Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Journeyman Distillery

Journeyman Distillery is a spot we have visited often on our trips up to Three Oaks, Michigan. In the past we have sat in a small bar area at lunchtime to have a cocktail or a flight. It had been a bit since our last visit and this time we were pleasantly surprised to see how the place has expanded. The Journeyman has grown by adding space from the old Featherbone at the north end of the building and creating a very large restaurant, The Staymaker at Journeyman Distillery. We had actually just finished lunch not much before our visit and we had anticipated just drinks, but when I looked at their menu and saw the beet salad, I had to have it. :) Beets were heaped on a pile of greens with gobs of goat cheese and pumpkin seeds with a light viniagrette.

With my salad, I simply had a ginger ale. Hubby tried a couple of the signature drinks  the Greyjoy and the Chain. I look forward to revisiting to do more menu sampling! The place looks amazing, by the way, and now has plenty of room for groups small or big.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Nancy's Pizza

There are so, so, so many great pizzerias in the Chicago area. Whether you like classic thin or a thicker crust or a Chicago-syle stuffed pizza, there's no shortage of spots to find it - whether you're in the city or out in the burbs.

One pizza that I have found that I love, but that I can't get in the south suburban area where I live is Nancy's Pizza. So, when I'm visiting my sister in Woodridge, we often place an order for pizza from Nancy's. It's everything I love in a pizza - a thin, crispy crust, a perfectly seasoned sauce, lots of gooey cheese, some goo dsausage (and lots of it) and fresh vegetables.

To find a Nancy's location, go to nancyspizza.com.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Metropolitan Brewing's Krank Shaft

Our house became the outdoor hangout over the summer. Most weekend nights and even plenty of weeknights, there was a fire going and lots of extra kids (besides my 5) hanging around the outdoor bar and patio. There were usually late night burgers or bratwurst or graham crackers and marshmallows and hershey bars were pulled out.

Over Labor Day weekend, I went to peruse what was in the garage fridge. Some stouts. Some ciders. Some hoppy IPAs. Some Lime-A-Ritas. Some wine. But, I decided to go with a Krankshaft Kolsch from Metropolitan Brewing out of Chicago. I had tried it earlier in the summer on a beer cruise at Navy Pier and it's a light, smooth, slightly citrusy variety that just screams "Summer" and "Chill Out," so I popped one open and that's what I did. Good Stuff. And at 5% ABV, even a lightweight like me can enjoy a couple.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Smoked Cheddar Spinach Burger on Pumpernickel

My 13-year-old has found a sudden interest in cooking on the grill. I'm so glad. Years ago, he loved cooking. He told me that when he grew up he wanted to be a chef. And then it faded. And it was years before he cooked a meal again. But the past week he has been grilling all kinds of items. The other night he made dinner. He added aged smoked white cheddar on top of the seasoned burgers. A little spinach on top on soft pumpernickel and we had a pretty delicious sandwich.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Thai San: Darien, Illinois

Us two foodie sisters don't get together for extravagant meals out as much anymore since foodie sis Becky has had little ones. Our trips out these days often involve the kids or are a quick get-together on lunch break from work.

We recently had a fun day together as I went up to visit with two of my boys and we all decided to head out to lunch and to the library together. Then we ordered dinner and ate again. It was fun. For lunch, we went out to Thai San. We've gone there several times before - sometimes for a meal made at one of the hibachi grills. But, at lunch time on a weekday, it's just a quick bite. Here's some of what we enjoyed this time:

Hot and sour soup
Egg drop soup
Orange chicken and fried rice
Chicken chop sued with fried rice
Broccoli beef with fried rice
Egg rolls
My 17-year-old with my niece - foodie sis Becky's little girl. 
Cantaloupe smoothie! I LOVE these!

The company was lovely. Here's me with my adorable niece. :) She's about 9 months old now!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Extreme Street Eats Food Truck

Don't you just love food trucks? They just roll up, open the window and you have a mobile restaurant right in front of you. The variety of foods you can get from food trucks is extremely diverse - I've gotten breakfasts, desserts, sandwiches, beverages, steak, potatoes, ice cream, turkey legs, salads and more from food struck windows.

