Friday, December 30, 2011

Peppermint Profiteroles

These were the dessert special at Maggiano's. Mmmmmmm.

Katy's Dumpling House

Are you looking for the best homemade Ramen noodles ever? Well, you're in luck because I found them!! :) Katy's Dumpling House makes homemade noodles and potstickers and they are oh so good! For people with a spicier palette, try the spicy and flavorful beef noodle soup, pictured below. Or, try the beef fried noodle for a non-spicy option. The potstickers of any kind are also a must. Katy's has two locations- one in Westmont and one in Naperville. I'll be going this week to get more of my addiction! Yum! :)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

There's no breakfast like a garbage plate

One of my favorite not-to-far-away spots for a weekend or overnight getaway is Kenosha, Wisconsin. In a two-day trip, I can tour museums and historic spots (many of them free), take a ride in a streetcar, enjoy the lakefront, shop, visit the Jelly Belly Center and have some good eats.

Kenosha has a great mix of spots for foodies of all kinds -- Italian offerings right by Lake Michigan at D'Carlo's, superb German specialties at House of Gerhard, true Chicago-style hot dogs at Trolley Dogs, huge turkey legs at the Bristol Renaissance Faire and candy galore at the Jelly Belly Center. And for breakfast or lunch, I always stop at Frank's Diner when I'm in town.

The menu includes all the classic breakfast entrees: pancakes, french toast and egg dishes. A popular one is the garbage plate, a heap of hashbrowns, eggs, meats and veggies - and cheese added if you like. It's classic diner food at its best served with toasted homemade bread. Oh, and you can get a half order of the garbage plate. This is what the half order looks like! Yes, you may need to loosen your belt a notch.

The building itself has an interesting history. It dates back to 1926 when, after arriving by rail car from New Jersey, it was pulled by six horses to its current spot. Total cost = less than $8,000, including the shipping fees. A dining room was later added and the kitchen was expanded. It its 85 years meals have been served up to entertainers and musicians, who enjoyed many of the same recipes served today.

Should you make your way north of the border, stop in for a hearty meal in a cozy setting. Be prepared for a wait during peak times. They're open for breakfast and lunch and accept cash only.

Frank's Diner
508 - 58th Street
Kenosha, WI

I miss ribs!

Well, I"m making my way through the tons of photos taken this year...and many of them are of food. Came across some from the Naperville Ribest which takes place each July. Wow, now that we've had our first dusting of snow and the weather is beyond nippy, I am really longing for the summer days with lots of food on the grill and lots of festivals - like Ribfest. If you've never been there, be sure to check it out next year or find one in your corner of the woods. Guess I'll have to wait a little while, but the pictures sure make me hungry.

Roka Akor

A friend and I visited the newly opened Roka Akor near Hubbard and Clark in Chicago because our first choice restaurant was booked. I have never been so glad to be routed to a new restaurant at the last moment! :) The waitress at Roka Akor introduced the restaurant style as Asian tapas and sushi. I'm a big fan of smaller plates of food and sharing, so that I can try a lot of different things on the menu.... and that was exactly what we did! Starting off with drinks, we tried "The One" and the Banzai Mule, which were excellent. "The One" cocktail was a sweet martini, exactly what I was looking for. :)

Next came some appetizers of edemame, which was simply made with sea salt, but delicious and tempura rock shrimp with crushed wasabi peas and a sweet chili aiolo sauce. Mmmm!

The vegetable tempura was lightly battered with perfect crispness; it may have been the best tempura I've ever eaten. An artfully prepared tempura leaf adorned the vegetable plate. I had to eat it, why not? :) Can't say I've ever eaten a tempura leaf before. :)

Our main course consisted of their roasted king crab in a chili lime butter sauce and fresh cucumber. The grilled flavor of the crab was superb and I wished I'd had the appetite to try one of their grilled meat dishes.

I could never walk away without at least trying a dessert and I was not disappointed with the baked green tea custard with carmelized banana. The custard had a really strong green tea flavor and was a nice, light ending to a wonderful meal.

Overall, I was impressed with Roka Akor (which gets props for its palidromic name as well)! :) It was a bit pricey, but I've come to expect that of gourmet restaurants in the city. The next time you're north of the loop and looking for a place to eat with very good food, give Roka Akor a try.