Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Guess who got to be a judge (Celebrity Judge) at The Stand Up for Kids Mac & Cheese contest fundraiser??

Me!! The ladies at Ripple Productions have done it again! They invited me yet again to another amazing foodie event that works towards a good cause. This time I ended up at the one and only Max's Deli (This is a NY style deli right in the heart of Highland Park, if you live in the area do yerself a favor and visit them for a meal. You won't be disappointed!) in Highland Park, Il. at 191 Skokie Valley Road as a guest judge for a Mac & Cheese contest that was benefitting Stand Up for Kids, an organization that works toward ending the cycle of youth homelessness throughout the United States. Good food and good cause, what else can you ask for? I mean besides spending some quality time with... oh, excuse me.... anyway, let's get to the mac & cheese.

First let me say that I have never been confronted with so many different and interesting types of mac & cheese before in my life! It was truly overwhelming in the best way possible! And I hate to sound like a wuss, but they were all really pretty tasty in their own way, but it was a competition and there was a winner. Surprisingly the one I wanted to win did not, but the one that did win, I knew was going to win. I saw and tasted it's greatness, but the one I loved had fresh jalapeño cut up inside of it and that spice won me over.

The winner....
Smoke Daddy! I loved this one a lot, and it was my 2nd place choice, but I believe it could've also been my #1. This mac & cheese had a nice smooth flavor, the noodles were not mushy, they were firm. And it had this really nice almost crunchy, blackened cheese atop that was a "secret" ingredient. I guessed béchamel but I was told I was incorrect.

My winner....
This was mac & cheese from Tap House Grill and I just loved the spice from the fresh jalapeño peppers they had mixed into the dish. They also nice bacon chunks, tomato (which I dodged, not a huge tomato fan outside of sauces or grilled) and chicken chunks. This one was so good in my opinion that I went back for more after we were done judging. My winner.

And the rest, that were all really pretty damn tasty!!
This one tasted very much like Kraft Mac & cheese. But it didn't taste out of the box, it tasted like this was what they were trying to emulate when they made their recipe.  Like I imagine this being in the Kraft tester kitchen vein prepped by chefs.

This one had a hint of a sweetness to it, and they used shells for their noodles, which I enjoyed. 

I really liked this one a lot too. 

This one was real interesting, it had braised beef in it and  portabello mushrooms.

Also, I had the pleasure of meeting Tom, an active member of Stand Up for Kids, the mayor of  Highwood, Il., Charlie Pecaro And Mary Tyler Mom. Not to mention seeing the always beautiful ladies (Ilyce & Cassy, both are stunning) that run Ripple Productions! This was a great event, plus a good time! Oh, and I also got to meet the owner from Kitchen Chicks, one of places that served some of the best catered food I have ever eaten! And I wanna thank Max's Deli for hosting and running a really tight ship. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Need an inspiring meal? Try Inspiration Kitchens...

I did and I loved it! Inspiration Kitchens are a Chicago based restaurant that employs homeless and is also a training center for chefs. You get a great meal for a decent price and you can feel good about where your money is going... You are sometimes helping someone pay for a room for the night.

They have 2 locations in the city, I ate the Uptown location: 4715 N. Sheridan. I went there cause Tweet, a place I love was packed. But what a fortunate turnout for me. The other location is: 3504 W. Lake St. (Garfield Park).

Well, let's get to the food, that's really what we're here for. I had the The Whole Pig Breakfast Skillet and this is what this delight has in it:
Braised pork, bacon, ham, caramelized onions and potatoes topped with two sunny eggs and barbeque sauce.
Just look at that! Seriously, look at it.

I bust the egg open atop it so the yolk can smother into the meat and potatoes, that's how to do it properly. 

Oh yeah, look at me. I am so serious. Seriously ready. 


Shovin it in like a good boy.

Got it all in like the champ that I am!

And when it's good it is gone! See ya!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

I was on TV!!

I was on Log On And Eat With Eden Grinshpan this week and it was amazing!! In case you missed it, and how could you?? Here is the episode... LOG ON AND EAT     enjoy!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Hello, and welcome!

If you are just discovering me and my blog from Log on and Eat with Eden Grinshpan, welcome. And thank you for taking the time to check my blog out, I totally 'preciate it! 

