One of the questions I hoped to answer on a trip to Japan some years ago was what Japanese people eat for breakfast. I found a little cafe that I loved, but basically they were doing a Japanese version of American breakfast, so the toast was made with milk bread and the eggs were perfectly cooked, that sort of thing. Looks like to finally answer this question, I’m going to have to go drop $44 on breakfast at Miru, in that new Jeanne Gang skyscraper, according to Louisa Chu:

By day, the Tokyo breakfast will further center your focus. It’s simply stunning, and possibly my favorite plate of the year so far. It’s more of a platter, really, with a collection of small vessels, holding a perfectly charred piece of king salmon here, an onsen egg with salmon roe there, and a bowl of deeply infused ginger rice I coveted above all.

Miso soup and tiny pickles round out the traditional meal, which an interpreter in Japan once wistfully told me was a disappearing art form with her children’s generation. Paired with a pot of jasmine green tea, the breakfast felt even more precious, because it nearly didn’t exist at Miru — it was a later addition to the eggs Benedict and other American morning classics.

The price jumped from $32, a relative steal, to $44 the week after I visited. Even in a luxury hotel where rooms start around $1,000 a night, that’s a big jump. I had to ask why.


Surely Titus Ruscitti has been to Aroy Thai, right? Well of course he has, but as I know well, sometimes it’s the place you’ve been going to for a long time that never gets written about:

Despite the fact I’ve been blogging about Chicago restaurants for more than 15 years I still haven’t posted about all of my go-to spots. No reason in particular other than I just haven’t gotten around to doing so in part because it’s not like most of us don’t know about a place like Aroy Thai. But if not it’s just north of the Damen brown line station where it’s a neighborhood staple. It’s one of the many spots I was put onto by LTHforum back in the message boards early days. The purpose of the still up and running site was to shine a light on spots like Aroy Thai and that purpose was more than achieved as it’s always listed among the city’s best Thai restaurants and rightfully so. There’s no such thing as a hidden gem anymore and it seems like everyone has been everywhere but I still wanted to throw up a little piece on one of my favorite places in town for the bold and beautiful flavors of Northern Thailand. Aroy (which means tasty in Thai) has a nice menu selection of Northern Thai favorites.

He also visited Ørkenoy:

They brew farmhouse style beers while serving up Scandinavian style Smørrebrød plus small bites and shareable plates. Smørrebrød are small open faced sandwiches made with ingredients like smoked salmon, cucumbers and capers. The options are endless as the creations at Ørkenoy suggest.

Scandinavian sandwiches, tell me more…


Sandwich Tribunal’s Jim Behymer provides stuff-between-bread expertise for NewCity, talking about sandwiches for summer—like Toast Skagen:

Toast Skagen and its constituent shrimp salad Skagenröra were invented in the 1950s by Tore Wretman, who became an early example of the celebrity chef in Sweden. Skagenröra is made with tiny shrimp, the kind that run ninety or 120 to the pound and in the United States are usually sold shelled, precooked and frozen. The salad can be as simple as shrimp, mayonnaise and dill, but many versions, my own included, are filled out with additional flavors: lemon zest or juice, Dijon mustard, very finely diced red onion or shallots, chives and white pepper. Some sour cream or crème fraiche may be used to lighten the dressing, giving it a more sour and less oily character than with mayonnaise alone, enhancing the sweet juiciness of the tiny shrimp.


One of the first places I went with other people from the future LTHForum crowd (then Chowhound) was Han Bat, a Korean restaurant up on Lawrence. Weirdly, my local tailor/dry cleaner, Mr. Jay (who I think sold his place and may have moved back to Korea in the twenty-plus years since) came in for a pickup order that night, and though he saw me there I think it was simply too improbable to see one of his Caucasian customers eating a Korean bone broth soup, so he sort of looked straight through me.

Anyway, one of the things I like about Dennis Lee’s restaurant Substack, The Party Cut, is when he visits, and has new things to say, about a place I know but haven’t thought much about, certainly not written about, for years:

Han Bat is in a tiny strip mall next to a Mediterranean restaurant named Tiba. From its minimal exterior, you’d be hard-pressed to tell it’s even a restaurant. Han Bat is clearly a mom-and-pop shop, and the only menu available for perusing is plastered to a mirror on the wall…

Seolleongtang is very simple. It consists of ox bones that have been simmered for many hours, if not a whole day, which allows you to get every last bit of flavor out of them. The result is a wholesome-tasting milky white broth that’s got a thin yet silky texture to it. It comes with your choice of beef cuts, along with a scattering of glass noodles.

It should be pretty apparent that seolleongtang is a hardship dish that comes from people trying to stretch ingredients out as far as they can go. Bone broth might be treated as a trailing health fad these days, but the truth is, it’s existed for as long as humans have boiled their wild hunt. Aside from one or two other dishes, seolleongtang is the only thing on Han Bat’s menu.


Amy Cavanaugh looks at the three Boka Group restaurants in the former Southport Lanes complex—as you likely know, Little Goat Diner, sushi spot Itoko, and GG’s Chicken Shop.


