16 October 2016

the bristol : brunch.

time for another round two! this time, i went back to the bristol in bucktown / wicker park for brunch. (for deets on my first visit a couple years ago for dins, take a peek here.)

anywho, as a reminder ... "the bristol has become a staple for chicago's local dining crowd, off-duty chefs, & visiting gastronomes looking for a great dinner or sunday brunch." as an established member of chicago's local dining crowd, i can attest to the truth of this statement.

here's what i had (in addition to a delicious mimosa, not pictured) ...

chilaquiles :
i know what you are thinking. is she really about to tell me she ate soggy tortilla chips + some sautéed veggies & say she loved it? why yes, yes i am. this was sooo good. the flavor was legit & i don't mind a little sogginess. however. would it be majorly improved with a little tofu scramble on top? a resounding yes.

as a side note, i always wonder why more restaurants don't just have tofu for their veg patrons. it doesn't go bad that quickly & it's pretty easy to prepare. any restaurant insiders have the scoop? 

breakfast potatoes :
hot damn, these were awesome, too. i mean ... potatoes. what's not to like?

i've said it before & i'll say it again. i sometimes hate brunch. but even if this meal was a little weird & missing something, i was still all about it. i definitely cpc'ed that chilaquiles dish. (that's clean plate club for those not in the know.)

maybe if the chef is listening, they'll get a little tofu round those parts & really up the tortilla game for the veg crowd. until next time ...

the bristol
2151 n. damen ave.
chicago, il 60647

09 October 2016


i said it on my instagram, but ... !! ATTN. CHICAGO !! bareburger has officially arrived in lakeview!

backing up ... i first visited bareburger in new york city a couple years ago. (if you wanna do a bareburger #tbt, take a read. and if you wanna #lol, take a look at the comments section. fa realz.) i loved my meal so much, so i was thrilled when jerry, a partner at the newly opened bareburger chicago, emailed me to let me know they were coming to our fair city.

as a reminder, bareburger purveys "organic & all-natural burgers, snacks & shakes." the cool thing is just how many vegan options they have.

so the chi city husband, baby & i moseyed over for the bareburger friends & family opening. here's what i had ...

be my burger ... build-yo-own vegan burger :
look at this delicious beauty. perfect veggie patty + fresh veg + crunchy pickles + tasty sprout bun? = one ultra nom-worthy burger. we also had some french fries, which, i mean, you can never go wrong with. (let me tell you, the fries were a hit with le bebe.)

bareburger is thebomb.com for a couple of reasons.

1. as explained, the plethora of vegan option. 2. they've got a new vegan shake, which is going to be the first thing i order at our next visit. 3. i'm told the non-vegan stuff is also incredible, so all your non-veg friends can enjoy themselves, as well. 4. ultra family-friendly. didn't use to be important to me, but now. it is! deal with it.

bareburger is definitely going to become a regular spot for us ... hope to see you there??

3357 n. lincoln ave.
chicago, il 60657

07 September 2016

piazza bella.

the babe's first birthday was a few weeks ago ... between the rainy weather & the last minute things we had to do for his party the next day, we couldn't have the fun birthday day that i was planning in my mind. but luckily, we were able to do our first birthday dinner out as a family in our new hood ...

one thing i love about roscoe village is that the restaurants don't get as packed as the ones in southport corridor. so at 5pm, i was able to take a quick glance at open table & see that piazza bella had a 5:15pm reservation open. i snatched that up & off we went.

the about : "whether you are seeking a romantic dinner for two or a grand reception & everything in between, piazza bella offers a superb dining experience." in our case, a speed-eating dinner for three (you never know how long a baby will sit still for ... luckily, he nommed on breadsticks the whole time.)

here's what i had ...

piazza pasta prefirita :
bucatini pasta with basil & garlic tomato sauce.
sometimes the worst photographs = the tastiest meals. 
this looks like something i threw together in 5 minutes, but tasted heavenly. i expected to get pizza for dinner (pizzas are not vegan there, wah) ... but i was kind of happy i got to devour a bowl of pasta instead. i tried to give some to the baby, but he just threw his noodles on the floor. typical.

piazza bella is definitely going to be a new go-to neighborhood spot for us ... super kid friendly, super tasty food, super crisp bubbly. into it!

piazza bella
2114 w. roscoe street
chicago, il 60618

31 August 2016

the boarding house.

guys, this was a hard one. i'm giving fair warning that this post might seem like i'm bashing the boarding house ... i'm not. i just had such high expectations & everything fell flat for me. ugh, here we go.

josh & i celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary last month ... per usual, i was unable to decide what i wanted to do or where i wanted to go eat, so josh decided to plan a surprise. please note, i hate to be surprised. i like to know everything... so josh was forced to deal with me asking for hints for a week until he finally relented & told me we were headed to alpana singh's the boarding house in river north for din. yay!

before i dive into the food, i'm just going to say that my inability to find a good description online of the actual restaurant / menu is a sign of things to come. per the facebook page, it's "a restaurant & wine bar located at wells & superior." per the website, "the menu features a mix of small, medium, large, & shared plates." what? 

i went into the meal knowing they had a separate vegetarian menu, so i had high hopes. here's what i had ...

carrot salad :
i can't find this on their online menus anymore, so must be out of season now ... i love a plate of roasted/grilled/sautéed/etc. carrots ... but for some reason, i was shocked when these came out cold. 

soy-glazed vegetables :
zucchini ribbons, julienned carrots, peppers, garlic & sugar snap peas.
okaaay. when a restaurant has a whole separate vegetarian menu & the vegan option is just soy-glazed veggies, we have an issue. our server tried to "make the dish a little more unctuous" (direct quote) since he could tell i was a bit disappointed with this option ... but the chef's response to that was adding some cauliflower. (i originally asked for the cauliflower puree that comes with the mushroom ragout, but it wasn't vegan.) let's be honest, this was fine. that's it.

black cherry sorbet (gratis) :
i did appreciate the free anniversary sorbet they threw in. it was delish. 

it's been about a month since we went here. so while i tried for the "distance makes the heart grow fonder" path of writing this post, it didn't work. i'm actually a little more worked up about it than i should be. here's what i know ...

1. they're under no obligation to have a fantastic vegan option ... but given the vegetarian menu, i just expected it!
2. josh's meal was incredible & he loved every bite.

who else has been here & what did you think? i'd love to hear!

the boarding house
720 n. wells
chicago, il 60654