Food Blog

KIPlog cooks, eats (and drinks)

Entries from March 2006

Food Blogs

March 27th, 2006 · Comments Off

I’ve skipped almost a month of updating the list of food blogs, so I’m way behind. Here’s a list of the ones I either continually forget to add, or that deserve a little extra attention. I always believe that drinks and dives deserve extra attention.The Art of Drink “An exploration of cocktails, spirits, bartending and mixology.”Cardamom Addict “Omnivorous ramblings by a habitual eater.”Dirty Sugar CookiesDive: “Every town has one. Surely, you’ve been to one. Maybe you even work in one. Against better judgment, we’ll venture into and eat at the places our ears, eyes, and nose instinctively warn us against. Hi! I’m Kevin. Join me as we go spelunking the culinary hole-in-the-walls, the greasy spoons, the roach coaches – all while constantly searching for that diamond in the rough. So hold on to your seats, cause it’s about to get ugly.”Kinki Style An American culinary student in Japan.Kitchen Sister “Cooking up Ideas for DinnerPost-Haste TastewannabeTVchef “Written by chef & food writer Kevin Ashton who has cooked around the world for the rich & famous.”Word of Mouth “Pete Cherches blogs under duress about food, travel and other stuff.”Much more to come, don’t panic if you haven’t been mentioned yet.

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Tags: Food Blogs

More food news

March 24th, 2006 · Comments Off

Porn star hits it big as wine-maker

What’s the richest IPO in North America this year? Canadian doughnuts.

Absolution in Your Cup “The real meaning of Fair Trade coffee”

How to peel a potato in one easy step. (video)

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Tags: Food News and Links

Food news and links

March 20th, 2006 · Comments Off

The sharpest knives in the drawer “And that’s just the beginning. Here’s how Oxo tools became the gold standard for serious cooks.”

Gizmodo reports on the Guinness Surger

The Culinary Podcast Network “is a group of passionate gastronomes; some of us are professional chefs, and others obsessed gourmands.”

Food miles don’t go the distance “The environmental impact of food, writes Gareth Edwards-Jones in this week’s Green Room, is more than about how many miles it has travelled to get to your plate.”

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Tags: Food News and Links

Goose Island’s Brat

March 20th, 2006 · Comments Off

A quick review of what has become one of my favorite sandwiches available in Chicago – The Paulina Market Brat at Goose Island. Brat purists will certainly disagree, and you can certainly find a cheaper one. This is an enormous char-broiled, red-pink, beauty crafted by those sausage artisans at Paulina Market. The pretzel roll is a great touch, and if you’re going to have beer onions, you know Goose Island is going to do it right.


“Paulina Market Brat – A half pound bratwurst from Chicago’s premier butcher shop topped with your choice of beer onions, sauerkraut and Wisconsin white cheddar. Served on a fresh baked pretzel roll with Düsseldorf mustard $8.50″

Of course you need a beer with any brat, and the Porter was a great match, but if you’re a beer enthuasist can’t leave without trying their latest Belgian-style.

“La Deuxieme 7.1% ABV A Belgian-style dubbel brewed in Celebration of the 2nd birthday of brewer Wil Turner’s 2nd daughter, Ciara. The Belgian yeast strain imparts a complex spicy aroma and flavor, while the blend of 7 malts give the brew a deep amber/brown color with a rich malty/fruity palate and a warm finish. Served in a tulip glass.”

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Tags: Restaurants

St. Patrick’s Day

March 17th, 2006 · Comments Off

Any real drinker knows enough to stay away from the Irish pubs today, because it’s too hard to get a beer. But if you’re willing to attempt to get a Guinness when it’s five deep at the bar, we certainly have enough places to go in Chicago.


That’s the Merchandise Mart all lit up green. Inside the Mart you’ll find Dunphy’s (near the Franklin and Kinzie corner) but right outside you’ll find the much livelier Shamrock Club (210 Kinzie). From there you can make your way north, only having to hoof it a few blocks between bars like The Pepper Canister, Oleary’s Public House, Fado, The Kerryman, The Brehon, Garrett Ripley’s, Celtic Crossings… well you get the idea.


In honor of the holiday there’s a shot of the corned beef and cabbage I made last weekend, although I probably have relatives rolling over in there graves since the cabbage is bok choy.


If you can get lucky enough to get a seat at The Celtic Knot during their St. Patty’s Hooley, put aside your embarrassment and grade school humor and order the Spotted Dick. Although unfortunately named, it’s truly a thing of beauty.

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Tags: Drink

A few food links

March 16th, 2006 · Comments Off

The Food Photographer Capture the soul of food by screaming at it.

National Corn Dog Day is March 18th! The stuff in the poster competition is great.

The Glutenheim Museum. Dedicated to “the art of pasta, pirates, and the deities who inspire them. While not formally affiliated with the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, we owe our inspiration and being to His Noodly Goodness.”

