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Friday, September 4

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Drive-Thru

Recipe Thu Sep 03 2015

Making Milk Bread: A Japanese Staple

rsz_15108827058_c19a139e04_z.jpgBread is glorious--artisanal spelt loafs, hearty rye, French baguettes, eggy challah, naan, bagels, bings, focaccia, injera. For something so utterly delicious, it is an absolute bitch to make. The ingredients used in making bread are usually cheap and simple, but the process is unnecessarily arduous. The ratios, the rise, the oven temperature--all these factors must tango in perfect unison, or the final result will be an inedible block of starchy sadness.

One of my favorites is milk bread, a soft, fluffy variety popular in Japan (but difficult to find in Chicago). It's the same bread used to make panko. It's also soft and buttery like brioche, but the richness and feathery texture actually comes from the Tangzhong paste mixed into the dough (so it's "healthier!") Tangzhong is a flour-and-water starter commonly used in Chinese cooking to create soft, elastic buns (or baos). The following recipe is surprisingly easy and requires only a moderate level of patience and skill.

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Judy Wu / Comments (0)

Event Wed Sep 02 2015

BBQ Bonanza Next Weekend at Soldier Field

bbqz.jpgBarbecue is actually an amalgamation of cooking techniques, including smoking, baking, braising, and grilling. Such level of complexity, combined with sauce preferences, makes BBQ a deeply sensitive subject. Kansas City, Memphis, Central Texas, or the Carolinas? Cow, pig, or chicken? Sour sauce or sweet sauce? Blood has literally been spilt over the matter.

Chicago is no exception to this intense competition. For the fourth year in a row, 70 BBQ teams will compete in the Windy City BBQ Classic, the only BBQ competition in Chicago to be sanctioned by the Kansas City BBQ Society (KCBS), the largest competitive organization in the world. The winner will be automatically qualified to compete in the American Royal World Series of Barbecue, the Oscars of the BBQ community.

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Judy Wu / Comments (0)

Review Tue Sep 01 2015

Lobster and Floppy Hats at The Hampton Social

rsz_dsc_0274.jpgNestled on a quiet street in River North is a boisterous restaurant with white awnings, instantly recognizable by the fleet of Benzes parked outside. With a focus on "coastal fare," The Hampton Social opened in late June, and since that time, has garnered quite a crowd of lobster and cocktail enthusiasts.

With its open patio, white wooden furniture, and soft-toned color palette, the restaurant replicates coastal charm well. It's quaint, and the patrons are dutifully monochromatic. The menu offers wood-fired pizza, an abundant selection of lobster (lobster rolls, lobster salad, lobster tails), and a few non-seafood options (Amish chicken, burger). A few months ago, owner Brad Parker raised eyebrows when he said the menu would "be geared towards a woman's palate." Though honestly, I found nothing particularly offensive, except for the comments of my table neighbors (Is burrata an animal?!). The term's brand differentiation, right?

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Judy Wu / Comments (0)

Foodporn Fri Aug 28 2015

Friday Foodpic: Peaches

20228089923_627a853e49_z.jpgPicture by Renee Rendler Kaplan from the Drive-Thru Flickr Pool.

Robyn Nisi / Comments (1)

Random Wed Aug 26 2015

A Glossary of Common Menu Adjectives

rsz_menu.jpg
Amish: This chicken was raised without electricity and fear.
Asian: Something involving miso, Sriracha, fish sauce, shitake mushrooms, or shishito peppers.
Blistered: Like sunburnt skin, except less prone to cancer.
Charred/Seared: Charred applies to exquisite steaks and cleverly disposed-of bodies, as well your local kale and lettuce. Seared is a weaker char.
Cured: Salty, seasoned, wonderful meatstuffs.
Duck Fat: Duck fat fries, rillette, popcorn, confit, Brussels sprouts -- never skip this menu item.

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Judy Wu / Comments (1)

Feature Wed Aug 26 2015

A Historical Glimpse into the Italian Beef Sandwich

ItalianBeef.jpgPhilly has its Cheesesteak, Miami has the Cubano, and even Iowa has the Loose Meat Sandwich. Just about every American city boasts its own iconic sandwich, but there may not be one shrouded in such historical mystery and worthy of such passionate controversy (Which is best: Al's? Buona? Mr. Beef? Johnnie's?) as the Italian Beef.

Never had one? That's crazy! Are you a real Chicagoan? Let me describe it to you.

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Jeanne Newman / Comments (7)

Foodporn Fri Aug 21 2015

Friday Foodpic: Top Notch Beef Burger

tnbb.jpgSubmit your pics to the Drive-Thru Flickr Pool.

