Chicago is filled with wonderful restaurants, as you all know. Below I offer a few comments on places near where I hang out these days, each of which satisfies a certain edge of loneliness when I visit. And, to be truthful, when I eat. . .
First: Zapatista is on Wabash Avenue, and is a mexican place. (Yes, there are multiples, but I only care about the South Loop location.) I tend to head there on Saturday late afternoons for "lunch." I always have -- well, almost always -- the same thing -- a few different kinds of enchiladas. I have been known to have a margarita when with someone else -- or a mojito -- but usually have the high end drink -- an Arnold Palmer (aka half and half iced tea and lemonade). I have also had their guacamole (made to order, and available with jicama sticks or corn chips) which is almost as good as my own, and a few other specials now and then. All in all, this is a likable, fun spot and I recommend it. It can be crowded when you are not going at my "off times" -- and the outside can be a tad sunny -- which is great some days and a bit much others. I prefer the high tables in the bar. Here's the urbanspoon view:
Second: the Eleven City Diner. Yes, this is about at 11th street and is on, I think State Street. It aims to be a contemporary (kind of ) version of a New York City neighborhood spot. The ambience is a mix of hip and . . . deli, with various pictures of rabbis and Israel flags about. An acquaintance of mine says they yell all the time in there. I have never experienced this. I usually sit at bar or counter, and eat either breakfast (latkes with a side of crispy bacon) or dinner (mac and cheese). At dinner I almost always (ok, when I am by myself) have a chocolate phosphate. I have also been known to dine on the red velvet cake. I have to stop. Meanwhile, I did once purchase a whole one to take to a campus event. It was a tad price-y but worth it. And, be forewarned: it weighs a LOT. Carrying it even a few blocks was a challenge. But worth it. Why? The icing. Here's the urbanspoon view:
Third: Yolk is a brunchish place and I have been there twice. The real reason I return is the fresh strawberry banana juice. The frittatas are pretty good, though I usually like everything with blue cheese in it and I might not recommend their frittata of that ilk. Service is wonderful and the serving size means I can have whatever I order for dinner as well. Here, too, we have a group of restaurants across Chicago, vut I only care about the one at 1120 South Michigan. I have only been there on Sunday in the morning(ish when it can be crowded and have always been at the counter. The coffee is pretty darn good. Here 's the urbanspoon view:
None of these is truly cheap, but they are not high end spots either. In some ways, pretty routine places to eat -- and that is why I find them comforting.
There are of course many more places to eat in Chicago -- even in the South Loop -- and I will write about some in future months, but this gets me back starting to blog about. . . eating!