Posts Tagged ‘Steak’

Hungry Z, NBCChicago Street Team

Karma is the cosmic principle according to which someone is rewarded or punished according to that person’s deeds. It can also be a distinctive aura, atmosphere, or feeling. So when you step inside Karma, you instantly get greeted by an elegant almost Zen like atmosphere. The dining room is separated by a tranquil pond complete with a gentle waterfall and cool salt cone replicas.

Now that we’ve established good karma in the dining room, let’s see if we are rewarded or punished with the menu. Start your good vibes with a couple of solid appetizers. Crisp chicken spring rolls are loaded with chunks of chicken and served with honey mustard. A must try are the Shiitake mushroom pot stickers, which are meaty, tasty, pockets of deliciousness.karmapotstickers

Hold on! What’s the rush? It’s not time for the entrées yet, not when the star of the meal is on next. The Vietnamese coconut shrimp soup is a dish worth the trip to Mundelein alone! This velvety soup has large pieces of shrimp swimming in a slightly sweet /spicy broth that is meant to be experienced and not merely consumed. Would it be wrong to lick the bowl?

For some, nothing gives them more pleasure than biting into a tender juicy steak. And while simple is often enough, sometimes a little pizzazz is in order. The macadamia and blue cheese crusted filet is for the person who loves the tenderness of a filet, but wants a more robust flavor. Creamy and sharp blue cheese is complimented by the crunch of the toasted macadamias, to help turn this mellow piece of meat into a sassy rock star! If something more traditional is up your alley, then opt for the orange peel chicken. Large strips of tempura chicken are covered in a yuzu orange glaze that helps this dish go beyond your average orange chicken.karmasteak

A meal feels incomplete without dessert and this is the last leg of your dining experience. For chocoholics, the chocolate Moelleux cake is a rich soufflé accented with minted cream and a red currant coulis. The fresh ginger crème Brule offers sweet ginger custard and of course some fresh berries.

Dinner for two with wine should run right around $100, which is actually reasonable for an upscale dinner and a pinch of good karma. Overall, Karma offers a harmonious blend of tranquil atmosphere, creative dishes, and fair prices. It appears the cosmos are listening.


510 E. Route 83

Mundelein, IL


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Hungry Z, NBC Chicago Street Team
The word Bice may conjure up memories of a long haired “American Idol”, singing about “The Real Thing”. While you probably won’t find any long haired rockers here, you might find a tasty meal. Will it be the real thing, or just a reasonable facsimile?bicecrab

Unassuming from outside, Bice welcomes you with a relaxed two level dining area. Customary bread baskets are given to each table with butter provided, and olive oil available upon request. Although after tasting their bitter olive oil, you may wish you stuck with the butter.

To help forget about the olive oil, crab cakes were in order. Four well sized cakes were fork tender and very enjoyable. Folks should treat the accompanying salad as garnish and not suffer through its blandness. A much more enjoyable salad choice would be the tomato and fresh mozzarella salad. Simple and delicious.

While there are many types of pasta to choose from, a steak can be a nice departure. A wonderfully tender filet is topped with a creamy green peppercorn sauce. While not a “steakhouse”, the filet was prepared perfectly medium, and the green peppercorns livened up a normally mellow cut of meat.

Go back to tradition and enjoy the lovely tiramisu. Ladyfingers drenched in espresso, layered with mascbicetiramisuarpone, and dusted with cocoa give your taste buds a lovely kiss goodnight. Flaky apple strudel was another fine choice and even brought back memories of childhood.

Dinner for two with drinks and tip runs about $125-150. So was it the “Real Thing”. Similar to that long haired idol, Bice sings a catchy tune, but doesn’t rock as hard as it could.