Robyn Nisi / Comments (0)

Foodporn Fri Aug 14 2015

Friday Foodpic: Dogs

4520235735_f505bbe38d_z.jpgPicture by Dan Gaken from the Drive-Thru Flickr Pool.

Robyn Nisi / Comments (0)

Recipe Tue Aug 11 2015

Make This Ice Cream in Your Office Freezer

5034578144_017b7b5214_o.jpgLike Kanye, I like my ice-cream creamy and voluptuous. Except unlike Kanye, I don't need the finest things in life. Hence, a lazy ice-cream recipe I concocted in the office, for the office:

Ingredients:
1. ¼ cup white sugar (12 packets of sugar--Slowly hoard these at your desk so colleagues don't judge you.)
2. 0.4 cup of heavy cream (Don't use those half & half cups; buy heavy cream at lunch or bring from home.)
3. 1 tbsp coffee grind (I like to use half a French Vanilla Keurig cup.)

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Judy Wu / Comments (0)

Foodporn Fri Aug 07 2015

Friday Foodpic: No Ramen, No Life

20056056965_1a420a99f8_z.jpgPicture by Seth Anderson from the Drive-Thru Flickr Pool.

Robyn Nisi / Comments (0)

Event Thu Aug 06 2015

Chicago Hot Dog Fest Takes Over Lincoln Park this Weekend

hotdogfest.pngFinally, a weekend combining learning and eating. The Chicago History Museum puts on a three-day lovefest for the hot dog starting this Friday in Lincoln Park (Clark and LaSalle), featuring the stylings of local joints such as Fatso's Last Stand and Chubby Wieners, music from a very long list of tribute and cover bands (Led Zeppelin!) and other rockers. But the real draw will be the lecture series on the history and cultural significance of the hot dog--especially in a city that takes them so seriously that certain places won't even serve ketchup to keep their integrity intact--with historians like NU prof Bill Savage, Bruce Kraig and Rich Bowen speaking. Admission free; event runs 11am-9pm Friday and Saturday, 11am-8am Sunday.

Robyn Nisi / Comments (0)

Foodporn Fri Jul 31 2015

Friday Foodpic: Expat

20070829421_4af5bdaff3_z.jpgPicture by Adrienne Cragnotti from the Drive-Thru Flickr Pool.

Robyn Nisi / Comments (0)

Review Mon Jul 27 2015

Multi-Layered Modern Tacos in West Loop

rsz_img_0078.jpgMás is a modern Mexican restaurant in the West Loop, serving "upscale" tacos with lots of toppings. People are finicky about their tacos, and since its opening, the restaurant has reworked its menu quite a few times. Attracted by its sleek décor, I recently dined there to make my own judgments.

The guacamole at más is fresh and filled with jalapenos, and the accompanying root chips are an interesting (though brittle) twist on traditional tortilla chips. For the "ceviche", order the cola amarilla (yellowtail, sweet potato, chile de arbol ponzu sauce), an untraditional twist that looks and tastes more like spicy sashimi. Like many other items on the menu, the dish is Asian-influenced and quite delicious.

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Judy Wu / Comments (1)

Foodporn Fri Jul 24 2015

Friday Foodpic: Corn!

cornnnn.bmpPicture by Renee Rendler-Kaplan from the Drive Thru Flickr Pool.

Robyn Nisi / Comments (0)

Event Fri Jul 24 2015

The Ultimate Dinner Party

FiligreeSuppers_Fruit-6.jpg

The appeal of most underground supper clubs is that they are secret-- sexy, slightly illicit dining for the in-the-know crowd. But the new pop up dinner series Filigree Suppers goes beyond the supper club model, elevating the best parts of an intimate dinner party without the exclusivity.

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Annie Conway / Comments (0)

Feature Wed Aug 26 2015

A Historical Glimpse into the Italian Beef Sandwich

By Jeanne Newman

Philly has its Cheesesteak, Miami has the Cubano, and even Iowa has the Loose Meat Sandwich. Just about every American city boasts its own iconic sandwich, but there may not be one shrouded in such historical mystery and worthy of...
Read this feature »

 

Events

Sat Sep 5 2015
WingFest @ Plumbers Union Hall

Sun Sep 6 2015
Longman & Eagle Summer Block Party


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About Drive-Thru

Drive-Thru is the food and drink section of Gapers Block, covering the city's vibrant dining, drinking and cooking scene. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Robyn Nisi, rn@gapersblock.com
Drive-Thru staff inbox: drivethru@gapersblock.com

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