[Ed. Note: a WordPress update broke some features on Fooditor, we hope they’ll be fixed today. Anyway, we know about them, thanks. UPDATE: Biggest problems fixed but some smaller ones remain…]

The Tribune flooded the zone on Cubs-related food and drink stories this week—thank God someone told me how to get a beer near Wrigley Field! (This one, about Hot Doug, is the most interesting one to read now that it’s over in Chicago, anyway.) In response to one of the $1000-cover-charge stories Nick Kindelsperger sighed on Facebook, “Of ways to spend over a grand, watching a baseball game at a sports bar in Wrigleyville would probably be close to the bottom.” You and me both, pal, but hold that thought…

In one of those funny moments of serendipity, the very next thing I read was a really excellent interview with Anthony Bourdain at Thrillist, in which he has many sharp and worldly-wise things to say on everything from food snobs vs. beer snobs to why restaurants can’t deal with drug and alcohol problems to the marvelousness of Road House and John Wick; you definitely want to find 15 minutes for it. But I was especially struck by this bit, in a conversation about how fine dining has changed:

“Look at who’s eating at Le Bernardin, for instance. Twenty years ago, it would have been nothing but snowy-haired, well-to-do people, more or less. Now, you go in on some nights — look around. Sixty percent of the customers are Asian, or Asian-American. Many of them are not particularly wealthy. They’re people who can’t afford to eat at Le Bernardin regularly, but who saved their money, in much the same way that you save your money to see a band that you love, or to go to a ballgame and get good seats. It is a viable form of entertainment, worth spending real bucks on. What’s worse? What is less defensible: to spend $1,000 on Knicks seats, or $300 at Le Bernardin?”

So Nick and everyone else who feels that way, feel good. We live in an America where blowing the $1000 on food is the sensible choice.


I admit, we love to hate on Michelin, but they do make it easy sometimes, like every year when they release the Bib Gourmands. This year’s list is down net six restaurants from last year’s—God knows nothing interesting has happened in Chicago food in the last year. But more than that, it finally decided what it thinks about The Bristol—it made the Bibs, but no higher. (Apparently it took them five years or so to figure out how they felt about one of the key Chicago dining spots.) Likewise Fat Rice is still on the Bibs, no star for the restaurant which the Jean Banchet Awards named Best Restaurant of the Year earlier this year. And who the hell knows why Spacca Napoli, perhaps the most consistent restaurant in the entire city, has fallen off the Bib list. It’s a weird, mysterious list that’s not like how anybody in Chicago thinks about our scene.

My feeling is that we’re not going to see much activity when it comes to Michelin stars this year—maybe Oriole will start out with a star, but I suspect they’re going to need a couple of years to think what they think about places like Roister or Smyth & the Loyalist, and I don’t expect them to have thoughts about Giant, the most exciting restaurant of the moment to me, until 2019. We’ll know Wednesday; here’s the Bib list at Eater, and Fooditor aims to have a podcast about it shortly after.


Michael Nagrant finds some hot granny action at Seafood City: “I’m sure more than one person at Seafood City that day thought to themselves, ‘Why is this bearded white dude standing so close to me?’ I apologize to all the grandmas I hovered near last week; I was just trying to learn.”

He shares what he learned in this epic survey of the offerings at the northwest side Filipino market, such as: “Perhaps the most glorious part of the store is its namesake, the fresh fish section. I have long hated pointing through glass at Whole Foods and having awkward conversations with supposed fishmongers about freshness and cooking times. You can’t smell the fish or really see how firm the flesh is. At Seafood City, mountains of little neck clams, armies of silvery whole fish and pink curled nubs of shrimp are splayed out on ice in the open, ready for you to take a whiff of or prod. Of course, this is a blessing and a curse as some shoppers believe it’s their duty to rough up a whole school of dead tilapia until they find the right one. But most are respectful, and the seafood procurement interactivity is addictive.” (Redeye)


