Friday, August 30, 2013

Foodigen Favorite: Foodiecrush

I've been having a hard time deciding what I want to do on Fridays with my blog.  I think of a Friday blog as the last page of a magazine: simple, fun and easy.  So this week is the beginning of promoting other blogs I have discovered, love and have on my feed! 

Foodiecrush is less a blog and more an online magazine with recipes created by Heidi (the woman behind this online gem) and other well-known bloggers (Eat, Live, Run & How Sweet It Is-to name a few). 

Foodiecrush has a magazine, recipes, blog and online store with ebooks and camera gear!

This website is great for food writers, lovers and cooks-alike!
Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Documentary Review and GIVEAWAY: Living Downstream


The cover image of this documentary already gives the viewer an accurate sense of the tone in which Living Downstream is told: eerie uncertainty.  As though moving through a Sci-Fi picture, unfamiliar of the rules and constraints in which the character lives-this is the feeling Sandra Steingraber maintains throughout the 85 minute film.  A Ph.D. in Environmental Biology, Steingraber discusses her battle with bladder cancer at the tender age of 20-Steingraber's life is then transformed into a world of questions, correlations and advocacy regarding the relationships between chemical runoff and health.  And picking up the reins of a fight Rachel Carson began after World War 2.   

Less than five minutes in, I receive the proverbial kick in the stomach: Steingraber is telling her story from Pekin, IL-only 30 minutes from where not only the majority of, you, my readers are from, but myself as well.  Talk about 'close to home'.  Steingraber is talking about the Illinois River, South of Peoria-one she dubs: 'The River of Human Cancer'.

From Peoria the viewer is taken across the United States and to Canada exploring the migration and effects of the chemicals factories and farmers use and how those chemicals live and move around our environments
and affect out environment, animals and possibly ourselves.  We are also taken into Steingraber's daily life of a 30 year cancer survivor and how remission, while a blessing, also leaves the person in constant fear and uncertainty.

Steingraber has taken the reins of her cancer to advocate the elimination of dangerous chemicals used in factories and farms by speaking out on her findings and the findings of her peers on how chemicals affect our bodies and are strongly coorolated with cancer.     

Living Downstream, brilliantly brings to light how history can repeat itself by hiding in a different cloak- allowing dangerous chemicals into our lives is a secular human rights issue-and as long as we stand for it, we perpetuate the violent toll it takes on the lives of ourselves and our children.  And how silence is the the most violent perpetuation.   

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment below to enter to win the DVD: Living Downstream! Winners will be announced Tuesday, September 3rd!


*All opinions in this article are my own.  The DVD was provided by First Run Features.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

White BBQ Sauce & Crock-Pot Roasted Chicken

This week in Illinois is projected to be hot!  Probably the hottest week we've had all year, but in Illinois-strange weather is the norm.  We had sixty-degree weather in July with the nights in the 40's and 50's, a few winters ago we had record breaking snowfalls, only to be followed by another record-breaking winter, but in this case it was for fewest inches fallen in a season.  Being a weatherman here is a thankless task, but being a resident only makes you quickly adaptable to change.

So for this incredibly warm week, I have to adjust my cooking as to not heat up the house.  Yesterday, I decided to make a simple favorite.  Crockpot roasted chicken, its easy, healthy and takes no time.

The real trick to putting a whole chicken in a crock pot, is not letting it simmer in its own juices.  By allowing the chicken to sit in the juice-the chicken will fall apart when you try to remove it.  My girlfriend, Monica shared a tip she uses: take a few pieces (approx 12''x12'') and crush them into loosely formed balls and place in the bottom of the crock pot.  Then, pat the chicken dry, season with Tony Chachere's and set the chicken on top of the aluminum.  This will allow the juices to fall to the bottom and steam the chicken-and keeping the chicken in one piece.  This tip works perfectly!  And you don't have to spray the foil at all!  The chicken lifts right out! 

I only cook for Levi and myself, so buying a smaller whole chicken isn't that big of a deal.  I usually try to find the cheapest one at the store, as it will feed us for two meals.  I can usually find one for under $5.

