Show Me the Tex-Mex

Dear San Antonio, I asked you to show me the Tex-Mex, and you did. And then some. I have to admit, I was a little nervous at first. I mean, I was down for some good ol’ Tex-Mex. Yet no two people there could point me in the same direction. I was nervous. Only time […]


Things Are a Happenin’ in Chicago’s West Town

If you head on over to Chicago’s West Town neighborhood these days, you’re bound to find some new, tasty and happening restaurants. I recently dined at a couple of them that are worthy of some praise. First was West Town Tavern. Don’t think of your typical local tavern when you’re dining here. Recently awarded a […]



Chicago-Style Italian Beef-Off

If you’re not familiar with a Chicago-Style Italian Beef sandwich, you should be. Think of it as Chicago’s version of a Philly Cheesesteak, or a French Dip sandwich, but something that is our own. Simply put, it’s a large cut of beef that has been seasoned and roasted in the oven for a very long […]


2010 China Wine and Food Festival

I started my career as a student volunteer for one of the most prestigious wine and food festivals in the country, the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival (SBWFF), and was fortunate enough to be hired full-time to work on that event all year round when I graduated from Florida International University’s School […]


Los Angeles Food Crawl

Old Friends, Great Flavors Grateful for a welcome yet too-short trip to L.A. for work, I whizzed around the city in my rental car seeking out the latest burger joint, the best fish taco and new chefs on the scene. I had one (mostly) free night before I headed back to the Midwest, so I […]


The First Lettuce Entertain You Child

RJ Grunts 2050 N. Lincoln Park West Chicago, IL 60614 773-929-5363 www.rjgruntschicago.com Back in 1971, before Rich Melman’s many, many, many restaurant empire had formed, RJ Grunts was born. Set back on a quiet street in Lincoln Park, this simple restaurant has darn good burgers. And as a matter of fact, they even claim to […]


Authentic Szechuan in Chicago’s Chinatown

Lao Sze Chuan 2172 S. Archer Avenue Chicago, IL 60616 312-326-5040 With a trip to China in my near future, there wasn’t much time left to warm up my taste buds. I had heard the rave reviews about this small Chinatown establishment and couldn’t wait to try it out, so off I went one weekday […]


Chef Jose Garces – A Winner On & Off the Screen

These days, Chef Jose Garces might be best known for his winning victories on Food Network’s Iron Chef America, but his winning Philadelphia-based restaurant empire and hometown outpost in Chicago have been busy gracing “Best of” lists. Taking advantage of a visit to the City of Brotherly Love, I decided to try out what I […]