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In my Kindergarten class, we devote an entire week of school to celebrating day 100. Parties, treats and 100-themed special projects take over all of our learning times for days 97-101. Though I don’t anticipate a week-long celebration for my 100th post, I may get crazy and splurge on organic fruit at the grocery store this week. Hold me back!

I hope you enjoy my first edition of Top Seeds. Even though some of the categories do not necessarily have a positive connotation, I use the term ‘top’ as a superlative; good or bad.

Cheers to 100 posts!

I’m Full Chicago’s Top Seeds 2015


The Doughnut Duel, Battle of the Buttermilk

Let me start by formally stating that I am physically ill as I write this post. As soon as I hit “publish”, I intend to run eight miles, drink a gallon of water, and eat a head of lettuce, Kobayashi style.

Who doesn’t love doughnuts? Crazy people, that’s who. In lieu of the seemingly forgotten “Carb Friday”, I decided to kick it up a notch, and have a doughnut taste test with some easily persuaded counterparts. The plan was simple: Examine a variety of doughnuts from two different shops, Stan’s and Doughnut Vault, and rate them on a scale of 1 to 5. Ratings would be based on  taste, texture, freshness and overall appearance. Based on these ratings, a winner would be declared and everyone would live happily (and nauseously) ever after.


Vault to the left, Stan’s to the right, My unpaid summer intern, Jackson, in the middle.


1. Buttermilk bar- I was most excited to try this doughnut and was disappointed. The texture was somewhere between a yeast and a cake doughnut; nice balance, but the flavor fell a bit flat for me.

Overall rating: 3

2. Maple bacon caramel bar- In all fairness, I like my bacon savory, so my opinion is not impartial here. Something about sweet bacon reminds me of dog treats, so this one was spoiled before I even took a bite. The other tasters who enjoy sweet bacon, were underwhelmed by this one as well.

Overall rating: 2

3. Yeast raised glazed- A perfect classic. Nice balance of flavors, light and airy, Dunkin Donuts’ sophisticated, older cousin with a trust fund.

Overall rating: 4.5

4. Biscoff banana pocket- By far, the star of the group. This doughnut is coated in a classic glaze and caramel, then filled with biscoff (a graham cracker cookie butter) and bananas. Knocked our socks off. Home run. Touch down. End scene.

Overall rating: 5


Stan’s lineup from the top: Buttermilk bar, Maple bacon caramel bar, Yeast raised glazed, Biscoff banana pocket

Doughnut Vault

1. Vanilla glazed doughnut holes with chocolate sprinkles- These perfect bites had a great combination of flavors, plus, I am a sucker for anything with sprinkles.

Overall rating: 4

2. Gingerbread stack- This one received mixed reviews. Strong notes of ginger were abundant and it reminded me of a doughnut from an apple orchard that you want to plunk into hot cider. One of the judges was totally turned off by the ginger flavor.

Overall rating: 3.5

3. Chocolate glazed with chocolate sprinkles- Dunkin Donuts’ sophisticated, older, celebrity cousin with a trust fund, who happens to look like Brad Pitt. Just perfect.

Overall rating: 5

4. Buttermilk old fashioned- My personal favorite. I love the denseness of an old fashioned doughnut and this one was just as it should be, crunchy on the outside, rich and creamy on the inside.

Overall rating: 5


Vault lineup: Vanilla glazed doughnut holes with chocolate sprinkles, Gingerbread stack, Buttermilk old fashioned, Chocolate glazed

In the end, our decisions were split. Every doughnut was fresh, so that component of the scoring was a wash. Though my friends will disagree, Doughnut Vault was the frontrunner and ultimately, the one that stole my heart. Stan’s was  a close second. And now, time for that run. Er, power walk.


I’m Full 38

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!

1- Girl and the Goat

2- Xoco

3- Birchwood Kitchen

4- Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak and Stone Crab

5- Antique Taco

6- George’s Hot Dogs

7- Bob San

8- Table 52

9- Gilt Bar

10- Piece Brewery and Pizzeria

11- Greek Islands

12- Roots Handmade Pizza

13- Thai Lagoon

14- Cumin

15- Eleven City Diner

16- Pasta Palazzo

17- The Bristol

18- Butcher and the Burger

19- The Frontier

20- Fat Willy’s Rib Shack

21- Jin Ju

22- Manny’s Deli

23- Slurping Turtle

24- Frances’ Deli

25- Sai Cafe

26- Nightwood

27- The Purple Pig

28- Davanti Enoteca

29- Big and Littles

30- Paramount Room

31- Scofflaw

32- DMK Burger Bar

33- Chicago Cut Steakhouse

34- Urban Belly

35- Belly Shack

36- Little Goat

37- Nana

38- Au Cheval