Posts Tagged ‘restaurant’

Hungry Z, NBC Chicago Street Team

Do you feel the buzz? Do you hear the sizzle? Within a one mile radius you’ll find a multitude of exciting dining options, but where? Downtown Chicago of course! Nope, try downtown Arlington Heights instead! This hot suburb is home to a little piece of Mexico.”Javier’s” is no small taqueria, but rather a large bustling restaurant, that features four unique dining rooms. From wonderful art to a collection of Mayan masks, each room transports you to a south of the border get away. The large menu reads like a novel, but rest assured, each dish is given special attention.javiermask2

While the customary chips and salsa are provided, patrons should wake up their palates with the “chori queso”. A zesty combination of chorizo, poblano’s, and Chihuahua cheese that primes your senses for the joy that is still to come. That joy comes from savory enchiladas. Corn tortillas filled with beef, chicken, and/or cheesed and smothered in sauce and topped with creamy Chihuahua cheese; fill your soul as well as your stomach.javierqueso

For more carnivorous folks, there are multiple steaks to choose from. A fine choice would be the marinated and charred skirt steak. While not the most tender cut of beef available, you do get big beef flavor and plenty of rice and refried beans for about a 1/3 of the usual steak price.

Your journey must end on a sweet note. For about five bucks, guests receive a dessert that is most definitely sharable. The large scoop of fried ice cream is accompanied by sweet crisp tortilla strips, while the deep fried plantain is split with creamy vanilla ice cream and drizzled with sweet cajeta.javierplantain

How much will your Mexican get away run you? Dinner for two with drinks and tip runs about $50. Overall “Javier’s” offers wonderful art, suburban parking (free), and food that tickles your tongue.
8 West Miner St. Arlington Hts, IL


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Paul M. Banks a.k.a. The Sports Bank

Welcome to the Scout Seats/Lounge!

“White Sox fans are very blue-collar” says Chicago Tribune White Sox beat writer Mark Gonzales in an annoyingly inaccurate commercial. Perhaps you’ve seen this Tribune spot where they showcase the beat writers for both local teams. Gonzales, and those who stereotype Sox fans this way are dead wrong.  I’ve profiled three places at U.S. Cellular Field where the congregating Sox fans have plenty of income. Or coin, moolah, bread, cheese, cheddah, scrilla, paper, bills, jack, c.r.e.a.m.,or dinero. Now I’ll bring you inside the most exclusive place in the park and the seats that are closest to the action, the Scout Seats,
which opened during the World Series year of 2005.

Amenities include
• Private lounge for entertaining clients and guests
• Premium buffet in private lounge with all beverages included
• Private access to best seat locations in the park
• Invitations to exclusive White Sox events

The heavenly decadent extravagance of the chef’s table buffet equals the gourmet spread you get upstairs in the Bards’ Room. (Where the credentialed media eats) Being a White Sox history geek, I know the dining hall is named after the Woodland Bards club, basically the Southside’s answer to the West Side Rooters Social Club (Cubs) or the Royal Rooters (Red Sox). 

Getting back to the gentlemen of this day, the Scout Lounge regulars tell me this is where Owner Jerry Reinsdorf and GM Kenny Williams eat.  I believe them too because I saw Manager Ozzie Guillen come in an hour before the lounge opens to get his coffee. (No cream, 2 Equals is how he took it) There’s a lot of juice in this club, and I’m not talking about the beverages. John Malevitis is an attorney who attended 79 of the 81 home games last season. When he missed two games in a row, the bartender called him to see if he’s sick or not. (Yes, I do plan on making this guy an interview subject for a future story) Baseball nerds like us also appreciate the Club’s most memorable feature: a behind-the-glass collection of prized White Sox memorabilia that is shown during the White Sox pre-game introduction on the scoreboard.

