Travel

Is it Halal? How to Figure Out What’s In Ethnic & American Foods

Restaurant Tortellini

Based on my own experience with a variety of world cultures and foreign languages, trying everything from food in the the US, Mexico, Southern Europe and the UK, I’ve developed these tips for deciphering specialty foods, international cuisine menus and grocery items so you’ll know what to watch out for whether you’re dining out, shopping or staying in places like ... Read More »

If You’re really Into Molecular Gastronomy…or Don’t Even Know What It Is

octopus at Alinea (www.alinea-restaurant.com)

Check out this site by Martin Lersch about molecular gastronomy and the science of cooking. It’s interesting cooking, done with super modern techniques that use nitrogen and other methods to create incredibly rare menus.  If you’re from Chicago or are a super foodie, think Grant Achatz and how he artistically designs and cooks food at Alinea. If you’re like me and dream of visiting ... Read More »

Unique Ice Cream Flavors Hit the Spot

I know, I’ve already posted about my gelato fix more than once this month,  but I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to tell you about my favorite ice cream place close to home. We try to take all our out-of-town guests here for a treat of unique ice cream flavors made daily with fresh, all natural ingredients. Rainforest Crunch: creamy vanilla with acai berry ... Read More »

Chicago French Market

When you live in a big city like I do, it doesn’t mean you always get a chance to see the touristy spots like visitors usually do. We are busy on weekends, working during the week and so most of the time the only real excuse we give ourselves to enjoy Chicago is when family or friends come to visit. ... Read More »

Gelato at Trattoria Oliveri

Do you ever just have a craving for a nice cold gelato after a long walk? Recently, after exploring our nearby forest preserves and parks (we have some great ones in Chicago) I thought a gelato would be a perfect way to end the walk and relax on a warm spring day. The only problem was finding one. We headed to downtown ... Read More »

A Staycation at the Chicago Botanic Garden

  One of the joys of living near a big city, in my opinion, are the public botanic gardens. Among my favorites in the U.S. are the Japanese Gardens of San Francisco and the English Gardens of Roanoke Island in North Carolina. If I ever go back, I’d love to take photos of the splendors there.  In Chicago, we have one of the nicest ... Read More »

City Hall Bake Shop: Home of “Cake Boss”

Italian Flag Cookies by Cake Boss

  Many visitors to Manhattan miss out on the great opportunity to visit nearby Hoboken, NJ.  I have done the same on past trips to The Big Apple, but my most recent trip afforded me the great pleasure and impetus to try visiting the bustling bakery of Buddy Valastro (a.k.a. “Cake Boss”) and his family. Cake Boss is a reality ... Read More »

Chez Colette and Breakfast Eggs with Smoked Salmon

On a cold, blustery winter day in search of some comfort food in a warm setting, we trekked out to a French-American restaurant called Chez Colette.  Actually, anything would have been warmer than outside at that time, but this place was especially inviting. Conveniently located inside the Sofitel Hotel in Rosemont, IL near Chicago’s O’Hare airport and the Rosemont Convention ... Read More »

Rosa Mexicano: Authentic Urban Mexican Food Done Right

  Restaurant recommendations can go a long way, but I always take them with a grain of salt. One never knows how another person’s taste buds are guided or what price range is acceptable to another. I like good recommendations, but doing a little research ahead of time usually gives me a bit of an idea on whether or not ... Read More »

A NYC Halal Cart Known By Its Street Address

53rd and 6th Halal Cart

I’ve been to New York City many times as a tourist and have even stopped just to eat at this halal cart in Midtown Manhattan late at night while on our way to Rhode Island.  As far as I know, the cart didn’t really have a name until it gained so much popularity by people describing it’s exact location: 53rd and 6th St., ... Read More »