Posted: June 4th, 2012 | Author: mindy. | Filed under: Blog | Tags: carlin, chicago, cute, kittens, Louie, mindersongetskittens, patterson, squee | No Comments »
For those of you that don’t know, Carlin, my first pet ever, our beloved tuxedo Maine Coon, died a few weeks ago. Heartbroken doesn’t even begin to cover it. I’ll miss him forever.
Even though we’ve got Louie (who is still super cute and might be the worlds most amazing dog) the house felt empty without Carlin. Since he had feline leukemia he was never around other cats & never had a playmate. Patterson & I decided years ago that at our next opportunity we were going to adopt brothers, so that they’d snuggle & play together.
Last week we started looking for these brothers & Saturday we spent the day striking out at multiple shelters. There was just no one we loved. Sunday morning around 11:15am, Patterson & I looked at the Anti-Cruelty site. There we saw the lil tuxedo guy. The mad rush to get showered/dressed/in a cab to the shelter was amazing. We arrive at 11:50 for their noon opening. As soon as they make the announcement we bolted into the kitten room & grabbed the tux, who was alone in a cage. By 12:02 we’d confirmed we were adopting him. We started looking around to see if there was any other one we could take home so he’d have a playmate. As we’re doing this a girl in scrubs walks into the room & goes to the tux’s cage. So we walked over to see what was going on & she’s putting 2 lil grey boys in there. Told us they were siblings & they had made an oversight upstairs by not putting them together originally. The grey was in the cage for a whopping 15 seconds before we claimed him as well. We couldn’t take all 3. Just wasn’t happening. Luckily, before we even finished the adoption paperwork someone had claimed the third. So we’ve got 2 new lil boys. Brothers, like we wanted. And they’re adorable. And they snuggle & fight & it’s the cutest thing to listen to their tiny ‘meows’. They weigh about 2 lbs. each & are the fluffiest little things you’ve ever seen. ESPECIALLY the grey. They’ve yet to be named, but once we get a better handle on their personalities (seriously you guys, this grey is the softest ball of fluff ever) we’ll get right on that.
I really can’t say enough good things about the adoption process at Anti-Cruelty. Everyone we encountered was so cheerful & supportive & answered any questions we had. If you’re looking for a pet, you really should make them your first stop. In the meantime, pictures of our new kitties.
Posted: October 19th, 2011 | Author: mindy. | Filed under: Blog | Tags: carlin, Louie, Slacker | No Comments »
Kinda. Well, it’s a post. Let’s be happy with that.
Sorry it’s been a few months since I posted. Which in Internet time is a lifetime. Just think of all the memes that have come and gone! The summer was a magical time filled with friends, food, music, but now that it’s hit the 40s in Chicago I can think about making my first post in eons.
Instead of a ‘how I spent my summer vacation’ post I figured I would come back with the best thing to come out of the summer — the adoption of my very first dog! It only took 30 years, but I FINALLY have a dog of my own. Meet Louie.
I mean REALLY. Just look at this face.
Just the cutest thing ever.
I’m sure the two of you reading this are wondering how Carlin feels about this?
Posted: June 4th, 2011 | Author: mindy. | Filed under: Blog | Tags: chicago, food, patterson, union sushi + barbeque | No Comments »
My dad started taking my family out for sushi when I was about 12. Who knows why. Maybe he wanted to guarantee I’d be an expensive dinner date for the rest of my life. He’s also the one who introduced me to lobster. Thanks Daddy. Back then sushi restaurants were popping up in every strip mall on Long Island. Right next to the bagel places, Chinese restaurants & pizza places. Sometimes strip malls don’t suck. Anyway, we had certain favorites that we went to for years & we became friends with the sushi chefs, and some others that we went to once or twice & never went back to. One of the places we went to often (for a while anyway) had great sushi & a robata grill. Creatively named Robata of Tokyo, there was a roll on a special menu once that I loved. Every time we went back I’d request the roll—and have to explain it all over again each time. Eventually they just added it to the menu, where it still is today! Scroll to the bottom of the .pdf & look for the Spicy Mindy! Hilarious. I’d forgotten all about having a roll named after me until I started looking for Robata to reference it in this post. My very first menu item named after me. Dig it. Clearly I need to go back there & order it next time I’m home.
— the menu has remained essentially unchanged for about 15 years.
