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Best Thing You've Eaten [Lately]

Best Thing You've Eaten [Lately]
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  • Post #61 - July 25th, 2006, 7:45 am
    Post #61 - July 25th, 2006, 7:45 am Post #61 - July 25th, 2006, 7:45 am
    I must break down and point out that the best thing eaten did not come from a restaurant. At home. Boiled new potatoes* from Genesis Growers (Farmer Vicki), with gobs of butter and some coarse sea salt. As I have noted many a time, the quality of eating goes up so much when eating great produce, and the best way to get great produce is to eat local.

    The Condiment Queen commented that the potatoes had a such an intense earthiness to them, that they veered on being too bitter. I'm not sure if I caught that. To me, like so much of the produce I eat, it was a sense of what I call alive-ness, a cessation from eating that is just not always there. Too bad we finished the week's allotment yesterday.

    *Not even yuppie potatoes, but simply red Norlands.
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #62 - July 25th, 2006, 10:02 am
    Post #62 - July 25th, 2006, 10:02 am Post #62 - July 25th, 2006, 10:02 am
    I picked up a bunch of thin asparagus at Whole Foods last week that I blanched lightly and served with a concasse of tomato, minced onion, and crushed salted pistachios sauteed in butter.
  • Post #63 - December 18th, 2006, 7:44 pm
    Post #63 - December 18th, 2006, 7:44 pm Post #63 - December 18th, 2006, 7:44 pm
    The best thing I've eaten lately is the nam prik ong at Sticky Rice.

    Nothing beats the early winter blues better than this perfectly spiced bowl of unctuous sauce with minced pork. The crisp veggies for dipping make it practically a complete meal. I had some tonight for dinner and it was nasty*.

    *That's "nasty" as in "something that is ridiculously good". Source: UrbanDictionary.com.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #64 - December 18th, 2006, 11:42 pm
    Post #64 - December 18th, 2006, 11:42 pm Post #64 - December 18th, 2006, 11:42 pm
    The best thing I've eaten lately was the Lamb Boti Kabab Masala at India House in Buffalo Grove. I couldn't believe how good it was. I almost couldn't come up with words for it, other than "This is unbelievable. It's just unbelievable." There are so many layers of flavor, it's simply incredible. The lamb, which was incredibly tender, was marinated and cooked in the tandoor, so it started with that wonderful combination of multiple spices and smokiness. It was then cut up and cooked in an intensely flavorful, buttery, spicy, tomato sauce. It was simply amazing, and I want to go back and eat it every night. well, not every night -- one night I want to try the tandoori lobster. But every other night, I want the lamb boti kabab masala.

    The other dishes weren't bad, either -- Kachumber Salad and Malabar Shrimp Curry (with impressively large shrimp) were both deligthful. But the lamb was the real mind-blower.
  • Post #65 - December 19th, 2006, 9:06 am
    Post #65 - December 19th, 2006, 9:06 am Post #65 - December 19th, 2006, 9:06 am
    The best thing I've eaten lately was the foie gras appetizer at Michael in Winnetka, mentioned in my full report. Not so much the medallion of foie gras itself - except in Chicago, good foie gras is good foie gras - but rather that foie gras and mushroom strudel that it sits on. It scored a perfect 10.0 in "wow factor". MMMMMMM!!!!
  • Post #66 - December 19th, 2006, 11:17 am
    Post #66 - December 19th, 2006, 11:17 am Post #66 - December 19th, 2006, 11:17 am
    In the past week, I've had a McDonald's burger and I've had breakfast from Au Bon Pain. I thoroughly enjoyed them both.

    It is amazing how much context matters. My wife has been in the hospital for the past three weeks (doing much better now) so the choices have been those places or the fine dining of Northwestern Hospital.

    You really don't appreciate McDonald's until you've tried to consume a burger made at Northwestern.
    Last edited by DML on December 19th, 2006, 3:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #67 - December 19th, 2006, 11:42 am
    Post #67 - December 19th, 2006, 11:42 am Post #67 - December 19th, 2006, 11:42 am
    I hope your wife is soon fully recovered, both to rejoin you in your dining adventures and to escape the hospital food.
  • Post #68 - December 19th, 2006, 12:06 pm
    Post #68 - December 19th, 2006, 12:06 pm Post #68 - December 19th, 2006, 12:06 pm
    If you are forced to eat in the Prentice cafeteria, the grilled cheese is your best option. It's nothing special it's just american cheese on white bread. but it's fresh and edible and about what you'd expect. The burgers, etc, really no. And don't try the chicken wings.
  • Post #69 - December 19th, 2006, 12:10 pm
    Post #69 - December 19th, 2006, 12:10 pm Post #69 - December 19th, 2006, 12:10 pm
    kafein wrote:If you are forced to eat in the Prentice cafeteria, the grilled cheese is your best option. It's nothing special it's just american cheese on white bread. but it's fresh and edible and about what you'd expect. The burgers, etc, really no. And don't try the chicken wings.


