and crunchy), but it was just too, too much.  What I do like about Chicago pizza is that they use fresh tomato sauce, but Robbie is not a fan of that.  We got the plain cheese, because it was the only pizza type we could agree on.  After eating it, we thought maybe Chicago pizza needed toppings of some kind, whereas thin-crust pizzas do better with fewer.

Gino's East Deep Dish Pizza

R. really wanted to go to a Chicago steakhouse, so we did that the following day for lunch.  We went to Keefer's, which was recommended by two fellows at the front desk.  This was the first experience we had of non-refillable soft drinks (which seems to be common in Chicago, at 'real' restaurants).
Here's our bread basket with a big slab of butter, mmmmm.  I love bread baskets.

Bread Basket and Butter

Caesar salad with easy dressing.

Caesar Salad

Lobster bisque.

Lobster Bisque

New York strip steak.  Tomatoes and blue cheese on top.  Medium rare.

New York Strip Steak

Awesome potato croquettes: mashed potato mixed with bacon, cheese, and chives, then deep fried and covered with a yummy cheese sauce.

Potato Croquettes

Garrett popcorn was one of the places I really wanted to go after reading about it on David Lebovitz's blog.  I was excited when it encountered it accidentally (there are several locations).  There was a woman with a baby carriage in front of us, but that's it.  Garrett being empty is a rare occurrence.  People regularly wait in long lines.

Garrett Popcorn - Chicago Mix

It is really, really, REALLY good popcorn.  I got the "Chicago mix," which is their caramel and cheese popcorns mixed together.  It is DELICIOUS.  If you like that sweet/salty combination, which I do.  On our last day we went back to Garrett and I bought a large so that I could bring it into the office to share with everyone.

We also went to Taste of Peru, which turned out to be one of my favorite meals.  It was recommended by a friend of mine ... and also Guy Fieri of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives!  I was really looking forward to this one, and wasn't disappointed.  I'd only had Peruvian cuisine once before, in Westwood when I was in college, and remembered that I loved the chicken.

We started with fresh bread and aji sauce, which was delicious.  Apparently it's made with jalapenos.  I'm going to have to suss out a recipe; as it's all blended I can't imagine it'd be very difficult...

Fresh Bread with Aji Sauce

Fried corvina, avocado salad and half a roasted potato.

Deep Fried Corvina

Pollo a la brasa, from the specials menu.  Chicken roasted in a bunch of spices.  I got half a chicken, fries, and their regular salad for $8.50.  Since the salad and fries were only so-so, I wished I had gotten the whole chicken with no sides for $10.

Pollo a la Brasa

C-House, the restaurant at the Affinia, our hotel, is one of Marcus Samuelsson's restaurants.  It was sadly very quiet ... business didn't seem too great.  I don't know why, because I enjoyed our food very much, and the prices were reasonable.

We started with a small loaf of bread, which was edged with melted cheese.  See how the crust of the bread parts a bit from the white center?  That's where the cheese is.  As R. said, "I love hidden cheese!"

Cheese Bread

I got the lobster club sandwich, which had bacon, avocado, and identifiable chunks of lobster.  It was $15.

C-House's Lobster Club

R. got the Angus Prime burger, which was okay.  I didn't like it that much but that's because the meat was super well done (as she requested).  I might have thought it was a better burger had the meat been more tender/flavorful, but it was (to me) overcooked.

C-House's Angus Prime Burger

Luckily, she had also ordered a side of mac & cheese, and that was yum.  It was made with goat cheddar and pork sausage.

C-House's Mac & Cheese

The final restaurant I'll mention in this post is Publican.  It had come highly recommended from several different sources, but I have to say that it didn't live up to those accolades.  We were seated in what they tried to make seem were great seats -- they were right in front of the kitchen and the guys shucking oysters.  The people were polite, but not friendly.  They didn't proactively try to talk to us, and we couldn't really see what was going on.  They didn't seem to like us taking a bunch of photographs (which I would understand, if we'd been using flash constantly -- but I hate using flash on food photos and R. only did it every once in awhile).  They didn't try to engage us in what they were doing.  So we felt more like we were unwanted interlopers than anything.

The food was good, but expensive (aka, not worth it).  R. had ordered ham and bread, but the ham was cured, which she didn't like, so I ate most of it.  I'd ordered suckling pig, which was good, but there was like six bites in the whole thing.  I also got the ahi tuna crudo, which was fresh and good, but again overpriced.  Finally, possibly the best item were the fries.  They were fried in a combination of animal and vegetable oil (it tasted like delicious chicken fat to me), then topped with two fried eggs and ground pepper.  It was pretty delicious and only cost $7.

Fried Eggs on Fries

More posts to come!

View from Sheraton Hotel & Towers in Chicago