Nick Kindelsperger goes to Revival Food Hall to try everything and… he likes everything! Which is not exactly helpful when you’re trying to quickly summarize his reviews, but he has some good comments once you get into the piece, like this on Danke: “As great as the charcuterie is, it’s the housemade bread that propels these sandwiches into contention for best-in-city status. At first glance, the dark brown exterior makes you think the loaf is dense and hard, but it’s actually soft and pliant.” He even makes the place with burgers and blended fruit bowls kind of make sense. (Tribune)


Nagrant also checked out Bareburger in Roscoe Village, and comes away mostly impressed by the newbie’s commitment to clean burgering: “The meat is high quality. The grind is thick and has a loose pack. The beef has a mineral kick, and the pork a bit of funk. It’s procured from farms that use the Temple Grandin method of humane slaughter, and you can taste the focus on quality. Once the cooks find their grill rhythm, these should be some of the better burgers in Chicago.” (Redeye)


Mike Sula calls out a Northbrook Korean BBQ spot, Pro Samgyubsal, for its grilled pork belly: “If you favor a bit of a gnaw, go for the jowl or the skin-on slabs. If you don’t enjoy the resistance, get the more tender scored belly. It’s up to you, armed with tongs and scissors, to grill and portion these pieces, supplementing them with sliced white onion, garlic, chile peppers, and long leaves of pungent kimchi. Don’t forget to season them with sea salt. It’s also up to you how to package these little morsels: wrapped in cool lettuce or thin slices of pickled daikon, with the salted sesame oil gireumjang and the funky fermented ssamjang, a potent mixture of red chile and fermented soybean paste.”


There’s tons of new places in Chinatown, mostly unwritten about, but Nick Kindelsperger shaves one off the list with the shaved-noodle spot Slurp Slurp, which he straight up sings a love song to: “While they lack the uniformity of a bowl of slippery smooth Campbell’s noodle soup, this imperfection, at least for me, has serious charms. When I slurp these noodles, I immediately remember the uneven edges of my mom’s hand-cut noodles bobbing in a bowl of fat-streaked chicken noodle soup, the kind she always makes for the holidays.”


Phil Vettel sees potential in LaGrange’s Fourteensixteen, though this description may not convince you: the “opening menu cast a wide, leave-no-taste-behind net, offering pot stickers and Asian-seasoned chicken salad along with burgers, flatbreads, crudo and beef ‘poke.’ The revised menu, introduced about a week ago, narrows the melting-pot cuisine somewhat, giving the selection more of a Midwestern, even Chicago, accent.” Even more midwestern than beef poke? Then there’s “lamb nachos”—”It looks like the result of a cooking challenge involving making biscuits and gravy using nothing but ingredients available at a Greek diner. It’s a beige mess to the eyes, but guess what — it’s one of the menu’s best-sellers.” And to think that Michelin overlooks places like this, just because they’re suburban! (Tribune)


Crain’s looks at new steakhouses and ranks them against a similar spot with a track record to see how they measure up. The gimmick gets stretched a little but some decent insight into where to drop the big beef bucks.


Julia Thiel likes the latest of many bars in Logan Square, Spilt Milk, but finds a lot of sweetness in the drinks: “The cocktail tasted pleasantly just like lemon cream pie. But it was a bit much as a follow-up to my syrupy-sweet first drink—pineapple soft-serve topped with a combination of rum, apricot liqueur, and lime juice—and a taste of my friend’s Concord Grape Julep, a mix of bourbon, cognac, and grape juice that was pleasantly nutty but also too sweet.” (Reader)


Chicagoist says goodbye to ShopHouse, Chipotle’s failed hope to do to Panda Express what they did to Taco Bell.


Goats are just the excuse for Steve Dolinsky paying a welcome video visit to Birria Ocotlan.


Looking for Cleveland fans in Chicago, ABC 7 finds one at Boka.