A tiny restaurant named Lazy Daze Café is to blame. Which is to say, after saving all his money working as a server, that’s the first restaurant Boka restaurant group co-counder Kevin Boehm, a University of Illinois dropout, opened in Seaside, Florida. “Lazy Daze Cafe was six tables. It was a two person operation: myself and my girlfriend at the time, Theresa. Small menu, small wine list, centered around fresh fish from the gulf, a few pastas, sandwiches & salads at lunch. I’ve always thought of it us my bachelors & masters education in restaurants, as every responsibility rested on both our shoulders,” said Boehm.
While North and South Siders duke it out for Chicago supremacy, West Siders have quietly gone about their business. They don’t need to assert anything because they’re too busy enjoying a wealth of culinary offerings their warring counterparts don’t even know about. The Westsiders would probably like to keep it that way, but the wealth of culinary delicacies, which includes terrific tacos and tortas, blistered juicy chicken, Eastern European dumplings, Michelin-level cooking, and even reinvented American comfort food, deserves its spot in the sun. Fortunately for you, we’ve got the rundown.
My very favorite thing to do as a food writer is to hop in the car and devote a day to just driving around the city looking for new spots or to rediscover old ones that no one ever talks about anymore.
Sometimes you feel like dining in your underwear. After all, Chicago only really has two inhumane climates: frozen and swampy. Spending significant time outside is often an irrational endeavor in our fair city. In fact, I’ve always thought because of the homebound experience of our citizenry, Chicagoans would make great pioneers in the colonization of Mars, where going outside, at least sans space suit, would be certain death.
In the pursuit to review as many new restaurants as humanly possible, I rarely have the opportunity to stop and tell you about the places I go to celebrate special occasions, the restaurants I visit when I have no agenda except personal satisfaction. Though people will always want to know what’s hot and new, they also ask about those dependable mainstays that make excellent backdrops for life’s momentous occasions (birthdays, anniversaries) and regularly occurring but important circumstances (Sunday brunch). Whether your hard-to-please parents are in town for the weekend or you’re scheduling a second Tinder date, there’s something here for every dining dilemma.