Chicago is one of the best cities in the U.S. for us foodies and regardless of your budget, you are bound to find tons of places and you will wish you had booked just "one more night"...
As decisions have to be made, and some places did not make our list for either price or timing reasons... the ones we did go range from really good to superb.
MERCAT A LA PLANXA
We decided to try this Catalan cuisine for lunch and all in our party went for the $18 lunch deal that included a fountain drink, starter and main course.
TRUITA DE PATATAS CON ESPINACAS
One of the appetizers, we most refer to as tortilla de papas in Argentina, and it was so good that surprisingly my even my mom approved (she still makes the best tortillas!) this one was very well seasoned, nice vegetal notes from the spinach and most importantly not overcooked. There's nothing worse than burned eggs.
MIXTO DE CROQUETAS - JAMON SERRANO, CHORIZO & ROMESCO
I ate these all over Spain this summer, and it was still not enough... I came back wanting more... and Mercat's version with chorizo and the Romesco sauce did not disappoint... they were crunchy outside, with lovely notes of the jamon & chorizo, and the sauce added a nice finish to these perfect little bits.
LAS RAMBLAS GRILLED CHICKEN SANDWICH, BACON, ROMESCO, TOMATO & PARMESAN
I don't usually order sandwiches and this was no exception. The choice was my son's and it was a good one. This was no ordinary sandwich as the chicken was marinated in lots of herbs and unlike any chicken breasts, this one was juicy and tender as opposed to dry. Add to this the bacon, the amazing romesco sauce,tomato and parm... I'd say you have a delicious gourmet sandwich.
FISH OF THE DAY, POTATO PURE, HERB OIL
For the world I can't remember the type of fish, but I can tell you if was mild in flavor with an incredible nice crunchy skin very nicely assembled with a smooth and creamy potato pure and the herb oil added a nice finish and sublime herbaceous notes.
BLACK ANGUS HANGER STEAK, POTATO CROQUETTE, BRAISED SHORT RIBS,BEECH MUSHROOM ESCABECHE
This hanger Steak was very nicely done, rare in the middle and a nice caramelization and smokiness on the outside. The short ribs were very and I mean very tender and well seasoned and both meats went really well with the mushrooms en escabeche which added a nice acidity. The only downfall of this dish is that the croquette got soggy in the middle as the beef was atop.
Beard Papas is a transplant from Japan that has perfected the way of making these incredible puffs without compromising quality. They use NO preservatives, fill them up as you wait and are incredibly light, crispy, flaky, delicious... I could keep going!
I had no idea they had a Beard Papas in Southern California, but I'm sooo happy they do!
these were amazing, the shell was very crispy and tasted just baked.
The custard was amazing and surprisingly light...
They fill these up so much, that it got all over the place... No complaints here!
Strawberry was definitely the favorite, a sort of marriage between a the best tart strawberry yogurt & cream... delicious and not too sweet (which we really appreciated)
The cream (vanilla) was also a stunner... the least favorite (but dont get me wrong, still delicious but someone has to be last, right!) was the pumpkin one...
I have not yet gone to the one here in S. California, but can't wait!
And the prices were so inexpensive at BP!
Check out the pictures