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Posts Tagged ‘jewel’

Alright, finally my last Restaurant Week experience. Yuki and I took advantage of the Art Institute’s free month in February this past Sunday. Afterwords we had planned on meeting up with a couple of friends, one in from Japan, for dinner downtown. We walked by Texas de Brazil and it looked damn tasty. So, I asked the hostess if they were participating in restaurant week, and when she said yes I made a reservation for us. What they normally charge for $50, we got for $32. Not a bad deal at all, not bad. Those of you have been to a Churrascaria before know what I’m talking about.

Again, the pics were taken with my cell, so they’re not the best quality. Also, if you’re a vegetarian or a little squeemish, don’t look any further. There are chunks of bloody animal carcass on my plate. Consider yourself warned.

We started off with a round of caipirinha’s. While the bartender whipped those up we headed over to the sushi and salad bars.

I apologize, I ate the sushi and most of my first run to the salad bar before snapping a pic. I have to say, the sushi was quite good. There were three different maki rolls, tuna and avocado, california, and salmon. The salad bar was outrageous! Check out their website for a complete list of items. My favorites were the tuna tataki, pomegranate quinoa, and the cheeses. Everything was top quality. They did not skimp at all. The soup was lobster bisque, which for some reason none of us tried. Why is that?

Once we finished the first round at the salad bar the meat-a-thon began! Flip the token to green and meat just started flying everywhere! Highlights were the garlic beef (of course), bacon-wrapped filet (of course), and the sausages (of course). I asked the gaucho what the sausage was spiced with and his answer was brilliant, “Brazillian spices”. Great, now I know how to make them at home. Other tasty bits were the lamb chops, leg of lamb, and flank steak. Just like the salad bar the meat was all top quality. They definitely did not buy their meats from Jewel! While mauling the meat we were served mashed potatoes, little cheese puffs, and fried plantians as well.

After ingesting about two and three fifths of large farm animals I thought it would be best to get some leafy greens in my stomach. I made another run to the salad bar and just grabbed some mixed greens and topped them with what they call “Brazillian Dressing”, just some small diced tomatoes and peppers in lime juice. Had I not gone for the salad I don’t even want to think about what would have happened to my intestines.

Dessert was also offered with our meal. We had our choice of a banana’s foster cheese cake or key lime pie. So, we got two of each.

I tell ya, as much fun as Churrascarias are and as delicious as they are, I don’t think I can go to one again. I always end up eating so much meat it’s not even funny. Don’t get me wrong, I love meat, it’s my favorite vegetable. Let’s be honest though, a 150 pound man should not swallow 207 pounds of dead animal in one sitting! It’s just not right! I almost couldn’t get up from the chair after the night’s festivities came to a halt. It also ruined my normal cycles for a few days, but that’s a whole different story in itself.

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Those of you who haven’t journeyed up to Andy’s Deli on 5442 N. Milwaukee are a bunch of idiots! I say that with a touch of humor, but also a lot of truth as there are very few reasons to grocery shop at Jewel, Dominicks or Whole Foods when there are gems like Andy’s in our beautiful city. A Polish Deli/Grocery store, Andy’s is a one-stop shop for almost all of your digestive needs.

 

 

They have a counter with freshly prepared foods such as goulash, various roasted and braised shanks, cabbage rolls, ground chicken balls (some in dill sauces), pork loins, numerous vegetables and salads. The menu changes daily, but there are always selections of each major food group: cow, pig, chicken, and fish. They also make 2-3 different soups every day with their barley soup ranking as one of the best bowls (of soup) in all of Chicago.

 

 

On the other side of the U-shaped deli counter are their deli meat and cheese selections. Most of the meats they slice are homemade. My two favorites are the ham-off-the-bone and their smoked turkey. I don’t know how, but they manage to keep that turkey as wet as….well, I have a sick mind so I’ll keep that one blank and let you use your imagination. They also have this delicious havarti cheese with dill speckled around inside of it. Not to mention the usual offerings of butchered dead animal carcass found in most grocery stores.

 

 

Behind the deli counter lining a wall that must be at least 15-20 feet hang all sorts of home smoked sausages (I luv me sum kielbasa) and bacons. That right there is enough to get my stomach rumbling (It starts by rumbling in a good way, the next day it’s rumbling for other reasons).

 

 

Andy’s also carries some perishables, some of which are imported from the motherland. Local Polish bakeries bring in breads every morning. There are frozen items like different pierogies and homemade tripe. An aisle of chocolates and candies, fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy, eggs, etc. They also carry liquor and some pharmaceuticals. Sausage, beer, and drugs, what more do you need?

 

 

To top it all off, their prices are much cheaper than the larger chain stores. I can walk out of Andy’s with four or five bags full of fresh and prepared food for well under $40! Where else can you buy food for 2 that lasts at least a week for that price?

 

 

The only two things missing from Andy’s are bagels and Asian ingredients. While they should carry bagels seeing as there used to be a large Jewish population in Poland, I don’t think too many Polish grew up eating Mao Po Tofu.

 

 

Andy’s is definitely one of my two favorite grocery stores in the Greater Chicagoland area, the other being Mitsuwa (my review for them is forthcoming). Next time you need a good piece of meat to take home, whether it be smoked, roasted, braised, cured, or freshly butchered, make the trek out to Andy’s.

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