    The worst thing so far has been the "breakfast sandwich." An Egg McMuffin is a delicacy compared to that thing. Also, my wife had pancakes one morning which we could have used as a door stop.

    Northwestern has done a fantastic job with the medical issues related to the pregnancy, but they sure could use a better food system (not sure if they contract it out).

    Back to the point -- it is amazing how much the context adds to the enjoyment of the meal. When your day to day food is horrible, even decent food is outstanding.
  • Post #70 - December 19th, 2006, 12:19 pm
    Post #70 - December 19th, 2006, 12:19 pm Post #70 - December 19th, 2006, 12:19 pm
    DML wrote:It is amazing how much the context adds to the enjoyment of the meal. When your day to day food is horrible, even decent food is outstanding.


    This actually reminds me of something I learned in a photography class with National Geographic photog Galen Rowell. He said that one time, after spending a few weeks climbing Mt. Everest, when he got back to the base, he went nuts photographing the incredibly green grass -- greener than anything he remembered ever having seen before. When he got the photos back, he saw that the grass was rather sparse, pale, and dusty -- but after a few weeks of everything being white, it had looked amazing.

    So it seems all our senses react similarly -- spend time away from something, and even a rather pale, usually uninteresting version of that thing becomes a treasure.

    Enjoy those McDonald's burgers!
  • Post #71 - December 19th, 2006, 1:15 pm
    Post #71 - December 19th, 2006, 1:15 pm Post #71 - December 19th, 2006, 1:15 pm
    Two things:

    Black Truffle pizza at Trattoria D.O.C in Evanston (sister to Pizza D.O.C on Lawrence, and the menu is a little different). It's a super thin crust, with small puddles of black truffle underneath nutty, sweet cheeses. The combination of earthy, doughy, burnt and cheesy was really wonderful. This is a white pizza, with no tomato sauce.

    Roasted chicken skin at home. Really, is there anything better than this?*
    I roasted a free range, natural chicken from True Nature Foods with just a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and herbes de provence, and just about the instant it was out of the oven, I was peeling away, telling myself I should share with the husband.....

    *Yes of course there are things better than roasted chicken skin, but when you're in the middle of eating it, it is moan-worthy good, and there is nothing else I want.

    Trattoria DOC
    706 Main Street
    Evanston 60602
    847-475-1111

    True nature foods
    6034 N Broadway St
    Chicago, IL 60660
    (773) 465-6400
  • Post #72 - December 19th, 2006, 3:41 pm
    Post #72 - December 19th, 2006, 3:41 pm Post #72 - December 19th, 2006, 3:41 pm
    I have a bunch of stuff to post on Las Vegas, but until then, the activity in this thread reminded me of this:

    Image

    The best thing I've eaten in a while, especially stacked against some pretty good stuff of late (e.g., Kobe ribeye). It's Todd English's signature flatbread with proscuiotto, fig jam and gorgenzola cheese, an ideal balance of flavors, a perfect example when three strong flavors counter-balance each other so the taste is smooth. Moreover, this was the best pizza crust tried this year. You can find it at Olives, in the Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas.

    Rob
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #73 - December 19th, 2006, 3:53 pm
    Post #73 - December 19th, 2006, 3:53 pm Post #73 - December 19th, 2006, 3:53 pm
    OMG, that looks unbelievable. Wife & I are going to Vegas right after the New Year, and Olives will have to be in the rotation.

    Vital, that looks incredibly rich. Could you even eat after that? I could see sitting at the bar at Olives, and enjoying that mixture with...hmmm..a crisp Pinot Noir? A spicy Zin? Maybe even a chilled oaky Chardonnay or even a good champagne.
  • Post #74 - December 19th, 2006, 4:25 pm
    Post #74 - December 19th, 2006, 4:25 pm Post #74 - December 19th, 2006, 4:25 pm
    jnm123 wrote:OMG, that looks unbelievable. Wife & I are going to Vegas right after the New Year, and Olives will have to be in the rotation.

