Eater's Digest: Chicago

Previously on Adam Riff™ (2012):

Martin Scorsese-Inspired Tasting Menu (iNG)

The chef behind that menu killed himself last year.


January 2016
parachute / dusek's / honey butter fried chicken / kuma's corner / boeufhaus / panes bread cafe / gus's world famous fried chicken / ¡bang bang! pie and biscuits / dos urban cantina / pub royale / au cheval / sultan's market / jeni's splendid ice creams / the duck inn

Parachute was Eater's 2014 Chicago Restaurant of the Year, and Bon Appétit named it one of America's best new restaurants last summer.

Baked Potato Bing Bread (Parachute)
bacon, scallion, and sour cream butter

The apogee of Chinese sesame bread.

Yukhoe (Parachute)
beef tenderloin, pear, pinenuts

Beef tartare wrapped in thinly-sliced pear.

Dolsot Bi Bim Bop (Parachute)
spanish octopus, n'duja, squid ink, gai lan, gochujang, soft egg

When mixed up, it turned all black.

A single-colour rice bowl that was one-note – spicy – in taste.

Pork Belly and Mung Bean Pancake (Parachute)
kimchi, black garlic, hen egg, pineapple

Also one-note in taste – sour.

Cookie Dough (Dusek's)
fernet chocolate chips, egg custard ice cream, mint, chocolate cremeux, cookie powder

Dusek's' pastry chef likes chocolate with fernet – fernet chocolate chips for dessert, a chocolate and fernet custard yeast donut for brunch.

Malted Bittersweet Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwich (Dusek's)
charcoal compressed banana, charcoal caramel, white coffee, honey compressed figs

Oddly muted in sweetness.

Honey Butter Fried Chicken (Honey Butter Fried Chicken)
honey butter, corn muffins

"Don't forget to put the butter on the bird!" they say.

Fried chicken + honey butter = fried chicken that tastes like chicken and waffles – waffles.

Original Fried Chicken Sandwich (Honey Butter Fried Chicken)
fried chicken strips, candied jalapeño mayo, crunchy slaw

Kuma's Corner is "a burger joint with a heavy metal attitude."

Kuma Burger (Kuma's Corner)
bacon, sharp cheddar, fried egg, tomato, onion

I should've ordered a more interesting burger—

—but I wanted to try the "famous" original.

Shortrib Beignets (Boeufhaus)
braised rib, natural jus

Doughnut holes filled with beef.

Ceci Bean Cavatelli (Boeufhaus)
haus merguez, caramelized shallot, fried ceci bean, caciocavallo, paprika jus

Ceci bean = chickpea. It's a Middle Eastern-flavoured pasta dish.

I dig fried chickpeas as a crunchy component in food.

Orange Chocolate Pie (¡Bang Bang! Pie and Biscuits)
orange curd pastry cream, chocolate cookie crust, dark chocolate drizzle

Spiced Tart Cherry Pie (¡Bang Bang! Pie and Biscuits)
mulled tart cherries, leaf lard pastry crust, pecan crumble

They swapped out their Chocolate Pecan Pie, which I was stoked to try, a few days before I arrived in Chicago. [grumbling]

Chicharrones (Dos Urban Cantina)
french onion yogurt

Pork rinds in French onion dip.

Chips and Dips (Dos Urban Cantina)
guacamole, guajillo salsa, pumpkin seed hummus

The pepitas hummus tasted peculiar.

Shrimp Taquitos (Dos Urban Cantina)
tomato broth, avocado, pickled vegetables

The broth is sensational.

Raw Scallops (Dos Urban Cantina)
spicy lime aguachile, chia seeds, roasted sweet potato

I'm not keen on raw scallops, but these were good.

Sweet Corn Tamal (Dos Urban Cantina)
charred parmesan, tomato salsa

Piloncillo Sugar Pie (Dos Urban Cantina)
malted whipped cream, pecan toffee

Doughnut (Pub Royale)
chai dolce de leche

Deep-fried naan dough with a dulce de leche glaze spiked with chai spice.

Cheeseburger (Au Cheval)

People queue for hours to eat this cheeseburger, the cheese in which is Kraft American Singles. Maybe it's the optional thick-cut peppered bacon?

Food Network named it the best burger in America last summer.

It has a very creamy mouthfeel.

Pompazo Sandwich (Panes Bread Cafe)
spicy chicken breast, homemade pesto, tomato, and provolone cheese

Falafel Sandwich (Sultan's Market)
a warm pita lined with hummus, stuffed with falafel, tomatoes, topped with jerusalem salad

Favourites from my time living in Chicago. Still tasty after all these years.

B-Boys makin' with the lentils and rice.

Duck Fat Dog (The Duck Inn)
chicago style, instant pickle

Shrimp and Duck Lumpia (The Duck Inn)
Sweet Chili Sauce

The Duck Inn was Eater's 2015 Chicago Restaurant of the Year.

Fried Cheese Curds (The Duck Inn)
bloody mary ketchup, hoppy mayo

[fingertip kissing Italian chef]

Rotisserie Duck (The Duck Inn)
salad of duck drippings, potatoes, fall greens, roasted pears and apples, gooseberry vinaigrette

You have to order this in advance, and restaurant staff note your special order with a rubber ducky.

The duck breast was dismayingly tough. The salad stole the show.


Sea-cuterie (Travelle)
—"A seafood-inspired take on charcuterie – whitefish rillettes, thinly-sliced octopus carpaccio, a 'bouillabaisse' aspic bombe in which bits of shellfish are suspended…"

Pastrami Croquettes (Boeufhaus)
rye panko, tallegio, mustard aioli

Sunbutter Sandwich (Wyler Road)
sunflower seed butter, honey jam, toasted sunflower seed, whole wheat
—A variation on a PB-and-J?

Chicken Salad Sandwich (Wyler Road)
chicken breast, fried chicken skin, chimichurri, sour grape jam, whole wheat

Goatsnake Burger (Kuma's Corner)
herbed goat cheese, poblano corn relish, cholula lemon vinaigrette, buttermilk breaded frizzled red onion

Ice Cream Float (Dusek's)
cafe racer coffee soda, espresso tapioca, salted rum condensed milk, ginger beer ice cream
—This has since been replaced by Fried Stout [!!!].

Dressed Hamm's (Pub Royale)
hot sauce, spiced salt, lime

(Pork and Mindy's)
—The Sandwich King's restaurant.


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