— they changed their name to Robata of New York, according to their site.
— nowhere on their website is there a reference to a robata.
— their website seems to be stuck in 2002.
Anyway. Moving on. The entire reason I looked that place up was because of that time I took Patterson to Union Sushi & Barbeque for alligator & we wound up staying for an entire meal? Remember that? No? It’s ok. It was only 2 days ago. This is what happened.
SOUTH OF THE BORDER, WEST OF THE SUN : Chinaco Blanco Tequila, Aperol, Grapefruit, Lime, Amber Agave Nectar
Chao hard at work
MAGURO: seared with avocado & truffle oil/truffle salt/parmesan/olive oil ESCOLAR: lime
"BUFFALO" DUCK WING: sweet chile and hot sauce butter, napa cabbage slaw + yuzu- blue cheese dressing
ROBATA: ALLIGATOR & KANGAROO & BEEF TONGUE
TAKO : with black rice
SAKE : with black rice, rice puffs, fried soba noodles & edamame
UNAGI & OLD CITY MARKET : Old City Market: spicy tuna, seared salmon, spicy ponzu, cilantro, green onion, fried okra + wrapped in collard green
Chao & Carlos & the rest of the staff were great fun, the drinks were crisp, we enjoyed everything we ate (the alligator was as wonderful as we hoped), & The Ramones were playing when I walked in. Go for the alligator. Stay for everything else. I’ve got a feeling their menu will change quite a few times in the next 15 years.
Also important & obligatory: I miss bagel places & pizza places.
Posted: June 4th, 2011 | Author: mindy. | Filed under: Blog | Tags: amazing, chicago, green city market, summer, Zingerman's | No Comments »
I love you the most.
Found at Green City Market this morning.
Those sun golds will be amazing with my other amazing burrata from Zingerman’s Creamery.
The one in this picture was served with cracked pepper, Old Town Oil 18 year old balsamic (seriously, some of the best stuff ever) & greens & tomato from Green City Market. Then it was promptly devoured.
Posted: May 30th, 2011 | Author: mindy. | Filed under: Blog | Tags: chicago, food, patterson, Shaws, Toons | No Comments »
Posted: May 18th, 2011 | Author: mindy. | Filed under: Blog | Tags: carlin, chicago, patterson, whoodle | No Comments »
We’re going to get a puppy & it’s going to happen soon. But since we’ve already got Carlin (our amazingly cute cat), whatever pup we get MUST get along with Carlin. Last night we had someone bring over a whoodle, to see if the 2 of them got along.
- Wheatie. Adorable.
- Carlin in a corner. Not happy about the visitor.
- How cute is Wheatie’s face? Carlin is making himself as puffy as he can be.
- Carlin stares down Wheatie, showing who is boss.
- Nose to nose.
- OMG. Cutest face in the world.
- He plays fetch too. LIKE A BOSS.
First off: let’s ignore the gross kitchen rug. Carlin ruined it a few weeks after purchase & I’m still looking for a replacement.
Sadly, even though I think the 2 could come to terms with each other, the whoodle isn’t going to be ours. He’s a year old & has never been trained. In the hour or so he was with us he nipped my foot, almost got punched by Carlin, headbutted me in the glasses & in the cheek (it’s going to bruise), and kept trying to stretch to the countertops. I’m feeling lucky he didn’t scratch them. He’s VERY possessive of things he takes (Carlin’s toys!) & wants to bite you when you try to take them. I think he could be trained, but it seems like it’d be a full time job. He is SUPER adorable. If life was different he’d totally be ours, but he’s not. Someone adopt him though. He’s so loving & sweet. Feel free to contact me if you want info on him. Seriously. Someone give him a home. He’s too cute not to have one. Oh, and can it be with one of my friends? So I can come play with him?
Posted: April 13th, 2011 | Author: mindy. | Filed under: Blog | Tags: chicago, food, hearty, omg did you see that caesar salad crouton?!? | 2 Comments »
Hey guys, remember that time where I had the fortune to sit in on a staff meal at Hearty & sample all their amazing additions to their Spring menu? No? Silly internet generation. What with your forgetting things before you’re even told about them.
Ok. I’ll refresh your memory.
