Friday, July 30, 2010


We decided to check out Yerbabuena Mexican restaurant before getting our haircuts in the same area. Upon seating, they give you a huge bowl of fresh salsa & chips (fried in-house). delicious.

Hub ordered pork tacos, which was tasty & delicious:

The waiter recommended a mango tilapia. I'm not a huge fan of mango, because it's a "heated" food that may cause pimples if I eat too much of it. However, I decided to go with his recommendation & I'm so glad I did. The fish tasted very fresh, tender, flaky, in a supremely delicious sauce that we ended up gobbling up with the rice. The fresh pico di gallo & guac on the side blended so well with this dish. We loved it!
They had a lot of enticing items on their menu...I think we'll definitely need to go back to try 'em out. YUM!

4732 Main St
Lisle, IL 60532
(630) 852-8040

International Mall - Oriental Food House

I've heard a lot about the International Mall food court, especially the 油條, or fried cruellers over the weekend. But we've never stopped by. My parents haven't even been going...actually, I vaguely remember EVER going there, even when we were kids.

Anyway, Bobcat & I decided to check it out one afternoon. We tried the poorly named "Oriental Food House" -- 988台灣小吃 (translated as Taiwan small eats (this term describes authentic Taiwanese street vendor / food stall--one of the most famous specialties of Taiwan)

Bobcat wanted the beef noodle soup. I requested "spicy", which ended up being too spicy. Flavorful, deep broth. Tender chunks of meat.

I wanted the oyster pancake. Lots of veggies. Pretty good consistency. The only thing I have to complain about is freshness of the oysters...but what can you really expect from a food court in Chicago. I'd go back for this just to kill off a bit of my 'Taiwan small eats' cravings...
They also have糯米腸sweet rice stuffed intestine, 豬腸緬線 pork intestine thin noodles, 肉圓pork/veggie giant dumpling... I can't wait to go back to stuff my face.

665 Pasquinelli Drive
Westmont, IL 60559


We finally made it back to Takashi for his ramen brunch. Everything was deliciously well-made, using fresh ingredients, but the prices are billed accordingly. Bobcat prefers Mitsuwa's ramen, probably because it tastes closer to his beloved tonkotsu ramen.

Pork Belly Snack
Steamed Bun, Hot Mustard

Pork Dumpling, Hot Chili-Soy Vinaigrette
Miso Ramen
Hokkaido Style Ramen Braised Pork, Bean Sprouts, Sweet Corn, Wakame

Shoyu Ramen
Classic Tokyo Style Ramen, Braised Pork, Barbeque Egg, Marinated Bamboo Shoots

Regardless, it's good. If we're feeling slightly extravagant, gourmet, we'll definitely go back. Actually, I'd go back to check out their udon & soba regardless. Out of the two, miso tasted heavier, slightly spicy, which Bobcat preferred. I wanted to check out the 'gua bao', especially since the bun is home tasted good, but I prefer the original Chinese version. Gyoza was tasty, went well with ramen as always.

1952 North Damen Avenue
Chicago, IL 60647-4565
(773) 772-6170

Pho 888

Our favorite go-to spot for Vietnamese in Argyle. Last time we went, I noticed 4 Vietnamese ladies who ordered different variations of dry noodles, so I decided to try it too. I ended up not liking the various grounded meat patties. Next time I get dry noodles, I'm sticking to beef or maybe chicken. Or I should just stay with classic pho.

1137 W Argyle St
(at Broadway St)
Chicago, IL 60640
Neighborhood: Uptown
(773) 907-8838

Chi Cafe

Bobcat has a tendency to beg for food after drinking (I guess many do). We often make our stop at Chinatown, but we haven't found a place that great yet. Most of the time, we just grab simple grub at Chi Cafe. I have yet to find something good here... everything is pretty much ok.

蟹肉鱼肚羹 (Crab Meat with Fish Maw Potage soup)
台南担担面 (Taiwan Noodle Soup)
Super cheap as always.

2160-A S Archer Ave
Chicago, IL 60616
Neighborhood: Chinatown
(312) 842-9993


Since we got out early from our dentist appointment in Wilmette, we yelp-apped nearby restaurants, and found Nobori. Bobcat called his mom, and she said it's a decent Japanese-owned place ran by Mexican employees.

The place is small, clean, rather empty around lunchtime on a Saturday. They had lunch specials that came with salad or soup (we got one each). Ramen came with your choice of roll. I also ordered 2 pcs sushi just to see how good or bad it was.

Simple salad with a nice ginger dressing:

Mediocre miso soup:

Sushi actually tasted better than it looked:

Decent ramen...
decent oyster donburi...
Nothing exciting to recommend, we probably won't be back.

1821 Waukegan Rd
Glenview, IL 60025
(847) 729-0422

As a side note, we stopped by the ice cream shop next door that advertised super creamy & fatty ice cream from Wisconsin. Tasted like any ole ice cream.


