So much amazing food in Chicago

Some of you might have noticed that we like to eat. For a lot of people, eating is something they do to stay alive. They call it a necessity.

But for us, eating is a hobby.

Lucky for us, Chicago has a few places to indulge us. We’ve been pretty busy, and we’ll talk about some more of these in greater detail later, but for now, here’s a list of some of this city’s amazing food offerings we’ve enjoyed:

  • Uncle Sammy’s: Our first night in Chicago, we were having a horrible time finding a place to park a UHaul truck. At about midnight, we finally found a place and were walking home when we stumbled onto this gem. The Pilgrim is a very fine sandwich.
  • Kitchen Sink: Good, simple sandwiches.
  • Floriole: Adrienne loved it. I thought it was only OK. Quiche, apparently, is to die for.
  • Pasta Bowl: Delicious and affordable pasta.
  • Tzatziki Grill: Excellent Greek place that also has a pretty solid Italian Beef sandwich.
  • Margie’s Candies: It’s like time travel at Margie’s. Egg-salad sandwich and the Terrapin Sundae: Recommended.
  • Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria: Our favorite pizza in Chicago so far. Pizza in Chicago is like barbecue in other towns: Everyone has a very strong opinion. We loved Lou’s, but we’re still open to trying others.
  • Lito’s Empanadas: Delicious — and cheap. For $2.50, one of these little guys is great for a snack. Get two, and it’s lunch.
  • Del Seoul: Weird little Asian dumplings that are oddly addictive.
  • Paciugo: Gelato. Can’t go wrong with gelato.
  • Pret a Manger: This is Target’s cafe. Yes, I know. Why eat out at Target? But you see, here in Chicago, even going to Target is a dining experience.
  • Brown’s Chicken: Fried chicken place in one of the downtown pedways. Scenery wasn’t great, but loved the biscuits and mashed potatoes.
  • Bobtail Ice Cream: An almost-overwhelming amount of goodness.
  • The Edge: Cake!
  • The Grove: More time travel. Open-face turkey or meatloaf sandwich, with bottomless coffee.
  • Red Hen Bread: Tip: Get the day-old stuff for a little less money (same deliciousness, though).
  • Taco Joint: Best Mexican so far in Chicago. Lebanese Pork Taco: must have (available only on Thursdays).
  • Chicago’s Dog House: Our favorite dog place in Chicago so far. Good choices, good service, good prices.
  • Clark Street Dog:  Got caught in a storm and waited it out in here with a couple of dogs and a couple of beers. There are worse places to end up when it’s raining.
  • Red Hot Ranch: Our first hot dogs in Chicago. Our first experience with french fries on a hot dog. Interesting.
  • Big Star: Gourmet tacos. Service was only OK, but the decor was great. After Taco Joint, though, hard to compare.
  • Gibson’s Bar and Steakhouse: Best service of any of the restaurants we’ve been to. A shoutout to our server, who happens to be a Lincoln Park neighbor! Desserts are insane. And tall. You’ll need to share. Oh, and also: $$$
  • Filini: Ultra-modern, ultra-hip dining at the signature downtown building Aqua. Sotto Bosco pizza was impressive. As was the Carciofini spinach dip.
  • Rosebud: Best Italian so far in Chicago. Two must-tries: Penne Bolognese and their Cavatelli Alla Rosebud.
  • Toast: Great service. Outstanding breakfast burrito.
  • Stella’s: Delightful breakfast options.
  • The Bourgeois Pig Cafe: Carrot cake!
  • Goose Island Brewpub: We didn’t eat here, but for some great local brews, it’s worth a try.
  • Dunlays on Clark: $5 Cheeseburger special = delicious.
  • The Burwood Tap: One of the oldest continuously operating bars in Chicago. Really good free food Mondays through Thursdays (my fave was the chicken).
  • Smoque: Been having a hard time finding some barbecue out here, but this was fantastic.
  • Pizzeria Due: After a too-long wait at Malnati’s, we ended up here. Not quite as good as Lou Malnati’s, but if LMs is a 10, Pizzeria Due is a 9. Very good.
  • Portillo’s: Iconic. Worth it for the atmosphere. Still, Chicago’s Dog House wins out.
  • Potbelly Sandwich Shop: Grilled Chicken Mediterranean is a fine, fine sandwich.
  • Matisse: Did not expect deliciousness when we ordered the Reuben Potstickers. We were pleasantly surprised.
  • Do-Rite Donuts: You’ll find lots of Dunkin’ Donuts here, but few local places. These guys do donuts right.
  • Wow Bao: Quirky little place with neat little fluffy dumplings. A must-try.
  • Devil Dawgs: It’s worthwhile to try all of Chicago’s hot dogs.