After I got the chicken settled into the crock, I peeked into the fridge to check our sauce situation-Levi always uses BBQ sauce with his roasted chicken.  I noticed we were very low and decided to try my hand at the white BBQ sauce that has been creeping into my peripherals.  After
perusing the internet for a few recipes and assessing them against what I had, I ended up with a blend from a few different sources:

White BBQ Sauce:

-1c mayo
-1/4c Apple Cider Vinegar
-3Tbl Dijon Mustard
-1Tbl horseradish
-1 garlic clove-minced
-1tsp sugar
-1tsp salt
-black pepper to taste

Mix in a mason jar and store in the fridge.
*All measurements are approximate, as I taste as I go and adjust as needed. 



Levi loved this sauce and was happy to try something new with his chicken!  It was very good, but a little too reminiscent of ranch dressing.  I think in the future, I'd like to try adjusting some elements of this sauce:
1. adding liquid smoke
2. pureeing the garlic
3. adding brown sugar

Try it a few different ways and let me know your thoughts on White BBQ Sauce!
Enjoy!




Monday, August 26, 2013

Bruegala 2013: Good Beer and Good Fun!

Each August the Bloomington-Normal Jaycees put on a beer festival.  It began in the Sale Barn at the edge of town, moved to the Interstate Center on another edge of town and finally moved to the Bloomington Center for Performing Arts in Downtown Bloomington-conveniently 2 blocks from my apartment!

Since moving to the BCPA, the event has gotten bigger, added wine and better music (Red Wanting Blue!!!) and this year an array of local food trucks graced the event.  And while I love to go for the beer-this has turned into the social event of the season. 

Levi and I (as stated in the previous post) hosted a small dinner party and invited friends to come pre-game, park and eat before heading to Bruegala.  As so many dinners go-we kinda got a late start, but no one seemed to mind.  We didn't get to the Gala until 8pm-2 hours after the event started.  Needless to say, the BCPA was already packed and by the time we go inside to sample beers, we had already run into a few friends.

I'm not even sure how people can get more than a few samples-as stopping to talk is really the most popular of activities here!  My friend Natalie and I had to cut away and sneak off to get our first drink-as we had been there almost 20 minutes and couldn't get to a beer booth before running into someone!  In addition, the glasses are only about 4 oz., so it doesn't take very long to empty ones glass. 

What I like about this event is it gives you the opportunity to find a new favorite beer.  Last year, my new favorite was the Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier Dunkel-its not very easy to find around here, but most of the booths can tell you where to find it in town-which is nice.  Also, when you purchase your tickets, I always grab the list of beers.  This gives me a good lay-of-the-land and also helps me remember the names of the beers the next day.  

Levi's mission each year is to try every pumpkin flavored beer offered.  I'm not sure why, but its pretty entertaining to watch him go though a significant few he doesn't care for!  Every now and again he'll get a pumpkin cider by surprise.  His face is priceless-as he doesn't care for sweet.  Speaking of ciders, rarely do I find something that really puts me off, but this year I found the Woodchuck Belgium White.  I don't mind ciders, but I rarely seek them out-this was something I didn't have a lot of expectation for, but seemed like it could be fun.  It was not fun and won't ever be.  Too many flavors going on, no balance, not good, not even tolerable.  

An honorable mention will go to Left Hand Brewing Company booth.  I found myself returning to their booth a few years ago, trying the extent of their offerings and was happy with each.   I find their product to be balanced and consistently well executed.  

This year, the stand-out for me was Founder's All-Day IPA.  This specific beer was recommended to me a month ago by a friend who owns Art Mart, in Champaign.  This beer was excellent!  Mild for an IPA which makes it really easy drinking.  Also it has a lowered alcohol content (thus the 'all-day' drink-ability factor) and is easy to find locally.  I tweeted my friend and he even told me Founder's will be selling it in cans soon!  This IPA is one to watch!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Salty Pesto Problem

Each year in my town there is a two day beer festival.  It began over 10 years ago on the edge of town and has gradually moved in, until 3-4 years ago it moved two blocks from our apartment.  Needless to say, I was not devastated.

This week all of our friends have been coordinating which night we were each going, where to park, etc.  I decided to take the reins and invite everyone over to eat, park their cars and walk down to the event. So earlier yesterday, I ran to our garden picked cherry tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, green peppers and basil for dinner-in our farm-to-fork society, why not?

