For great Mexican food at a good price, head to Rabanitos Restaurant & Taqueria. Located in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. Rabanitos offers flavorful, authentic food and warm hospitality. Before going to the National Museum of Mexican Art (just two blocks away) and taking a walking tour of the area’s vivid murals, my friend and I had lunch here.
We both got tortas, i.e. sandwiches. She ordered the Carnitas and I had the Cubana. Great bread, wonderfully spiced meats and fillings. I also got a drink, the Jamaica, which was a not too sweet juice. I’m not sure what fruit it’s made of, but it tasted like it had some grape.
The host was all smiles and genuine hospitality. The decor is colorful and cheery. At one point a guitarist came in and played. We think the made the rounds of the nearby restaurants, playing for tips. I’m not 100% sure. Perhaps the restaurants also pay him something.
The sandwiches were huge and could feed 3. If there were more of us, I’d have suggested getting several items and sharing them. We wound up getting doggie bags and were glad to have more tortas later.
Our sandwiches were $10 each and the drink was $2.50. I’ll definitely be back.
Address: 1758 W. 18th St. One block west of the Pink Line’s 18th St. stop.
Last week I tried Ewa’s Pierogi in Glenview for lunch. My friend who knows Polish food suggested Ewa’s which is near the public library on Glenview Road.
The small restaurant is cheery and light. They offer all you’d expect from a Polish restaurant, beet soup, chicken soup, fried and steamed pirogies filled with spinach, mushrooms, meat or potatoes. We ordered a plate consisting of a mix of flavors. They were quite flexible to get the variety we wanted. The pirogies were delicious and the portions generous.
Cherry pierogi with strawberry garnish and sour cream
We also had cucumber salad in a yogurt sauce, which something I liked and had had before in other cuisines.
For dessert, we tried the cherry pirogies, which were a change of pace. I thought they’d be better with a lighter wrap or perhaps fried.
You can order wine or beer as well as soft drinks. The service was attentive and I liked trying something new. I’d definitely return.
NY Strip Steak with Bone Marrow Gravy and Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes
It’s Chicago Restaurant Week till February 7. Today a friend drove down from Milwaukee and I planned to have lunch at the Peninsula Hotel, but didn’t have a reservation and there were no tables. That was disappointing but okay because Michael Jordan’s Steak House is nearby and I’d viewed their menu.
Participating restaurants offer $24 three course lunches and dinners for either $36 or $48. It’s a time when you can get a good deal at a pricey eatery.
We both ordered the Caesar salad, which was huge. Then I got the N.Y. Strip Steak while my friend got a fancy cheeseburger made with chuck, brisket and short ribs. My steak came with a lovely sauce and mashed potatoes. Her burger came with fires. I’m not a big meat eater, but this steak was divine. For dessert I had the chocolate parfait, while Maryanne got the banana pudding. Again we were both delighted.
Bittersweet Chocolate Parfait
The service was attentive and friendly. Both our waiter and the maitre’d were attentive and welcoming.
Beverages are extra.
Looking back I think we should have tried the blue cheese fondue as a starter. We didn’t need it, but I’m curious.
You can see Michael Jordan’s Steak House Restaurant Week lunch and dinner menus here.
French restaurant, Mon Ami Gabi
has a terrific menu for Chicago Restaurant Week 2018. For $22 you can get a three course meal. I was torn between a salad and French onion soup, then I figured I can make the salad, but when am I going to make French onion soup. This was a delightful choice. Every spoonful of the soup, cheese and bread was heavenly.
For the entree, I followed a similar thought process. The quiche looked tempting, but when would I make steak and pomme frites? I got the steak and it was so tender and delicious.
To top this all off, the meal finished with petite servings of creme bruelé, chocolate mousse and profiteroles. Ahh, these were so cute, so decadent, but yet small enough that the guilt was manageable. If Oakbrook weren’t so far, I’d go back tomorrow.
Our server was attentive, except for forgetting to bring the condiment my cousin requested. However, it was a small thing and he apologized for the small slip.
I tried Goddess and the Baker last week for an inexpensive, pre-theater dinner with my friend. Goddess and the Baker offers a wide selection of sandwiches, soups and salads. They have a lot of drinks including fancy juices, coffee drinks, liquid chocolate, soda, wine, and beers. I enjoyed my turkey sandwich, but it was too big. I wish you could order half a sandwich.
I would have gotten a cookie or brownie, but they were over $3. At $2.50 or a little more, that’s a splurge. These treats were priced higher than I’d pay. It’s for the best as when the sandwich came, I saw it was more than I needed. I just got a Coke™ but they had a lot of fancy drinks that looked beautiful and probably were tasty.
The space is cheerful, but fills up quickly. I imagine at lunch time’s best to get there early. One more warning. I tried to pay with cash. Guess what? They don’t accept it. Go figure.
I’ve been to Pinstripes for lunch and dinner numerous times and have always been pleased with the food and service. When my sister suggested we go to brunch this weekend, I said I thought Pinstripes offered brunch.
When I got there I was amazed at what was offered. They had a stand for omelettes, one for bagels, one for waffles that you could have topped with cinnamon apples, Bananas Foster, whipped Nutella™, and more. There were buffets with pizza, salads, hot dishes, fries, pasta, yogurt parfaits, fruit, pastries. Mimosas are $4 and Bloody Mary’s are $7. Coffee and tea are available for $4 too.
The place was hopping and it was hard to take pictures, but I’ll return and try to get a few more.
It’s $25 for adults, $12 for kids 6-12 and kids under 6 are free.
On Webster Street near DePaul, Floriole offers a beautiful setting for its coffee, bakery goods and food. The decor is warm and modern.
I was prepared to love this spot, which was new to me. However, my quiche was so disappointing. In fact, it was the worst I’d ever had. The Starbucks in China offer consistently good quiche for less. How I missed it. This quiche was very custardy or gooey in a way that didn’t appeal to me at all. I ate about half and didn’t enjoy the egg part at all. The price was more than double Starbucks. Also, it’s a place where there’s no table service.
The Unappealing Quiche
I should have gone up to complain, but I didn’t want to make a fuss. My introversion got in the way. It’s a shame they don’t have employees asking if everything’s alright. I probably would have mentioned the quiche and given them a chance to make me more satisfied.
Their hot apple cider was good, but smaller than I expected for the price.
I might go back, but I’d order something different.