Basically, it's like getting your chips and guacamole all in one go: the tempura shatters on contact, while the avocado mixes with the pickled watermelon radish and serrano to make a guac I wouldn't hesitate to serve at a party.
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While I'm fond of most of the taco options, the one that is always impressive is the shrimp taco ($3.50).
A few other places have barbecue chips on their menu, but no place quite nails them like Chicago Q. There are no soft chips here—each and every chip is crisp and distinct.
I've tried my fair share of fried shell-on shrimp, but all I ever ended up with were impenetrable pieces of shell lodged in the back of my throat. But if done right, like the version served here, the shells transform into an extra crunchy casing, which shatter dramatically when you bite in.
Between the housemade charcuterie and other fried delights, you can't blame me for never sticking around for dessert at Old Town Social. But after trying the warm doughnuts, I'll have to remember to always save a little room.
Like an empanada, a pastel ($6) is a fried pocket of dough that can be stuffed with any number of ingredients. Rickshaw Republic's version goes for pure comfort.
Whenever a dish requires quotation marks, you can safely assume it's probably not that thing. Sure, it may share a similar flavor profile and look, but it usually differs in some monumental way. That's definitely the case the Buffalo style tofu "wings" Ground Control.
Like most dishes at Vera, the churros make for incisive and bold bite. Just make sure this is the last one you take before walking out the door.
Yes, you read that correctly. You can purchase dill pickle wings ($10) at The Monarch. But are they any good?
Is it wrong to compare something favorably to cheesy puffs? That's the position I'm in trying to describe the awesomeness of the white cheddar chicharrones ($5) at Trenchermen.
Mai-tou (known mostly as mantou) are fried buns that look and taste an awful lot like doughnut holes. They are served with a side of sweet and syrupy condensed milk, which affixes itself so well to the mai-tou that it almost resembles Elmer's Glue (in a tasty way, of course).
As all nachos should, the Machos Nachos at Little Goat look like an absolute mess, but there is an underlying method to this madness that separates it from most others.
Few fried fish dishes in Chicago are as well known as the fish and chips ($10.25) at Duke of Perth in Lakeview, though I'm guessing that the real reason it's so well known is the all-you-can-eat special on Wednesdays and Fridays.
Even with all the wine being swirled around, I didn't feel the least bit self-conscious setting my silverware aside, grasping a leg of Edith's Fried Chicken ($12), and chowing down like I was at Harold's Chicken Shack.
Sometimes a dish's name is so ambiguous you have no clue what it would look or taste like. Other times it so perfectly sums up the dish that nothing is left to the imagination.
I'm not sure what is more hilarious: the fact that The Athenian Room has something called a vegetarian salad ($7.00) on its menu, or that the salad in question arrives topped with a whole bunch of thick cut fries. I know this: it shouldn't work.
Kai Zan is one of those rare warm and inviting sushi restaurants. In fact, it's downright cozy, a huge improvement over the sleek and hard edged style of most sushi joints, where you feel about as welcome as a kid in a jewelry store.
You can go big at Mercat a la Planxa and have a fine time. But I tend to stick to the smaller menu items, especially the traditional tapas portion of the menu, where almost everything is fried.
I feel safe in saying that Belly Shack is not the best place to watch a Bears game. But perhaps you should think about getting your pre-game food here, because every Sunday during the NFL season Belly Shack is serving chicken wings.
I thought Xoco had written the final word on churros, at least in Chicago. But Masa Azul's new dessert shows that two can play this fried game.