So much food in this town — how do people here ever get anything done?

Sundaes, treats, floats. Plenty of tasty options at Margie's Candies.

 

If you're after treats, Bobtail is also an excellent choice.

 

What's this? A hot dog? Yes, I guess so. Underneath the french fries, anyway. Interesting technique, Red Hot Ranch.

 

The S'mores cake at The Edge. Cake did not last long.

 

The best Chicago hot dogs, in our opinion. Chicago's Dog House.

 

A very full meal at Smoque BBQ: Chicken, mac & cheese, baked beans, and cole slaw.

 

Carrot Cake! At the Bourgeois Pig.

 

We don't only take pictures of food. We are also capital-A Artists. Or, maybe this is the view after we'd eaten too much and had to lay on the floor. Hard to say.

 

 

Our favorite Colorado Springs restaurants

We got so busy in the last few months we were in Colorado Springs that we didn’t have time to do very many posts. So I’m going to do a few Colorado wrap-up posts in the next few weeks before embarking on full force Chicago entries.

These are some of our favorite restaurants in The Springs. Give them a try if you haven’t been.

Adam’s Mountain Cafe:

Honey pot at Adam's Mountain Cafe

Honey pot at Adam's Mountain Cafe

Adam's Mountain Cafe in Manitou Springs, CO

Adam's Mountain Cafe in Manitou Springs, CO

Veggie Enchiladas at Adam's Mountain Cafe

Veggie Enchiladas at Adam's Mountain Cafe

Insanely good brownie from Adam's Mountain Cafe

Insanely good brownie from Adam's Mountain Cafe

Borriello Brothers Pizza: 

Veggie Pizza from Borriello Brothers

Veggie Pizza from Borriello Brothers

Downtown Burrito Company:

Downtown Burrito Cart Man!

Downtown Burrito Cart Man!

Mediterranean Cafe:

Mediterranean Cafe

Mediterranean Cafe

Mediterranean Cafe's food is good if you can abide their idiotic hours.

Mediterranean Cafe's food is good if you can abide their idiotic hours.

Falafel at Mediterranean Cafe

Falafel at Mediterranean Cafe

The fries at Mediterranean Cafe are good but not as good as Taste Of Jerusalem's

The fries at Mediterranean Cafe are good but not as good as Taste Of Jerusalem's

Cucuru Gallery Cafe:

The outdoor space at Cucuru Cafe and Gallery

The outdoor space at Cucuru Cafe and Gallery

A tasty veggie sandwich from Cucuru

A tasty veggie sandwich from Cucuru

Lemon cake and cheesecake from Cucuru- yum!

Lemon cake and cheesecake from Cucuru- yum!

Detz Cafe: (not sure what’s going on with the pictures on this website, they’re for sure not of their food):

Everything is good at Detz Cafe

Everything is good at Detz Cafe

Calicrate beef burger from Detz Cafe

Calicrate beef burger from Detz Cafe

Perfect french toast from Detz Cafe

Perfect french toast from Detz Cafe

Mmmm grilled cheese from Detz Cafe

Mmmm grilled cheese from Detz Cafe

Gold Hill Java:

Egg salad sandwich lunch special from Gold Hill Java

Egg salad sandwich lunch special from Gold Hill Java

Healthy Mediterranean wrap from Gold HIll Java

Healthy Mediterranean wrap from Gold HIll Java

Go right away to have the most amazing affogato at Gold HIll Java!

Go right away to have the most amazing affogato at Gold HIll Java!

Heart Of Jerusalem:

Falafel from Heart Of Jerusalem

Falafel from Heart Of Jerusalem

Heart of Jerusalem

Heart of Jerusalem

Lunch at Heart of Jerusalem

Lunch at Heart of Jerusalem

Lunch at Heart of Jerusalem

Lunch at Heart of Jerusalem

Lunch at Heart of Jerusalem

Lunch at Heart of Jerusalem

Jake and Telly’s:

Soup and appetizers at Jake and Telly's

Soup and appetizers at Jake and Telly's

Janel enjoying some apps at Jake and Telly's

Janel enjoying some apps at Jake and Telly's

Lofty’s:

Chicken salad from Lofty's

Chicken salad from Lofty's

Reuben sandwich and pasta salad from Lofty's

Reuben sandwich and pasta salad from Lofty's

 

McCabe’s Tavern:

Cheeseburger and cider at McCabe's Tavern

Cheeseburger and cider at McCabe's Tavern

French dip from McCabe's Tavern

French dip from McCabe's Tavern

The Melting Pot:

The Melting Pot

The Melting Pot

The Melting Pot

The Melting Pot

The Melting Pot

The Melting Pot

Paris Crepe: (You must go to Paris Crepe. Check out our official review with more pics)

Paris Crepe

Paris Crepe

Paris Crepe

Paris Crepe

Paris Crepe

Paris Crepe

Paris Crepe

Paris Crepe

Pizzeria Rustica:

My parents enjoying Pizzeria Rustica's patio

My parents enjoying Pizzeria Rustica's patio

Locally sourced antipasto tray

Locally sourced antipasto tray

Shuga’s: By far my favorite restaurant in Colorado Springs, or really, just about anywhere. We’ve written a ton about them on this blog.

