Local Folks Foods

Excellent Kosher Food

December 22, 2009

My Guilty Pleasures & a Splurge!!!!

Since I am somewhat on a video kick today, I decided to post some showing my guilty pleasures. Some of these are specific to a particular eating establishment but the rest are general. In the future, I'll add some pictures with some of these places and foods I've mentioned.

Italian Beef. I am partial locally to Portillo's, Johnny's, Carm's (when I am near one) to name 3.

Vienna Beef Hot Dogs (no ketchup please). Another good local brand is Daisy's (from the Crawford Meat Company). All the best local places use this brand. From Food Network's "Unwrapped":

Gyros (yee-ros, not gy-ros). Messy but very good. Where I live, a place called Doggie Diner makes a KILLER gyros (Monday is the Gyros & fries special). It's pretty simple- spiced meats, onions, tomato, & a nice yogart sauce. Messy by very good!!!

Chicago Style Deep Dish pizza. It may be a bit heavy for some people. The crust is not as thick on the bottom but is higher on the side crust. You'll see it below, featuring my favorite pizza place, Lou Malnati's. Other fine places include Home Run Inn & Giordano's, but most pizza places around can do a good pizza.

Good Southern Food, creole & cajun. One example locally is Heaven on Seven:

Another is Pricilla's, with a flash of its classic cafeteria style dining:

A nice BIG burrito (I prefer chicken but every now & then, I add steak. Must have sour cream, onions, cilantro, beans, lettuce & hot peppers). This is one example:

Good BBQ- Ribs, Chicken, Brisket, etc:

My splurge- Gibson's. A steak lovers heaven!!! Lawry's, Gene & Georgetti's, Wildfire & the Chicago Chop House are also very good.


This place is a Chicago LEGEND. I decided to post these video clips about it. I think it will do it justice better than I could try.

December 17, 2009

An Empty Plate to Fill

As you can see, the name of my blog is the Empty Plate Adventures and have covered a few subjects. I haven't done this for long but it has been fun to do.

Now, I wanted to write about something different this time around and will involve an empty plate. It's no adventure but it's something that can be and should be prevented. Hunger. We've heard so much about "giving back", "service" and things of the like especially over the last year. I think we all know better and don't need anyone else to tell you. In fact, most of us have done the right thing all along and didn't need any prodding to do so. We Americans know what good fortune is and will be willing to share with the less fortunate. I've seen figures that at least 12 million children alone in the USA will go hungry. It's even worse on a global scale.

So many people in this country go hungry not to mention those around the world in even worse off than those here. My hope is that for those who can help in anyway, please do so. I'm not talking about going to a soup kitchen (for example) alone. I would say if you can, donate to a local food pantry. There is a need here. There are too many empty plates in the USA (and the world for that matter) for my tastes. Some think that there is nothing they can do. There is something. I would encourage anyone to help fill a plate this Christmas season for those who can't.

Listed below are some organizations I have seen and/or been involved with (via time or donations over the years):
Feed My Starving Children:
Share Our Strength:
Community 4:12:

Have a wonderful & blessed Christmas!!!

December 12, 2009

The Hungry Hound

The Hungry Hound is a weekly segment on a local TV Outlet. I will post some of the segments as I find them interesting. It features places to eat around greater Chicago. Some of the places he has visited I've actually tried previously. Steve Dollinsky is a 12 time Beard winner for his broadcast work and below are just some samples of his segments. The segment, which started in 2006 (after replacing the retiring legend, James "Ciao-Ciao for now" Ward). I will add segments as I find time and interests to do so.

Tacos get upscale treatment (from last night):

Here are some other segments from recent airings:
Build the better burger, aka the "First Fryday". This could harden ateries watching this:

Cuising from around the world:

Wild Game:

An education in beef (good stuff if you don't understand):

December 6, 2009

Note to Self

ADD Pictures to my posts!!!!!!!!!!!

OK. I'll live & learn. Next time, I will have some pictures. In fact, I may share an eating experience here again. Don't worry, there will not be any roach stories with pictures. I promise.

December 3, 2009

Beef Brisket Video

I am a big fan of BBQ Brisket. So, my attempt is to find a solid brisket recipe to use in the future. It's a great cut of meat but people do one thing wrong with it. They try to cook it too fast. I decided to add some various videos that have given me some influence. These might grab your interest as well. All can be found on YouTube. You may see some variations so I hope you enjoy these. I might put some things I do here sometime soon.

"Hanukkah Brisket"-Food Network

Paul Deen cooks Beef Brisket. Priceless:

Chicago's "Smoque", which I did eat once and was very good. Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

December 2, 2009

Adventure #1: The Roach of the Windowpane

So you want a real adventure? Well I'm about to give you one and it may not be for the faint of heart. If you look at the title of this post, you may have an idea of what this is about. How strange this will get, you may find it a bit hard to believe. I couldn't make this up if I wanted to. So here it is. Sometime in the spring of 1990 (at some hot dog stand in Chicago's North Side), a friend and I were a bit hungry so we decided to get something to eat. That evening, my friends and their band played a show (concert) and I was there to help lug around some gear. After finding out the band would not play for another THREE hours (a story in itself), we had some time to kill (plenty of it). We knew the area pretty well so it wasn't like we didn't know what we were getting into..... or so we thought.

So out we went (me and my friend, Joe) in search of food. The others joined us a bit later (or we found them as you will soon see). All the places we knew of were pretty much to capacity. Under normal circumstances, we might have waited but we thought otherwise. I wish we had waited. We finally find this place about 3 blocks from where the band was playing. We check out the menu and had all the basics you would expect- hamburger, hot dogs (as common in Chicago as finding a Coke in Atlanta, GA), and so on. There was a pretty decent sized line as well. So we decided to just see what was coming off the grill- observing how it looked, portions, etc. On the surface, everything was fine.

Yep. Everything was fine.......until.........we sat by the window. Take out places normally have a sitting area by the window. This place had a bar-like table (about 8 feet in length) where you can sit and eat or wait. While we were killing time deciding what to eat, I noticed something was on the windowpane about 5 feet in height, which was painted black (this may not seem like much of a detail but this will make sense, so please work with me). We decided to get up and order some food then the event happened. At first I ignored it because I saw it out of the corner of my eye. I figured it was a fly or something of the like. It just stayed there and did nothing. Then I saw it move, as in crawl down the windowpane. I looked at Joe and told him to look at the window. He saw the same thing I did. A Cock Roach!!! That's right. Joe and I FROZE for a second, more in disbelief as it then crawled UP (a bit closer to a sprint) the windowpane and managed to keep its footing. Now I realize that bug do have a certain level of protein, but I would assume for them not to add their protein to the food being served. Those were not the double carbs I had in mind.

Joe and I did what any reasonable people would do. We got out of there and didn't let the door hit us on the way out. We went outside and we stood, more or less taking in the neighborhood. We passed that window again and not only did the roach crawl down the windowpane but were on the surface of the table. Fortunately, no one was sitting there at the time. We ran into our friends as we went back to the place they played. They said that how was the place that we went to because they were going to eat the same place. Joe and I looked at each other and told them "don't do it" with some level of friendly force behind our voices. They asked what was wrong. We told them that they don't want to eat there. We eventually told them later what we saw, explained the same way I am writing here. They didn't believe us at first, but after we both confirmed, they were quite appreciative for not letting them eat there. We did find a local chain to satisfy our hunger, though. Problem solved. For the record, that nameless hot dog stand is no longer in business. Gee, I wonder why?