Essential Chef Blogs

Relax, settle in, and eat and drink vicariously with our bloggers.

thumbBlog roadTripJoin us as we search for the most authentic, tastiest, ethnic foods from around the world. Current series: Pork Sandwiches: the cubano, banh mi, croque monsieur

Taco Crawl

Freshly roasted peppers at Tierra Caliente #1
Spit of roasted pork at Tierra Caliente #1
Taco Arabes at Cemitas Puebla
Chorizo taco at Cemitas Puebla
Making tortillas at Birrieria Zaragoza
Large goat platter at Birriera Zaragoza
Traditional taco condiments at Birrieria Zaragoza
Linda: Meat, onions, cilantro, salsa, in a corn tortilla, served with a wedge of lime – a traditional, authentic Mexican taco. Not fancy, just delicious, if well prepared. Fortunately Chicago has a large Mexican population, so there are many, many taquerias to choose from. We were looking for places that have food that tastes home-made, like our gr...
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Pie Crawl

Counter at Sweety Pies
Chocolate mousse pie at Sweety Pies
Coconut cream pie at Bang Bang Pie and Coffee
Counter at Bang Bang Pie and Coffee
Lemon meringue at Hoosier Mama Pie Company
Apple pie from Hoosier Mama Pie Company
Linda: I love pie. It reminds me of home, the aroma of apple pie baking in the oven, picking blackberries so mom could bake us a fresh blackberry pie. I think that pie is the homiest and most American of all desserts. And what better way to look toward summer than a pie crawl. We sampled ten pie slices over a four hour period, with the help of two ...
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Chocolate Crawl

Red Fire, Tian Nacu, peanut butter bon bon from Vosges
Beautiful display of Piron chocolates
Linda: Today's our day to taste chocolates. We missed Valentines Day but it's not too late to think about chocolate for Easter. We decided to focus on chocolatiers that make small batches of chocolates by hand. We visited four stores in the Chicago area, all highly regarded for their chocolate creations. It was hard to be entirely scientific in our...
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Donut Crawl

Old Fashioned Donut: Loading a tray of donuts to be proofed
Dat Donut: Three donuts from Dat Donut's
Sharon: Since it's almost Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras), we decided to sample some all-American, high fat pleasures, donuts. We visited four donut shops, all with strong local followings. At each one, we sampled a yeast-raised donut, a cake donut, and a cream-filled donut (which is also made with yeast). There are two basic types of donut dough: do...
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Pizza Crawl

The crust was heavenly – chewy, elastic, light.
The crust was heavenly – chewy, elastic, light.
Linda: Today we are off to sample pizzas. Since there are so many styles of pizzas and we only have limited stomach capacity, we needed to focus. And what better focus than on the classic, neopolitan-style pizza? I know we're in Chicago and Chicago is the home of deep dish pizza, but we'll save that crawl for another day. Naples, Italy is just...
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