Saturday, July 26, 2014

Chill Bubble Tea

I recently had my first experience of trying bubble tea. I'm not a coffee drinker, but I love tea, so when I spotted Chill Bubble Tea while walking around Westfield Hawthorne Mall in Vernon Hills, I figured I'd go get some chilled fruit-enhanced black tea. But much to my surprise, this wasn't traditional tea. It was more along the lines of a smoothie, so I went for my favorite flavor of smoothie - cantaloupe. Mmmm. :)

Have you tried bubble tea? What's your favorite flavor?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Famous Dave's Bolingbrook location celebrates grand re-opening

Famous Dave's invited Chicago Foodie Sisters out to the grand re-opening of their newly-remodeled Bolingbrook location last week where we sampled their new small plates bar menu that's available each day after 4 p.m. You'll also find some special $6 craft beer flights on Fridays, too.

So, hubby started out with a draft craft beer flight. They've got a new menu of craft beers with some great varieties like Dogfish, 2 Brothers and Revolution.

 I tried out a Boulevard 80-Acre wheat beer. It was perfect with the bites we tried.

Along with that craft beer flight, we started out with four of the new small bites items to try out: the Hawwiaan Flatbread, the Brisket Taco, the Buffalo'd Bones and the Southwest Chicken Salad.

First was the flatbread, which included shredded pork, a zesty bbq sauce, green onions and pineapple. I LOVE pineapple on pizza and with the sauce and pork, it was a refreshing touch of sweetness that perfected it. They also offer a smoky bacon bleu variety of flatbread.

The brisket tacos were fabulous. I had to remove the hot peppers since I'm not the most tolerant of major heat, but once those were gone, so was the heat and I loved the remaining ingredients. The were served on a soft shell with some fresh pico de gallo and cilantro. Muy bueno!

Now, although I'm not big on major heat, I do like a little. These slow smoked center-cut St. Louis-style ribs had such awesome flavor that I ignored the heat. It caught up to me on the second one, but I couldn't stop. Served with celery and some house-smoked bleu cheese, they'll make you ditch the buffalo chicken wings for good.

Our final pick for our first round was the Southwest Chicken Salad. As I read the description, they had me at avocado. Seriously, I'd eat just about anything if you threw some avocado on top. Our very sweet and attentive server, Jillian, suggested this as one of her favorites on the menu, too, so I was anxious to give it a try. It was served in lettuce cups with some shredded chicken and tortilla strips on top. Totally loved this - again very refreshing with the avocado and just enough of a kick.

By the time we were done that evening, we had tried nine of the fifteen items on the FD's Modern Barbecue Bar Menu, so way too much to share in one post. Watch the blog for more on our visit and the new menu items.

Right now the Bolingbrook location is the only one where you'll find this new menu, so head over to be one of the first to check it out! There's a great variety of items, so you'll find something for everyone and items on this menu start at just $2.99!

 Famous Dave's 
704 Janes Avenue
Bolingbrook, Illinois 
(630) 783-1502

Thursday, July 24, 2014

From the inbox: New savory world scrambles introduced at IHOP

From the inbox this week, there are some new limited time egg dishes at IHOP that sound fabulous. They'll be on the menu until September 7. Here's the press release with all the details:

The Restaurant Famous for Making Eggs Any Way You Want Them Has Three New Scrambles Inspired by Tastes from Around the Globe

GLENDALE, CA (July 21, 2014) Do you have a taste for adventure, but can’t get away? For a limited time, you need only go as far as your local IHOP® restaurant:  they are bringing exactly that—a taste of adventure— straight to your table with the introduction of their new World Scrambles, which capture the best flavors from destinations both near and far!
Guests at IHOP restaurants have always been able to enjoy a multitude of egg dishes, prepared any way they want them, and now three new savory egg scramble sensations, available now through September 7, give them even more “egg-citing” choices to enjoy:
All-American Bacon Scramble: Fluffy scrambled eggs topped with diced fresh tomatoes, crispy hickory-smoked bacon and shaved white cheddar cheese.
Tuscan Scramble: Eggs scrambled with sweet basil, roasted red peppers, finished with shaved Parmesan cheese, diced tomatoes, and topped with delicious fresh spinach
Californian Scramble: Jack & cheddar cheeses melted into fluffy scrambled eggs topped with our salsa & fresh avocado.
Each World Scramble, a satisfying choice for breakfast, lunch or dinner, is made to order and perfectly paired with golden hash browns and your choice of a warm flour tortilla, toast, or two of IHOP restaurant’s classic buttermilk pancakes.
“These new World Scrambles are just the latest in a long line of egg dishes available to satisfy our guests who come to IHOP knowing that any egg dish they order is custom made and delicious. These three scrambles were created to highlight savory ingredients that bring the delightful tastes of regions such as Tuscany, Italy and California to the menu,” said Marie Grimm, Vice President of Menu Development and Innovation, International House of Pancakes, LLC.
Guests can also beat the summer heat with refreshing new lemonades, also available until September 7.In addition to a traditional lemonade, IHOP restaurants are now offering a cherry lemonade and a mango lemonade, each garnished with a slice of lemon, and available with free refills. Each ice-cold lemonade pairs well with IHOP’s new dinner salads, sandwiches and other entrees.