A few days ago, @heartyboys posted this tweet:
Being a smart girl who loves a good meal, I quickly shot off an email that pretty much consisted of “pick me! pick me!”. For some reason Steve did. I’m unclear as to his logic, but I’m grateful for it.
Yesterday afternoon I was the lucky guest at Hearty staff meal and got to sit & listen to Dan explain each dish off the new menu, and then taste it. I’m going to walk you through my afternoon course by course. You’re going to read and be jealous, because while I was doing this you were in an office. Have I mentioned how much I love working for myself?
First thing to know: staff meals are hilarious. I mean, I suppose that depends on the staff, but the guys I sat near at lunch were adorable & funny & (I’d imagine) really good at their jobs. They certainly made me feel more comfortable. Want to make a great meal more enjoyable? Listen to someone discuss how he’s going to host a drag party called Umami Dearest.
I’ll stop talking now. Just look at all this.
Grilled Caesar Salad — Grilled romaine • parmesan filled French toast crouton • Worcestershire brittle
What a start. The crouton. OMG you guys. The crouton.
Beet Carpaccio — Raw shaved beet (candy stripe, golden, red) trio • baby greens • crispy goat cheese • extra virgin olive oil • red Hawaiian sea salt
Prettier than it appears here. Delicate & tangy.
Crispy Chicken Livers — Roasted garlic • cherry gastrique • grilled sourdough • microgreens
Do you like livers? Do you want to learn? This is a great starting point. Cornmeal coated they were so crispy.
Spinach Salad — Cage free poached egg • fried shallots • house smoked molasses bacon, panko crusted portabella mushroom
You read the description. You see this picture. The taste was better than both of them.
Hey @leahjones! SKA Brewing! ESB Special Ale
Buffalo Shrimp Basket — Celery root/carrot salad • blue cheese dip • chipotle cinnamon house potato chips
That’s right. Blue cheese & not ranch. As Anchor Bar intended. While everything in this dish was good, the potato chips were the star. Eyes bulged around the table as people tasted these.
Ramp Chicken — Seared French chicken breast • ramp butter • creamed corn & ramps • potato sticks
These ramps are as homegrown as homegrown can get folks. Dan said they come from behind his house in MI. A clear favorite for me.
Steak & Fries — Grilled Flat Iron steak (in a lime/cilantro marinade) • pistachio butter • polenta fries • sauteed lima beans
Patterson is going to love this. So will every other steak lover.
Beef a Roni — Braised shortribs • Old Kentucky Tom spaetzle • roasted butternut squash & tomato • fried onion
Meltingly tender. Falling apart soft. And the best spaetzle I’ve ever had.
White Marble Farms Pork Chop — Bacon/shallot spoonbread • whole grain mustard sauce • kale
A gorgeous 10oz. pork chop, sourced locally. Pork chops aren’t my favorite thing, but if I was going to eat one I’d like it to be this good.
IPA Grilled Poussin — Yam & Idaho croquette • bacon wrapped salsify • IPA syrup
IPA marinated. Bacon. Guys — you paying attention? BEER! BACON! #nom
Franks & Beans — Roasted bangers • tomato garlic beans • thick cut house cured molasses bacon • tomato beer biscuit
Everyone has their picky eater friend, yes? Well, if your picky meat eater friend is a meat eater tell them to get this. They’ll be happy they did & it might even get them to branch out a bit in the future.
Stuffed Piquillos — Spinach Port Salut Filling • egg white batter • roasted pumpkin seeds • tomato concasse
For a town that’s so meat-centric, there’s few vegetarian dishes that I’ve seen/eaten that I’ve liked anywhere near this much. After all the amazing food of the that I got to try, this is the dish that I was scouting for so I could have a few more bites.
Rock Shrimp Cake — Rock shrimp • warm tabbouleh salad (made with red quinoa) • grilled sourdough plank • Meyer lemon butter sauce • citrus relish
The one you’ll see on the menu will have 2 smaller cakes instead of one big one. The citrus relish will spotlight a changing variety of citrus. Ours had blood orange, Meyer lemon, ruby red grapefruit, & tangellos.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie — Chocolate • peanut butter • salted caramel • delicious
Just… make sure you order this, ok? If you’re anywhere within a 3 mile radius you should walk there immediately and order this. I’m not a sweets person & I loved it.
Some of the wines we sampled.
