Category: Food Review

House of Fire Restaurant

House of Fire Restaurant
By: Alicia Leitzen & Chris O’Brien Note – There’s a podcast version of this restaurant profile. You can download/listen on Noteworthy, a storytelling show from Long Overdue. House of Fire is available for delivery on multiple platforms including GrubHub and Doordash. Chris To be clear, I love fast food. I have nothing but nostalgia toward... Read more »

Ms. T's: I tried a restaurant without checking Yelp first

Ms. T's: I tried a restaurant without checking Yelp first
In the late 13th century, Marco Polo departed from Venice and journeyed all the way over to Turkey, India, China. Two hundred years later, Christopher Columbus made it over to the Americas. Neither explorer had GPS. No smart phones. They just went on an adventure. Today we honor them with a holiday and a game of... Read more »

Stella's Diner: A place to call home

Stella's Diner: A place to call home
“Do you have a favorite memory of Gus?” “Oh God, so many come to mind,” Maria replied. Maria Mavraganes is Gus’ younger sister and the current Owner/Manager of Stella’s Diner here in Lakeview East. The story of Stella’s Diner begins all the way back in the 1950s with Gus and Maria’s parents. The two immigrated... Read more »
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DryHop: Lakeview East's neighborhood brewery

DryHop: Lakeview East's neighborhood brewery
Two of Chicago’s most famous local breweries are Revolution and Half Acre. But if you lived in Lakeview East back in 2013, these weren’t easy to get to. Revolution was three and a half miles away. Half Acre about three. Plus, back then, Uber was still pretty futuristic. So getting to Revolution involved taking a... Read more »

Chilam Balam: What it takes to keep a restaurant open during a pandemic

Chilam Balam: What it takes to keep a restaurant open during a pandemic
When I was 17-years-old, we had a new “authentic” Mexican restaurant open its doors. It took my hometown by storm, quickly establishing itself as the third pitcher in my family’s after-church rotation (trailing Arby’s and Fazoli’s). I remember going there for the first time and seeing all of these new menu items. What’s this chimichanga thing? Flautas?... Read more »

The Local Baker: Douglas Callegario's Nourish Foods

The Local Baker: Douglas Callegario's Nourish Foods
The beginning of shelter-at-home felt like New Year’s Resolutions on steroids. It wasn’t okay to have the mindset, “Wow, without my morning commute, I think I’m gonna sleep in a little bit.” No, you had to pickup jogging. And read all of the literary classics. And hold a nightly Zoom call with your entire extended... Read more »
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Chicago, Argentina (Part 2: The Family Behind Tango Sur)

Chicago, Argentina (Part 2: The Family Behind Tango Sur)
El Mercado is a little grocery store on the corner of Southport and Grace in Lakeview Chicago. Across the street is a Dairy Queen. A couple of doors down is the Music Box Theatre. Wrigley Field is about a half-mile away. On the front counter, you’ll find—in my humble Midwestern opinion—the best empanadas in town.... Read more »

Chicago, Argentina (Kierkegaard Intermission)

There’s a little bar in Rosario, Argentina right by the Paraná River. The Paraná River starts in Brazil, carves south through Paraguay, then makes its way east through Argentina emptying into the Rio de la Plata. It’s the second-largest river in South America, trailing only the Amazon. I’ve never been to Rosario. Never been to the bar... Read more »

Chicago, Argentina (part 1)

Chicago, Argentina (part 1)
I love getting a new idea. I love the magic of that initial spark. I’ll be walking Crash, taking a shower, sitting at my laptop, and something will just click. Oh! What if I wrote about this!  It’s hard for me to say, “I came up with the idea,” because the idea came up to me. At... Read more »
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Black & Caspian: Launching a restaurant in uncertain times (Part 2)

Black & Caspian: Launching a restaurant in uncertain times (Part 2)
There’s a country called Azerbaijan. A month ago I had never heard of it. Would have confused it with the magical prison from Harry Potter. Azerbaijan shares a border with Russia to the north, Iran to the south. To the west is Armenia and on the east coast is the Caspian Sea. Go one country over from... Read more »