Location: 158 E. Ontario


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Hungry Z, NBC5 Street Team
Hit the weights, do a little cardio, take a shower, and then go home right? Wrong, you need to refuel after your workout. Sure you could grab a smoothie or a protein bar, but doesn’t some real food sound good? While most health clubs offer a smoothie bar, the East Bank Club offers a real restaurant with a full menu! Named after the club’s first Executive Director, Max Davidson, Maxwell’s at the club offer’s real food to both members and guests.

Worried about sabotaging your workout with excess carbs, fat, and calories? Select items have nutritional information printed directly on the menu to help keep you on track. Those with high metabolisms or without regard to calories will take comfort with the rest of the menu.

Regardless of calories, the seared crab cake offers big lumps of crab and a healthy dose of protein. Salads can be a healthy option after working up a sweat. Choose the classic wedge and you get cool crisp iceberg, tomato, cucumber, and some blue cheese dressing that adds flavor and not much else.maxwellfilet

Experts recommend people consume protein within 1 hour of their workout. The king of protein is steak, Maxwell’s serves up an above average filet topped with tasty crusts such as parmesan garlic. The specialty of the house is the baby back ribs, and in truth are a bit of a mixed bag. Meaty ribs are covered in a sweet and thick barbeque sauce, but are definitely oven baked and slightly tough.

A good workout deserves some sweet indulgence. Choose the creamy vanilla ice cream, rolled in toasted coconut, and served with a side of warm chocolate sauce for a sweet ending. Choose the slightly dry pumpkin cheesecake and you may wish you saved the calories.maxwellicecream

Excellent service can make even the most average of meals enjoyable. Service at Maxwell’s is friendly, honest, and very personable. Dinner for two will run about $80, which puts it below the high end spectrum. Overall Maxwell’s offers above average food and quality service for an above average price.

Location: 500 N. Kingsbury (P) 312-527-5800

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Hungry Z, NBC Chicago Street Team

Greatness is often discovered during life’s most tragic times. At age 15 and in the midst of a family crisis, Rick Tramonto left school and began flipping square burgers in a New York Wendy’s. His drive and ambition eventually launched him from burgers to culinary greatness. After years studying abroad, Rick has created several successful restaurants, most notably Tru.

While Tru remains a hot spot for city folks, suburbanites can revel in an amazing dining experience of their own. Wheeling’s Tramonto’s Steak and Seafood (601 N. Milwaukee) wows patrons with lavish wood, deep reds, and dramatic ceilings. Luckily for the diners, the food is equally as impressive.

Click here to read the rest of this post on NBCChicago.com.

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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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Rewind the clock to 1920s Chicago when consumption of alcohol was prohibited by law. Thirsty Prohibition-era patrons found solace in a little place along the Fox River.

Back in 1927, Gladys Reitmayer and her husband owned Al Capone’s Hideaway. They made beer in a hidden cellar behind the chicken coop, and pumped it to patrons through a copper tubing system that remains underground to this day.

Thankfully, the folks at Al Capone’s Hideaway & Steakhouse (35W337 Riverside Dr.) in St. Charles no longer depend on copper tubing and gangsters to serve patrons their suds, although it truly is a hideaway. In fact, finding this place is half the fun! Poorly-lit streets, hills, and a forest are all things you have to encounter to reach this unique restaurant.

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Hungry Z, NBC5 Street Team

“To eat well, is to live well.” Truer words have never been spoken, and it’s the slogan the folks at Lombard’s Brio Tuscan Grille (330 Yorktown Center) live by.

Brio actually means vigor and liveliness, so you might say to eat well, is to live brio. If the folks at Brio have their way, you’ll be livin’ large by nights end!

Brio likes to put its own twist on some familiar favorites. Four variations of bruschetta are punctuated by a wonderful roasted red pepper, sweet balsamic, and fresh mozzarella rendition. Ditch the usual potato soup options and instead choose the velvety and slightly spicy lobster and shrimp bisque. Lumps of shrimp provide texture and the right amount of spice warms the back of your throat.

Click here to read the rest of this review on nbcchicago.com.

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