It's no secret that the neighborhoods of Lincoln Square and Ravenswood are stuffed with enticing options, but what is most exciting is the variety. Here you'll find old school German joints, cozy neighborhood gems, and perhaps the city's highest concentration of great Thai restaurants.
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Cookie Bar, in a new location, has gone all gluten-free; slimmed down its signature cookie offerings; and added cakes, breads, granola, and pies to the mix.
First Slice Pie Café offers a simpler, old-fashioned slice that hearkens to picnics and church potlucks of the Midwest. All three North Side locations serve basically the same menu of homemade sweets and savory fare.
Aroy Thai's weekday lunch special is a cheap and plentiful appetizer-and-main combo, one that leaves you wishing for a nap before heading back to the office.
Not only am I, as a bit of a health nut, helpless against a smoothie's nutritious charms, I also have a very specific soft spot for food that packs a variety of unexpected, yet somehow complementary, ingredients into one basic form.
It's with much sadness that we report that City Provisions closed on Monday. In an email sent out last night, Friedman thanked the community for its support and declared that he wasn't exactly going away. But he also admitted that the high cost of purchasing sustainable ingredients was the main issue.
I'm usually of the opinion that most sandwiches are nothing if not over-dressed, but the Bonaparte is a little too Spartan even for me.
I have attempted my own oatmeal smoothie creations in the past but was always disappointed in the result: a half mealy/half viscous not-quite-liquid that I couldn't decide if I wanted to drink like a smoothie or eat with a spoon. Tiztal's creation, on the other hand, somehow transforms oatmeal into a delightfully drinkable treat.
The Country Bird at Pecking order is ripe with thoughtful flavors and loved up with Filipino spices. It is then adorned with smoky, shaved Gouda and fresh Roma tomatoes.
Just over two years ago Sharin Nathan opened Sweet Sensations Pastry, which provides high quality scones, cookies, and cupcakes to the Ravenswood community. Check out how she makes her outstanding cinnamon custard-filled pumpkin cupcake with cream cheese frosting.
As the only tacos on Mixteco Grill's dinner menu, the Tacos Ensenada ($7.00) could have been tacked on to appease picky eaters, but instead these two incredibly light fish tacos showcase the same level of care and craft that the restaurant puts in all of its other dishes.
At City Provisions, discard any notions of what you think a corned beef sandwich should look or taste like. Unlike most versions around town, the thinly slices feature visible marks of fat, so much so that each each bite almost tastes like fine Prosciutto. This is a good thing, especially since it never tastes greasy, just flavorful.
Bite into the lemon meringue cupcake at Sweet Sensations, and the gooey meringue quickly mingles with tart, sugary lemon curd. The concentrated citrus flavor puckers your mouth, while the fluffy meringue sticks happily to your lips.
Most of Real Kitchen's food consists of a rotating menu of homemade classics meant to be picked up and reheated at home. Their sandwiches, however, are made to order. That includes the Garlic Sausage ($6.50), which comes split lengthwise with a bacon white bean puree and red onion marmalade spread on a hunk of Bennison's baguette.
Although Ravenswood's City Provisions is more known for its fresh and sustainable deli food and its catering, the Sunday-only brunch is not to be missed. Their interpretation of the lox plate proves that sometimes even the classics can benefit from a little updating.