If you like what you see, please become a member of my blog. I not only feature Chicago spots, but spots from all over the country. I am always looking for good tips too, so please message with your spots and what you like there. 

I see myself as a "tipster" not a reviewer. I don't go somewhere once and give an opinion. I hit a place a few times (if I am able), discover what I like, what the place does best, then I tip you off on what it is and how to get it done! A tipster! Me. I also rely on friends, family, fans, and loved ones to fill me in on good tips too, so seriously hit me up with spots, people!

What I do: Say you wanna go get a Steak Sandwich from Mr. D's (6656 W. Diversey/Chicago) and why wouldn't you? If you went there and you missed out on the grilled onions, that would be a freakin a travesty! But thanks to me, that won't happen! I will tip you off on stuff like that, with my words and photos of me taking it all in like a champ. No one does it like I do. It's what I do and have been doin since before the term "foodie" or Guy Fieri were around! I am the OG Foodie Tipster, yo! 

King of all Foodies! 

I sound like a freakin wrestler before a match, sheesh! Anyway, thanks for taking the time and if you like what you see please spread the word! If you don't like what you see, please spread the word!!

And a big Thank You to The Cooking Channel, Eden, Sam, Doug, and all who helped make this happen, I truly appreciate it! Now please follow the damn blog, will you?!

Some of the best Fish Tacos not just in Chicago, anywhere. And great steak tacos too!

L' Patron  at 2815 W Diversey Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (773) 252-6335 is easily one of my favorite taco spots. And not just in Chicago, anywhere. And yes, Chicago has spots as good if not better than L.A., Mexico, New Mexico, Arizona, anywhere. Chicago has some of thee best Mexican food on the planet. And I have eaten tacos from all the locations I mentioned and then some. That being said, this spot has my favorite fish taco and one of my favorite steak tacos. Too many great steak taco spots in Chicago to choose one, but this is one of the best! I will be featuring the fish taco, which is a Baja style fish taco: fried tilapia with spicy shredded cabbage in a spicy aioli and pico de gallo, I skip the pico. And they have a Carne Asada Steak Taco and a Lomo Steak Taco, I am featuring the Lomo Steak taco:  beef tenderloin or ribeye steak smothered/stewed in onions and served in a corn tortilla. Easily one of the best steak tacos when it's done right, and they do it right at L Patron. 
Here is the menu, they shoulda let me take the pics. 

This is the seating, there really is none. That jerk drinkin from the white syrofoam cup wearing glasses is my good friend Vinny. He is known as The Bulldog. 

The Horchata, and random other sweet drinks that get rotated for new flavors. But the Horchata never leaves, it's always there and always delicious. Horchata is a sweet drink also called rice water. It does have dairy in it, condensed milk. It has the flavor of cinnamon and vanilla, it is so good and refreshing.

The Lomo Taco! OH. NO!! It usually come with raw onions atop of it and cilantro but I hate raw onions and I don't really like cilantro. I know, I know, what kind of fan of Mexican food am I? Forgive me, please! Anyway, look at that thing^^^^. So freakin beautiful, and tender, and meaty, and lettuce, and corny.... and you get the point! Chunks of beef stewed in onions on a soft tortilla with some cool crisp romaine atop of it, that is a balanced meal my friends. Sorta. 

Look at me, whatta jerk. A jerk about to enjoy the heck outta this taco...

Oh yes!! Look at me go...

I am goin right to my happy place! So stink in Monte-licious! You have got to try the Lomo Taco if you are a meat eater!! 

Oh brother, this guy^^^. I never liked fish tacos until I had em from here, seriously. Well, I only like the Baja Style and not to many places do it right, but this place hits the bulls eye on the Baja Style 100%! Like I mentioned before, that is fried Tilapia smothered in a spicy aioli and a spicy shredded cabbage. It also come with pico de gallo but I hate that sh*t. The fish is crispy on the outside and light & flaky on the inside. A nice mild whitefish goes well with the spice from the aioli, it's really a perfect combo in my professional opinion. Ha, I am a professional... Get that!

Takin this bad boy down into the gullet like a good boy. 

My dad always said, "if it's good, it's gone."

And this fish taco is gone! And so am I.