Recently, while attending the Homewood Hopfest, I checked out a new one, Xtremre Street Eats. The name totally fits as you can get such things as a hot dog dipped in funnel cake batter and topped with powdered sugar, maple syrup and bacon or lobster mac and cheese fries or a burger topped with nutella glazed bacon on a glazed doughnut.

If you see them out and about, check out the eclectic offerings that go from mild - like cheese fries or a plain ol' hot dog to the ridiculous.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Urban Accents Argentina Steak Rub

I've yet to find an Urban Accents product I don't like. As we were throwing some steaks on the grill recently, I reached for some Argentina Steak Rub, a South American chimichurri blend from Urban Accents. 

Hubby brushed the steaks with olive oil, then applied the seasoning and rubbed it in. A bit later we had a nicely seasoned t-bone with just the right amount of zip - a nice departure from the basic steak seasoning that usually goes on the meat before it hits the grill. For more info on where to find this seasoning and to peruse their other products, go to urbanaccents.com

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Screamin' Sicilian Pizza

It's not often that I'll recommend a frozen pizza because there are just so many good neighborhood pizzerias to choose from and because making a grill pizza is so easy. But, I recently tried out some Screamin' Sicilian Italian Combination Pizza and this is one that I would definitely buy. I had a sample as we visited the Homewood Hopfest and Screaming' Sicilian had a truck as you entered the event. I really liked the slices of Italian sausage and the generous portions of cheese.

Visit ScreaminSicilian.com for info on where you can find their pizzas.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Eating like a kid at Chipotle

I get frustrated at the oversized serving at many restaurants and even though it's been a long time since I was a kid, I often prefer to order a kids' meal so that I get something with more true portions and less of the food - and fat and calories and carbs and sodium and cholesterol than I want. I can always get an adult size meal and pack up the rest to take home. And I often do. But reheated stuff usually isn't as good as when it's fresh.

One of my favorite spots for a kid meal is Chipotle, although what I get in a kids' meal seems to be inconsistent. One time I'll order it and they give me two tacos, plus chips and rice and beans without asking me what I want. Then I'll go another time and they won't give me guac, even as a meat substitute and I have to pay extra for it. And one time they said I could only get three items with the tacos, so I got meat and cheese and lettuce and that was it. They wouldn't add any rice or pico or sour cream. So, I never am sure what I'm going to get, but it's much more a suitable serving size and it includes a drink and the price usually ranges from $5 - $6, rather than $9 to $12.

Panda Express is another spot where I like to grab a kids meal. It's $5 and a perfect portion. I've also ordered kids meals at Meatheads where I get a little meathead with fries and a drink. I usually add avocado to the burger and it's around $7.

Got any other good suggestions for me on mini size meals?

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Pokro Brewing Co.

As I was working on a recent article for a regional paper that I do freelance work for, I got in touch with the owners of Pokro Brewing, Joe and Robyn. As a craft beer aficionado, I knew I'd have to head in to try out some of their beers after learning more about the place. I was, of course, also intrigued by the food. There are a few Polish items on the regular menu and they also have a Polish Night once a month where there are several more plated Polish dishes available.

Hubby was fond of the Psychotic Squirrel Imperial Brown Ale (7.1%) and I enjoyed my Angus English Specialty Ale (7.6%)

I also tried out the potato pancakes and the pierogi, which I really liked. I got a potato and cheese, a spinach and a potato and kraut. Pretty tasty. A couple weeks later I was at a concert down the street in Griffith Central Park with my dad and mentioned the pierogi that they serve at Pokro. I called as the concert was ending and asked if they could make me a dozen to go. Ten minutes later I stopped and they were ready and waiting. I also got one of the beeramisu desserts, which was phenomenal!

Pokro Brewing Co.
311 N. Broad St.
Griffith, IN