Monthly Archives: July 2013

Odds and Ends – July 14, 2013

Some brief thoughts on stuff I’ve eaten lately…

Taggarts – An old timey ice cream parlor in North Canton, Ohio. My client in the area strongly recommended this place and I would agree it’s worth checking out if you’re in the area. My burger was cooked perfectly but wasn’t really anything special beyond that. The real attraction here is the ice cream. All of the ice cream, sauces, etc are all made in house. My banana ice cream with hot fudge was pretty fantastic. Here is my “small” dish

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Tatami – This is a little sushi place tucked into the side of a strip mall in Glenview that I first heard about via Sky Full of Bacon. It’s a pretty basic neighborhood sushi place with somewhat upscale decor. They have a lot of the typical mayo-laden fashion rolls on their menu, but their sashimi and nigiri are actually pretty good and certainly in the upper tier of what you’ll find in Chicagoland. You’re probably best off sticking to the raw fish as well as any of the other more traditional Japanese items on the menu. I tried their agedashi tofu on my last trip in and it was really quite good.

TK’s Smoke Pit – Another Glenview spot (my wife recently finished up the run of a show there, thus the increase in suburban dining), this one serving BBQ. I generally find online BBQ discussion annoying so I’m not going to get into the nuances of the equipment they’re using, what kind of wood chips they use, the presence of a smoke ring, or what zip code the BBQ is authentic to…but I will say this: I thought their brisket was pretty good. I don’t recommend hopping in the car and schlepping to Glenview to eat it, but it’s a good option if you want to avoid The Truman Show, aka The Glen. Anyway, here’s the brisket

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Table, Donkey, and Stick – This was a somewhat heavy travel week so I was especially grateful to have this dinner to look forward to at the end of my week. This is the newer restaurant in the old Bonsoiree space in Logan Square which claims to honor “the eating and drinking traditions of the Alps”. We tried a bunch of dishes from the menu among four of us and I would say the standouts were a fried chicken liver appetizer and a trout main course. I think I liked the charcuterie (“wanderteller” since we are in the Alps) more than others at the table, the duck liver in particular. Dessert was a mixed bag between a very good chicharron/cherry chocolate ice cream dish and a not so great dish involving sweet peas and chocolate. Good service, nice patio…a nice place for a relatively straightforward, low-key night out.

Eleven City Diner (Lincoln Park) – I hate The Bagel. I think they prey on people looking for the nostalgia of Jewish deli/diner food by serving a seriously substandard product. I mean, their bagels seriously suck and this is in a town full of sucky bagels. Given this situatio we were thrilled when the Belden Deli opened at Clark & Belden. We immediately became regulars, and then all of a sudden the Belden Deli closed. Now, Belden Deli wasn’t perfect but it was still better than The Bagel. In the same space, we now have a new location of Eleven City Diner. I’m happy to report that Eleven City Diner is even better than Belden Deli (so, really at this point, The Bagel can just go and pound sand). The corned beef, pastrami, and nova lox are all exactly as they should be. They make their own root beer, which is expensive ($5 for a bottomless mug) but also pretty darn good. The only thing I haven’t liked is the matzoh brie which I think is more of a stylistic issue than anything else.

Flub a Dub Chub’s – Go for the Burgers

We first heard about Flub a Dub Chub’s from Chicago Magazine’s 2009 Best Burgers list. I checked it out on my own one day and was immediately charmed by the place. It’s below street level (right next to Chilam Bilam), the walls are adorned with children’s drawings and pictures of people who have dared to put ketchup on a hot dog, and it’s family-run.

At any given time you’re likely to find a family member working the register taking orders, and all of them are as nice as can be. Eating at Flub a Dub’s is actually a little like going over to their house to eat, right down to the TV remote that’s usually sitting on one of the tables that anyone can pick up and use.

Now, the food. Get a burger. Let me say that again. Get. A. Burger. They have a whole list of hot dogs and other things. Maybe they’re good, I wouldn’t know. This was the source of one of my more frustrating interactions on LTH. After talking up the burgers as much as I could, people would go order hot dogs and complain about them. I would say “you should really go try the burger”. Then the thread would go dormant only to have someone pop up and say “so, how are the hot dogs?”. Sigh. Maybe the hot dogs are terrible. I have no idea. But I do know that the burgers are fantastic.

My usual order is the Roe (named for the family matriarch, a school teacher when not at the restaurant). The Flub a Dub patty is decently thick (this is not a 30s style griddle burger) that’s char grilled and nicely seasoned. The Roe is topped with cheddar, bacon, and avocado. Like all of their burgers it’s served on a pretzel bun. Unlike Kuma’s (now with an outpost not too far from Flub a Dubs), the burgers are manageable and are actually cooked to order most of the time. Their fries are well cooked and seasoned food service fries, but again, focus on your burger.

I still don’t think Flub a Dub’s gets the attention it deserves. I have no idea why. But I love it, and it’s certainly one of my favorite burgers in town.

Flub a Dub Chub’s
http://www.flubadubchub.com/
3021 N. Broadway
Chicago, IL 60657
773-857-6500