If you are not Ubering to Mott St., I would highly recommend that you take some time to explore the vibrant neighborhood of Wicker Park before heading to the restaurant. You will go off onto a residential street with cool-looking townhouses, feel slightly confused as to where exactly this restaurant is, and arrive at what seems to be in the middle of nowhere. Mott St. sits by itself amidst the grey, unassuming street, a small but colorful hut-like restaurant that beckons you to go over and check it out. On a closer look, the exterior decorations of the restaurant seem to me that whoever designed it was trying to blend Korean characters, bubblegum colors and ambiguous cartoon figures all into one confusing collage. Cute, but leaves many questions hanging.
Named on Michelin’s Bib Gourmand and its executive chef nominated for a James Beard Award, Mott St. came into my awareness through a Thrillist article, where it got ranked as the best burger in Chicago, even above Au Cheval’s. (Remember when Au Cheval was the shit? I guess it still is.) Slowly and gradually, I had a couple other people recommending Mott. St’s burger to me as well. I got the impression that their burger is like one of those unsung heroes, who is overshadowed by a former star and is struggling to gain its own recognition. I came to testify whether or not their burgers are legendary.
Continue reading “Mott Street: Chicago’s Next Top Burger?”
“This Kid I Know” is a series of birthday posts on Never Stationary, my friend Catherine Zhang’s blog, where she dedicates a blog post to a friend on his or her birthday. I’m not starting the same thing on my blog, but instead dedicating this one post to her because she’s turning 21!
Sup, Cat! I’ve always wondered if you’ve ever wondered if someone is going to write you a “This Kid I Know.” Now that you’re hitting the big 21, I figured it should be your turn to shine, just like many others who had the honor to be mentioned on your blog.
Continue reading “”This Kid I Know”: Cat”
I forgot how much I love Wicker Park. Edgy and hipster (but slowly becoming more mainstream), and cluttered with restaurants from vegetarian cafes to bougie eateries, it is very easy to fall in love with this casual, fun neighborhood. Here you can find boutique clothing shops, second-hand bookstores, restaurants from a wide range of cuisines, art galleries, live music, all in fairly close proximity.
Continue reading “A Sunday in Wicker Park: Bru Chicago, Umami Burger and More”
I had been thinking about trying out a vegan diet for a while. Not because it is “trendy” or “healthier” than regular diets if that is what you are thinking. (Whether going vegan is trendy and healthy or not is debatable itself.) But with the rising environmental and ethical concerns with consuming meat and animal products, I have become more and more aware of these issues through social media and the internet.
But first of all, what is veganism? According to the Vegan Society, a vegan diet is a plant-based diet avoiding all animal foods such as meat (including fish, shellfish and insects), dairy, eggs and honey. If you choose to venture onto a full-on vegan lifestyle, you also avoid using leather and animal-tested products such as makeup and personal care ones.
Specifically, here are some explanations of the reasons why I decided to try being a vegan:
Continue reading “I Went (Kind Of) Vegan for a Week”
Just 40 minutes away by L from Northwestern’s campus, Argyle is an accessible district filled with ethnic Vietnamese food and groceries, and one of the best places to go to if you’re sick of Evanston and don’t want to venture all the way out to downtown Chicago.
My affinity for Vietnamese food is quite a recent thing. I never knew Vietnamese food can be so delicious and complex. (I blame Hong Kong for having no good Vietnamese food.) In contrast to other Asian cuisines such as Thai and Chinese, which boast bold, strong flavors, Vietnamese food is characterized by its simplicity and depth. Argyle is where I started to fall in love with warm pho noodles, fresh banh mi sandwiches and rich Vietnamese coffee.
Nearly everything mentioned in this guide is a 5 minute walk from the Argyle Red Line stop.
Continue reading “Chicago’s Little Vietnam: Argyle”
Words cannot describe my love for Korean food. Spicy and sweet, with bold umami flavors, Korean food satisfy all sorts of craving and I can never get enough of it. The West Coast may have its claim on the best Korean food in the country, but Chicago’s Korean fusion food scene should not be missed as well. Affordable, comfort food has never been better. Here are my top favorites in town. Continue reading “6 Places to Go for Korean Fusion Food in Chicago”
Gevulde speculaas is not a person, if that’s what you’re thinking. It is a traditional Dutch spiced cookie, filled with almond paste. It literally means “filled cookies.” It is actually pretty random how I came across this dessert. I didn’t know what I was eating when I first took a bite of this peculiar pastry in Amsterdam, when my friend brought it from a bakery on our way to the train station. After some digging on the Internet and finding out that it’s called gevulde speculaas, I didn’t even know how to pronounce it. I still don’t.
Continue reading “Kiss Goodbye 2016 with Gevulde Speculaas”