Though prolific downstate, it seems the only real place to find a horseshoe in Chicago is at Springfield ex-pat owned 6 Degrees, a nondescript bar on a sleepy stretch of Damen. I like a big pile of cheesy meat fries as much as the next person, but the horseshoe is so much more than that. Deftly ordered with the proper protein, it's a surprisingly balanced beer soaker of a dinner.
Bucktown, North Side
If you love this French sandwich, Birchwood is a place worthy of creating it.
Though Margie's Candies is known for its dessert, dinner is on offer here, too. With Valentine's Day coming up, I figured it was time to stop in to see if you can make a whole night of it at Margie's.
We have pretty high standards for fried chicken in this city these days, but that doesn't mean the average bar can't take on the challenge.
Cooking Fools is a little spot on North Avenue in Bucktown where people can take cooking classes or throw get-togethers. But when you step in, the first thing you'll see is the refrigerated take-out case where you can pick up some pre-made food.
How could a simple bag of chips be so good? Well, I'm not completely sure. All I can say is that my wife and I finished an entire bag of the chips after we'd already eaten an incredible dinner at Sylvain.
There's no shortage of good Italian sandwiches in Chicago—but please go get one immediately from Chop Shop.
Visiting The Bento Box may require all kinds of qualifications and explanations, but enjoying these noodles is, fortunately, a carefree experience.
This is a tale of two radically different versions of the same dish, the Korean bowl of rice, vegetables, meat and egg. Is one right and one wrong? Or is it all good? Let's find out.
These aren't necessarily "Korean tacos." Instead of a corn tortilla, En Hakkore uses a paratha, which is an Indian flatbread. The paratha is flaky, almost like a scallion pancake, but with none of the grease. It evokes the softest flour tortilla you can imagine.
Though you can never quite predict what Belly Shack will next have on its menu (hot dogs, jibaritos, and chicken wings?), I've learned to just accept whatever the special is and order it. But the general excellence of the food here didn't prepare me for the flautas.
Given the choice between steak and duck breast, I'll always choose the latter. Cooked medium rare, each has that chewy, knife and fork necessity mouthfeel, but when I get a hankering for gamey richness, nothing else will do.
Pretension is at a negative here; after twenty continuous years in business as other restaurants fade in and out of the scene, Le Bouchon's "you get what you get" vibe is refreshing.
Considering how many people go to brunch to soothe hangovers induced from bars the previous night, going to a bar for brunch seems a little odd, like attempting to heal a wound by stabbing it. But Trenchermen's newly instated Saturday bar brunch brings some dignity to the experience.
Like Chicken Planet in the Loop, Nick's Pit Stop has an enormous gas grill up front, and at any one time, a dozen birds are sizzling over the fire.
Whether you're looking for tacos, hot dogs, or Latin American/Korean fusion, Bucktown has so much to offer.
Man, people love Irazu. And I don't mean that it's always busy—which it is—but that people have some genuine connection to the place.
Though a relatively new addition to North Ave. (it opened in 2007), Jay's Beef actually has some serious history behind it.
The beauty here is in the simplicity. Take a whopping nine ounces of warm, thinly-sliced corn beef and answer two questions: Mustard? Yes, please. Bread? Dark rye for me. And that's the sandwich.
Toast, a cozy little restaurant in Bucktown, offers unique and fresh sandwiches for both breakfast and lunch. I ordered one with a questionable name, the El Bucktowno ($9.50).