cgoldrick | Chicago Reader

Recent Reviews

Re: “Firefly

The charcuterie appetizer was good, as was the short but high-value wine list. And the desserts were decent. But the rest of the food was just dreadful. My pork chop was literally about 1/3 gristle. What with the dim lighting and dark sauce, each bite was an unpleasant guessing game. The sauce was just briny and the accompanying apple-sage bread pudding was OK but not great. My friends ordered the onion soup and both said it was so salty as to be almost inedible. It's a pleasant place and wasn't packed on a Saturday night, so I might go back for an appetizer and a drink but definitely not dinner.

Posted by Chris Goldrick on 11/18/2007 at 1:58 AM

All the food was of the 1970s vegetarian variety, i.e. the basic ingredients were good but there was no attempt to add flavor with spices, onions, herbs or innovative cooking techniques. I ordered the polenta pie, which contained artichoke hearts, spinach, mushrooms and tomatoes. All the ingredients were tasty but that was about it. My friends ordered the oyster mushroom risotto which turned out to be barley (not rice) and the flavoring was largely driven by vegan cheese and applesauce for a weird, unappealing combination of flavors that didn't quite meld together.

The pumpkin cheesecake with cranberry compote was very tasty, less rich and in my opinion more enjoyable than most non-vegan cheesecakes. The sweet potato pie filling had a cakey consistency and lacked the flavorful spices you would expect for that dish.

The service was terrible but a manager intervened halfway through our meal and apologized profusely, saying our server was brand new, and comped us dessert, so maybe it's usually different.

I wish there were a better selection of vegetarian-focused restaurants in Chicago. The Chicago Diner food is well-executed but hardly complex. Ditto for Alice & Friends. Lula's Cafe is the only one I can think of that uses contemporary, flavorful cooking techniques -- not counting the many Indian places on Devon, of course, which are a vegetarian paradise.

Posted by Chris Goldrick on 11/17/2007 at 3:37 PM

Re: “Sticky Rice Thai

Better than average Thai food at very reasonable prices. What makes Sticky Rice special is their vast menu, which ranges from the standard (e.g. pad thai) to the intriguing (pearl mushrooms with ground pork, or duck with lychee curry) to the truly adventurous (ingredients like cubed blood, caterpillars and ant eggs). lists everything.

Posted by Chris Goldrick on 02/09/2007 at 12:28 PM

Re: “Nookies Tree

Nookies is unpretentious, if not especially cheap. The big draw for me is the huge menu, whose offerings range from basic to frou-frou, healthy to heart attack. I like going there with a group because everyone can find something they like. Also, the wait staff is personable and accommodating.

Posted by Chris Goldrick on 01/07/2007 at 1:52 PM

Re: “Indian Grill

Indian Grill is very typical in terms of its North Indian menu, decor and price range (for Lincoln Park). The food was a little bit better than average for LP/Lakeview. The service is very hospitable and they were great about keeping our water glasses filled. However we never received dinner plates and snatched some appetizer plates from another table, which none of the waitstaff commented upon. It was uncrowded on a Saturday night. FYI, as with many Chicago restaurants, the food we asked to be prepared "mild" had no heat whatsoever and the "medium" had just a little kick to it.

Posted by Chris Goldrick on 01/07/2007 at 1:47 PM

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Recent Comments

Re: “Drew's on Halsted

I ordered the chicken with cornbread/andouille stuffing, which was terrific though a modest portion by restaurant standards. My husband got the penne with sausage, chicken and shrimp which was also very good, if a little less unusual in its preparation, and he got the heaping plate that I'm used to. His gazpacho was amazing, too.

I can see why some raters have said Jack's is overpriced, since you don't get a vast amount of food, exotic ingredients or dining room flash. But I feel pretty good about it since for $80 we got out-of-the-ordinary, well-prepared food and fine service, including great wine recommendations from our waitress.

Annoyingly, a toddler screamed through a good portion of our meal. But at restaurants, unlike movie theaters, I don't feel like I can really blame the staff for that.

Posted by Chris Goldrick on 07/28/2004 at 10:52 PM

Re: “Uncommon Ground

My dish, the Uncommon Huevos, was overly salty and drowned in greasy cheese. The toast and hash browns were good and so was my husband's omelet. Atmosphere is perfect for brunch and I love the fact that there's no wait. Price is a little high for what you get.

Posted by Chris Goldrick on 03/21/2004 at 6:53 PM

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