Five Fixations

Another Friday is upon us! I am looking forward to having next week off of school and visiting family in a warmer climate. Stay tuned for some food posts outside of Chicago.

Have a great weekend!

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I love this picture of my grilled cheese at 3 Arts Club Cafe. It’s a very photogenic sandwich.

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Awesome tank from Buy Me Brunch.

IMG_3733This Domino’s Pizza Instagram post cracks me up.

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My favorite park in Chicago. Not bad for a February day.

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Nowhere to go but up!

Menu Musts-Bar Marta

When you make your way to Bar Marta, you will experience a series of thoughts and conversations that will go something like this:

  1. Why don’t Uber X drivers know where they’re going and why is their GPS always off? We are in the middle of nowhere.
  2. Oh, no we’re here. I see the sign. Okay, we’re fine.
  3. Wait, it’s closed. All the windows are blacked out.
  4. Oh I get it. They don’t need to be noticed. They’re being avant garde. They are open.
  5. This place is too cool for me.

So you’re settled. Cocktail in hand, food ready to be ordered. The smallish menu makes it easy to order lots to share, and with four people, we made sure that we did.

Top Three

The baked oysters are a take on Oysters Rockefeller and they were a literal flavor explosion in your mouth. We ordered a second round and had to hold ourselves back from ordering more.

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The meatballs were classic and dense. We devoured these quickly and awaited our three pasta dishes. It was Friday, after all.

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Cacio E Pepe is everywhere now, but there is a science to it. The pasta has to be made in house, the sauce needs to be creamy, but not too thick, and there needs to be just the right amount of pepper. If it’s too peppery, the dish is ruined. Luckily, this one passed the test. It was unanimously our favorite pasta.

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Still Good

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Grilled Halibut Nicoise

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Crudite with Buttermilk Cottage Cheese Dip

 

Not Our Favorites

-Smoked Eggplant

-Steamed Greens

-Garganelli with Pork Ragu

Menu Musts-Xoco

Xoco has been one of my favorite spots for quite sometime. I love everything on the menu, and dream about the Milanesa sandwich on a weekly basis. Recently, I visited their second location in Wicker Park, and was surprised that the menu is sufficiently more extensive. Although it took a lot of restraint to steer away from my longtime favorite, I forced myself to try something new and was not disappointed. Here are some of my go-to’s:

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Fully Dressed Guacamole

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Chilaquiles with a fried egg and chicken

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Woodland Mushroom Torta

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Churros with a chocolate shot

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My number one

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One of my favorite dining companions, enjoying his rice and beans.

Mile High

 

Over the holidays, I spent a few days in Denver, Colorado visiting my brother and his girlfriend. I normally visit in the summer, so the sight of snow there was new to me. It was a low key trip, with some ventures to new neighborhoods, coupled with plenty of time relaxing and watching Seinfeld reruns. I hope you enjoy some highlights below!

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My brother’s dog bears a shockingly similar resemblance to Sully.

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Salmon Benedict and crispy fries at Beast & Bottle

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Crab bisque and stuffing prep for company on Christmas Day.

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View of Union Station from The Cooper Lounge

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Giant homemade everything bagel, made by my brother.

 

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Holiday spirit

Menu Musts: Pub Royale

Well Chicago, just when I thought you had every food genre covered, you proved me wrong. Indian bar food is where I’m categorizing Pub Royale, and I mean that in the best way possible. Small bites and big flavors unite at this ultra hipster Wicker Park spot and I am already dying for another pillowy salt cod samosa.

If you want to fit in with the Wicker Park crowd, consider growing a thick beard before going, because there was more than enough facial hair to go around.

Here’s what to get:


 

Lamb dumplings

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India hot chicken with crazy pickles and chewy naan

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Gobi Manchurian-crispy cauliflower with sweet and spicy Manchurian sauce, sesame seeds and cashews

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Salt cod samosa

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Not pictured: fries