First things first, I'll whip up some pesto and serve it with mozzarella, the tomatoes and some flat bread.  No problem right?  Well, heres the thing, sometimes its easy to get a little over zealous.  When you watch cooking shows and see them using a little bowl of salt as opposed to a shaker-it looks kinda pretentious.  But when you understand the reason is: its so the salt content can be better controlled, it makes more sense.  Shakers all dispense at varying rates and the dish gives the cook more control.  My salt dish was drying in the dishrack and as I had all my garden-fresh basil in the food processor with the pine nuts and oil, I just grabbed the container of salt and...SLIP...oh no.  Dumped probably 3 tablespoons worth of salt into the batch.  There is no turning back from that.  The pesto is destroyed.

I called one of my dinner guests and asked her to pick up some basil, but in most grocery stores they only have the prepackaged kind-not enough for a dinner for 8.  So when she arrived with it-I made a tiny bit of pesto-that was devoured and everything was fine.  But oh, how the original would have been so delicious.

My Basil Pesto Recipe

-2 handfuls fresh basil leaves
-Approx 1/4c Pine Nuts
-Olive Oil
-Parmesan
-Salt
*I apologize for the portions, I rarely measure.

 Rinse basil under cool water.  Transfer leaves to food processor.  Drizzle olive oil over top (around 2 tablespoons) and add pine nuts.  Run food processor until desired consistency.  Transfer mixture to bowl and grate Parmesan over top.  Stir together and salt to taste.  
 



Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Watermelons are Ripe for the Picking!

The Bunny's Melon

A few days ago, I went out to the garden.  My mom told me we had some watermelons ready.  We both were a bit surprised since they are a little on the early side, but sure enough-the bunnies had gotten into one as a late night snack!

I don't do too much with watermelon other than cut it and eat it plain, but I do enjoy salted watermelon.  I had never tried it before until a few years ago when I worked in a Mexican restaurant.  We made fresh watermelon margaritas-so cutting watermelon was a frequent duty in the summertime.  As soon as I get the watermelon out of the cooler, the vultures would start circling for a piece.  After while, anytime we had to cut watermelon we would just make a small plate of it for all the employees to snack on.  It was a nice moment to spend with your coworkers on a hot summer day in the lull of business-snacking on watermelon and shooting the breeze for a few minutes.

The kitchen staff always had their own little condiments and treats stashed away in their lockers to add to their highly customized lunches, but when the watermelon became a regular activity-they brought in a special seasoning.  I cant remember if it was Elder or Marcos who introduced me to salting watermelon, but I remember one of them taking me back to the prep kitchen and showing me how they season their slices.  Tajin isn't the same brand they used, but its the same premise-I had always assumed 'salting' meant, just salt, but it doesn't-at least, not to my friends.  The 'salt' has a little cayenne pepper mixed in with it-to give a really refreshing spice.  I tried to cheat the other day and salt my watermelon with Tony Chachere's-don't try it, its not the same.

If you enjoy salted watermelon at all and have yet to try it with the pepper-I highly recommend running out to you local Mexican grocer and picking some up!  It will change your perspective!


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Current Obession: Grilled Zucchini

I love finding simple solutions to things-whether it be using my Swiffer to dust those hard to reach corners of the walls or using Bounce dryer sheets to detour mice from stored furniture, they are all equally fabulous in my book!

Levi is our resident 'grill-master'.  He has a charcoal grill he uses multiple times a week (especially this week since I've been working late a lot) and he enjoys finding new things to add to the grill!  A few weeks ago he decided to try his hand at grilling zucchini-and let me tell you, YUM!  I could eat an entire plate of grilled zucchini and be perfectly happy!

Levi's Grilled Zucchini
-Slice zucchini into rings and arrange on grill
-brush with olive oil
-season with Tony Chachere's Creole
-char on the grill

We have done this with eggplant too, but it wasn't the same.  Does anyone have any success stories with grilling eggplant?




Monday, August 19, 2013

A Cookbook & Cobbler!



Last week, my mother and I received a cookbook as a gift from our new friend Susan Hoblit.  Susan is apart of the Atlanta Better-Business Bureau and actively works to help encourage tourism.  It is important to note, I'm not speaking of Atlanta, Georgia-as so many believe at first.  I'm speaking of Atlanta, Illinois-which sits on Old Route 66 and has been featured on many documentaries and travel shows covering Route 66 ( a personal favorite is Billy Connolly's Route 66).  Atlanta has revitalized their quaint downtown area to feature a Route 66 Museum, a cafe and some boutiques-along with weekend events to promote the community and encourage wary travelers to stick around.  Going through the guest book at the museum is one of the best parts for me-as you will see people from Australia, New Zealand and various parts of Europe have traveled through Atlanta.  Levi and I are especially thrilled to see this as he grew up there and I, not far away.

