Resident Foodies say: We ventured out to Left Coast, a cute cafe that specializes in organic, locally sourced food, juices, and smoothies. Today, we tried the Robust Rosa salad, consisting of kale, spinach, roasted broccoli, red onion, roasted tomato, toasted hemp seeds, avocado caesar dressing. It was fresh, healthy, and very tasty. We also tried the Light My Fire cold pressed juice (kale, spinach, romaine, cilantro, jalapeño, bell pepper, lime, sea salt) and the Fairways and Greens smoothie (spinach, apple, banana, avocado, spirulina, matcha tea, agave, lemon juice). Both were creative combinations, perfect for those who love veggie juice.
Resident Foodies say: To celebrate President’s Day, we treated ourselves to brunch at our favorite neighborhood breakfast place, Esencia Urban Kitchen. Today, we had the salmon sandwich, made with salmon, jalapeno spread, red onions, tomatoes, capers, ciabatta bread. The combination is oh so tasty. Yum yum.
Resident Foodies say: We went back to Esencia Urban Kitchen on this amazing spring-like day. We tried the pesto chicken grilled cheese sandwich. It’s delicious. Grilled chicken breast, house pesto, red peppers, red onions, white cheddar on sourdough, what more can you ask for?
Resident Foodies say: We finally made it over to Four Belly, which touts itself as selling Asian street food. Today, we had the veggie shuyu ramen, with veggie broth | soy sauce | spinach | menma bamboo | cabbage | scallion | nitamago egg | red pickled ginger. It was tasty! What we loved most was how many ramen noodles were served in the bowl. It was practically the entire bowl! Very thin ramen strands, but a ton of them. It’s the most filling and satisfying bowl of ramen we’ve had in Chicago.
We also had the grilled sweet corn served in house coconut milk. It was yummy, though probably not as good as the one at Sunda restaurant. That’s more of a fine dining place, though, while Four Belly is at a much cheaper price point.
Resident Foodies say: We went for breakfast today at Mortar and Pestle in Lakeview. We had the vanilla pancakes typically served with orange and thyme Butter, maple syrup, and powdered sugar. Today, though, we went sans butter and sugar. The pancakes were very good, but nothing too special. The menu, though, is very eclectic, with plenty of items, such as foie gras with eggs or on French toast, that you probably can’t find elsewhere. They also serve chicken and waffles on the weekend.
Vietnamese steamed pork ravioli
Resident Foodies say: We made it out to Simply It, a neighborhood Vietnamese restaurant near DePaul. It’s a cute little place on Lincoln Ave.
We tried the Clay Pot chicken (simmered with ginger and caramelized sauce in clay pot) as well as the Vietnamese steamed pork ravioli, a specialty of Northern Vietnam. Both were tasty dishes. The ravioli is reminiscent of the dim sum rice noodle rolls, given the use of the same style noodle. The flavor of the Vietnamese dish is more mild, but it has a nice combination of textures and flavors. The claypot chicken was tasty, but lacked the caramel sweetness of Slanted Door’s famous claypot chicken in San Francisco. The red peppers provided a nice contrast, but our dish could have use a few more peppers. For a neighborhood restaurant, though, Simply It is a pretty solid option, especially for lunch. Street parking was decent, too.