This week, I am your official Internet media whore, friends. On the heels of yesterday’s debut of my Huffington Post Chicago byline, beginning today you can also find my words in Drive-Thru, the foodie section of Chicago’s venerable Gapers Block news and features site.
The day I celebrated my 38th birthday by visiting my favorite Windy City hot wings joint, I never expected to have to outrun funnel clouds on a mad dash to make it safely home. Until the moment when every tornado siren in Chicago sounded the alarm.
As I happily Twittered, I had lunch yesterday at Eleven City Diner, the two-year-old nouveau-Jewish deli in he South Loop. This followed an impromptu dinner last week, when I needed a long walk to work off the stress of my blog migration project and unintendedly meandered to 11th and Wabash. No matter how native I may have gone here in Chicago, it’s always gonna be about the NY-style chopped chicken liver for me. And Eleven City Diner has exactly that.
Unlike my NYC hometown, Chicago doesn’t have any Portuguese restaurants. And, no, all those Brazilian steakhouses just don’t count. So what to do when you’re in the mood for Portugal’s incredible Alentejan garlic-cilantro soup in the Windy City? Easy. I make it myself.
My boyfriend, Chris, thinks I’ll go anywhere to eat a good meal, or even a bad one. Dating a chef, I usually don’t have far to trek. A couple of weekends ago, however, was a different story. I knew it was supposed to be a day of travel, but neither I nor my stomach knew what we were in for.
It’s generally not a good sign when the ABC news van is parked in front of your establishment in the middle of the business day. ABC was reporting on food health violations at the new Macy’s State Street. I’d much rather discuss the economic health of the store after a year of deaf-eared marketing decisions by Federated CEO Terry Lundgren.
My last Taste of Chicago was definitely the best. Protest though I did last year about Chicagoans’ proclivity to attend the Taste year after year although everyone rants how much it stinks, this being my sunset summer in Chicago, I decided to take one final opportunity to eat lunch over a garbage can.
Most mere American mortals usually hate the stuff. But if you love hot, spicy, edgy food as much as I do, a big bowl of fermented, heavily spiced cabbage boiled up with onions, pork belly, and Korean beef powder, garnished with medium tofu and served with a bowl of scallion-covered rice can be a definite turn-on.
Oasis Cafe may not be in the Wabash Jewelers Mall anymore, but Suleiman Ahmed still makes the best–and cheapest–falafel in the Loop. I said so last month here on Carless. And I’m happy to say so again, in this week’s issue of Time Out Chicago.
Suleiman Ahmed is the proud owner of the Chicago Loop’s popular Oasis Cafe, the middle-eastern falafel shop that until June had been tucked oddly into the back of Wabash Avenue’s Jewelers Mall for 17 years. Depsite what the little yellow sign may say outside, it’s not coming back, at least not to that location. As Ahmed tells it, he spent his summer dodging bombs in his native Nazareth only to return to Chicago to do battle with the mall’s new owners over the terms of his lease.