Its exciting to see your small hometown reinvent itself and develop or grow their businesses-as so many of these little towns are becoming extinct.  Susan and Deb Menken compiled recipes from members of the community to create a cookbook called, The Cooking Journey: Route 66 Atlanta, Illinois, to commemorate the people of Atlanta and to share a little local flare. 

I wanted to try a recipe out from the book and when I found #2 peaches at the Farmer's Market-I found my opportunity.  (Side Note: #2 peaches are slightly dented and bruised-perfect for baking.  #1's are better for eating). 

I thought about making pie, but when I saw the cobbler recipe I had to try it! Being a self-published cookbook, you get the charm of the independent perspective by knowing the book isn't going to be heavily edited and manufactured, but be aware that typos can occur-so just go with your instincts!  The cobbler recipe calls for shortening in the directions, but milk in the ingredients-use the milk, not the shortening.

Since I used #2 peaches, I made sure to cut out all the bruises-a quick process since peaches are so soft to slice.  The entire recipe came together quickly and browned in the oven beautifully-the peaches thickened and bubbled when finished.

We decided to have our cobbler ala mode and I must say-we had seconds!

For your own copy of The Cooking Journey, please send $15, plus $3 for each book ordered to Susan Hoblit PO Box 490 Atlanta, IL 61723.  Be sure to include your contact information and mailing address.  All proceeds go to The Atlanta, IL Better Business Association helping the area develop their business district.  

*This is not a sponsored Post!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

How Bartending Taught Me to Cook

I like to think I was an accidental foodie.  I refused to cook for a long time, I cant remember why, but after talking to a co-worker who grew up on a farm as well-we came to the conclusion that when one grows up on a farm-some of us want to see what else is out there.  We both moved to cities to attend college and stayed for our jobs or friends or the lifestyle.  My job was in a restaurant as a waitress and I went to school to pursue psychology.

A job transfer for my chef-boyfriend lead me 45 minutes away-a big move for me.  There I started cocktailing in a bar and eventually bartending.  After that I bartended and a few places before moving back home and bartending here.

I dont know what the turning point onto cooking was.  I ate most meals in the places I worked, but I remember my mother giving me this little casserole recipe book.  The recipes seemed easy enough and after only a couple successes-I was hooked.  Very quickly I was substituting ingredients and making up dishes, but I got frustrated quickly with casseroles because you have to cook some of the meals twice!  Brown the hamburger and the onions and cook off the noodles, then combine and cook-seemed like a lot of work to me and a lot of dirty dishes.  I knew there were other meals out there I could make which were easier and less fuss.

My mother gave me a subscription to Taste of Home Magazine that year for Christmas (and has every year since).  In one issue, I found a recipe for Mexican Manacotti.  It was amazing and probably very bad for you, as it required an incredible amount of cheese.  More than anything it took about two hours to prep.  It didn't take me very long to eliminate so many time consuming elements, it is now: Mexican Lasagna.

At one point in time I was a bar manager for a franchise restaurant, owned by two of the best people I know.  A husband who has a lifetime of restaurant experience and his beautiful wife who had (at the time) very little, but she was a good worker, a quick learner and incredibly sweet-so we all loved her.  The husband asked me one day to teach his wife how to bartend.  She came in for her first shift and I had an empty liquor bottle of water with a pour spout on it-ready to teach her how to blind pour.  I talked to her about where things were, but the entire shift-all she did was blind pour 1.5oz of water into different glasses and measure her accuracy into a shot glass.  It only took her about 15 minutes to become consistently accurate, but you have to be able to control that hand-so I made her do it until she questioned my sanity and then I made her pour for the rest of her shift.  This method was how I learned and this is how I taught.