ABOUT INTERNATIONAL HOUSE OF PANCAKES, LLCFor over 55 years, International House of Pancakes, LLC has been a leader and expert in all things breakfast and a leader in family dining. The chain is highly competitive in its menu offering, serving 65 different signature, made-to-order breakfast options as well as a range of meals under 600 calories.  Beyond offering “everything you love about breakfast, ®” IHOP® restaurants have a wide selection of popular lunch and dinner items, as well. IHOP restaurants offer guests an affordable, everyday dining experience with warm and friendly service. As of March 31, 2014, there were 1,627 IHOP restaurants in 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as in Canada, Guatemala, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the Philippines and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Under the licensed name IHOP at HOME® consumers can also enjoy a line of premium breakfast products available at leading retailers. IHOP restaurants are franchised and operated by Glendale, Calif.-based International House of Pancakes, LLC and its affiliates. International House of Pancakes, LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of DineEquity, Inc. (NYSE: DIN).  For more information or to find an IHOP restaurant near you, please visit  Follow IHOP on Facebook and Twitter.

LongHorn introduces Steaks Across America starting at $12.99

Love steak? LongHorn Steakhouse recently introduced Steaks Across America, which takes guests’ taste buds on a culinary trek across the country. The limited time only offer will run through mid-August with meals starting at $12.99.

·         New! Kansas City BBQ Sirloin – A juicy 6 or 8 oz. ribeye drizzled with a smoky, three-pepper blend and topped with crispy onion straws.

·         New! Texas 3-Chili Pepper Ribeye – A grilled 9 or 11 oz.  signature sirloin glazed with warm bourbon BBQ sauce and topped with delectable candied bacon.

·         New! Manhattan Stuffed Mushroom Filet – Tender, grilled-to-perfection 6 or 8 oz. filet topped with cheese-stuffed mushrooms and a housemade béarnaise sauce.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Try out Colman's Mustard on National Hot Dog Day

There's been much buzz about National Hot Dog Day, which is today, July 23rd. All of America is celebrating the ultimate summer cook-out and game day meal. However, one of the condiments that is a perfect accompaniment to a nice steamy hot dog isn't American at all. It's England's traditional zesty mustard.

Colman's has been a staple in the English foodie world for 200 years (200 years exactly. It was first established in 1814!) I'm a big fan of mustards and love the variety that can come from this one simple product. Some are very mild, both in color and taste, others have a darker and richer color and flavor. Some are coarsely ground with a completely different consistency. Others have the added ingredient of horseradish and that certainly wakes up the taste buds. 

Not your typical mustard, Colman's has a bit of a kick and a little goes a long way. The Colman's Mustard trademark of smoldering heat comes from a blend of high-quality brown and white mustard seeds that give you that blazing taste sensation. Besides being a great hot dog condiment, it gives a unique flavor to other recipes, including deviled eggs. I used some recently in a honey mustard glaze for salmon and it was quite delicious!

About Colman's Mustard:
Established in 1814, Colman's of Norwich has been recognized widely as the most iconic English mustard in the world. Using a unique and zesty blend of brown mustard seeds (Brassica Juncea) and white mustard seeds (Sinapis Alba), Jeremiah Colman created a mustard with a flavorful heat sensation that has become an essential condiment and paramount ingredient in Britain's favorite recipes, even to the highest royal order. In 1866 Queen Victoria bestowed the ultimate seal of approval - the Royal Warrant - galvanizing Colman's as the crown jewel of mustards, securing its place in the most discerning kitchens around the world. Sold as prepared mustard and mustard powder, Colman's provides a pure, fiery and complex condiment for all your recipes and dishes. Complete Your Cooking With Colman's. For recipes, extended history and information please visit