Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Bits & Morsels

Apple Pancake at The Original Pancake House in Chicago.
"Bits and Morsels" by Jordana Z, is an ongoing collection of information from the world of the foodies and foodblogs:

More from Chicago: My favorite morning activity is waking up to a hearty breakfast; and there's no better place than The Original Pancake House in Chicago. Eating there is like stepping back in time to 1953 when the chain was first founded.

The house special is the Apple pancake, which is basically an enormous pancake smothered in apples and cinnamon and baked until it resembles (in smell and taste) an apple pie. I also like the Dutch Baby pancake, which is more like a thin crepe, baked, and served with lemon and sugar.

A good way to work off the breakfast above is to take a stroll down Michigan Avenue. Michigan Avenue is to Chicago what Fifth Avenue is to New York. It’s the perfect place to people watch and shop big (yes, they've got Apple, Niketown, etc.).

Garrett Popcorn, a local Chicago favorite, has a shop right on Michigan Avenue. They are known for their popcorn mix which is a blend of caramel and cheddar popcorn. It’s a great combination of salty and sweet. Garrett Popcorn recently opened in New York, so head to 46th and Fifth Avenue when your craving the mix.
The dutch baby at The Original Pancake House ... ... which comes with the Dutch baby.
A regular stack. Salami with egg whites.
For a more established Chicago haunt, Charlie Trotter’s is a no-brainer. It's been around for over twenty years, and is consistently ranked among the top five restaurant’s in the country and one of the top thirty restaurants in the world. The cuisine is modern bordering on experimental. I ordered the vegetarian tasting menu, which was fantastic, especially the Organic Eggplant with Saffron, Black Cardamom and Sous vide Green Thai eggplant. It always amazes me to see how a talented chef can transform otherwise mundane ingredients into delectable works of art.
Charlie Trotter's, in season.
The team at Trotter's.
A study in mushrooms.
Sugar donut hole.
The kitchen.
Cumin-scented cauliflower with purple couscous.
A study in eggplant.
Maca root sorbet with quinoa.
Chocolate chip and olive oil gelato
The wine cellar.
For a slightly more casual dining experience, head to the RL restaurant. RL opened in 1999 and is the only RL in existence (it's also located next to the world’s largest Polo store). And so, the décor is exactly what you would expect. Polo from floor to ceiling, vintage photographs of Ralph Lauren, lots of bookshelves, etc. The cuisine, like the designer, is American classic, serving up fried perch, Brussels sprouts, baked mushrooms, and sweet potato cake, which I highly recommend.
Fried perch. Sweet Potato cake.
RL's Brussel Sprouts. Eat your greens!
My favorite Chicago eats had to be the warm chocolate and chestnut-filled beignets and Green tea Semifreddo at Japonais. Japonais is a high energy Japanese restaurant not dissimilar to Nobu. They serve up everything from sushi to fried rice. And just when you expect something serious, they roll out a Japanese version of coffee and donuts. It’s worth the trip for the beignets alone.
Vegetable fried rice.
Wild Atlantic salmon.
Chilean Sea Bass cartocio.
Vegetable tempura.
Coffee and Donuts -- green tea Semifreddo with chocolate and chestnut-filled beignets.
Tasty History. A historian in Berlin discovered the oldest known recipe for German sausage. Dating back to 1432, the recipe calls for sausage makers to use only the highest quality meat or be subject to a fine. This discovery highlights the fact that some food safety laws were set in place 600 years ago. [Reuters]

Do Vitamins have the same effect as eating a healthy diet?  Recently a few studies on the impact of vitamins have come up short. This has lead many to question the value of ingesting vitamins as opposed to absorbing the essential vitamins from the likes of a healthy diet. The new direction for vitamin studies is to explore them not as distinct units but in combination with the other elements in the same food. [Well]

Till we eat again,
Jordana Z.

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