The next shift I tested her blind pour and then we moved onto drink recipes.  The best way to learn is to do-so she made all the drinks going off of my directions.  If you're not much of a drinker or a cook (which she was neither) the concept of parts is hard to understand.  People need you to quantify 'parts'.  This is hard because there are a lot of variables to consider, but primarily the size of the glass is the way used most often-at that point you can just eyeball it.  The Wife was having a really hard time with this concept and after the second shift I think she wanted to throw up her hands, but eventually, by the third shift she started letting herself have some fun!  She was splashing Blue Curacao into the shakers and guesstimating margarita portions in the blender like a pro!  Watching her face change from the first to the third shift-from fear and uncertainty to confident and fun was one of the most rewarding training experiences I had ever had.  Until a few weeks later...

The Wife came up to me excitedly with news at work one day.  She had a smile on her face like she achieved the unachievable-with a reason.  "Carmen, when I cook I use a recipe and measure everything exact!  I level everything with a knife and do everything by-the-book.  Last night I made [Husband] dinner and I wanted to make these mashed potatoes I had a recipe for.  But I thought about what you had told me about approximating and using your instincts-and I didn't measure ANYTHING!  I just put a little splash of this and that in the bowl and [Husband] said they were the best mashed potatoes he had EVER had!!!  I cant believe it!  He never likes my cooking!!!" 

While I've known how to bartend, far longer than I've known how to cook-the transfer of skills made the process so much easier-more than I knew at the time.  You get a sense of flavors and portions behind a bar, that forces you to trust the ingredients and the process.  It was something I was happy to share with [Wife] and an important lesson for anyone wanting to learn to cook, or to bartend.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Pickled Onions: My takeaway from The Windy City

A few weeks ago, while in Chicago with Lisa-I couldn't help but see the theme which resonated throughout our meals: Pickled Onions.

On dips, guacamole, tacos, tortas, with pate-the purple crescent pieces of onion adorned everything.  They were delicious too-in some foods, the saltiness of the brine came through, others the sweetness, but in most it was the acidity that caught my attention.  So quickly we can tell when the guacamole is lacking something-typically we grab for the salt shaker, but so often its the acidity we're missing and should be looking for a lime.  I'm not suggesting to forgo the lime from your guacamole completely, but to consider the impact of the lime.

I couldn't go very long without having some more of these bowed, purple, pickled, goodness-so I came home and looked for a recipe that looked the most like what I had be experiencing.  And I found it at Inspired Taste.

The recipe was simple enough, but I was confused as to why they felt it took an hour to prep-it only took me 5 minutes.  I also cut the recipe in half and prepped my jar to can the onions-which only required boiling the jar and lid-not hard. 

The cloves, cinnamon and red pepper toasted nicely, but 3-5 minutes may be too long-so keep an eye on it so the dry ingredients don't burn.  The brine comes together quickly as well-this isn't a project to walk away from for a moment.  

I put the onions in the hot jar, topped with the brine and the boiled lid, put on the canning ring and picked up around the house while waiting to hear my lid 'POP'.

I know you should be able to eat these right away, but with pickling-I always feel its best to wait a few days to a month (if you have them sealed).

For those new to pickling and canning, the vinegar is the acid that preserves the food-keeping it safe to eat after long periods of time.  I also prefer eating 'canned' food out of glass as glass has been highly regarded as the safest food storage materials




Monday
Friday


As stated earlier, I like to wait a little before consuming pickled items.  The flavor changes and develops-in this case, you can see the difference in the onions.  The photo on the left was taken on Monday right after I finished the recipe.  The photo on the right was taken this morning, as the red in the onion has saturated each petal with a consistent, vibrant magenta-exactly like the onions I had in Chicago. 

They look ready for guacamole now, don't they?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Bachelorette Party In Battle Creek, MI

To clairify, this was NOT my bachelorette party.  My girlfriend is getting married in September-she and the MOH decided to rent a house out in the country and have a girls weekend.  Eleven women made the trip and fortunately we all returned with all of our dignity in tact (I hope).

The house was beautiful, a colonial mansion complete with servants stairwells, hardwood floors and excellent light.  The house has been significantly remodeled and updated-the kitchen was definitely the hub of activity for the weekend and the in ground pool-the other. 

All the ladies brought beverages and while I will keep the girly fun of the weekend, under wraps-the food and atmosphere were by far the highlight!

My apologies for the blurry photos!  I used my phone for these!
New (to me) fun and delicious beer!


The Pool


Lisa introduced me to Vinho Verde in Chicago! Yum!


The view of the back of the house!

