Once in a while you need a light meal. The ink on the digital menu was barely dry last week when I tried the Gold Coast’s Doc B’s, a casual order-at-the-counter style restaurant open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and brunch. Doc B’s is what Corner Bakery wishes it could be. The concepts are similar, but Doc B’s has a sleek, trendy atmosphere and local meats from The Publican. The prices are right and in addition to their meats, many of their other menu items are locally sourced. The food is fresh, flavorful and there are plenty of healthy options, if you’re into that.
I went for dinner and chose the Mr. Walton, a grilled chicken breast sandwich with arugula, monterey jack, roasted red pepper and the Chef’s balsamic, whatever that means. Doesn’t sound ground breaking, I know, but there was something about it that made it taste better than your average chicken sandwich. It tasted locally sourced, you know what I mean? Try and say locally sourced five times fast.
Halfway through the meal I remembered to take the picture. Backyard Burger on the left, almost gone chicken sandwich on the right, coleslaw in the middle.
The array of food among the table was all notable. The turkey chili, Backyard Burger, pepperoni pizza and Today’s #1 Tuna all left digested, plates licked clean.
Oops, I did it again.
I received some constructive criticism last week about my blog. Someone pointed out to me that my last two restaurant posts were unfair judgments, as I had not tried the “signature” dish at either of the restaurants. My feelings about each of the establishments were mixed. I gave it some thought and decided to make my next post slightly less unfair. Listen up readers, (man, I hope it is readers plural and not just my mom), I never promised to be fair or accurate. Frankly, I feel that my opinions are facts anyway.
Let’s talk about Scofflaw. A friend told me before my visit that this place specializes in gin cocktails. I am not a gin drinker or a gin fan but I was told that if it was a good gin drink, I wouldn’t taste the gin. Turns out I still don’t like gin but I love gin cocktails, specifically, the Alfonso, a mix of gin, mango and other things that masked the taste of the gin. Delicious, refreshing, crushed ice. Need I say more? The best thing about the cocktails is that there are drawings and descriptions of each one on the menu. I loved it!
Our waitress was very helpful with recommendations for food and drinks and she was wearing the cutest sweater from Target. All of the food and specialty drinks on the menu are 8 dollars which allowed my two friends and me to order way too much. We started with the chicken liver mousse. It was served exactly the way I like it. A thick dollop with pickled onions, cornichons, grainy brown mustard and crunchy toast. A bus boy even brought us more toast when he noticed we ran out and were using our forks as toast.
We also ordered mussels, truffle fries, veal schnitzel and their off-menu guapichosa, essentially a sandwich with “everything but the kitchen sink”. Unfortunately, we didn’t realize the sandwich was basically a mass of more schnitzel and chicken liver. A person can only eat so much chicken liver and schnitzel before having a heart attack or at the very least, feeling the need to go home and throw up. Needless to say we had a lot of leftovers, but this place was great and I left spending $30. Definitely check it out!
I wanted to love Fat Rice. I wanted to tell people I went there and feel their jealousy seeping through their pores. I wanted to believe that the fact that this place had a line of people at the door at 5:15 when the restaurant opens at 5:30 meant that it was worth waiting for. Didn’t happen. This place is so hot it’s cold. It’s so obscure it’s normal. It’s even foodier than Girl and the Goat, which I used to believe was the foodiest place in Chicago. You know it as soon as you walk in the door. The waitresses are pulling off trends that I wish I could try. One of them has an afro, the other has a ring between her nostrils, bull style. The menu has a typewriter font and a period after each ingredient in the dish. I’m beginning to think if you use those two components in a menu, you can get away with serving anything.
BAKED WHOLE SNAPPER
olive oil. poison ivy. 30-year-old horse manure. rosemary
See? I made it sound “foodie-friendly”.
It wasn’t all bad. The pork and shrimp potstickers were unique and delicious. Essentially an upside down pie, the potstickers are the filling and the crust is a crispy crepe, that the stickers adhere to. Get it? The crepe added an awesome dimension of texture and flavor. A minus.
Cracking the top of the potsticker pancake with chopsticks. Compound words everywhere!
Bread coated with bread. How bad could that be?
Special shrimp dish with shishito peppers and tomatoes. Not that special.
On to the bad news.
Remember all of my posts about Thailand? Somehow in less than two months, I forgot that I hate the smell, taste and sight of curry. My counterparts loved the po kok gai, (mild chicken curry) but unfortunately I started dry heaving and the stranger next to me at our communal table tried to give me the heimlich maneuver. What is the appeal? I can’t figure it out.
The pepper steak was forgettable and the coconut rice tasted like Hawaiian Tropic SPF 30.
Bottom line: Although there were some highlights, I expected this meal to be the pants and it just wasn’t. It was also a rookie mistake not to order the Fat Rice. They named the place after it. I may have to go back.