Wednesday, April 16, 2014

JoycetheRockStar.com Featured on TheBesty.com

Recently The Besty reached out to me and asked if they could feature me on their site.  Of course I said yes.  The Besty is a great tool to keep track of your favorite eateries.  You can even see lists made by friends and family!  Whether you're on a staycation or on a vacation anywhere in the world, you can find food and restaurant recommendations.  Check out my spotlight! 

I was not compensated for this post.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Coulda Used More Power after Power Lunch

Today my bff Flo and I went out for lunch in this glorious weather.  It's about time!  We headed to McCormick & Schmick's and both had Santa Fe Shrimp Salads.  The salad was pretty small for a $14.99 entree.  I guess we both had higher expectations because our lunch salads at Encore were exceptional -- bigger and better all-around.  Flo didn't like the saltiness of the shrimp and the over-presence of cilantro dressing.  I guess the best deal at M&S for lunch is the $14.99 two-course meal with salad and choice of select entrees.
McCormick & Schmick's on Urbanspoon

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Dim Sum in Chinatown

Today Donna and I had lunch at one of "celebrity chef" Tony Hu's many successful Chinese restaurants--LAO YOU JU.  Hu is a very visible and prominent figure in the Chinese-American community in Chicago.  A couple of his restaurants including Lao Sze Chuan are Michelin-recommended, having received Bib Gourmands.

We ordered plain crepe for her toddler son to enjoy and beef crepe for us adults.  The crepe tastes like the wide noodles used in the popular Thai dish pad see ew.  We also ordered steamed beef cilantro meatballs, broccoli, dried scallop & ginkgo congee (not pictured), and egg custard yolk buns.  For those of you who are not fans of dim sum, they have a separate menu with more traditional dishes you would expect to see at a Chinese restaurant.

Lao You Ju on Urbanspoon

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Simple Lunch in River North

After catching a matinee of the awesome new movie "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," at the AMC, my friend and I walked across the street to Eataly to catch some lunch.  The place was packed and noisy and we weren't in the mood to wait for service.  We walked a couple streets up to E.Leaven Food Company, which is similar to Au Bon Pain, Cosi, Panera, and Corner Bakery, but different in that they serve mimosas and bloody marys.

The place was practically empty, which was nice for us, but probably not so good for E.Leaven.  It looks like some of their customers were poached by Eataly.  They were offering some pretty generous deals, such as 25% off your order with a Facebook check-in, or free Intelligentsia coffee with a bagel and cream cheese purchase.
I had the Baja salad, with is basically a southwest salad, and my pal had the Southwestern omelet.  I hope that the novelty of Eataly dies down and that the smaller surrounding eateries can survive.
Eleaven Food Company on Urbanspoon

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Power Lunch at ENCORE

Flo and I had an exceptional lunch at ENCORE, part of the Hotel Allegro.  Our salads tasted fresh, hearty, clean, and were made of higher-quality ingredients.  The tab is a bit higher than other Loop Lunch hot spots, but once in a while, it is well worth it.  I ordered the Roasted Turkey Salad, which had a huge portion of hand-carved turkey.  (It actually lasted me for two more micro-meals.)  I don't always get to have a traditional turkey meal come Thanksgiving, so I get really excited when I'm able to get the real deal.  Flo had the Grilled Tuna Mediterranean Spinach Salad, with huge chunks of seared tuna.  I forked a piece and thoroughly enjoyed it.  How can you ever go back to canned tuna when you can eat the real mccoy?
Our bill came with two wrapped chocolate chip cookies.  I went back to work happier and enjoyed my treat with my afternoon decaf.
Encore on Urbanspoon