Shuga's has an excellent happy hour

Shuga's has an excellent happy hour

Fabulous sandwiches at Shuga's

Fabulous sandwiches at Shuga's

One of the daily pasta specials at Shuga's

One of the daily pasta specials at Shuga's

Fancy roast beef sandwich at Shuga's

Fancy roast beef sandwich at Shuga's

Smiley’s:  Another place we’ve written about before, here and here.

Breakfast at Smiley's

Breakfast at Smiley's

Smiley's cute decor. They've recently expanded to the space next door, doubling their size- shorter lines now!

Smiley's cute decor. They've recently expanded to the space next door, doubling their size- shorter lines now!

 

So there you have it, the first of my Colorado Springs wrap-up posts. Be sure to visit these places and let me know what you think!

 

 

 

Detz Cafe, downtown Colorado Springs

Our fave, Detz Cafe (211 East Cucharras Street) didn’t win anything in the CS Indy’s Best Of The Springs. This is extremely lame because they are awesome.

They’re open everyday except Saturday and would make a perfect place for a nice Sunday breakfast.

Detz Cafe Colorado Springs Hours

Detz Cafe Colorado Springs Hours

We’ve talked about them before, but we like them so much, we’re going to talk about them again.

And show you pictures of their food.

So go down there and have something to eat and let us know what you think.

It’s been a long time. How’ve you all been?

Miss us?

Of course you did. After begging for attention in the Indy’s dumb Best of the Springs contest, we needed to relax a little and regroup. Recover a little from our shame. Maybe have a cheeseburger or two.

Anyway, so we’ve been busy being out in the world. Here’s a quick roundup.

We saw Band of Horses in Denver earlier this month at the Ogden Theater. Great show, even though we had to get our tickets through Ticketmaster. Come on, Ogden, do something about that.

Band of Horses at the Ogden Theater, Denver

If you have a chance to see Band of Horses anywhere, it's probably a good idea. They put on a great show and seem like a genuinely decent group of people. No actual horses in the show, though. So there's that.

 

Band of Horses, Ogden Theater, Denver, Sept. 4, 2011

People at the Band of Horses show love Pabst.

 

Band of Horses, Ogden Theater, Denver, Sept. 4, 2011

After drinking the Pabst, instead of throwing the can in the trash, go ahead and crush it underfoot and leave it on the floor. The person who has to pick it up doesn't mind. It's cool.

 

Band of Horses, Ogden Theater, Denver, Sept. 4, 2011

Billboard outside the Ogden. Pabst, anyone?

 

Band of Horses, Ogden Theater, Denver, Sept. 4, 2011

Thick-rimmed glasses, check. Ridiculous beard, check. Plaid snap-up shirt, check. Pabst, check. I am a caricature of the hipster. Except I am old. At least I put my damn empty beer can in the trash.

 

Band of Horses, Ogden Theater, Denver, Sept. 4, 2011

Of course this chick isn't a caricature of anything. Just having a rum and coke and enjoying the show.

 

Band of Horses, Ogden Theater, Denver, Sept. 4, 2011

After the show, we walked to Tom's Diner. Great food for a late night. I had the fish sandwich, and Adrienne had a BLT, I think.

After picking up  Adrienne from the Denver airport after one of her many trips to L.A., we stopped off at the Interstate Kitchen & Bar. Interesting. I really enjoyed the vast bourbon offerings and had for the first time in my life a flight of bourbon. Enjoyed the Interstate very much and will likely be back the next time we’re in Denver.

The Interstate Kitchen & Bar, Denver

The bar at the Interstate.

 

The Interstate Kitchen & Bar, Denver

The Interstate Kitchen & Bar, Denver

 

The Interstate Kitchen & Bar, Denver

Adrienne had the fried chicken at the Interstate. She said it was very good, particularly the gravy.

 

The Interstate Kitchen & Bar, Denver

My flight of bourbon. And an Olympia beer. Because why not.

