Archive for the ‘Monroe’ Category

Good Stuff Eatery Good Stuff Eatery by the Loop Lie

Good Stuff Eatery has finally opened it’s doors just under the rails of the Loop in Chicago this February. There has been much prolonged anticipation heightened late last year following Spike Mendelsohn’s victory at the 2014 Hamburger Hop in Chicago at the nearby Millenium Park during Chicago Gourmet Week. That win did make me stand up and take notice more for the category in which the victory had come where the burger was voted; the burger winning the vote of the judges panel that included former People’s Choice winner Jeff Mauro, and Top Chef and Bravo darling Carla Hall (Hootie Hoo!)

Getting excited

chef spike tweet

Last week as I packed my bags for a trip over to the Windy City I was getting excited for the prospect of visiting Good Stuff Eatery. I had found it on the map and worked out my nearest El Stops in the Loop from which to alight to track it down. I had planned to jump off the Brown line at Madison and Wabash, but in the end I rode the red line down to Monroe and walked across one block. I think that it was pretty much the same distance.

Winner of Gourmet Hamburger Hop 2014

As I noted earlier Spike had won that award for the Best burger at the Hamburger Hop in 2014, and so unsurprisingly they were advertising that in the window as you walked in. I was keen to sample of these winning burgers as I missed the 2014 Hop so that part of my order was already fixed in my mind as I walked in through the door to join the lengthy yet patient line of punters waiting to munch.

The Prez Obama Burger

Prez Obama Burger at Good Stuff Eatery

The Hamburger Hop winning effort was the famed Good Stuff Eatery staple the “Prez Obama Burger”. This is essentially a Farmhouse burger topped with “Applewood Bacon, Onion Marmalade, Roquefort Cheese & Delicious Horseradish Mayo Sauce”. I knew that I could not pass up the chance to try one of these bad boys. Even though I was initially perhaps a little uncertain about that Horseradish mayo I had nothing to fear, as it was a light and constrained flavour component to the sandwich. I liked the burger meat which was solid and moist, and the cheese, marmalade and that mayo sauce all made for a kind of really grown up savoury taste. I am not sure that it will be everyone’s cup of tea, but I for one kind of liked that flavour combination.

This burger first appeared back during that 2008 election in Washington DC at the original branch of Good Stuff when it was created as part of a fun ‘burger election’ competition. Back then the Obama burger beat the McCain Burger somewhat easily a reported 4:1.

If that result had been reversed and the election gone the other way I wonder if we would be eating that McCain burger in a Good Stuff Eatery in Arizona?  Probably not as Spike was a Top Chef Chicago Alumni so this is a good fit for him to be opening one of his restaurants here in the Windy City. That isn’t the only Chicago connection though, I heard that his sister, who we got to meet through “Life After Top Chef” had attended NorthWestern University.

The Prez Obama is not the only White House inspired sandwich on the menu. You can also get your hands or it that lips on the ‘Michelle Melt’ created for the First Lady. This is a Free Range Turkey Burger topped with Caramelized Onions, Swiss Cheese, Ruby Tomato, and Lettuce served on a freshly baked wheat bun with southlawn herb garden mayo (featuring herbs grown in the White House garden). Sounds tasty and mostly healthy.

The ‘Farmhouse Cheese’ Burger

Good Stuff Cheeseburger

Now perhaps, it may have been a little greedy but I really did not think that I could travel all this way just to eat one burger so had to try a Good Stuff Staple Cheeseburger. This is know as the ‘Farmhouse Cheese’ on the menu. In detail it is one of their Handcrafted Burgers which they describe thus “Our Farmhouse Burgers are topped with Farm Fresh Ruby Red Tomatoes, Thinly sliced onion, Crisp Lettuce & Pickles” ‘served on a sweet, buttery soft, freshly baked Pennsylvania Dutch Bun with a loving spoonful of Good Stuff sauce’

If I am totally honest I liked this burger sandwich more than the Prez Obama burger. It was packed with crunchy fresh salad and I even enjoyed the crunchy green pickles which I usually just fish out and discard. I really liked the plentiful runny Dairy Fresh American cheese which was complemented with that Good Stuff sauce (a mix of mayo, ketchup, molasses, rice vinegar and sea salt). Tangy, lightly sweet and tasty.