The scout seats are sold out. Click here for the waiting list

For the full and more detailed version of this story go here

For more Chicago Sports Discussion and Fun go here 

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Fayth (aka Relaxocat), NBC5 Street Team

DJ promoter, underground scene innovator, owner of recording label Music 101 (DJ Derrick Carter is on the label), and former owner of Mad Bar, Arman Razavi opens his new sleek yet laid back, bi-level restaurant and lounge, The Cat’s Meow, this weekend.  The official grand opening bash is Saturday, July 19 with a live set by FFM (Sombionx) which should have you going to 3 a.m.

If you’re interested in checking it out even sooner, there’s an “under the radar” opening and birthday bash for Dion Antic tonight (July 18).  Who’s Dion Antic?  He is a Chicago impresario known for his former hot spots such as the old Harry’s Velvet Room, Iggy’s (remember how cool the original Iggy’s was?), Fahrenheit, and Bar 13, to name just a few.  Utter the password “hairball” at the door and you’re in!

The new West Town hangout will feature a martini menu developed by Chad Johnson, who formerly bartended at Bungalow Lounge and Debonair, and innovative Americana dining options priced under $20 which will include a weekend brunch featuring filet mignon eggs benedict.  Yum, yum!  I hope the Bloody Mary’s are good too.  And since it’s summertime, the other good news is that there is also a 100 seat outdoor space.

  • Friday, July 18 – soft opening, utter “hairball” at the door
    Saturday, July 19 – grand opening!
    Cat’s Meow
    2700 W. Chicago Ave.
    (773) 489-6998

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Laura Lodewyck, NBC5 Street Team

I’m not the big plate of pasta girl. Not that I have the super model stamina to live on nothing but olives and champagne and diet pills, no; I simply like my big plates to be filled with lots of tiny different foods. In other words, as my brother says, “My favorite food is snacks.” So true.

Given this, tapas is the obvious choice as my restaurant favorite. Now I know that life is subjective and everyone has a right to an opinion, blah blah blah, but if you don’t like Cafe Ba Ba Reeba, I don’t trust your opinion on taste or fun, and I’m not even sure that you are human. Sorry. Maybe it’s partly due to the fact that every time I’m there I’m celebrating, and maybe it’s partially that we always drink a lot of sangria, but I’m all about their patatas bravas. I’m not entirely sure if it’s an actual “authentic” recipe like you might find if you visited Spain, but I don’t care. And although I’ve met with argument on this one, I’ve found that Ba Ba Reeba is also the most affordable and best bargain for what you get. (And we always get a LOT.)

Then there’s Emilio’s Tapas and Cafe Iberico, which are always fun — but when are sangria and cheese not fun? Emilio’s queso de cabra is a hot goat cheese garlic tomato mess of deliciousness, but overall Emilio’s is somewhat pricier. Iberico’s fine, but just not my favorite. I feel like I always get caught in the corner seat by the bathroom directly beside an incredibly loud stranger. My disapproval stems partly from the fact that I typically enjoy taking the role of Incredibly Loud Stranger myself, but also because there seems to be something about the acoustics in that place that elevates the drunken roar of diners to an impossibly loud pitch. It defies physics.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been to 1492 Tapas, so I’ll have to give it another try, especially given that I walk by it daily and the promotions (Monday specials on sangria and beer, Tuesdays wine and martinis, etc) are enticing. I remembered enjoying it, but I don’t remember much else. Perhaps it was those drink specials.

Lucille’s Tavern and Tapas is also enjoyable, but given that they also serve French onion soup, it’s somewhat less true to the tapas theme. Ole Lounge is relatively new and has some fancy-pants delicious drinks, and Arco de Cuchileros is always yummy and bills itself as the “most authentic” tapas restaurant, which I appreciate.

What have a missed? Tiny Twist in Wrigleyville, where we found it’s not so easy to get a table, and Sangria on Weed Street, which I have yet to try because everything (including the giant rotating bubble-letter sign and the fact that it’s on Weed Street) leads me to believe it’s more club-y and less tapas-y. Which is totally fine, but just not what I’m looking for in my tapas restaurant.

Besides, I already have a favorite…and I apparently don’t like change. I’m always up for a suggestion, though! Email me at llodewyck@nudehippo.com.

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