Sunday, January 14, 2018

The Brat Stop

We made a recent trip up to Wisconsin to go tubing at Wilmot Mountain, a winter resort with skiing, skateboarding and tubing. We spent the day there tubing and decided to stop at The Brat Stop for a bite before heading home.

I've been going to the Brat Stop since I was a kid. It was always the go-to spot for dinner and to pick up some cheese when we went over the border. On this visit the kids split a pizza with an order of mozzarella sticks and hubby and one of the boys shared a big European platter with three different flavors of sausage, sauerkraut, potatoes and red cabbage. I was content with my fried cheese curds, which I always have to order when we stop there.

The Brat Stop has a large varied menu with sandwiches, sausages, salads, ribs, tacos and more. They're also known for the live entertainment and have a store stocked with cheese, sausages, t-shirts, local beer and more.

12304 75th St 
Kenosha, WI
(262) 857-2011

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Moore's Marinade & Sauces

Chicago Foodie Sisters recently received a bottle of Moore's Marinades & Sauces to try out. There are nine different varieties and we tried out the Original Buffalo Wing Sauce. Since I had the "marinade" part of it stuck in my head, I figured I'd use it to marinate some chicken. It wasn't until after they were in the oven that I noticed it was wing "sauce" rather than marinade that was meant for tossing at the end. But it was an accident that was a success.

My hubby and boys prefer drums over wings, so I let some drums marinate in about 2/3 of the bottle for the afternoon in the refrigerator. 

After about 6 or 7 hours, I placed them in a baking dish, poured over the remaining sauce that it had been marinating in and baked for about 40 minutes. Spooned the sauce over the top and served it with a little extra sauce for dipping along with some ranch. 

I am a bit of a wimp with hot stuff, so I did a few bites and it's all I could handle, but I must say it had  great flavor even though it was too hot for my delicate taste buds. :) It was one of those times my mouth was on fire, but I didn't want to stop. It wasn't all fire and no taste, it was a perfect combo of heat and flavor.

The guys in my house love hot stuff and one bite in my husband was loving it and going on and on about how good it was. I've already got plans for some chicken dip using what's left in the bottle.

You'll find Moore's in a number of grocery stores and department stores in the area, including Walmart, Meijer and Target. Click here for a complete list of retailers. You'll also find a great variety of recipes at 

***Chicago Foodie Sisters received a product sample for the purpose of a review. We were not compensated for this post. All opinions are our own.

Carraba's Valentine Sharing Meal

Last year I came across a great deal at Carraba's for Valentine's Day and I never posted about in on the blog, so thought I'd share now. I'm not sure if they're repeating a similar deal this year, but if so, it was a really nice meal and at a good price. It was $45 for a shared appetizer, two entrees and a shared dessert. So keep your eyes open for a special menu this year. I'd go back and do it again for sure.

Carraba's Italian Grill is a national chain. In the Chicago area you can find locations in Woodbridge and in Schererville, IN.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Dragon Bowl a Favorite Spot for Asian Cuisine

Living in the south burbs, I'm just a hop, skip and a jump away from the Indiana border. I do a lot of my shopping there. My kids have been in activities in Northwest Indiana. Until the gas prices went up there, I would usually drive over the border to fill up. Anyway, I spend a good deal of time in the state of Indiana. And one of my favorite spots for a bite to eat is Dragon Bowl. My parents lived down the street from it for over a decade, so I drove past it constantly. One of my boys is a big fan of Asian food as well and sometimes he and I zip in there for a quick the meal below.

Dragon Bowl
8231 Hohman Avenue
Munster, IN
(219) 513-0088

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Skyline Chili

I had heard of Cincinnati-style chili before, but I didn't realize what a big deal chili is in that city until I visited last year with two of my boys. I seemed to be seeing Skyline Chili everywhere we went and so I didn't want to head back home without trying it. As we were heading out of town I put enough change in the meter for 10 minutes, ran inside a location near our hotel ordered a chili dog, took a picture of it and then packed it to go and ate it in the car.  It was quite tasty especially with that mound of cheddar cheese. I love the sweetness to Cincinnati-style chili and it was a perfect topper for the hot dog.

