Serious Eats Neighborhood Guides: Bobby Schaffer's West Lakeview
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Bobby Schaffer, the pastry chef at Grace, has lived in West Lakeview for around four years now. "I like that it's quiet and family-oriented," he says. "There's not a ton of madness going on." Read about Schaffer's favorite one-two punch (Andy's Thai Kitchen followed by Scooter's Frozen Custard) and more below.
Breakfast/Brunch: I tend to go to Bakin' & Eggs. I like that it's traditional breakfast fare done well. I get their breakfast burrito with egg, tomato, avocado, potatoes and cheese.
Coffee: Heritage is a bicycle and coffee shop. I have a classic style bike, which is how I found that place. They have good coffee as well - Stumptown. I used to bike everywhere but now I mostly drive.
Groceries: I live two blocks from Whole Foods so I normally shop there.
Pastries: Floriole. I like their basque cake and chocolate croissants. Their shortbread is pretty good too.
Pizza: Pizzeria Serio. It's literally two doors down from me. They do very good wood-fired oven pizza. I've actually never eaten in the pizzeria, but I'll get take out. My favorite pizza is one with ricotta and spinach, no red sauce. It's just a really thin crust and good ingredients.
Burger: I'll go to a place in Roscoe Village called Victory's Banner but they do a very good vegetarian burger. I'm not really big into burgers, so I gravitate towards that since it's healthier. I think it's rice and bean based, but I get the one that has goat cheese and roasted red peppers.
Thai: Andy's Thai Kitchen. I probably eat there at least once a week. I've become a regular there and I like that it's more authentic Thai food. They don't hold back and gear it towards Americans. I love a dish called pad woon sen, it's kinda like a glass noodle salad that has ground pork, grilled shrimp and chilies. The crispy onchoy. They take watercress with stem and everything, bread it and deep fry it and with a vinaigrette and chilies in it. Most things are pretty spicy there and I enjoy spicy food.
Sushi: I like going to Macku. Probably the best sushi in the city. Their soups are awesome too, all amazingly flavorful. The freshness, presentation and atmosphere of the restaurant is great.
Dessert: Scooter's Frozen Custard. I live right across the street from them so I'm usually there once a week. I go there to cool off after Andy's. What I order most of the time is just a vanilla cone but if there's an interesting concrete I'll get that.
Date night: I would say Andy's Thai Kitchen again, that's where I usually end up going. I think it's more of a casual thing and if I want to go on a date I want to have interesting food, something that you don't generally find all over the city. I like that it's low key. It could be a short date or long date, and it's BYO so that's always nice.
Bar/Drinks: There's a place around the corner called Fizz that I enjoy. They have a nice outdoor patio that's cool to sit on. It's not really a sports bar, more a neighborhood bar and I'll meet up with friends there. I usually drink some kind of IPA beer.