My country, the Philippines, land of gold and flowers, it was love that, as per her fate, offered up beauty and splendor. And with her refinement and beauty, the foreigner was enticed; Bayan Ko – a traditional Filipino song I did not grow up Pinoy. I am, apologies to all Jews and Filipinos, a pin-goy. I am the enticed foreigner, the dayuhan, or stranger, encapsulated in the lyrics of “Bayan Ko”, the patriotic anthem of the Philippines quoted above. I am mesmerized by the majesty of Filipino food. Advertisements
Aaat Laaast! You’ve heard it a thousand times, probably in the background of a jewelry commercial where some rich lady’s self-worth is confirmed by the receipt of a humongous diamond necklace. There’s the string section swell followed by the dusky croon of relief from Etta James that her lovelorn days are finally over. It is an earworm of the first order.
Thomas was a third-grade thug. He was the kid who got paddled by the principal monthly for infractions ranging from taking nips of art class mucilage from Elmer’s rubber orange nipple, to contorting his face grotesquely and eliciting guffaws from fellow classmates behind the teacher’s back.
Bowls of ramen are like snowflakes: no two are alike. At least that’s what many owners and chefs of Chicago ramen-focused spots told me.
For a long time, Mexican food in America was mostly a Tex-Mex hybrid featuring hefty doses of monterey jack and sour cream on deep-fried flour tortillas stuffed with meat. Not necessarily the stuff you’d find people eating in Mexico. It took pioneers such as Diana Kennedy and Rick Bayless to really open up the world of nuanced moles and hot griddled tortillas made from fresh masa.
People like to chirp about how Chicago dining is as good as New York City’s. Sometimes it’s better. Sometimes it isn’t. Oiistar, a new Japanese noodle spot in Wicker Park, is trying to stake a claim for Chicago, but it still has a ways to go. For now, New York, with Ippudo and Momofuku, still wins the ramen restaurant battle.
There’s a long letter posted on the door at Andy’s Thai Kitchen, a new restaurant in Lake View. There’s stuff about an old restaurant no longer being the restaurant it once was, things about a new chef, preserving Thai grandparents’ ancient recipes, and authenticity. As letters on restaurant doors go, it is long.