I wish I knew more about wine to be more specific. I couldn’t take notes fast enough on these. But you could look them up. Then you’ll know more than me.
So: I’ll be heading back to Hearty sometime very soon & my meal will consist of the Grilled Caesar Salad, the Spinach Salad, (possibly a Buffalo Shrimp Basket, depending on how hungry we are), Ramp Chicken, Stuffed Piquillos, and the Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie. Maybe 5 of those. And whatever Patterson wants to order. Thanks a ton guys! Any time you want to have me back I’ll happily come hungry & thirsty!!
Posted: April 8th, 2011 | Author: mindy. | Filed under: Blog | Tags: chicago, Chico, food, Gaztro-Wagon, patterson, tatiana | No Comments »
Take Gaztro-Wagon, Fritz Pastry, and Hum Spirits & the evil genius behind them all, and combine them into a week long pop-up restaurant and you know you’re in for a good time. But you don’t realize how good until you sit down in Logan Square Kitchen for your meal.
“A social collective experience” means that your entire table needs to agree on every course of the meal. Hopefully you & your friends like the same types of food. Luckily, our table did pretty well with this.
Our choices. We weren't a dessert kind of table.
My cocktail. Rather, this is one of quite a few of them that I had. My favorite of the night. This was the “tasting” size.
Hum / Homemade Ginger Beer / Basil / Balsamic / Citrus
Lovely start to the night. This dish had mixed reactions at our table. I liked it.
Course 1: Whitefish / Grapefruit / Yucca / Vanilla / Fennel
Love love love love this. My favorite dish & my worst picture. Whoops. I’d like it again please.
Course 2: Trout / Cauliflower / Golden Raisins / Caperberry / Foie 'brown butter'
So many Silence of the Lambs jokes. How did I not order a chianti? Yet, I still was able to pay attention to how enjoyable this was. There wasn’t a speck left on the plate.
Course 3: Fava Beans / Morels / English Peas / Leek Jus
Patterson loved this. Said it was like chicken pot pie.
Course 4: Pheasant / Brioche / Mushroom / Celery Root
I’d been waiting for this all night. Truffle honey. TRUFFLE HONEY! Good on anything you put it on, truffle honey could save the world. At least this one. Glimpse closes tonight. I’m heading over to stand outside the kitchen door & see if there’s any of this left.
Course 5: Sesame Chili Cracker / TRUFFLE HONEY / Candied Pecans / Quince / Humboldt Fog / Drunken Goat / Manchego
Wonderful night, with delicious food & company. Sadly, it’s a one time thing. Wish it was going to be around longer — or that I’d ordered more trout.
Posted: April 5th, 2011 | Author: mindy. | Filed under: Blog | Tags: gaztrowagon, ginger scallion sauce, momofuku | No Comments »
To be fair, I didn’t try the soup base. I just used the noodles & covered them in Momofuku’s Ginger Scallion Sauce. I’ve googled the recipe & saved it to various computers/iDevices/Evernote/Delicious multiple times. I was recently gifted the Momofuku cookbook (thanks Suzanne!) and it seemed appropriate that this was the first thing I made from it.
If we haven’t discussed this, I’m in love with the Momofuku restaurants & foods. I’m also convinced that this sauce could save the world. Or at least coat anything to make a delicious dinner. For dessert? Truffle Honey. More on that later this week.
Posted: March 27th, 2011 | Author: mindy. | Filed under: Blog | Tags: Arami, chicago, Dad, patterson | 1 Comment »
Note: I just realized that this was sitting in my drafts folder. Considering how much I love Arami I found this to be a shame & decided now is as good a time as any to share this wonderfulness with you, my 3 readers. Also important: this is from last October. I need to go back to Arami, ASAP.
However Arami did agree to let me come back as often as I’d like. As long as I promise to leave. Patterson & I took them up on this & went back a few nights ago with my Dad. I’ll let the amazing images speak for themselves. Not that these are the greatest pictures I’ve ever taken or anything, but it is some of the most outstanding sushi I’ve ever eaten. So there’s that.
Toro Tartare Bite
Miso Grilled Salmon
Negi Hamachi & Spicy Maguro
Hamachi Maguro Ebi
Maguro Chutoro & Zuke Sake
Salmon Skin Hand Roll
In case you’re wondering about the way to my heart, offering to take me to dinner here is a great start.