Posts for December 28, 2012

Video Feed: Meet a Tamale Lady

Gapers Block (which did a fine story on tamale sellers on the bar scene several years ago) points us to a poignant video on the subject by Carlos Martinez. It's centered on an interview with Marciala, a tamale lady who sells them near California and Milwaukee; the life she describes is undeniably hard and hardly seems much above the peasant life she left behind in Mexico... though it is also only possible in America with the aid of a van and a cell phone, which presumably would have been unaffordable in Mexico. In any case, it's a moving depiction of how an immigrant with few other skills gets by in Chicago, and the under-5 minute video will leave you wishing for more about the lives of these sellers.

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The Ten Best Ten Best Lists of 2012!

Okay, not exactly, but a lot of our local critics and observers are compiling end of year lists in lieu of doing reviews this week, so we're compiling a compilation of them. (If we missed one, let us know.) In true listicle fashion, we'll evaluate each one for three key factors: a general theme, the place or thing on the list we most want to check out, and what we think it means, or says about the writer and how he or she approaches our food scene. Check them out below.

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6 Videos That Showed You— And Us— Something We're Glad We Saw

It's the last day of a quiet work week, in which we've been doing our part to help you while away the hours by digging up cool stuff from 2012, the year in food at Grub Street Chicago. Today, we're putting up six of our favorite videos that we produced for Grub Street Chicago— from Jared Van Camp showing off his in-house flour mill at NellcĂ´te, to Jean Joho remembering Julia Child. Check those out below, and if you missed them, be sure to check out our favorite food photos of the year and our most memorable interview quotes.

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Slideshow: Stephanie Izard Talks About What's on The Little Goat Diner Menu

When we shot a Key Ingredient video at Girl & the Goat, the first thing we saw was bread— that is, dough rising on trays on every flat surface to be had in the kitchen and dining room. The runaway success of the restaurant after it opened in mid-2010 quickly pushed its facility to the breaking point, and led to the BOKA Group looking for a place to move the bakery operation offsite. The idea of a diner next to the bakery called The Little Goat was a joke at first, but two years later, the would-be joke opened for business at 7 a.m. this morning at 820 W. Randolph— a genuine diner space offering Izard's big flavor take on diner-style comfort food. We spoke last week with Izard about how her Mediterranean style of dinner cooking translates to all-day diner service, while our man Huge Galdones popped in to get the first shots of the interior and the food (which he says he ate about three lunches' worth of, and loved). Read our interview below, then check out the slideshow, and get hungry.

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Here’s How Dining Changed Across Grub Street USA in 2012

Ramen: no longer only big in Japan.Photo: Jakob N. Layman/Time Out New York

New York critic Adam Platt's Where to Eat 2013, which is on newsstands this week, breaks down some 60 clutch recommendations based on the thousands of restaurant meals Platt has eaten and the emerging trends — like the sudden flourish of small Italian places and resurgence of old-school French — he's noticed along the way. While we look forward to the New Year, we figured it'd be an ideal time to take one good look at how dining changed everywhere else in 2012.

Ramen, ramen, ramen. »

River North Hop Haus Space To Become Mercadito Late Night Dining Concept


From the description of the prospective tenant ("a national bar-restaurant") we thought something like a Quaker Steak & Lube was moving in there, so we have to count it good news by comparison that the Mercadito Hospitality Group is the one who plan to take over the Hop Haus space in River North, as reported a couple of days ago. Eater says that Mercadito chief Alfredo Sandoval says the plan is to open a new concept, developed with Tavernita chef Ryan Poli and the Tippling Bros. by early summer. Given the space's 5 a.m. license, it will be have a focus on drink, but the primary emphasis will be on offering late-night dining at a higher-than-Golden Nugget pancake house level— and in fact, Ryan Poli gave us a clue about that a few weeks ago in an interview, though we didn't know it at the time.

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