Five Fixations


Watching Sully swim in Lake Michigan is my favorite summer activity.


Classic Neiman Marcus popover

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The Yuccie Phenomenon 

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These juices are delicious, healthy and refreshing; plus they have fun names.


Love this mug made for die-hard Mean Girls fans.


Top 4 Reasons why River Roast is Toast


Last weekend, my friend Brooke and I decided to take advantage of a beautiful Father’s Day and have a “Sunday Fun Day” somewhere scenic. River Roast  is right on the Chicago river, which, on a summer day is pretty much the best you can get. Unless you are actually on a boat in the river, or you’re at a pool with frozen drinks and a swim up bar, or you’re sitting at another, better restaurant with a view. I digress, as usual. This is why we were wrong:


1. The service: A hostess who doesn’t know what she’s doing + another hostess who doesn’t know what she’s doing + a waitress who doesn’t know what she’s doing with a bitchy attitude = bad service.

2. The band: It’s Chicago summer! It’s Father’s Day! It’s the weekend! Let’s get loose and bust out our dance moves to the WORST band that there ever was. A blues band sustained by loud voices yelling a rendition of Johnny Be Good isn’t going to be good for anyone. Just, no.

3. The food: The avocado shrimp toast was actually quite delicious. The omelette was overcooked and prepared differently than we requested. [see service] The strawberry mascarpone French Toast was drowned in a sea of frozen strawberries. Meh.

4. The crowd: Loud tourists pre-gaming before their ferris wheel ride at Navy Pier. They liked the music. Need I say more?


Top Seeds with Elana Green

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Our first installment of Top Seeds comes from Elana Green, Director of Operations for Land and Sea Department, the umbrella for Parson’s Chicken and Fish, Longman and Eagle, Lost Lake and newbie, Cherry Circle Room in the Chicago Athletic Association hotel.

Elana and I sat down at the Land and Sea headquarters last week to chat about her journey with the restaurant group.

“I started out as a server at Longman and then became the second manager that they hired. I opened the  hotel with them-I was the innkeeper!  As the company grew, the need for a director of operations was more pressing, so I moved up to the position.”

On Cherry Circle:

“It really goes along with the classic 1950’s vibe of the Chicago Athletic Association. There’s an inspiration from secret societies. We have a table side martini cart and steaks on the menu, along with some cool custom symbols on the china and decor. A lot of people come in and immediately think, Oh! Mad Men! But that’s not really what we want it to be; it’s a cooler vibe, more welcoming and less stuffy.”

Partial to any particular restaurant in the group?

“They really are so vastly different that it’s hard to pick a favorite. They each have their own qualities that I love them for.”

Elana’s Top Seeds

Spot to Soak up Chicago Sun

I love having a picnic at Palmer Square. I bring a bottle of rose´ and some cheese. It’s a very relaxed, low pressure way to spend a day.

Pure Gluttony

Since opening the hotel, I have kind of become a regular at Shake Shack. My order is a chocolate shake, regular burger and cheese fries–you’ve gotta have cheese fries!

Go-To Libation

I have to go with Longman’s Old Fashioned. It’s classic!


Mariano’s kale shake is really fresh, and a good way to drink my dinner.

Lunch for under $20

In the office, we get burritos from Taco el Jalisciense. It’s a little taco stand that’s close, convenient and delicious.

Donut Debate

Enoch Simpson [Endgrain] used to make donuts at Nightwood. Those were the best!

Think Jerky


It was only a matter of time before gas station jerky would become a dinosaur, and the nitrite-filled snack would “transition” into the world of healthy alternatives. That’s right. Say goodbye to the days of elbowing your friend in the eye while driving.

Think Jerky is a chef-crafted jerky made with grass-fed, free range proteins. With unique flavors like sriracha honey and sweet chipotle, it might just be the next big thing in the snack world.  Founder and CEO Ricky Hirsch, who has partnered with chefs Gale Gand, Laurent Gras and Matt Troost was committed to developing a healthy alternative to one of his favorite packaged snacks.

“We’re creating a consumer-packaged good, but we’re doing it with the precision and thoughtfulness and technique of some of the finest restaurants in the world.”

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Quality ingredients for a batch of sriracha honey

The company is currently launching a Kickstarter campaign in order to mass produce their product with the integrity that they stand behind. Let’s donate so we can see these tasty treats in stores sooner than later!

Check out Think Jerky’s Kickstarter page here.

Five Fixations

Happy Friday! I hope you enjoy my first installment of Five Fixations; a collection of five of my current obsessions, food and beyond. Look for another new series debuting next week, featuring opinions from a real food expert.

Have a great weekend!


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This extreme close up of garlic Panisse at Sink Swim; tastes even better than it looks.

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The Fat Jewish, always nailing it.

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This bar made out of suitcases.

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Honey at Davanti Enoteca, slathered on anything edible.

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Brendan Sodikoff winning again, Shoyu ramen at High Five Ramen.