More Burgers on the Menu

Good Stuff Eatery Menu

All in all I really enjoyed the burgers that I ate at Good Stuff Eatery. It was really busy and the line was out of the door on the lunch time that I walked in. It is early days and they are still in training so I kind of felt that there was more to come.

tweet about burger

Good Stuff Eatery in Chicago is located within sight of the overhead Loop track at 22 South Wabash Ave, Chicago IL 60603.

Easy walking from both the Madison and Wabash, and Adams and Wabash Brown Line stops. You can follow on them on Twitter @chefspike

Good Stuff Eatery on Urbanspoon

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Sugar Bliss Cupcakes

I like the odd cupcake on occasion, but sometimes it is hard to decide which one to get, and I often wish that I could manage to eat more than one so that I could try a few different flavours. Luckily for me while alighting from the Elevated Rail tracks at Madison and Wabash I stumbled upon The Sugar Bliss Cake Boutique where mini-cupcakes are a speciality. They do big ones too, but lets just use editorial discretion to gloss over that for the purposes of this tale.

Sugar Bliss Cakes

There is a different selection on each day, and you can get a list off their website, but I did note that there were a number of other flavours available in the trays that were not listed. So I expect you can just ride your luck and see what they have.

We got a box of 6 at $1.50, but as it was towards the end of the day, they slipped in another two just to fill the box up. Which was a good idea to stop them rattling about in there, as they had to survive the El Train home without getting jostled, squashed, or eaten.

Sugar Bliss selection

So what I ‘think’ we got was two ‘Orange Creamsickles’, two ‘Vanilla Vanilla’, two ‘Chocolate Hazelnet’, one ‘Chocolate Peanut Butter’, and one ‘Chocolate Milk Chocolate’. Rows 1 and 4 above were the Orange, and Vanilla cakes, Row 2 is the Chocolate Milk (top) and Peanut butter (bottom), Row 3 was the Hazelnut (Gosh that was a bit complicated I feel that I needed to provide some sort of map and key to diagram that all out).

From personal experience or from well qualified hearsay I can confim that they are all very tasty bites.

My favorite and first choice was the ‘Orange Creamsicle’ which is a ‘Madagascar bourbon vanilla cake with orange vanilla zest buttercream’. Crikey how good does that sound? I also liked the Vanilla Vanilla which is almost the same only it is a ‘Madagascar bourbon vanilla cake with creamy vanilla buttercream’. Almost as good.

The Chocolate Hazelnut is a ‘Dark chocolate cake with chocolate hazelnut buttercream‘ and the Chocolate Peanut Butter is a ‘Dark chocolate cake with peanut butter buttercream‘. I did not eat either of those, but I am led to believe that they were both very good indeed.

The others that I sampled were the ‘Chocolate Milk Chocolate’ which was a mix of milk and dark chocolate, more specifically described as ‘Dark chocolate cake with milk chocolate buttercream

Lets face it, it’s cake, so if you like cake you are going to like all of these.

Sugar Bliss Loop Location

Sugar Bliss has two locations, one in the Loop at 115 North Wabash, and one in River North at 509 North Orleans. You can get all of their details online at http://www.sugarblisscakes.com/ where you can also order online.

The Loop location is right beneath the Elevated line on the other side of the road from the Marshall Fields building. So its in between the  ‘Madison and Wabash’, and ‘Randolph and Wabash’ stops on the Pink, Green, Orange and Brown lines, you could also ride down or up on the Red line and exit at ‘Lake’ at walk across, or the Blue at ‘Washington’.

Sugar Bliss Cake Boutique on Urbanspoon

Marquette Inn – Adams

Posted: November 30, 2011 in Monroe
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With the colder weather all I wanted was something warming and I found that at the Marquette Inn on Adams street. Heading down the blue line to the loop, this place offered Simple fare, homely and friendly staff .

I just went for a simple plate of open Roast Beef sandwich with gravy and Mashed Potato for $9.95.  There was plenty of beef and enough gravy but it was all a bit bland, and lets be honest I am from England so that should be fine for me, but I even had to add salt and pepper perhaps my palate it getting fussier, or more likely this was just bland.

Having said that I did enjoy it for what it was.

Probably not healthy but just right for a cold November evening

Marquette Inn is at 60 West Adams Street, 5 mins from the Blue Line Monroe stop

Marquette Inn Restaurant on Urbanspoon