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KIPlog cooks, eats (and drinks)

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Entries Tagged as 'Restaurants'

Food shots

December 12th, 2009 · 1 Comment

Here’s a shot of the elk ragout, cheese curd poutine at The Gage. Just about as satisfying a meal as can be invented.


And the char burger and truffle fries at Edzo’s.
Edzo 8oz Char burger

The 8oz char, nicely done, meaty with just the right amount of juice. The truffle fries are loaded with powerful truffle salt, giving me a nice truffle buzz for the rest of the afternoon. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten an order of fries that needed absolutely no catsup.

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Tags: Photography · Restaurants

Random Food

August 3rd, 2008 · 2 Comments

Food from Dengeos.

Italian Beef
Italian Beef

1/4 lb Burger


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Tags: Photography · Restaurants

National Corn Dog Day

March 4th, 2008 · 2 Comments

I get several press releases a week, mostly cookbook announcements or recipe/timely food tips. It’s funny to see how many of these mirror themselves in the food pages of newspapers around the time I get them. 

But I just received an important, and local one, from Gus, the owner of Wiener and Still Champion here in Evanston, who is celebrating National Corn Dog Day, on Saturday March 22, by offering his Dipping Dogs for $1.25 each. These things are great and he’s got some fancy sauces to dip them in like curry ketchup, garlic aoli or Argentine garlic and herb.

Dippin Dog 

If your unaware of National Corn Dog Day, it’s a celebration of corn dogs,  beer, tater tots and college basketball. Check out the official site for events near you, and to see the brilliant posters promoting the event through the years. They’re also offering t-shirts this year.

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Tags: Restaurants


January 23rd, 2008 · Comments Off

Finally got a chance to try Kansaku (Citysearch page with their menu, I couldn’t find their site), the newest up-scale-ish Evanston sushi place. Decent enough for lunch. Not spectacular, but holds its own against most choices in its range. I’d put Dozika and Koi (stupid music warning) both slightly above it for sushi quality and value, but nowhere near Kuni’s for quality or Sea Ranch for value.

I had the Kansaku lunch combo, which came with miso soup and a don katsu (battered pork) appetizer, which was very tasty.


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Tags: Restaurants

Cinnabon Horror

November 22nd, 2007 · 7 Comments


Another in the theme of ‘how do people eat these things?” I got a coffee and a Cinnabon in O’Hare. Believe it or not, this was my first one. I couldn’t get through half of it. I think I figured out the recipe: Take 30 cinnamon scented car fresheners, boil them into a paste, add all of the strongest sweetners known to man, form into a spiral, and cover with weapons grade high fructose corn syrup icing.

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Tags: Restaurants · Uncategorized

Not so pretty food

November 20th, 2007 · 2 Comments

This is why I prefer to go hungry.


I work late, and sometimes options are scare, so I usually wait until I get home, but once in awhile I need food, and am immediately reminded that I don’t need it this bad. Yes, those are 4 finger marks in my Subway sandwich made by the professional ’sandwich artist’ apparently ’signing’ his work. On wheat bread (the only kind they said they had) that tasted more like corrugated box, than an actual corrugated box would have. The ‘roast beef’ tasted like cheap baloney.Needless to say, this will be my last Subway review.

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Tags: Restaurants

I need to catch up.

November 8th, 2007 · 3 Comments

Taking the summer off really put me behind as far as posting food. I’ll be going through ‘em slowly. Here’s a shot of a very good double burger, taken at The Root Beer Stand, (225 Columbia Avenue) in Oglesby, IL near Starved Rock.


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Tags: Restaurants

Prairie Moon

October 9th, 2007 · Comments Off

Prairie Moon in Evanston has always been a favorite of mine. Opened 5 years ago by seasoned Evanston restaurant people, I’ve made it a regular destination more for their rotating tap or two of unusual beer.

The food’s always been good, I’ve always loved their ‘painted soup” – roasted tomato, poblano & squash but my favorite is their shrimp and crawfish po’boy, with garlic remoulade.


And here’s the Kell’s Pub Garlic Shrimp. Loaded with garlic, basil and tomatoes.

There’s always something good on tap, like Prankster from North Coast Brewing. The Arcadia Hopmouth, a super-hopped IPA from Battle Creek Mich. is available now too.

Other local pubs like Nevin’s and Bar Louie now have a decent tap selections, Nevins includes König Ludwig Weiss, a really good Hefe-Weizen and Dogfish 90, Bar Louie has a good 16-18 or so taps, but Prarie Moon still rules Evanston by rotating a few taps with some great selections.

