Continuing with dessert at Quartino (http://www.quartinochicago.com/menus.html)… Now, I love me a good friggin doughnut! Cooking this Zeppole fresh, dusting it with Powdered Sugar, and giving me Dark Chocolate Sauce in which to dip is dangerous and, quite frankly ridiculous, yo! Ridiculous.
My friends and I scored this awesome dish at Quartino (http://www.quartinochicago.com/menus.html) in Chicago. These guys throw out tasty Italian dishes at you tapas style. This Prosciutto D’Anitra was my favorite. If you want to imagine how wonderful this recipe was to taste, imagine being able to shoot Daffy Duck in the face, salt and cure his Breast Meat, thinly slice it, and complement it with Wild Arugula. Pairing the saltiness of the prosciutto with the bitterness/peppery bite of the arugula was genius! Just look at the fat on this thing! My arteries feel a bit congested whenever I look at this picture. Compliments to Chef Coletta on this creation.
I’m not a huge fan of gnocchi pasta, but this dish totally changed my perspective! This cheesy concoction is offered at the Mad Platter (http://www.themadplatterrestaurant.com/) in downtown Nashville. Given the moniker “Chili Mac”, it consists of Blackened beef tips atop a mound of Ricotta gnocchi mixed in a Three Cheese Sauce and sautéed with White Truffle Oil. All of the flavors worked together in my mouth like the United Nations on a good day. I’m usually wont to share my food with anyone accompanying me; however, this time, I did have to fend off attacks with my butter knife in my left while I forked tasty bits with my right.
In-N-Out Burger (http://www.in-n-out.com/) is the greatest thing to happen to fast food. Period. Whenever I’m lucky enough to hit up the West Coast, my first stop has to be In-N-Out. True In-N-Out fans know the secret menu. My go-to burger is the Double-Double Animal style, which has two burger patties with cheese and throws down extra secret sauce and grilled onions. During this visit, I decided to be brave and get the Fries Animal-ed up as well. A Strawberry Shake finished off this 10 a.m. lunch.
You want pancakes? I’ll show you some pancakes! Thanks to Milk & Honey Cafe (http://www.milkandhoneycafe.com/) in Chicago, my need for that fluffy mixture of butter and flour was satiated. This example here consists of Buttermilk-Granola Pancakes topped with fresh peaches accompanied with a double order of crispy Bacon. The pancakes were amazingly fluffy and granola-y flavorful especially when doused with maple syrup and juxtaposed to the crunchy strips of pork meat.The libation in the background was a Raspberry-Vodka Lemonade. And, no, 9 a.m. is not too early for 3 of these.
There’s nothing like B.Y.O.B. and Korean Chicken Wings at Crisp (http://www.crisponline.com/crisp.aspx). The recipe here was a family tradition consisting of “a subtly sweet sauce prepared with ginger, soy, garlic and other select spices” and we were blessed to let that tradition hit our taste buds! These ain’t no Hooter’s wings. These full-size, big ‘ol boy chicken wings. If the chickens were given steroids and then forced to exercise in a prison gym their whole lives, that’s all well and good for me, because they were delicious! Our appetites were so insatiable that day, we ordered 2 more helpings.
One of my friends in Chicago brought us to this dope burger place called The Counter (http://www.thecounterburger.com/lincolnpark/). The menu is large and diverse which allows you to custom build your own ground meat creation. This beauty is a Two-third Pound All-Organic Beef Burger cooked medium rare with Gruyère Cheese, Applewood Bacon, Fried Egg, Lettuce, Tomato all on a Multigrain Bun and accompanied with Steak Sauce.
Needless to say, this was one awesome burger! It was cooked perfectly and tasted clean. The melted Gruyère and bacon complemented each other like Pride Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith.
(This was only an appetizer. The main course was…)