I learned that in Cincinnati, they do chili a number of "ways".
Two-way chili is spaghetti topped with chili.
Three-way is spaghetti, chili, cheese.
Four-way is spaghetti, chili, cheese, onion.
Five-way is spaghetti, chili, cheese, onion and beans.

Since we're talking about skylines, here's a shot of the Cincinnati skyline from across the border in Kentucky.

They have a speedy method of taking orders and delivering them, which I completely messed up. :) 

There's plenty of merchandise and product that you can buy to commemorate your trip or help you duplicate their recipe at home. There are several locations in Ohio and Kentucky. Go to for more info.

Dining at Skyline Chili is one of those things you have to check off the list if you're in the Cincinnati area.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Hofbrauhaus Newport

While on a trip to Cincinnati with two of my boys last year, we decided to venture across the bridge into Kentucky to have dinner of Hofbrauhaus. They had just been to Hofbrauhaus Chicago in Rosemont a few weeks earlier and they've become fans of German food, especially Bavarian pretzels, so we were excited to be trying out a new location.

The Newport location is definitely smaller scale that what we have in the Chicago area, but it's no less charming. The food was just as good and the band played all the fun German beer tunes that you'd hear back home. And the beer...oh, there's just nothing like a Hofbrau Hefeweizen on draft and there aren't a lot of places to find that.

I got my favorite - a simple weiner schnitzel platter. It was delicious and it was so nice to enjoy it with my boys and a live band and lots of Bavarian decor. I'd suggest you visit to if you are headed that way! Prost!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Baby Bulls in Pontiac, IL

Ever since my dad relocated to central Illinois early last year, we've tried to get together at least once a month for lunch. We've visited a few different places that fall around the half-way point and one was Baby Bulls Family Restaurant in Pontiac. 

Dad's a big fan of soup and they always have a good selection there. I love their chicken noodle soup. On one of our visits I saw that they had a horseshoe on the menu. I've pretty much never seen those on a menu outside of the Springfield area, so I had to get one. If you're not familiar - it involves Texas toast on the bottom with a hamburger patty (or other meat) then has French fries on top and it's all covered with a creamy cheese sauce. I love them and have made them at home a few times after my cousin, who lives on a farm just outside Springfield, made them for me. I also have to have one any time I am in Springfield. They are the best. Baby Bull's version was pretty good! And it's always nice when I get to see dad and share a meal with him. My middle son also came along for the ride, too.

Baby Bulls Family Restaurant
1025 W. Reynolds
Pontiac, IL
(815) 844-5757

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Cowfé at Fair Oaks Farms

I've written quite a bit over the years about Fair Oaks Farms. It's a really cool agricultural attraction in Fair Oaks, Indiana along I-65 where you can learn about where your food comes from, the job farmers do, the history of farming. You can see a cow being born. You can see little baby piglets. Kids can play on a number of outdoor play pieces. 

But it's also a place to eat -- a really great place to eat. The Farmhouse restaurant is a fabulous farm to fork spot that is one of my very favorite restaurants anywhere. But, when I'm traveling along I-65 and don't have time for a long sit-down meal, we still always stop at the Cowfé. Often times I'll get a sandwich. Sometimes we'll have some of their amazing ice cream. And I always have to buy some cheese and chocolate milk to take home.

If you haven't been there and are ever heading south from Chicago on I-65, you absolutely MUST stop and have one of the best grilled cheese sandwiches you will every have in your life. 

