20 March 2014

bar toma.

okay, chicagoans. who's in the mood for pizza? it's what we're all about, amirite?

it's time we introduce ourselves to bar toma, located on pearson, right off michigan avenue.

to be brief : "an italian neighborhood pizzeria & bar by chef tony mantuano, bar toma features 20 varieties of pizza" ... "most often recognized as one of the champions on season two of bravo's top chef masters, chef tony mantuano is also internationally regarded as an influential culinary force ... bar toma fills a long-time dream to create a casual italian neighborhood trattoria, pizzeria & bar."

ok, hold the phone. top chef masters chef tony mantuano of spiaggia deliciousness? yes, you read correctly. let's dive in, shall we?

here's what i had ...

charred carrots :
almonds & balsamico. 
who knew carrots could be so tasty? i certainly did not, as i frequently try to avoid them. but these were a-one.

power pizza :
spinach, garlic & lemon. 
when i tell you this is some of the best pizza crust i've ever had, you have to believe me. i don't know how or why, but it is. super light & fluffy, great wood fire flavor ... all around awesome.

bar toma is a great place to pop into : very cozy & casual, fantastic pizza ... what more can you ask for? check it out.

bar toma
110 east pearson street
chicago, il 60611

13 March 2014

summer house santa monica.

a couple of weeks ago, my friends decided to try the newest lettuce entertain you restaurant ... summer house santa monica on halsted in lincoln park. i, however, was unable to attend this ultra-fun outing. so instead, josh & i opted for brunch there one chilly saturday.

summer house's description is kind of amazing. let me set the mood : "the california-influenced, american restaurant features a wood-fire grill as its centerpiece & dishes out an ever-changing menu that spotlights locally-sourced produce & ingredients whenever possible." how incredible does this sound, chiberians? i mean, come on. in the midst of our cold, even though it's kind of going away (not really), the feeling of lunching at a cafe in the california sun is glorious.

here's what i had ...

sunrise punch :
breakfast cocktail perfection.

mission street burrito :
whole wheat tortilla, spinach, corn, tofu. (no egg.)
i'm pretty much always craving carbs. so anything in a wrap is delicious to me. great flavor here. no complaints.

seasonal fresh fruit plate :
mango, pineapple, cantaloupe, pomegranate & mixed berries. 
never in my life have i had such delicious, fresh fruit. never. and oh, so beautiful!

summer house has a couple of other vegan options on the brunch menu. stand by for details on dinner. i'm sure i'll be back soon.

summer house santa monica
1954 north halsted street
chicago, il 60614

10 March 2014

standard market grill.

a few days behind here. apologies for the delay, but better late than never, amirite?

ah, the "quick, but healthy bite to eat." sometimes hard to find for vegans ... that is, if you aren't in the mood for a salad. this ideal meal was just what my friends (hi, blair & lauren!) & i were looking for one weekday night.

after much debate, blair suggested standard market grill, located at clark & fullerton in lincoln park. since it wasn't far from our final destination, off we went.

according to their website, "standard market grill is a celebration of food, featuring an eclectic variety of chef-inspired cuisine in our sophisticated yet casual environment. each dish is made to order with fresh, seasonal ingredients." i can attest to this statement : it's true! standard market grill does have a pretty sizable menu with a lot of options. and you order at a counter, which makes it quite speedy.

here's what i had ...

buddha bowl :
brown rice, seasonal market vegetables, peanuts & tofu.
i could have gone for a salad instead, but meh. this sounded more exciting. the peanut vinaigrette it comes with had egg in it, so we subbed out for a balsamic, which worked surprisingly well with this asian inspired bowl. overall, something i'd definitely order again. plus, it had kale in it. so i was automatically pumped.

i'll go far as to say that standard market grill is the perfect place for the often unattainable "quick, but healthy bite to eat." if you're looking & happen to be in the hood, definitely stop in.

standard market grill
444 west fullerton parkway
chicago, il 60614

02 March 2014

santullo's eatery.

last week, we had pizza friday for lunch at work. people were craving new york style pizza ... so we ended up ordering delivery from santullo's eatery, where you can get "a slice of new york in wicker park." perfect.

the best part about santullo's is that they've got some surrious vegan options, so this was very fortunate for the three vegans in the office. you'll see what i mean in just a second.

here's what i had ...

veggie brickhouse pizza :

seitan pepperoni, seitan sausage, green peppers, red onions, fresh garlic, vegan mozzarella & vegan red sauce.
holy vegan pizza perfection. even the non-vegans wanted to try it! and they, dare i say, liked it! that is saying something, fa realz.  

but wait, there's more! santullo's also offers another vegan pizza option and not one, but two vegan sandwiches! 1. vegan santullo italian style sando. 2. vegan spicy chicken sando. i literally cannot wait to order from santullo's again & try both of these delicious sounding sammies. 

i strongly suggest you get to santullo's stat. you will not be disappointed.

santullo's eatery
1943 w. north avenue
chicago, il 60622