More recently, we took a day trip to Littleton and to Rollinsville to look at a summer shack we’re interested in buying, even though we have no money to buy a summer shack. But we figured we ought to look at it anyway, just in case.

In Littleton, we stopped at Merle’s for a cheeseburger. Lots of mixed feelings here. First of all, we have no complaints about the food. But the service was lacking. We’ll list our dissatisfactions and leave it at that because we don’t want to dwell on the negative.

  1. Virtually every place we’ve ever been will seat you, hand you the menus, and a single drink menu. Why only one drink menu? Are they in short supply? Seriously, people, give a drink menu to everyone at the table.
  2. The Tex-Mex burger with jalapenos and barbecue sauce is amazing. But it’s a little messy. How about you give me a couple extra napkins?
  3. Once at Flatirons, the hostess sat us at a table right next to a family of screaming toddlers even though the place was empty. I know there’s a flow and a system. You don’t want people seated at opposite ends of the restaurant, making the server walk unnecessarily. But at the same time, if there’s plenty of room, please don’t sit tables right next to each other. It’s uncomfortable.
Merle's Restaurant, Littleton, Colorado

Adrienne wanted to sit out on the deck at Merle's in Littleton. The hostess said it was cold, but we found it to be just fine.

 

Merle's Restaurant, Littleton, Colorado

The cheeseburger at Merle's in Littleton. The fries, though, get rave reviews from Adrienne, who's very picky about her fries. She would not stop talking about how excellent the fries were. The perfect combination of crispy and greasy. Fries: A-plus.

 

Merle's Restaurant, Littleton, Colorado

All this space out on the deck.

 

Merle's Restaurant, Littleton, Colorado

Go ahead and seat these guys here right next to us. You know what, how about you seat them at our table? We have two extra seats.

And on a final note, my mom dropped by unexpectedly tonight and delivered a fall/pumpkin seasonal sampler pack of beer. My mom is awesome.

Seasonal beer dropped off unexpectedly by my mom for no reason at all.

Seasonal beer dropped off unexpectedly by my mom for no reason at all. We're liking the Tommyknocker very much.

 

 

 

 

More diner burgers, Colorado Springs

Finally another burger post!

First, my fave, Detz. They have awesome breakfasts and their burgers and fries are great, too. They use local beef and they offer mayonaise which is always a plus for me. I love people who understand mayo on a burger.

Cheeseburger from Detz- you can get mayo and grilled onions on the side.

Cheeseburger from Detz- you can get mayo and grilled onions on the side.

Cheeseburger from Detz. Doesn't that look delish?

Cheeseburger from Detz. Doesn't that look delish?

Next up is My Sister’s Kitchen. You’ve probably seen this place at 2416 East
Boulder Street in a funky little strip mall with a pawn shop, next to DAV’s thrift store. It looks like it’s on Platte, but I guess it’s actually on Boulder.

The burgers there were very good and the onion rings were excellent. The fries were unremarkable. They also have pie. But that’s another post. I probably wouldn’t go there just for a burger, but if you’re going there anyway, have one, they’re good! I believe they also use local beef.

Cheeseburger and fries from My Sister's Kitchen

Cheeseburger and fries from My Sister's Kitchen

My Sister's Kitchen

My Sister's Kitchen

Yummy onion rings from My Sister's Kitchen

Yummy onion rings from My Sister's Kitchen

Finally there’s The North End Diner. We’d been before for breakfast and were not impressed with the decor, the service, or the food. But there was a groupon and they were touting their burgers, and they use local beef. And since I’m a burger fiend, of course I wanted to try again.

The place is still filthy (hello, sticky table cloths), the decor is absolutely horrible and everything is worn out, and they blare Fox News on the TV as well as 80’s music on the radio. But the service was decent this time, and I am sad/happy to say the burgers were really good. The buns were nice and soft, but not mushy. The fries were standard school cafeteria issue, but cooked nicely so they were good. The onion rings were excellent- sort of a lighter tempura style batter, rather than a heavily breaded one. I probably won’t go again because the meals were a little pricey and like I said, the ambience is terrible.

Burger and fries from The North End Diner

Burger and fries from The North End Diner

Tempura style onion rings from The North End Diner

Tempura style onion rings from The North End Diner

Mike thought his blue cheese and bacon burger was just ok (the special the day we went). But I think it's just that he doesn't like blue cheese on a burger.

Mike thought his blue cheese and bacon burger was just ok (it was the special the day we went). But I think it's just that he doesn't like blue cheese on a burger.

So, there you go. Three diner burgers. Detz is by far the best, My Sister’s Kitchen was also good, and while The North End Diner is bad in so many ways, their burgers, fries, and onion rings are delicious.