I missed soooooooo many holidays. I missed soooooooo many possible posts. This chick was busy making some changes before 2016.
I know July was my last post; but I was busy saying, ‘Until we meet again’, to my favorite city, Chicago. I traded pizza, lemon pepper wings, and State Street for clam chowder, sourdough bread, and Market Street. I moved to East Bay area of California.
When I settled in the Bay Area, I had felt the need to visit Brown Sugar Kitchen, located on Oakland’s Westside.
Each time I visited Brown Sugar Kitchen there was a wait. And honestly, the food was well worth the wait. Chef Tanya Holland’s soul food creations will make your taste buds happy. My favorite item on the menu is the Cornmeal Waffle. The light and airy waffle served with brown sugar butter & apple cider syrup truly dissolves in your mouth with minimum effort.
Check out Brown Sugar Kitchen’s website for the hours & location. I have added a few pictures detailing my taste excursion.
See, I keep my promises. I told you I would come back to birthday stop number 2 🙂 Birthday stop number 2 was at Grub Restaurant located in Chicago’s University Village neighborhood at 1230 W. Taylor Street.
When I first read about the soul food restaurant that opened a few months ago, I was a little skeptical. I rolled my eyes when I read that Grub was a ‘healthy’ soul food restaurant. I smirked to myself because I have experienced too many soul food restaurants that served dishes that were too salty and too greasy.
I went to Grub one afternoon for lunch. I ordered The Double Crunch entrée. The Double Crunch consists of Chef Emanuel Washington’s signature fried chicken and mac & cheese muffin (it isn’t a muffin; but a serving of Mac & cheese). I also ordered a side of collard greens.
After one bite, it was evident that Grub is a restaurant that delivers on its promise of being healthy while delivering on taste. The only thing that was a disappointment was when I ran out of macaroni & cheese. I ate this side I think in less than a minute.
I am happy that Grub is a not a counter service or buffet style soul food restaurant. It is nice to be able to sit at a cloth covered table with cloth napkins inside a contemporary decorated atmosphere. I like that Grub shows the elegant side soul food without emptying your wallet.
I waited to post this review because I thought I would have gone back to Grub to experience their Sunday brunch. Yep, they serve Sunday brunch from 11 am to 5 pm. And I will be checking them out for brunch.
This year, I had visited my fare share of restaurant’s located in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood. And I have not even scratched the surface of visiting all of the restaurants in this neighborhood. With so many restaurants in the West Loop to experience, I had the audacity to visit one restaurant twice already. And that restaurant is Little Goat Diner at 820 W. Randolph Street located on the northeast corner of W. Randolph Street. To be honest, the first time I went to Little Goat, was because I didn’t have reservations for Little Goat’s sibling, The Girl & The Goat for my second time. It only made sense to walk across the street and try my luck.
Both times when I entered the restaurant, I was greeted by smiling cheery hostesses who seated me right away. The trick to not having to wait without a reservation was that I was party of 1 without any objection to sitting at the counter. If there are more than 2 people in your party, I suggest reservations if you do not want to wait and would like to have engaging conversation over a nice meal.
Whether you arrive at 7am or 2pm, you can order breakfast all day. You also have a choice of burgers, sandwiches, salads, dinner entrees, desserts, and appetizers. Both times, I dined at Little Goat, I ordered from the ‘Snack Corner’, Hot Crab Dip. This yummy dish is served with Ritz Crackers. When I ran out of crackers, I finished the dip off by eating it with a fork 🙂
After I wolfed down my appetizer, of course it is time for the next course. Each time, I took the recommendation of the server. Little Goat’s servers are 2 for 2 in the recommendation department. I was not disappointed by either main dish.
During my first visit, I ordered Fish Tostados. Blah, blah fish tostados you may say. They are anything but blah at Little Goat Diner. The white fish is fried to crisp non-greasy perfection topped with amazing fresh veggie combinations.
And during my second visit, I ordered the Tuna Melt. The Tuna Melt at first glance didn’t appear to have any tuna or bread because they are buried under salad. Little Goat Diner takes a traditional sandwich and kicks it up a notch by topping 2 buttered slices of sourdough bread with a hearty helping of tasty albacore tuna salad, sliced hard boiled eggs, draped with white cheese sauce slice. I had to eat this sandwich with a fork a knife.
After both main dishes, I was stuffed. Next time I will make room for either dessert, a shake, or a sundae. It is definitely my goal to eat my way through Little Goat Diner non-pork menu items before 2014 is in the history books 🙂
NOTE: Menu items are priced al a carte. Little Goat serves huge portions. Be prepared to share plates with friends or request a to go box if dining solo.
I had the opportunity to experience Public House, located at 400 N. State Street (northwest corner of N. State St. and W. Kenzie St.) in Chicago, Illinois.
The establishment’s signage incorporates a tap which leads one to believe that Public House is only a bar. Actually, you can enjoy more than a beer here. When I went to Public House, I had the opportunity to sample various items from their brunch menu (yep, you read it right, brunch).
Let me get straight to the point and tell you my favorites.
My first favorite is the Breakfast Sandwich made with Housemade Turkey Sausage. I do not eat pork; so when I heard turkey sausage, I instantly thought, here we go again. This turkey sausage patty was not the typical. It is seasoned with more than the boring salt & pepper. There was a touch of sweetness added to the patty that I think the pork sausage lover would appreciate. The sandwich is made with scrambled eggs, American cheese, arugula, tomato, red onions on a toasted sourdough boulet (the bread is is amazing).
The other favorite of mine is the Sticky Cinnamon Bun. This sinful pastry is made with toasted pecans and vanilla butter cream. I didn’t know if I should eat it with a fork or with my fingers. Trust me, you will lick the last sweet remnants from the fork or from your fingers.
I tried the Chicken and Waffles. Be forewarned, the chicken is not boneless. Also, there isn’t a lot of seasoning on the chicken. Be sure to add the hot sauce & Michigan maple syrup to the chicken. Also, eat the chicken and the waffle together for the full experience.
A pleasant surprise was the Parfait Pint. After eating the parfait, you would think that it was just any yogurt parfait made with fresh fruit. The parfait is made with Greek yogurt. The yogurt wasn’t tart or bitter like Greek yogurt. The yogurt resembled the texture of pudding.
They offer a host of menu items for brunch for you to choose from. When you are trying to decide on where to go for brunch, try Public House. Public House also offers a daily menu. If brunch isn’t your thing, there are other items for you to try.