Yesterday I unlocked the Eater 38 Badge on Foursquare, meaning I hit five restaurants on Eater.com’s list of their 38 most favorite restaurants in Chicago. I thought it only appropriate to pay homage to this badge by blogging about my experience(s) at each of the five restaurants, so here goes nothing.
#8: Lao Sze Chuan
Eater Says: One of four Chinatown spots owned by Tony Hu, the focus here is on Szechwan dishes, ranging from the basic to the downright adventurous.
I say: The food I ate was delicious, but I just ordered a dish I was already familiar with and got it to-go. If you like Mu Shu Chicken, this is some of the best I have found in the city. Regardless, I cannot wait to go back and try the Deluxe Hotpot Special.
#15: Longman and Eagle
Eater Says: Logan Square’s hipster gastropub, with a kick-ass whisky selection, has made national headlines and even got a Michelin star. Like a nose-to-tail approach? So does chef Jared Wentworth.
I say: This was the spot that my parents met my boyfriend’s parents. The food, cocktails and atmosphere all led to a very enjoyable night. I loved the Wild Boar Sloppy Joe and the wine menu, and will definitely head back to explore more of the menu.
#18: Girl & the Goat
Eater Says:Sure it’s tough to get in, but Stephanie Izard’s hamachi crudo with crisp pork belly; pappardelle with goat, pork and veal sugo; and intricate veggie dishes make it worth the wait.
I say: I am lucky enough to have dined at Girl & the Goat many times (and even half-heartedly attempted to start the Twitter hash tag #goatgroupie). I prefer to go in without a reservation, grab a drink and wait for a few seats to open up at the bar. The bartenders have great personalities, have never made a bad recommendation and concoct wonderful drinks to pair with the food! If I had to pick a favorite dish it would be.. just kidding, that’s impossible because the menu is amazing. Just head on over and wait for a seat at the bar, you won’t be disappointed (and always order the bread).
Eater Says: Rick Bayless introduced Mexican street food to the masses, who line up daily for huevos rancheros and thick hot chocolate for breakfast and return for pork belly tortas and seafood caldos at lunch.
I say: I’m a creature of habit, so I’ve only ever had the Chicken Tinga. It’s so good I haven’t felt the need to order anything else – other than a churro and bean-to-cup chocolate of course :)
#27: De Cero
Eater Says: The duck confit nachos. ’nuff said.
I say: De Cero is my go to Mexican spot. I love that you can order the tacos a la carte, because I like having the option to try different flavors when I eat. My must-haves are the steak taco, the pulled pork tamale and chips with tomatillo verde salsa. Of course, I would not recommend leaving without trying a margarita. I will be adding the duck confit nachos to my ‘must try’ list.
The next five restaurants from the list that I plan/want to try are Purple Pig, Rootstock Wine & Beer Bar, Smoque BBQ, DMK Burger Bar and Piccolo Sogno (on the patio). Cheers!