Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Berghoff Restaurant on Adams Street in Chicago

Walking in, you get the feeling of going back in time.  The restaurant has been around for quite some time, and you can tell.  This fact, however, is not a bad thing.  It has a very nice vintage feel to it.

  I had a bit of a wait for a table, but it is a popular restaurant.  The wait is well worth it.  I sat down and ordered a famed root beer.  The root beer is so amazing so don't cheap out and get water here.  Order the root beer.  I had a few people with me and was able to sample a few menu items.  I had a four sausage plate.  Four different types of sausage on a plate and it was delicious.  The Germans know their sausage.  The sausage was on a delicious bed of a bruschetta type tomato/onion salad.  One of my dining buddies ordered lamb.  This was the single best lamb I've ever eaten.  It had some kind of sweet sauce that made the tender morsels taste like Heaven.  It also had a rice side dish that tasted good and complemented the lamb very well.  I was told by my other friend that the macaroni and cheese was good.  Don't bother with the kid stuff, get the lamb.  The service is good, the food is great, and the atmosphere is wonderful.

10/10 stars A bit pricey, but well worth it.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Texas vs. Australia: Fried Onion Battle

Let me preface this article by saying we have added another member to the team.  Texas is a 21 year old male, who also loves food. He's a big fan of the blog and decided to contribute some content.  He's my room mate at college and he has my full support on his opinions.  This brings the total review team up to 3.  Welcome to the team Texas!

At least three restaurants in the area around Bourbonnais by which I mean a 1 hour radius have an appetizer on their menus in the form of an onion that is cut into a blossom, battered, and fried.  Outback Steakhouse calls it the Bloomin' Onion, Texas Roadhouse calls it the Cactus Blossom, and Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon calls it the Texas Rose.  Technically speaking, they are all relatively identical.  However, I chose one week to challenge all three to my judgment and see which is truly superior.  My credentials are that I love this appetizer.  Also, I should mention that I am a born and raised Texan so I have to hang up my bias in order to allow Outback a fair fight.
I should also mention that these appetizers typically run about 5 bucks but it is pretty easy to find coupons for a "free appetizer with purchase of two meals" for both Roadhouse and Outback so take a date.

Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon (N. State Route 50, Bourbonnais)
Lone Star itself is an ok place.  The food is good and despite being in Illinois, the Texas influence in its meals is obvious.  The Texas Rose?  It was just ok.  The sliced fried pieces of onion were sometimes cut too thin and burned leaving just a miniscule burnt onion in a hunk of fried batter.  The dipping sauce was also pretty gross tasting to me.

Texas Roadhouse (Route 45, Tinley Park)
I'm a huge Texas Roadhouse fan.  I have always loved the food here and its selection is vast.  The Texas influence makes me feel right at home.  How do I like their Cactus Blossom?  It's pretty good. The blossom itself is quality.  The downside is once again, a crappy tasting dipping sauce.

Outback Steakhouse (Orland Park)
I really just go to Outback for the Bloomin' Onion.  It's menu is limited and expensive and they are always out of Shock Top.  What about their Bloomin’ Onion makes it so great?  It is always thick-cut, extra fried, and has the best tasting dipping sauce.  It's only flaw is that it takes longer to come out than the ones I order at Lone Star and Texas Roadhouse.

Lone Star's Texas Rose: 4/10
Texas Roadhouse's Cactus Blossom: 7/10
Outback Steakhouse's Bloomin' Onion: 9/10

Beef O'Brady's in Bourbonnais

Walking into this Irish Pub style restaurant, I got a feeling of extreme comfort and homeliness.  The atmosphere in this restaurant is fantastic.  I was greeted by a cheery hostess who gladly seated me at a table.  I sat down and minutes later my server arrived to take my drink order (Coke).  I browsed the menu and decided on ribs.  There are many classic pub items that every one can enjoy.  Ribs seemed like a wise choice; they're generally safe for my allergies.  I was surprised to see a different server bring my food and ask if I needed anything else.  Let's get into the food.  The ribs were extremely tender and the meat practically fell off the bone.  The barbeque sauce was just the right mix of tangy and sweet.  They were absolutely delicious.  The fries were fat steak fries cooked well; nothing serious, but they were good.  There was also a side of coleslaw.  It is a good amount of food for the price.  The menu items are very affordable and very good tasting.  The service is impeccable.  I had three separate servers refill my drink and ask how I was doing. The people are friendly and the atmosphere was great.

9/10 stars

Monday, March 28, 2011

New addition!

We've just had a new addition to the Chicago area food review blog!  His name is Stephen and he's not allergic to cheese.  He likes food a lot and has even more experience eating it than I do.  You should be seeing articles from both of us coming up.  Stephen is a huge fan of local dining, and he will be posting about the restaurants located in the Bourbonnais area.  We can post authors and whatnot so that you guys don't get confused as to who is writing the article.  This is a major development and we're glad to have Stephen aboard.

Coming soon...

I'm going after Little Caesar's next.  Stay tuned for upcoming events.

Taco Bell Rt. 102

The Taco Bell on Rt. 102 in Bourbonnais is not that great.  Generally I go there when I'm starving and have nowhere else to go because it's late and all the other good places are closed.  I went there last week and I got the stalest hard shell taco (no cheese) that I've ever eaten.  This thing almost made me throw up.  Generally this Taco Bell has decent food that isn't stale and garbage tasting.  It wasn't just my food either.  My companion got a burrito and that shell was also stale.  It must have been a bad week for that particular location.

I'll give it a 5/10 stars.  It's just kind of there.  Nothing of note to report.

My Credentials

My name is Todd.  I have been alive for a little more than 20 years.  I feel that in this time, I've eaten at enough restaurants and food places to qualify myself as a food critic.  Here's some reasons why I know food.  I'm allergic to cheese.  If you can eat cheese, this blog is completely useless to you.  A lot of foods I eat have to be special ordered to remove the dairy products.  This could include sauces that are vital to the recipe tasting good, or the massive amounts of cheese that have to be put on an otherwise okay dish to make it taste good.  I find that chefs resort to cheese when they have a mediocre dish that needs just a little more.  So, they take a handful of cheese, sometimes 8 handfuls, and glob it on there so all you can taste is that cheesy goodness.  No, I don't have a fancy degree or any kind of necessary food critic credentials, but I do like food, and I eat a lot of it.  I'm also pretty handy with computers, so you can post questions about those in the comments if you think the food stories are boring.