Thursday, February 9, 2012

Things We Don't Care About

One of the things I miss about being an active LTHForum member is that when I ate at some middling place that didn't particularly inspire me one way or the other, I could still just find an existing thread and post a comment or two that added to the data. With this blog, I feel more of a probably-phony sense of responsibility to write about things and places about which other people might give a shit. Well, in this thread, I'm just listing the stuff - some pretty good, some pretty bad, some neither - that I feel like recording somewhere. Warning: I'm not even gonna bother to spellcheck, and I'm not going through the effort to list any addresses or contact info about these places. Sue me.

Bongiorno's:
this is a place next to the Turmp Tower, adjacent to a McD. I understand that the new owners took over from something called Pie Hole or Pie Plate or whatever. A pizza joint. Anyway, this one's striving to be more of a traditional Italian deli, with a case of prosciutto and other meats, some by-the-pound cheese and antipasti, etc. They also make pizza and sandwiches. The ataff speaks Italian and on first glance I had the impression that this would turn out to be a hidden gem - a bastion of "real" food in an area that needs it. I wasn't right. They make a decent meatball sub, eggplant parm that's too greasy and has too-thick breading on pretty good Labriola rolls, and 10 inch personal pizzas that are cheap enough but sound better than they taste on account of cheap ingredients like bad parmigiano cheese and characterless Boars Head meats. Still a decent option for the 'hood, but no need to make a special stop.

Epic Burger:
I guess this is a chain of some kind. Like Bongiorno's, it's not awful. But teh burger patty badly needs seasoning and the shake I had tasted like it was made from freezer-burned ice cream. Good fries.

Rockit:
I once lost to the chef here in a charity mac and cheese contest at Goose Island, where I came in third and he took first (Kuma's was second). The rockit mac was really good, and since then I've had a vague desire to try the place out once. I did. It sucked. All I had was 2 soups: a french onion and a matzoh ball. They tasted exactly the same, which should tell you all you need to know.

Kristoffer's:
I stopped here for breakfast awhile ago, and it was terrible. Stale breads and pastries, overcooked eggs. My daugher did like the "chocoflan".

Don Pedro Carnitas:
If you go here, order in a more confident way than I did. Speak Spanish. Or refuse the first plate of food they give you. I got a lousy plate of dried out other white meat, but from the looks of things around me and from the tweets of people who responded to me, there is definitely betetr stuff to be had here.

The Takashi thing in Macy's:
The bast damned bowl of vegetable soup I've had in years. Huge, filling, flavorful, great textures. Get this. It's the mushroom ramen, or something like that.

Chief O'Neill's:
I could actually write a whole blog post about this, but I'd have to deal with the fact that I know the new chef, he's deeply connected to a lot of LTHer's, and I said what might be perceived as unflattering things about him in a prior blog post. So I'm not gonna bother. I will reiterate that I like Alan. He sat down with my 20 month old and me over dinner a few nights ago, and we enjoyed his smoked shrimp dish and chicken n chips quite a bit. The shrimp is done in peat and has a pretty intense flavor, so be warned if you don't care for things like the smell of a room full of people spoking pot. It comes atop a pretty inense carrot-ginger reduced juice that I thought complemented it well. I think I would have liked the chicken to be a bit crispier, but it had a really terrific rich flavor on account of what Alan explained was poaching in rich chicken stock before frying. The steak fries (chips) are done in 100% tallow, and they were fantastic.