    Vital, that looks incredibly rich. Could you even eat after that? I could see sitting at the bar at Olives, and enjoying that mixture with...hmmm..a crisp Pinot Noir? A spicy Zin? Maybe even a chilled oaky Chardonnay or even a good champagne.


    How 'bout Conundrum?

    I'll post more on Olives soon. But on the off chance that I do not get around to it before you go (possible :wink: ), the flatbread was one of three items ordered for two (plus a single dessert). It was a lot of food but very good food. Sit outside at lunch.
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #75 - December 19th, 2006, 7:36 pm
    Post #75 - December 19th, 2006, 7:36 pm Post #75 - December 19th, 2006, 7:36 pm
    Antonius,

    It is simply cruel and unusal to post photos of New Mexican green chili, the likes of which cannot be acquired anywhere in Chicago (if I'm wrong, I beg anybody to set me straight. ASAP).

    Alinea notwithstanding, my best food in the past couple of weeks was the wonton soup at Emperor's Choice in Chinatown. The broth was perfectly salty, but not too heavy, and there were two types of wontons: a pork and a shrimp. Delicious!
  • Post #76 - December 19th, 2006, 8:35 pm
    Post #76 - December 19th, 2006, 8:35 pm Post #76 - December 19th, 2006, 8:35 pm
    Vital Information wrote:I have a bunch of stuff to post on Las Vegas, but until then, the activity in this thread reminded me of this:
    You can find it at Olives, in the Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas.


    You can also find it at Figs, in various areas of Boston, 3 locations:

    42 Charles St, Boston, 02114 - (617) 742-3447
    67 Main St, Charlestown, 02129 - (617) 242-2229
    92 Central St, Wellesley, 02482 - (781) 237-5788

    There is also an Olives there:
    10 City Square
    Charlestown, MA 02129
    (617) 242-1999
  • Post #77 - December 19th, 2006, 9:55 pm
    Post #77 - December 19th, 2006, 9:55 pm Post #77 - December 19th, 2006, 9:55 pm
    Cynthia wrote:The best thing I've eaten lately was the Lamb Boti Kabab Masala at India House in Buffalo Grove. I couldn't believe how good it was. I almost couldn't come up with words for it, other than "This is unbelievable. It's just unbelievable." There are so many layers of flavor, it's simply incredible. The lamb, which was incredibly tender, was marinated and cooked in the tandoor, so it started with that wonderful combination of multiple spices and smokiness. It was then cut up and cooked in an intensely flavorful, buttery, spicy, tomato sauce. It was simply amazing, and I want to go back and eat it every night. well, not every night -- one night I want to try the tandoori lobster. But every other night, I want the lamb boti kabab masala.

    The other dishes weren't bad, either -- Kachumber Salad and Malabar Shrimp Curry (with impressively large shrimp) were both deligthful. But the lamb was the real mind-blower.


    How can a person read this and not immediately get off their butt and go there? I am only human!!!! (Plus I live a few blocks away)

    It was fantastic. We ordered this, the Tandoori Chicken, saffron rice, garlic naan, and a vegi dish with peas and potatoes. What a great meal! Thanks for the heads up!!
  • Post #78 - December 19th, 2006, 10:19 pm
    Post #78 - December 19th, 2006, 10:19 pm Post #78 - December 19th, 2006, 10:19 pm
    So glad you enjoyed the lamb! :)
  • Post #79 - December 20th, 2006, 7:23 am
    Post #79 - December 20th, 2006, 7:23 am Post #79 - December 20th, 2006, 7:23 am
    In early November, we checked out Aria in the Fairmont downtown (twice in one week, no less). Both times, the same: great, inventive food (if you stay away from the asian stuff -- just kinda blah), and horrible wine service. Nice room, too.

    To the point: Osso Buco w/ macademia nuts in a savory brown sauce that I can't quite remember. It was awesome.

    Aria was interesting. Lots of unrealized potential.
  • Post #80 - December 20th, 2006, 7:27 am
    Post #80 - December 20th, 2006, 7:27 am Post #80 - December 20th, 2006, 7:27 am
    Tortfeasor wrote:
    Cynthia wrote:The best thing I've eaten lately was the Lamb Boti Kabab Masala at India House in Buffalo Grove.... But the lamb was the real mind-blower.

    How can a person read this and not immediately get off their butt and go there? I am only human!!!! (Plus I live a few blocks away)

    It was fantastic. We ordered this, the Tandoori Chicken, saffron rice, garlic naan, and a vegi dish with peas and potatoes. What a great meal! Thanks for the heads up!!

