My Personal Short List of Chicago Restaurants for this Quarter

At any given point, I have a list of restaurants I plan on trying in the near future.  This is a list of restaurants on my short list (generally defined as restaurants I am embarrassed to admit I haven’t visited yet.)

  1. Girl and the Goat
  2. Nightwood
  3. Piece
  4. Great Lake
  5. Next Restaurant/Alinea (this is more of a fantasy dinner)
  6. The Publican
  7. Hot Doug’s
  8. Birrieria Zaragoza
  9. mk

In conclusion, if anyone wants to go to any of these places with me some time during fall quarter, drop me a line.


Your Eyes Are Not Decieving You

Two updates, hardly spaced by more than a few days?  I’m not going to bother with delivering stale jokes about the infrequency of my blog updates, mostly because I’ve already heard most of them from certain members of my viewership and because said individuals have done it better.  Alerted to the fact that there are, in fact, people who read my blog, I feel compelled/encouraged/guilted into submitting another post for your review.

As observant readers may know, I’m working at a real job this summer.  Through some sort of mixed blessing/cruel twist of fate, I happen to be working across from my favorite burrito place of all time.  La Costeña.  I don’t profess to be any sort of expert on Mexican food (especially on Cal-Mex, as the burrito is a San Francisco invention []) but I know what tastes good.  Behold.

The Super Burrito

Super Burrito from La Costeña

Easily the best burrito place I’ve ever visited.  I could go on and count the ways I love burritos from La Costeña, but I’ll eschew the lengthy summary in favor of a few key points.

  1. The meat in this burrito is hands down the best anywhere.  This is one of the very few places that cooks your carne asada to order (as though you were at some fancy steak house instead of a room in the back of a Mexican convenience store).  The pollo en mole here is also fantastic (I prefer it to Bayless’s mole at Topolobampo in Chicago).
  2. The sheer weight and size of this burrito makes this eating experience a half day event.  Figure about 20 minutes to eat the Super Burrito, and a few hours after to both a) let it pass, like a hamster through a boa constrictor and b) revel in your superior decision making capabilities.
  3. As many add ins as you want.  Loads of veggies, cheeses, guacamole, salsas, etc. etc. ad nauseum.
Obviously, I can’t eat a Super Burrito from La Costeña every day for lunch.  (That sort of unfettered gluttony will have to wait until I’m married.)  So most days (roughly four out of five days of the work week) I pack my own lunch.  I decided to take a picture of it today and upload it because I thought some of you might be interested in seeing what I eat when I put lunch together for myself:

My Lunch Box

A summary of my lunch: Baby spinach salad with feta and raspberries, champagne-pear-gorgonzola dressing, peanut butter pretzel mojo bar, cherry tomatoes, corn-black bean-mango salsa with greek yogurt, mandarin orange fruit cup.

My lunch on most days usually involves a main course (salad, sandwich or soup) some fruit, some vegetables, and a cliff bar for a snack.  Even though eating tasty food is really important to me, sometimes I get sleepy if I eat too much good food so it’s generally not a good idea for me to do so at work.

So, at the risk of turning this into a healthy-food blog, some things I’ve included :

Baby spinach, cranberry, and walnut salad with balsamic vinaigrette (optional: add chicken breast to any salad)
Chipotle corn bisque with greek yogurt and pepper
Tuna sandwich on wheat with avocado-hummus from Trader Joe’s

In case any of you were concerned that I’d gone soft on finding great things to eat, rest assured: I should be driving up to Napa this Saturday to sample sandwiches from Bouchon and Fried Chicken from Ad Hoc.  Then I’ll be attending a pot luck in the evening, for which I’ll likely have to sort through Bon Appetit to find a recipe suitably indulgent.  A word of caution to anyone who might be in attendance: a successful potluck dish for me is one which causes people to love me and hate themselves.  Consider your waistlines warned.

Will update at the end of the weekend with pictures of adventures in food.

UChi Update!


The University of Chicago is bringing Clarke’s restaurant, a 24-hour Chicago-area diner, to 53rd Street in Hyde Park…

…Scheduled to open later this year, Clarke’s will offer a wide variety of menu choices, including specialty salads, stir-fry dishes, sandwiches and a host of additional breakfast, lunch and dinner items. The restaurant addresses a longstanding interest among students and other community members for more late-night options.

All I have to say about this is… YES!

This definitely beats trying to stay up until 5:30AM to eat at Valois.  Plus, sweet potato fries are delicious at all times of day, but especially between the hours of 1 and 4 AM.

More updates to come after I escape my 6th week black hole of midterms (workload reached critical mass yesterday).  Check Wednesday afternoon for a new post.