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Tags: Beers on tap · Restaurants

Paramount Room

October 6th, 2007 · 2 Comments

The guys who brought you Volo and Kitsch’n have put together an outstanding beer geek and foodie destination, The Paramount Room on Milwaukee (415 N. Milwaukee Ave) just south of Hubbard and the train viaduct in an old speakeasy. I guess you could define it as a gastropub if that definition is above average pub drinks and food. And they’ve conveniently put it between work and the train for me.

When they first opened, just a few weeks ago, they were serving the Paramount Burger, with a ‘complimentary, optional’ slab of foie gras. It’s no longer on the menu, and I fear I’ll never have such a decadent meat and fat combination for 16 bucks again.


Chef Stephen Dunne’s foie is bourbon cured and now appears as a ‘Brioche French Toast’ with maple walnut syrup, again, the menu stressing that the locally illegal foie is optional and complimentary.

I’ve been in there several times when locals chefs and restaurant people are there, and when I hear them raving about the food, you know it’s got to be good.

When a guy like John Manion from Mas is sitting next to you raving about the steak tartare, you order it.


This is no ground beef tartare, it’s the perfect size cut, with the traditional capers and onions already mixed in.

I tried the Scotch Egg on another visit, prompted when I heard another group of visiting chefs demanding it.


The Scotch Egg, for the uninitiated, is a hard boiled egg wrapped in sausage and deep fried. The 4 spears of asparagus under it do little to make such a combination look or sound healthy.


The sausage is perfect, towards the pink side.

arcadiasm.jpgAs for the beer, a worthy selection of 11 taps (NOT counting the bud light) – Goose Island Matilda, Spaten (lager), Delirium Tremens, Left Hand Milk Stout, Great Lakes Holy Moses, Strongbow Cider, Smithwicks, Guinness, Einbecker Pilsner, Arcadia IPA, and Konings Hoeven Quad. Delirium, while more and more popular, is great to find on tap, the Arcadia Hopmouth will satisfy the hop-lover, the Quad (Quadrupel from the former La Trappe Trappists) is a real treat, but the Left hand Milk stout is just plain delicious. Lighter than you’d expect from a beer as black as night, sweet, like a chocolate-coffee milk shake, without the darker, burnt roasted flavors you find in a typical stout.

The bottle list is also well-rounded, but I’m always more impressed by taps. One interesting bottle is Unibroue’s Ephemere a white (”Blanche”) beer with the crisp flavor of green apples.

My main caution is ‘above average’ goes for the price as well. The sandwiches and most entrees are served without sides, so if paying for a 9 dollar hamburger without fries (an extra 6) or paying 7 bucks for 4 fried pickle spears scares you, be forewarned.

PostScript – A review would be incomplete without mentioning that they have the coolest bathroom hand dryers you’ll ever see. Made by Dyson, it’s called an Airblade.

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Tags: Beers on tap · Drink · Restaurants

Bloomington IL report

February 5th, 2007 · Comments Off

I was down in Bloomington-Normal for a few days last week and got the chance to eat a few things I remember from going to college at Bradley – namely Avanti’s and Steak N’ Shake. I didn’t have time for anything fancier anyway.

Avanti’s was perfect college food – simple, cheap and filling. A tub of pasta or a longer than foot long Gondola sandwich was affordable, fast and probably healthier than some of the choices in the dorm cafeterias back then.

Avanti's Gondola

A Gondola is a simple ham, salami, American cheese and lettuce on unique, fresh bread. The bread is slightly sweet and is what makes it good. No condiment is needed. An added plus is the bread seems to have a bit longer shelf life than most fresh bread – it’s fine the next day after a night in a dorm fridge – or these days – when a friend brings them up from down there during camping trips.

It’s only slightly different from what I remember – I recall it being a little sweeter, and of course it was college-student cheap back then, something like 2 bucks, but I guess that much food is still a value at 5 bucks now.

Steak N’ Shake is now a wide spread franchise operation, and has suffered slightly with the enforced uniformity of its products. We remember the real 24-hour diner feel we’d get, when we made the trudge over to exotic East Peoria to the older location to get cheap, good food, and now they’re too slick, burgers and fries sized down to fast food portions while becoming slightly more expensive then their competitors. However I still love them, they have a great quality food, so I don’t mind the price, since you’re paying for the quality, not something super-sized. Also, everyone seemed to be happy to be working there, putting smiles on all the customers faces too. Not something you see from the other trudging fast food grunts that bark ‘Next! Can I help you? (Damnit!)’ at you.

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Tags: Restaurants