    Anyone know if this is on the menu at the India House on Grand in River North? I was almost as motivated as tortfeasor, but Buffalo Grove isn't a few blocks away... The River North location is about that close to my office, though!
    Joe G.

    "Whatever may be wrong with the world, at least it has some good things to eat." -- Cowboy Jack Clement
  • Post #81 - December 22nd, 2006, 8:29 am
    Post #81 - December 22nd, 2006, 8:29 am Post #81 - December 22nd, 2006, 8:29 am
    germuska wrote:
    Tortfeasor wrote:
    Cynthia wrote:The best thing I've eaten lately was the Lamb Boti Kabab Masala at India House in Buffalo Grove.... But the lamb was the real mind-blower.

    How can a person read this and not immediately get off their butt and go there? I am only human!!!! (Plus I live a few blocks away)

    It was fantastic. We ordered this, the Tandoori Chicken, saffron rice, garlic naan, and a vegi dish with peas and potatoes. What a great meal! Thanks for the heads up!!

    Anyone know if this is on the menu at the India House on Grand in River North? I was almost as motivated as tortfeasor, but Buffalo Grove isn't a few blocks away... The River North location is about that close to my office, though!


    Id guess they have similar menus - but would suggest a phonecall before
    you go over.

    FWIW, my own "best thing IVe eaten lately", all in the past week..

    1) Uncle Joe's Jerk Chicken, 8200-odd South Cottage Grove. Picked up
    a whole jerk-chicken to go and consumed the whole thing with a friend
    on the south-side. Was quite wonderful, beautifully spiced, excellent
    sauce (a building burn to it), and a couple of slices of the usual doughy
    Jamaican bread.

    2) Kadai Gosh at Usmaniya, Devon. Taken to go again, it was excellent,
    they were really on that day. Oily, Rich, full of wonderful goat flavour,
    went great with both the fresh naans and the rice. Had some leftover
    for the next day, as, as usual, it was even better the next day - the
    flavours melded even better. They have, IMHO, by far the best-tasting
    goat in the city - tasty, and remarkably tender. (And since I personally
    far prefer goat to lamb, this dish is great to me - probably far better
    than the "Lamb Tandoori Masala" above would be :-) After much trial I have
    come to the conclusion that, at their best, Usmaniya's Kadai Gosh and Goat
    Biryani are IMHO the two best goat dishes in the city.

    3) Apple Fritter from Old Fashioned Donuts, about 11200 South Michigan.
    Picked up 4 Apple Fritters to go, last Saturday. The first one didnt
    survive the trip back to Hyde Park - they are massively big Apple
    Fritters, but fresh, still slightly warm, beautiful apple-y goodness
    interspersed with carmelized crunch. Sublime. They are always good,
    but if you are lucky enough to catch them still fresh and warm and just
    off the line, they are one of the few foods in Chicago that you are assured
    will almost always be sublime. The last Apple Fritter was saved till almost
    2 full days later... and even 2 days later it was still excellent, still retaining
    its moistness and apple-y goodness. If only Old Fashioned wasnt quite
    so far away...


    c8w
  • Post #82 - December 22nd, 2006, 8:33 am
    Post #82 - December 22nd, 2006, 8:33 am Post #82 - December 22nd, 2006, 8:33 am
    Thanks for the tip, Cynthia!

    I drove through the rain like a maniac Wed nite to place a carry-out, and waited in the beautiful bar area sipping a Kingfisher while my order came up.

    The plain ol' chicken curry was really nice. Mild yet spicy, if that's possible--different qualities of heat I guess. Silky. The vegetarian napratan curry contained peas, carrots, potatoes, raisins, cashews and was just a killer stew.

    But the lamb boti kabab masala--whew--yeah, for $13.95 it ain't cheap, but it's so rich & layered that I ate some Wednesday, a little more yesterday, and I'll finish it tonight. It definitely goes a long way. Never had spicings quite like that.
  • Post #83 - December 22nd, 2006, 8:42 am
    Post #83 - December 22nd, 2006, 8:42 am Post #83 - December 22nd, 2006, 8:42 am
    12.21.06

    Buckwheat Pappardelle with Rabbit Confit @ Avec

    E.M.
  • Post #84 - December 22nd, 2006, 10:23 am
    Post #84 - December 22nd, 2006, 10:23 am Post #84 - December 22nd, 2006, 10:23 am
    jnm123 wrote:Thanks for the tip, Cynthia!