Fair Oaks Farms
856 N 600 E
Fair Oaks, IN
(219) 394-2697

Friday, January 5, 2018

Yoder's Red Barn Shoppes

While sorting through photos from the past year, I came across our pics from last year's winter break. Hubby and the boys and I spent a couple days in Indiana Amish Country. It's such a peaceful place and it's especially wonderful in winter. A couple times we have gone in the week between Christmas and New Year's Day for the Ice Festival in Shipshewana. The town is still all lit up and decorated and there are lots of charming spots to shop and dine. 

I love stopping at Yoder's Red Barn Shoppes, which is a little indoor mall where you can buy clothing, furniture, gifts and of course some food items. I always head to the tea shop for some yummy loose leaf tea and I always have to get some fudge. If you're looking for a winter getaway, it's a great place to go to unwind.

Yoder's Red Barn Shoppes
445 S. Van Buren Street
Shipshewana, IN

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Macaron Classes at Bakewell Bakery

In cleaning out the 2017 photos files, I came across these pics I took not for the blog but for a local publication I was writing an article for. The article was on the macaron classes available at Bakewell Bakery in Flossmoor.

I absolutely adore the place. Everything I've eaten that they have made is amazing - scones, cookies, sandwiches, bangers wrapped in flaky dough, etc. This past fall both of us foodie sisters finally made it there for afternoon tea which was amazing. If you missed that post, click here.

Anyway, I didn't participate in the class, just watched and snapped pics and interviewed some participants and Pat, the owner. I don't see any classes currently listed on the website, but when they offer them again, I'd highly recommend it. It was a full afternoon of learning and do-ing and tasting and all the ladies who were there were having a wonderful time. They also were able to bring home lots and lots of goodies. 

Bakewell Bakery
1050 Sterling Ave.
Flossmoor, IL
(708) 991-7462

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Jungle Jim's International Market in Fairfield, OH

One of my absolute favorite foodie things I did in 2017 was visit Jungle Jim's International Market in Fairfield, Ohio near Cincinnati. It was a totally unplanned and unexpected spontaneous stop - and isn't it the best when you discover something new that way?

I took a road trip to Ohio with two of my boys for a college visit and we also spent a couple days in Cincinnati since it was my first time in Ohio and we were driving through to get to our destination. As we drove through the Cincinnati area headed to the campus, I noticed a big building with "Jungle Jim's" on the side along the expressway and figured it was some kind of kids' entertainment center similar to the Chuck E. Cheese locations. I could not have been more wrong!!! 

Once we got to Shawnee State for the campus visit, my son met up with a student there that he had met online and we were chatting and I told her I write a food blog and she told me I had to go to Jungle Jim's. She explained that it was a big international market and had tons of food there, but was hard to describe. It really is hard to describe (Like there is a whole section dedicated to hot sauces from around the world - and with a real full-size fire engine suspended over it). It is such a cool experience and you'll find food there from every place you could imagine.

I went a little crazy and made my way through pretty much every aisle in this gigantic place. I found all my favorite imported foods that I like to grab when I find them - Walker's shortbread from Scotland, candies from Belgium, marzipan from Germany, green tea Kit Kats, teas, Asian noodles, Pocky from Japan and so many more things. It is an absolute foodie paradise and I seriously would like to make a trip back to the Cincinnati area just to return to this market -- and then build the trip around it. Isn't that what foodies do? LOL

I ended up working it into a slot where we didn't have a whole lot on our itinerary and we ended up spending well over an hour there and I could have easily spent another one or two more there. There are several ethnic food counters so you can sit and dine on Korean BBQ, sushi and other items -- beats the heck out of the pizza at hot dogs and Sam's Club. :)

Anyway, scroll through the photos below. And if you are a true foodie, this place will go on your foodie bucket list and you will make it your mission to get there. There are more than 150,000 products in their 200,000 square-foot store. Even a little movie theatre at the entrance to watch a video on the store's history. It is truly a destination, not just a store.

There are two locations, both just outside Cincinnati. Oh, how I wish they'd expand elsewhere - especially Chicago.