In honor of my 38th post, I decided to copy an idea from Eater Chicago, a website I frequent, study and admire. For those of you who are not familiar with Eater, familiarize yourself. Eater inspires me on a daily basis. Shocking, right?
Every few months, Eater updates their list of their chosen 38 essential restaurants in Chicago. The list is in no particular order and the restaurants range from trendy hotspots to taco stands. I love the Eater 38 and have brainstormed my own 38 for months. And so, to my readers, I present: The I’m Full 38. Same concept. My opinions. Enjoy!
5- Antique Taco
7- Bob San
8- Table 52
9- Gilt Bar
11- Greek Islands
13- Thai Lagoon
16- Pasta Palazzo
17- The Bristol
19- The Frontier
21- Jin Ju
22- Manny’s Deli
23- Slurping Turtle
24- Frances’ Deli
25- Sai Cafe
27- The Purple Pig
28- Davanti Enoteca
29- Big and Littles
30- Paramount Room
32- DMK Burger Bar
34- Urban Belly
35- Belly Shack
36- Little Goat
38- Au Cheval
In a city filled with restaurants filled with menus filled with items like crab brain fried rice, there is sometimes something to be said for a consistent staple that you can always count on. Bob San has been in my life for years. As a college freshman, my brother and sister-in-law introduced me to it when I visited them for a weekend. Their crunch roll is the main reason I moved to Chicago.
Granted, my first few years at Bob San were mostly spent banging my fists on tables in order to achieve the perfect sake bomb. These days, I feel much more comfortable drinking a cranberry juice and banging my fists on the table because my DirecTV is out.
I have yet to order something at Bob San that I wanted to send back. Asparagus beef roll? Succulent. Cucumber salad? Light and refreshing. Their rolls are simple, not too fancy and most importantly, fresh. The restaurant’s ambiance perfectly mimics the food. Though there are always tables filled, you don’t need need to make a reservation three months in advance, or at all really, especially when you are picking it up and eating it in bed, like me.
Pictured is my typical order:
-Asparagus Beef-asparagus wrapped in thin beef and teriyaki sauce
-Negi Hamachi- yellow tail and scallions
-Chili Spicy Tuna-tuna with scallions in special spicy chili sauce
-Crunch-shrimp tempura, spicy mayo, eel sauce, tempura crumbs
-Philadelphia-smoked salmon, avocado, cream cheese
After eating just fruit and vegetables for three days, I felt a strong desire to break the fast but wanted to try and make something satisfying, yet relatively healthy. With plenty of leftover vegetables and lemons, I opted to modify this recipe that I found, as always, on Pinterest. I sauteed together a container of sliced mushrooms, half an onion and half a container of spinach. I also subbed garlic powder for fresh garlic, half and half for the milk and cream and used lemon pepper instead of black pepper. It was delicious, fresh and easy to make. I hope you try it out and go nuts with your own substitutions!
-Breakfast Drink: It was much better than I expected. I would drink it by choice for breakfast, with a side of pancakes.
-Lunch Drink: I took two sips of it and almost gagged. How can one really drink an entire cucumber, four celery stalks? Who am I, a brontosaurus? It was at this point that I decided if I could stick to fruit, vegetables and some nut butter for three days, I would still pat myself on a back.
-With the lunch drink eliminated for good, I made a salad of vegetables and lentils for lunch and had an apple and soy nut butter for dessert. This felt like a burger and fries and I was only a few hours into it. Uh oh.
-I came home from school ravenous and ate a quarter of an avocado (taken from my dinner shake) and drank the dinner shake sans avocado. The dinner shake was not quite as bad as the lunch shake but it still took a lot for me to choke it down.
Made it through modified cleanse day one. Go me!
-Morning drink-went down easy
-Lunch-I made another salad, similar to day one and had pineapple for dessert.
-Snack- I came home from school and ate some avocado and cauliflower. Cheetos sounding extremely delicious right about now.
-Dinner-Since the cleanse says you can have an additional drink of your choice, I made the breakfast drink for dinner.
-After dinner- My head began throbbing and progressed into one of the worst headaches in my personal history. I went to bed at 7:30 with a wrapped strawberry popsicle on my forehead. I didn’t eat it, but I thought about it.