    The plain ol' chicken curry was really nice. Mild yet spicy, if that's possible--different qualities of heat I guess.


    Glad you enjoyed the food, jnm123.

    As for the mild but spicy, when I was in southern India a couple of years ago, a chef we had the opportunity to watch cook stated, "All Indian food is spicy, not all Indian food is hot. Heat and spice are not the same thing."

    I've always thought that it would be nice to have several words for heat and spice. In Spanish, they have caliente for temperature and picante for hot spices. But we need a third word -- something that says big flavor and lots of spices but not picante. But unitl then, I guess we just have to use a bunch of words to get the idea across.

    So yes -- spicy and mild is possible. Like a nice cup of chai tea.
  • Post #85 - December 22nd, 2006, 7:26 pm
    Post #85 - December 22nd, 2006, 7:26 pm Post #85 - December 22nd, 2006, 7:26 pm
    A fresh 10 pound Alaskan king crab purchased at Dirks and boiled for 18 minutes (no more, no less) at a friends house.
  • Post #86 - December 22nd, 2006, 7:39 pm
    Post #86 - December 22nd, 2006, 7:39 pm Post #86 - December 22nd, 2006, 7:39 pm
    OK, I never thought I'd say this, but the best thing I've had lately was lunch today at the cafeteria at work.

    The chef's table was peanut crusted stuffed chicken breast with bacon and feta, and along with that came mashed potatoes with bacon, feta, and goat cheese (you can never get enough bacon, right?) and steamed asparagus.

    I won't give the limp asparagus high marks, but the chicken was incredible! Even after sitting on my foam plate for a while as we got our money back from having it rung up incorrectly, then trekking down to a conference room by hubby's area to play Lost Cities, it was still crispy, hot, moist, and some of the most flavorful chicken I've ever had. The potatoes were perfect. Heck, you can put goat cheese on most anything and make me happy. :lol:

    I made sure to compliment the cafeteria on that one!
  • Post #87 - December 23rd, 2006, 6:02 pm
    Post #87 - December 23rd, 2006, 6:02 pm Post #87 - December 23rd, 2006, 6:02 pm
    I have to say that some Belletoile brie, consumed with Wheat Thins (yes, Wheat Thins) while sitting on my couch, in my sweatpants last night was the culinary highlight of my week. It also probably had something to do with the fact that I was revelling in the fact that I don't have to go back to work until January 3rd :)
  • Post #88 - December 25th, 2006, 3:18 pm
    Post #88 - December 25th, 2006, 3:18 pm Post #88 - December 25th, 2006, 3:18 pm
    Hong Kong style roast pork from Hong Kee restaurant 1062 w. Argyle. With beautifully lacquered skin that breaks like glass perfectly setting off the succulent alabaster meat, this rivals the best versions I've had in Kowloon. I can't overstate how good this was.
    Lacking fins or tail
    The Gefilte fish
    swims with great difficulty.

    Jewish haiku.
  • Post #89 - December 29th, 2006, 2:27 pm
    Post #89 - December 29th, 2006, 2:27 pm Post #89 - December 29th, 2006, 2:27 pm
    We had a belated Hanukkah party last night, the first chance we could get my sibs and parents together. Since Thing1's girlfriend keeps kosher (I'm still astonished that she lets that bacon fiend kiss her, although she does make him brush his teeth after trafe and before snogging), I got deli from Chaim's in Skokie.

    Pastrami and chopped liver, a little red onion, on rye. Heaven.
    A half-sour pickle and fresh latkes with sour cream made it even better.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #90 - January 19th, 2007, 7:32 pm
    Post #90 - January 19th, 2007, 7:32 pm Post #90 - January 19th, 2007, 7:32 pm
    This has to be the best thing I've eaten lately because, even though Christmas was almost 4 weeks ago, I'm still reminiscing about this dish. My lovely girlfriend and I shared a holiday meal with our families, and she came up with this brilliant dish as an appetizer. Roasted butternut squash soup (with a good lug of cream and a nice fresh ginger punch) served up with a garnish of seared scallop, enoki mushroom, sour cream and chives. Sweet, earthy, totally delicious, I couldn't imagine a better dish to go with the extended Fall weather we've had through mid-jan.

    The scallop and enoki "garnish"...
    Image

    Soup service...
    Image

    Oh, and not to rub it in, but we also managed to assemble some kick-ass profiteroles last weekend...
    Image

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