If you aren’t familiar with the Flying Spaghetti Monster, don’t even ask.

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Tags: Food News and Links

Frontera Grill

March 15th, 2006 · Comments Off

During dinner at Rick Bayless’s Frontera Grill one of my dining companions said “it’s a Sears Tower kind of restaurant” He didn’t mean it was touristy, but that locals only go when bringing someone from out-of-town there. And that’s not to imply that we wouldn’t go if we didn’t have another excuse.

But I’ve never been there, despite it being fairly close to where I’ve had an office for ten years. But then I’ve only been at the top of the Sears Tower once (with an out-of-town relative) despite having been in the building many times to see a client.

The dining companion wasn’t just any old eater, he was Rob, from Vital Information, one of the most knowledgeable foodies around. His review of the meal is on his site and also at LTHForum.

And if eating with one uber-foodblogger wasn’t enough, Tana from Small Farms was our out-of-town excuse to go there. Truthfully, we went because we wanted to meet Tana, not just to use her as an excuse.

Like the Sears Tower, there’s a wait before you get to enjoy what you came for, but at least in this case you can enjoy a delicious blood orange margarita at the lively bar while waiting. I think I’ll be returning just for another one of those, and to see what other seasonal margarita concoctions they come up with.

Seated within 45 minutes or so, we ordered up the Ceviche Trio and the “Enchiladas” Potosinas. Rob has a better review of these items, especially owning to his expertise. I found some of the ceviches a little skimpy on the actual fish, but otherwise pretty flawless as far as ingredients and bright flavors.

Bayless's Ceviche Trio

My duck – “Pato en Salsa de Chile Ancho y Nuez – grilled Gunthorp duck breast in silky ancho chile sauce thickened with toasted pecans; chipotle-spiked butternut and smoky green beans” was excellent, smoky flavorful duck breast, although I prefer my duck fairly rare. The squash preparation is something that I will strive to copy.

Bayless's Pato

Here’s an article on the Gunthorps and their farm.

I lack the knowledge to be picky about authenticity when it comes to Mexican food (although finding butter in the beans that rob talks about is pretty obvious) but the one thing I walked away with is that I felt I could have picked a different dish. I thoroughly ejoyed it, but I wanted something that would really teach me something or .

If nothing else, the menu intrigued me to go back and try again – or even better – do some searches here and go to Not Frontera more often. I’m also intrigued to find out what the upscale Topolobampo offers besides an upscale decor, service and bill. The menus look fairly similar, although there’s a tasting menu offering that would be the primary excuse to take the step up.

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Tags: Restaurants

Almost St. Patty’s Day

March 14th, 2006 · Comments Off

I got quoted in the Columbia Chronicle about my Chicago Irish Pub page – In search of the perfect pint “Guinness sales up as much as 20 percent for St. Patrick’s Day”.

Actually I was severely misquoted. I did say “Real Irish bars are about conversation and [are] where you go to make friends,” and “Every other type of bar … is filled with distraction.” And I said establishments posted on my site must meet my requirements, which starts with Irish—not Irish-American—people on either side of the bar. But everything else in the article should be attributed to the reporter.

I have no idea how many Irish Pubs have opened in the last 18 months. But I do know that there are 10 that should be on my map and I haven’t even been to half of them yet. And concerning smoky dark wood interiors, the trend you’ll find in the many of the newer, Irish owned bars in town is slick, sexy design like what you’ll find at Ta’Too with lots more exposed brick, copper and plasma than oak, tin ceilings and nicotine.

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Tags: Drink

Farm stuff

March 13th, 2006 · Comments Off

The 2006 EXPO was very interesting, and I was quite disappointed I didn’t have time to talk to more of the exhibitors, because it would have been a good education on not only where the good food is coming from, but who’s producing it.

I’m also disappointed we didn’t get a chance to talk to more famrers and answer their questions during our ‘marketing on the digital grapevine’ presentation. Anybody looking for some of the resources discussed can find them on my Weblogs for Farmers presentation page.

But I did get to meet and eat with Anne and Mia from Eatfeed as well as Tana from Small Farms. Reports from Frontera Grill and Lula’s coming soon.

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Tags: Food News and Links

More Drink Stuff

March 8th, 2006 · Comments Off

As I work on updating my Irish Pub map mentioned in the last post, I thought I’d share some Chicago drink resources I’ve collected.

Centerstage Bars
The Chicago Bar Project The Granddaddy of all Chicago bar websites.
Chicago Beer Map
Drinktown’s Chicago Bar Specials map
Lumino Mag’s After Hours Chicago
Metromix’s Bar and club section
Metromix also has a Dive Bar Blog
mmmChicago spends plenty of time in bars.
World’s Best Bars – Chicago Terribly incomplete, but some interesting reviews.

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Tags: Drink