Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Feast before the Famine

My son came to visit last week and we had such a great time together. We both love movies and good food. We saw Buck, a great documentary about the real Horse Whisperer, Conan O'Brien Can't Stop, a strange documentary about his anger at NBC and his subsequent creation of his live show, Harry Potter 7.2 which was cool (I am not that huge a Harry Potter fan but I can appreciate how one could be) and Horrible Bosses, which was the most hilarious movie I've seen in a while (although very off color), the dialogue was superb.

I have to say that we made some great food choices too, plus he finally had his first shaved ice! My Chicago readers aren't gonna have a clue what shaved ice is. Think of hard packed snow, covered in sugary syrup, then topped with cream. Not like the snow cones we grew up with, icey balls that nearly break your teeth. These are seriously good, really. And I have SUCH a hard time deciding on what flavor to get.  They offer 30 or so and you can mix as many as you want. I tried to get Doug to step outside the box with me and choose something really wild. What about Tiger's Blood and Godzilla and Grape? or how about Wedding Cake and Root Beer and Licorice? He stepped right up to the window and chose, Mango, Raspberry and Peach. How boring.  I know there are some snowie connoisseurs out there. What's your favorite shaved ice combo? I need help deciding!

We had some GREAT food at Vinto (approx 200 S. 400 E.) and Wild Grape Bistro (approx 600 E. S.Temple). I highly recommend both of them for lunch and dinner. Vinto has small gourmet pizza, very creative combos and each night there is a specialty pizza, like the Marinated Flank Steak w Cherry Tomatoes (see picture below). And if you've never tried a food truck, check out Chow Truck and Torta Truck's schedules. They are both superb for a walk up and grab a gourmet meal. We found them at Gallivan Plaza where there is a food truck fair every Thursday between 11a and 2p. And last, but not least, is a local chain, Cafe Zupas which has awesome sandwiches, soups and salads. I love, love, love the Vermont Maple Blueberry salad!

Anyway, after all this binging, its time to get on track. So for the next few weeks, I will be making salads, lots and lots of salads and some wonderful dressings. Make sure to stop back!

Strawberry Salad at Wild Grape.
Very good and very re-creatable. Spinach, arugula, strawberries, feta, candied cashews and strawberry vinaigrette.

Wild Grape's Lobster Risotto. VERY good even though its presentation is a little boring.

Cranberry Rhubarb Tart at Wild Grape Bistro. Sour. Perfect.

Flank Steak Pizza from Vinto

I love this! The Gelato Sampler from Vinto.

Vinto specials.
Tacos and root chips from the Chow Truck.
And Zupas! Always good choices even for a chain restaurant. Their summertime special,  Chicken Pesto sandwich, is delish.

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