At the Trib, Nick Kindelsperger says to check out Tilly’s Bagel Shop, which is opening a full time shop (starting August 12) after being the sort of bagel you had to get through machinations only slightly less complex than the D-Day Invasion:

Back in 2021, I picked Tilly’s Bagel Shop’s bagels as the third-best in the city, noting they were “picture-perfect sourdough bagels.” This was even though owner Hannah Tillett was working out of a shared kitchen. To place an order, customers had to pre-order online, stand on a random South Loop corner and wait for Tillett to personally drop them off.

And then you go meet Hal Holbrook in a parking garage, I guess. Anyway, as the bagel dictator in my house (“Zere vill be NEIN blueberry bagels!”) I am enticed by the picture of “cacio e pepe” bagels, so I’ll be there… now that they have an address.

And on the subject of bagel intrigue, which Michael Nagrant gets to eventually, he talks to Eric Reeves of Salt Spoon Bakehouse, where:

…on a recent Sunday morning, I drove over to a location in Bucktown, sent a text, and had a box of bagels, not unlike a bag of weed, delivered to my car window.

To be fair Salt Spoon-proprietor Eric Reeves eyes were not darting furtively looking for the five-oh. Rather he very graciously and openly delivered the bread booty.

There’s even a cacio e pepe-flavored bagel—when did that happen?—but the most interesting thing is a long and absorbing conversation with Reeves about his bagel technique:

The shaping was probably the most important to me. I can’t think of another pastry that gets touted as “delightfully misshapen” and I never understood why quantity was celebrated over quality in the case of bagels. I get it, it’s a “working person’s” food, but so is pizza, and nobody is hyped about a wonky looking pizza. You go to a place like Lost Larson and get a box of pastries and when you open up that box you almost don’t want to eat them because they’re so beautiful.

It makes the moment when you do eat them so precious, and I just wanted to create that moment with bagels. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I want to scarf down a burger or a plate of pasta and not think about anything other than how delicious it is, not everything has to be precious, but those moments aren’t what Salt Spoon is about.


Ari Bendersky has a piece at Resy about Lincoln Square comfort food spot Gather, which survived Time Out’s disdain back in the day and is now, somehow, a decade old; he talks to a new figure there, managing partner Emily McDaniel.


Sueños is still, to my knowledge, heading for an opening sometime in the near future, but in the meantime the same folks have opened an offspring called Diego. Here’s The Infatuation on it:

This casual West Town spot calls itself a dive bar, but the interesting cocktails and mariscos-based food say otherwise.

The perfectly fried tostadas come topped with things like a simple but well-balanced mix of yellowfin and avocado, or a unique spicy macaroni and shrimp salad. There are plenty of tasty tacos on the menu too, along with a thick burger covered with a layer of queso and a macha aioli you’ll want to bottle up and take home.


A couple of bits of news on Italian food on the north by northwest side: Ristorante Agostino, an old veteran spot on Harlem from the parents of Tony Fiasche (Tempesta Market, Peanut Park Trattoria), is closing after 37 years, the last few of which would make anyone think about retirement—besides COVID, they had a kitchen fire in June 2021. Eater has the story.

But you won’t be far in that area from a plate of sausage and peppers; old school (since 1952) pizza joint Joe’s on Higgins is moving down the street and expanding into more general Italian food. As Eater describes it:

While the pizza recipes remain sacred, there were other aspects of the restaurant the family thought they could tweak to grow with the neighborhood. Eventually, they’ll add a patio.

“We’re going more Italian, not as much pizzeria,” says [third-generation owner Frank] DeMonte.


You might find it improbable that the same chef de cuisine could land at both the late The Bristol and Oriole, but that’s exactly what Larry Feldmeier (written about at Fooditor a few years ago, at The Albert) has done. They ran a little Q&A with him in their newsletter, which if it has a link I can’t find it, but here’s part of the text:

What type of food do you enjoy cooking?

LF: What got me really excited about joining Oriole is the similarities in palates between Noah and myself. We both enjoy classic French techniques, but we like diving really deep into those fundamentals. Our dishes tend not to have too many components; it’s about maximizing economy. I’m also a fan of pickling, especially in summer dishes. And sauce work is probably my favorite thing to do.


A bad time for portable businesses: elotero Joaquín García Jimenez had his cart stolen; Block Club has the story about his fundraiser here.

On the South Side, 7323 Chicago Cafe sells gourmet food out of a container, but they were broken into for the second time recently. They need to raise money to get back on their feet—including security cameras. Go here to donate.

And Saturday morning, Taqueria Las Flores in the North Park neighborhood suffered a total loss in a fire. Owner Jazmin Flores (from the same family that has Taqueria El Asadero in North Center) has a GoFundMe set up to help support the staff while she considers what’s next. Go here to find out more (h/t Josh Kulp).


A car stuff podcast called, er, Car Stuff Podcast earns a place in a food newsletter by talking with folks from one of the best possible places to go with your car: Superdawg. They talk with operations manager Don Drucker.

Amuzed just has Michael Muser and Pat Kiely talking about The Bear (partly filmed, as you’ve probably heard, at Muser’s restaurant Ever). For some reason I can’t find a direct working link to that episode, but hey, you know how to find a podcast; it’s Episode 93. If you want to read more about that, The Ringer had a whole piece on filming that episode.