Eating Chicago

Between days at work and evenings unpacking, a girl’s gotta eat. Lucky for me, my neighborhood is far from lacking in options where sustenance is concerned. I’m just two blocks from a grocery store, so keeping my (full-sized) refrigerator stocked isn’t a problem of availability. Rather, I have to remind myself to just shop for what I can make at home rather than head out to the myriad restaurant options within walking distance. In just over a month (two weeks of which I haven’t even been in town), I’ve managed to check out a fair share of what’s near by, and I gotta say – I don’t hate it.

Miko Sushi – just up the street on Lincoln Ave, found myself at this spot for a weeknight dinner with a former colleague and good friend. My typical weeknight meal is hummus and red wine, so a night with a real meal is a treat. We splurged on wine, appetizers and several signature rolls and our tab was still under $50 each. Toto, we’re not in Manhattan anymore.

Fork / Bakin’ And Eggs / Danny’s Egghead Diner – Like NYC, Chicago has brunch down to a science. Yelp the word “brunch” and in any given neighborhood a stack of options pop up. Near me, I’ve discovered Fork for pretty plates and a young vibe and Danny’s Egghead Diner for, well, a diner vibe with no-nonsense breakfast options with a twist. And just east of me in Lake View, I got to check out Bakin’ and Eggs, with their self-serve coffee while you wait for a table, their bacon flights and BYOB, and their cupcakes worth picking up as you head out.

Jeri’s Grill – I ended up at this gem after a night out, and I need to get back when I’m more…sober. A total dive in the best way, it’s an all-American 24-hour joint with a diner counter and a few booths. Have the patty melt or biscuits and gravy or grilled cheese and tomato soup; soft drinks are served in a can and it’s cash only. Perfection.

Revolution Brewery / Any Place At All – if there’s one thing Chicago does almost as well as it does deep-dish pizza, it’s local craft beer. Head to any diner, bar or kitchen and you’ll find the standards on tap alongside an enviable selection of local options. On my list still is the taproom at Half Acre, just a block away…and pretty much any other place I happen to pop into.

El Asadero Taqueria – this one is dangerous. Around the corner from my place, it’s a cash-only burrito joint with amazing guacamole and cold Mexican coke. The saving grace is the cash thing; as I live and die by my debit card, I don’t always have money on me to stop for a taco special, saving both my budget and my waistline.

Mythos – I walk by this spot every day on my way to the train, and after a coworker recommended it, it was officially on my list. And it lives up to its reputation, with flavorful and fresh traditional Greek fare in large portions. A BYOB spot (super common around here!), it started to fill up quickly on the Saturday night I was there, and I can see why.

The plan is to be better about eating in when I’m not traveling – I enjoy my time in the kitchen (usually), and it’s certainly best for my bank account. But who ever had fun sticking to the plan?