'little italy' on Serious Eats
I secretly kind of love Waffle House, IHOP, Cracker Barrel, and the like. These types of breakfast joints are guilty pleasures that I thankfully only indulge on rare occasions, in moments of crippling weakness. So I'm thankful for Stax Cafe, which is as close as a restaurant can get to IHOP without throwing integrity out the door.
A friendly rockabilly/punk/hipster-esque neighborhood joint, with an almost speakeasy feel, a pool table in back, and a menu of tatted-up Italian fare that may cause some double-takes.
Will Chicago ever run out of stands to visit? I doubt it. Just when I think I've uncovered every walkup window in the metropolitan area, I come across an unsuspecting option hidden in plain sight. Check out the most popular stands of 2012.
At Urban Union in Little Italy, Chef Michael Shrader's seafood-focused cuisine naturally favors a gluten free diet, leaning heavily on beautifully composed plates of fresh fish and seasonal produce. The restaurant doesn't offer a separate gluten free menu because they simply don't need one.
Carm's has been open in some iteration since 1929, but until recently I'd never stopped by. Much of that has to do with its location on a quiet tree-lined street, two blocks north of the traffic on Taylor St., which makes the shop feel like a corner store that just happens to kick out a solid Italian beef.
Although a glance at the description for the Saltimbocca Panini ($12.00) on Three Aces's brunch menu may conjure the image of a gooey, meaty pressed sandwich, in actuality it is the equivalent of an acoustic break in a loud rock show.
A precious few pasta dishes grace the menu at Davanti Enoteca, restaurateur Scott Harris's rustically appointed wine bar and shared-plates Italian restaurant. I couldn't help but take this relative dearth of noodle options as a sign of the kitchen's confidence; if pasta is the measure of a good Italian food, then these chefs have chosen to hang their toques on a pretty narrow hook.