I'm not sure where I read about Carbon (maybe, but I've always wanted to stop by this joint. I HEART Mexican. Bobcat was worried that this area might be a little shady, but it turned out to be fine. I'm SO GLAD we went. I miss this place already.

It's a tiny, teeny joint with food that's FULL of flavor.

We ordered 1 each of their tacos with no cheese. Fire Grilled Steak, Tequila-Lime Marinated Grilled Chicken Breast, and Tortilla Encrusted Tilapia with shredded cabbage & creamy tequila sauce. They ended up forgetting about the fire-roasted vegetables taco, so we'll have to try that next time. They have 4 types of freshly made salsa. We tried their 'medium' salsa verde, which is made of green tomatillos, cilantro, serrano peppers

$2.50 / $2.75 With Cheese. Fresh Soft Corn Tortilla, Authentic-Style With Traditional Mexican Blend Of Onions And Cilantro, Plus Your Choice Of Fresh House-Made Salsa

All of the tacos were good, but the meaty beef was our favorite.

Speaking of favorites, this is by far the BEST chicken tortilla soup we've ever tasted. The first time I ordered chicken tortilla soup was at a cafe in Wisconsin. The waiter highly recommended it, so I trusted him. I was SO GLAD I did. The soup was amazing. From then on, I kept searching for equally delicious chicken tortilla soup, but I never found anything close to what I tasted...until Carbon's. I need to go back just to get this soup... it's ridiculously awesome.

Carbon Chicken Tortilla Soup 3.79
We're not huge fans of corn, but this was pretty good. Very fresh corn, nice creamy sauce. I'm also not so into creamy things, so I probably won't order it again. It was definitely worth a try though.
Elote our signature mexican corn hash sm 1.75

Margarita 3.00
We washed down everything with a small margarita (decent), dos equis & corona beers.

What a great meal!

300 W 26th St
(between Calumet Ave & I-90)
Chicago, IL 60616
Neighborhood: Chinatown

Green Zebra

After a fond experience at Spring, I was curious about Green Zebra & Custom House....especially G.Z. for the vegetarian menu. I wondered what innovative creations chef Shawn McClain would have for vegetables (which I do love...) So when I saw a groupon for G.Z., I got it right away...

unappetizing amuse & unimpressive bread service:
Bobcat didn't want cold soup, so we tried their onion soup. Even though there obviously wouldn't be beef stock based, it was filled with intense, delicious flavor. Meat-like.
Trio of Onion Soup, Vidalia onion, grilled ramps, leeks, sherry 8

I'm not sure if it's because I wasn't very hungry by the time we got there... or because there's only so much you can do with vegetables...the rest of the meal wasn't very impressive. It all tasted decent, but there weren't anything I'd rave about nor go back for. The scallops were especially boring.

Fresh Burrata Cheese, roasted asparagus, romesco, almonds, olives 10.5
Potato & Spring Garlic Dumplings, roasted garlic, aioli, smoked paprika 12

Slow Roasted Shittake Mushrooms, crispy potato, savoy cabbage 12

Creamed Spinach Filled Crepe, oyster mushrooms, confit artichoke, parmesan 14

Maine Sea Scallops, braised wild mushrooms, yukon potatoes, hibiscus 17

The only thing wonderful about this experience is that I'm glad we finally used up our groupon. I highly doubt we'd ever return.

Green Zebra
1460 West Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60642-5587
(312) 243-7100


Picked this up at Mitsuwa after golf one day... Super thin, tiny bars (much smaller than pictured)...delicious & refreshing. Slightly creamy, but not too much.

We finally decided to take our big ole tree down. It kept growing over our neighbor's roof. It's either chop it down, or risk replacing someone's roof. SAD.


Chava goodies, delicious as always:

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Tanjoubi 2010

I look forward to my mama's traditional Taiwanese birthday meal every year. Long, thin noodles in braised pigfoot sauce with scallions (representing long life) & braised pigfoot (supergood for youthful skin elasticity).

Everyone at the table traditionally peel cooked eggs for the birthday gal / guy.

Everything else has nothing to do with my birthday, just some simple, delicious, home cooked items. She also ordered 2 dishes from House of Emperor...guess she really wanted to get some oysters for Bobcat. ALL of this was only for 3 people (mom, bobcat, myself). We were stuffed... with LOTS of leftovers.

Pan-fried fish:

Catered - crispy chicken (House of Emperor)

Catered - oysters (House of Emperor) -

Mom's miso soup with salmon head:

I never want to get cake for my birthday, but my dad insisted this year. Mom picked out a pretty good cake from a Korean bakery:

Mom bought golf stuff for me this year. These gifts were from Bob's mom...I just love her pretty way of wrapping gifts:
July 4th fireworks this year:

Random pretty clouds: