Friday, March 05, 2004

Walk down Milwaukee Ave.

Monica Eng's excellent article today on the Polish sections of Milwaukee Avenue reminded me that I have been remiss in setting a new date for our walking tour down Milwaukee. How's April 17th?

This will be the first athon attempted strictly on foot--with the idea that walking will give us an especially keen way to study the unique happenings along Milwaukee Ave. I am not quite sure where we will start. Part of me thinks Superdawg, but that would make the total walk a bit long and include a long stretch up there that is somewhat fallow-chow wise. I am sure with consultation with CMC and others, we will come up with a good plan.

If interested, please e-mail me.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

My Guy
"My name’s St. George. Dragon sent me.” There are few things I’m prouder of.”

So writes Terry Sullivan in last week's , Chicago Tribune Magazine, re-telling his ultimate matching of his guys.

Networking is pretty cool. Cathy2 recently mentioned how happy she was that her networking, via Chowhound, enabled her to eat ant eggs twice in one week. As Sullivan explained, have a guy. Great article.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Gloria's Colombian Chicken

I've always been a huge fan of the Colombian chicken place on Fullerton just to the east of Kimball, but oddly, it has never gathered a huge swell of Chowhound support. There's not much to the place besides chicken. OK, chicken and a few odds and ends starches like twice cooked potatoes (why more placed do not do the baked then fried potato thing I do not know either) and sweet plaintains. This place never even had a killer salsa like El Llano. Still, who needs more when you have nicely marinated chicken roasted over giant hunks of mesquite charcoal?

This is axiomatic roast chicken. Ideal roasting leaves the skin taut over the meat, neither too crisp nor too slimey and the meat inside well lubricated but well free of any fat. The table green stuff provides some perk when you need it, but this chicken is such an ideal marriage of smoke, marination and pollo-liciciousness it hardly needs any sauce.

And this chicken place that I love so well, well it recently changed hands. The new owner is Gloria, hardly conversant in English, makes sure the roaster continues to turn out the same awesome chicken. Chicago has no large chicken culture, no mini chains of Polla a la Brasa or even Pollo Tropical like other cities, but we do have a few places doing a mean chicken. Gloria is one of them.

Monday, March 01, 2004

Culinary Historians Goes Irish (Tell 'em VI sent ya!)

“It’s a Great Day for the Irish”
Look forward to St. Patrick’s Day with a bit ‘o Irish lore, cuisine and music.

presented by

Siobhan and Brendan McKinney
Proprietors, Chief O’Neill’s Restaurant & Pub, Chicago

Saturday, March 13, 2004

10 a.m. to Noon
at The Chicago Historical Society
1601 N. Clark St., Chicago, Illinois

Even the Chicago River will turn green with envy when it finds out who our speaker is for this pre-St. Pat’s program. Siobhan McKinney will tell tales about Ireland’s culinary history and customs. And with her husband and partner, Brendan, she will provide us with a taste of specialties from the Emerald Isle.

The couple opened Chief O’Neill’s Pub and Restaurant in 1999 as a place that would bring people together to experience a traditional Irish pub in the heart of Chicago; a place where one could enjoy the music of Ireland, its song, dance, food, fine wines and great beers. Siobhan had the entire interior imported from Ireland along with many of her family’s artifacts.

Siobhan is one of ten children, raised on a farm in a rural area in Kerry, known as Sliabh Luachra. There they grew their own vegetables, made their own breads and raised their own livestock. At a very young age Siobhan was relied upon to cook many of the family meals. This is where her love of cooking started, and by age 15 she was proficient with many of her mother’s prized recipes. Siobhan received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Crawford College of Art, Cork, Ireland, and a Master’s in Fine Art from Chelsea, London, England. She has been named the All Ireland Champion for Traditional Slow Airs on the Irish Flute.

In addition to her discussion about the food of Ireland, Siobhan along with Brendan plan to entertain us with a few traditional tunes from the heart of Sliabh Luachra.

* * *

This program is hosted by the Culinary Historians of Chicago. Cost of the program is $10, $5 for students, and no charge for members of the Culinary Historians. To reserve, please call Susan Ridgeway, CHC treasurer at (815) 439-3960. Or e-mail your reservation to: Please leave your name, telephone number and the number of people in your party.
Thai Ideas

My friend Pim recently cooked up a marvelous sounding (and looking) Thai feast for some people in SF. You can see for yourself here.

There are a couple of dishes she made that I am especially keen to see if Spoon or another local place can do. First, there was something called "Sreng-wah, Pla-foo" You can see the picture on her blog. It is our beloved exploded catfish salad topped with a salad of shrimps and herbs. How's that for gilding the lily. She also has hoa mok with crab meat instead of catfish. No ant eggs for sure, but more appealing to me at least. Finally, she made "moo wan", caramelized pork belly. That definitely sounds good.

If anyone has tried these dishes or knows where to get them at a local Thai place, I'd love to know.