Saturday, September 2, 2017

return anew

So for years we had been going to this place called Rub's Backcountry Smokehouse for local BBQ and we were pretty darn happy with the products they had to serve there- but alas- as George Harrison sang "All Things Must Pass"....

here are some photos of the late Rub's

We were so happy to discover that they actually had just closed to revamp and re-brand themselves.  Apparently they had always been a Supply House for BBQ equipment and supplies and now they have a new name and a new identity and the eat-in space has basically doubled -

we ate outside because it was a nice day and being Labor Day weekend we are starting to feel the summer's end approaching us...

they have added a Carolina mustard based sauce to the three traditional ones they have had over the years (Citrus Chipotle, Smokey Sweet, and Smoked Jalapeno

the sides we picked were the truffled mac n cheese (not much truffle) and the baked beans - which were very good...

In the past I had ordered the brisket melt but now they have added a brisket "burger" which was terrific - chopped wagyu smoked brisket and cheddar and onions - an excellent and LARGE choice-

 Phil ordered the two meats entree with sliced smoked brisket and rib tips... then later we ordered TO GO with sliced brisket for both of us and pulled pork for Phil (because I already had a little meat loaf at home and Phil doesn't like meat loaf LOL (which is fine with me because I DO like it!)

so even though it isn't the same it is the same - a few more choices - an added sauce and a couple of entrees and some good dessert choices which we did not have room for- all made in cute little skillets! One thing remains the same- the great sign out front!

so it remains a thumbs UP with us....

last night Mike & Leslie came over for sushi and we carried in and did some wine tasting- no stars in the four or five wines we had- but the sushi was good and plentiful!

tomorrow night - we are back to Osteria Langhe, this time with John & Stephanie! I am in a complete and total "rut" there and I already know I will order their fabulous rabbit as my entree!

It's just too good to pass up!  Stay tuned! because next week is 100% booked with a concert of Brother Sun on Monday and a Mezcal tasting at Quiote (a Mondiale event through the Chaine) - then an Italian wine dinner at the Bristol - along with a concert at the end of the week but not before my path crosses for the third  or fourth time on the physical plane with my friend Carolyn Merrick! Yes you read that correctly - Carolyn and I have been friends since 1991 and even before Face Book managed to stay in touch for all those years - she was a newly wed and I was a single woman.  But here is the thing... two days after we met the people we were working with asked us if we had met in kindergarten because we had the ease of lifelong friends - LOL- so we became them...LOL

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

a bright idea

As I mentioned- we were headed with friends Ron & Mary to El Ideas tonight - kind of sort of to celebrate Ron's birthday but mostly just to have a nice dinner out... and that it was -

we met at the restaurant after passing through the barriers for filming of Chicago PD on the other end of the block and arrived right on time... kind of a miracle since we had left with no time to spare...

We got the menu at the end of the meal - which is always fabulous since remembering all those courses can get to be a real challenge..

my very favorite courses were the next two - followed by the French fries and milk shake course-

prepping for the fries and shake course-

 a terrific crab leg course-

this looks kind of dark and uninteresting but it was cherries and pistachios and foie- really excellent flavor combos-

goat cheese and fig and phyllo - yum!

in the kitchen-

all are happy campers as we finish the meal-

a lovely evening with friends -
and some amazing foods - #blessed  (Lee C. that one's for you!)

so off we go, on to more adventures in eating and drinking and music and eventually (in about two weeks) travel - when we head out to wine country in Oregon to visit with Steve & Suzanne (newly becoming empty-nesters) before returning in time to do our epicurean adventure in the Republic of Georgia- so as always - stay tuned!

soup dumplings!

so we hadn't yet found time to get to our favorite place for soup dumplings this summer... which made the choice of dining locations for last night's dinner quite easy...

off we went to Potsticker House in Bridgeport.... where we watched two guys make a complete and total mess of eating their soup dumplings - they picked them up with the sharp tongs and the soup burst out into the bamboo steamer - aaaaccckkkk.  Then the other guy picked his up somewhat carefully but bit into it over his plate holding it with chopsticks and - big surprise- all the soup went onto the plate LOL

What a waste! Luckily most of the patrons are Asian so the kitchen doesn't need to feel too badly about all their effort (soup dumplings aren't the easiest to make since the soup needs to be in gel form until the steaming process)

so when another table of "gweilo" guys* asked the server what was the specialty and then ordered the soup dumplings I felt compelled to help out and explain that you carefully place the dumpling on your spoon and bite into it, just a bit, to open it up, to slurp the soup and then you eat the tasty dumpling stuffed with pork and adorned with one of two "sauces" (a chili based or soy/vinegar based).  I didn't watch these guys but they were in the line of sight for Phil and he reported they were doing fine with actually getting to try the soup part of soup dumplings

We also had the eponymous house potstickers (long form not the little demilune) and the pancake with smoked pork and salt and pepper shrimp and a favorite fried rice with green onion and egg (which sounds blah but is actually really flavorful)- we also had the less than terrific shredded pork with celery and bean curd- (too much celery)

if you delve in you can see the menu has lots and lots of choices-

we were trying some cavas and this one disappeared quickly so that would be a good sign for purchasing more-

you can see from the lunch menu- this is not a place that caters to those who don't read Chinese LOL  - they actually do have what they refer to as an "American Chinese" menu with the usual crap stuff like sweet and sour pork and kung pao chicken LOL but you can get stuff like that any place so why bother driving a half an hour to eat here....

for those of you not familiar with Chicago neighborhood geography - Potsticker House is located near-ish to Chinatown but in Bridgeport - and it across from a district police station (read SAFE) and they have parking in the rear but we always find street parking-

tonight we return to El Ideas another south side place - this one on the cutting edge of fine dining from Chef Phil Foss.... my two favorite courses from last visit are shown below- OK my three favorites - because it was too hard to choose--- LOL

so I will report back on that meal later - meanwhile if you were wondering -

*Gweilo (Chinese: 鬼佬) is a common Cantonese slang term for Westerners. In its unmodified form, it applies only to European ethnicities and has a history of racially deprecatory use. Cantonese speakers frequently use gwailou to refer to Westerners in general use, in a non-derogatory context,

see you when we return... because i have to keep up - the calendar is quite full and there will be wine dinners (The Bristol) and Chaine events (the Mondiale mezcal event at Quiote) and also coming up Oriole (with brother Larry) along with several concerts - and several dinners with friends.... #lifeisgood