Alix made Korean BBQ for dinner on Friday!  This was my favorite of the weekend!

This isn't even a quarter of the libations! :)

Silver shot (for Lees)!

 It is noted that I was awake at least 2 hours before everyone else.  I also was in bed far before anyone else...going to work at 6am makes you the party's Lam-o!
My morning cup of Joe and the lovely view!

We ate all our meals on this very spacious 3 seasons room!

Awesome kitchen!

Skewers for Bloody Marys

Some of us needed more than one drink for more than one reason...Pictured: water, mimosa, bloody mary and coffee

Tisornia Beach - Benton Harbor, MI

North Pier

Me walking on the beach
We were so close to Benton Harbor on the way up-we decided to stop at the beach on the way home.  My aunt used to live here and I spent family vacations and holidays on this beach.  The last time I was here, I was 23 and having, what will be forever known as: the worst year of my life.  What I didn't know while I was there-it was only only to get worse before it got better...This area holds a lot of wonderful memories for me and I was glad to see it again.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Chicago: Maude's Liquor Bar


Upon googling Little Goat Diner to retrieve the address, Google Maps informed me that Maude's Liquor Bar was only a block away.  It only took me a few seconds to remember why this bar sounded familiar to me-my former work husband, Spencer, currently works there!  I immediately decided we had to stop by if he was working-and a few text back and forth determined he would be!  So Lisa and I decided that we would go by for an after dinner drink!

Maude's has a dimly lit interior with completely white walls-whether they're covered in subway tile, or wainscoting.  The lovely crystal chandeliers hang from the black painted ceiling and the ambiance is light and fun with the servers milling quickly and quietly about. 

Spencer promptly got us a table by the bar and upon review-we quickly realized this is a rye bar.  The menu had many fun mixed drinks like sazerac and Maude's Punch.  Lisa ordered the mezcal corpse reviver (mezcal, absinthe, lillet and lemon) and tried the boire amer (cynar, black rum, old fashioned bitters and lime).  Both were delicious and perfectly suited for our own personal tastes.  I air on the sweeter side and Lisa, the sour. 

Maude's does offer a food menu, traditional French faire with oysters and terrine- a menu I would be inclined to try upon return.

I could have stayed at Maude's all night and we both agreed-if there was something like this in our home towns-we wouldn't leave.



Cute water carafes.
Left: Mezcal Corpse Reviver Right: Boire Amer
The bar with the fun chandeliers and tile!


My former work-husband and host for the evening, Spencer!  Go see him!

Maude's Liquor Bar
840 W Randolph St Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 243-9712

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Chicago: Little Goat




I have been wanting to go to Stephanie Izard's diner, Little Goat-since I learned of it!  Little Goat has this beautiful rooftop patio in which Izard constantly tweets beautiful photos of and it reeled me in!   In addition to her reputation as a wonderful chef-Izard seems to have her thumb on the pulse of Chicago's taste!

The Little Goat Rooftop

This old water tower provides a unique view from the rooftop of Little Goat!  
 Whipped Goat Mousse with crumpets, pickled onions and pickles.

Hoopoe's Hope signature cocktail and the Layers of 7 dip (I think I have the name right).  This dip was amazing!  When it arrived covered in diced avocado and pickled onions-we knew were on the right track!  This dip could easily feed 3-4 people for an appetizer-Lisa and I barely made it through half.  The acidity of the onion and the creaminess of the beans and avocado was an excellent balance of textures and flavors and we had to force ourselves to stop eating it so we could move on the the next place!  The limited menu on the rooftop did not take away from Little Goat's charm or reputation.  

2nd Floor of Little Goat and, "how did I get a seat at the island?'
Note: the built-ins with ceramic ware.


Loving all the copper on the wall!

Across from the kitchen is this adorable dining area and bar!

Speaking of Charm, in order to get onto the roof, one must pass through the adorable 2nd floor kitchen and dining area.  Unoccupied when we were there-Im assuming its either used for overflow or private events.  Either way-It was stunning and the new model for my dream kitchen (minus all the patrons).  You feel as though your in Izard's private residence-complete with the dreamy kitchen being utilized for the rooftop menu items. Lisa and I wanted to stay up there forever!

LITTLE GOAT DINER
820 W RANDOLPH ST. 
CHICAGO, IL 60607  
312 888 3455