Archive for the ‘dinner’ Tag

Chicago out of the Loop   Leave a comment

There’s no doubt Chicago is a culinary haven. Mention a culture and its cuisine is represented. A recent, albeit quick, trip included stops at two brunch spots, a bahn mi shop and an excellent dinner enhanced by the company of one of my sons and a new friend. I have no photos of our food at Ba Le Sandwiches or Pauline’s, but I would return to both — especially to the former for the barbecue pork bahn mi.

m.henry, a popular spot in Andersonville, features an array of baked goods, traditional egg entrees and quiche, among other items. The rustic peasant quiche was chock full of asparagus, leeks, bacon and gruyere cheese on a flakey crust. The side salad was practically a meal in itself.

Oaxaca, Mexico, is known for its mole — among other food specialties. The red mole, in particular, at Kie-Gol-Kanee is among the best I’ve ever had. Mole enchiladas and Oaxaquenos tamales are two preparations here. In order to sample the two types of moles on the menu, I had the pork green mole and chicken red mole tamales. These are wrapped in plantain leaves with a thin layer of masa. Once the leaves are removed, the mole escapes onto the plate. The green is tart and spicy, but my palate belongs to the dark red, earthy variety.

Another typical Oaxacan dish is the tlayuda, a large,crispy handmade corn tortilla is topped with a choice of meats, sliced tomatoes, avocados and cabbage. Think nachos on steroids.

Cafe Classics   1 comment

We aren’t planning any trips to Albuquerque anytime soon, but when we do we’ll make sure to include a stop at a Flying Star Café. There are eight in the Duke City area, plus one in Santa Fe. It’s similar to Panera Bread, but with a far more ambitious menu. Dinner and breakfast are served all day, which means the lunch options are plentiful.

A recent road trip resulted in our introduction to the Flying Star. Orders are placed at the counter, but the fare is delivered to the table. The emphasis is on comfort food that can be prepared quickly without sinking to a fast food template.


I chose the smaller portion of the Buddha Bowl (appropriately called the Baby Buddha). Featuring stir-fried vegetables in a lemongrass-ginger sauce served over brown rice. The ginger adds a nice zing to the medley, and the fried wontons provide texture.


The Macaroni and Cheese has apparently developed a cult-like following among diners trying to discern the types of cheese included in this classic dish. A few years ago, it was the recipient of an area newspaper’s Best Mac and Cheese Award. Curly pasta is coated in a very rich, very creamy cheese sauce. It’s decadent. One of the most elevated, and least expensive, menu items is the $5.99 Grilled Cheese Sandwich: gobs of melted cheddar on toasted sourdough bread.


The café was bustling, but the food provided a nice respite from the basic off-the-highway-for-a-quick-bite meal we’ve settled for in the past.

Flying Star Café

Three-and-a-half Plates
8000 Paseo Del Norte
Albuquerque, N.M.