Eating New York City – 2 Days (Vol. 4)

Are you planning a trip to New York City and feel lost or overwhelmed with where to find great food and drink?  I understand.  NYC is still one of the largest food destinations in the world and it has so many wonderful options.  But how do you enjoy a well-rounded experience if you only have two days to spare?  Welcome to the fourth installment of my blog series, Eating New York City – 2 Days.  Here I help you take some metaphorical bites and sips out of The Big Apple when you have limited time.  In this latest post, I’ve rounded up some great historic and modern restaurants for your culinary pleasure.  They are all accessible via mass transit so ditch the car and let’s go Feeding Off The Rails!



Day 1 – Eating New York City – 2 Days (Vol. 4)



Veniero’s Pasticceria is a rite of passage for New Yorkers and it has been a fixture in the East Village since 1894.  As an Italian-American, I still love the colorful room here, old-world charm and cavity-inducing pastries.  Cannoli, cappuccino, and napoleons are a must!




New York Eats Veniero lower east side Eating New York

Veniero on the Lower East Side, NYC


342 E. 11th St. – Take the L train to 1st Ave. Continue reading

20 Old-School Chicago Diners By Neighborhood

I grew up on the east coast which is the birthplace of the American diner.  My fondest memories of staying out late and slipping into a long, red booth at an all-night diner with friends are emblazoned in my mind.  I always felt that the 24-hour, greasy spoon diner was a safe respite if I ever felt lost or afraid.  They are the centers of our communities.  Below is a list of 20 Old-School Chicago Diners By Neighborhood you should keep handy.



South Loop



Eleven City Diner is always busy with Chicago residents and visitors alike.  This is a great place for bagels, matzo ball soup, lox and patty melts.  – 1112 S. Wabash Ave. (CTA Orange, Green and Red Lines to Roosevelt ‘L’ stop).




South Loop Eleven City Diner Old-school Chicago diners

Everything bagel, cheese, and crunchy slaw is my happy place at Eleven City Diner




White Palace Grill is an old-school Chicago diner which is open 24-hours a day. It’s been around since 1939.  If you’re looking to Continue reading

The Best Food and Drink in Chicago’s South Loop

Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood is an extremely vibrant part of town that has been booming with new residential housing over the last 12 years.  It is also a huge tourist area consisting of the iconic Grant Park, Museum Campus (Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium), Soldier Field and Northerly Island.  Since there is so much to entertain in this neighborhood, you will need to know where to get properly fed and caffeinated.  Below are my picks for the Best Food and Drink in Chicago’s South Loop:


Note:  Since the exact boundaries of the South Loop are often disputed, my list does NOT include Chinatown, University Village or restaurants that straddle the border of The Loop and the South Loop.



Tapas Valencia


What: This colorful, family-owned, Spanish restaurant is my favorite spot in the South Loop.  The hot and cold tapas are excellent, and there is live flamenco dancing on Saturday nights.  They serve brunch on the weekends.

Where1530 S. State St.



Awesome Spanish Restaurants Chicago restaurants Tapas Valencia South Loop






What:  This James Beard Foundation award semi-finalist is serving contemporary American cuisine.  Oysters and tasting menus are available.  I recommend the Acadia burger.

Where: 1639 S. Wabash Ave.



Best Burgers Chicago Acadia Chicago food scene South Loop

Acadia has Chicago’s best burger!


Manny’s Cafeteria & Delicatessen

What:  This South Loop icon has been serving traditional Continue reading

7 Essential Chicago Steakhouses You Should Visit

I admit that I am not a huge fan of the steakhouse.  Many of them tend to be overpriced and stuffy or overpriced and too trendy.  However, I do appreciate those steakhouses that have excellent food, service or a bit of history.  Chicago grew its culinary reputation as a meat and potatoes town and it has several steakhouses from which to choose.  Below are the 7 Essential Chicago Steakhouses you should visit.  You will note that Morton’s and Gibson’s are not on my list because they are always too crowded and too noisy.  Sorry, not sorry!  



Chicago Cut Steakhouse



If you’re looking for a steakhouse with a view of the Chicago River, bridges, and the ‘L,’ check out Chicago Cut Steakhouse.  This place is just the right amount of swanky without being loud and obnoxious.  The room is lovely and the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner.  Chicago Cut is popular with Continue reading

Andersonville, Chicago – 7 Awesome Eats

Andersonville is one of the most charming neighborhoods in Chicago.  Located on the north side of town, it has Swedish roots, beautifully tree-lined streets, pretty houses and adorable shops.  An added bonus, Andersonville has wonderful restaurants, bars, and bakeries.  

I spent a fair amount of time wandering around Andersonville during the last few years. So, I thought it was about time I shared a few of my favorite food finds with you all.  Below are 7 of my most favorite Andersonville haunts, in no particular order:


**Click on the restaurant names for more information and directions.


Big Jones 


If you love Southern cooking, then you should definitely check out this spot.  Big Jones is serving one of the very best cups of gumbo I’ve ever had anywhere.  Look how dark and rich this roux is!  The shrimp ‘n grits are equally wonderful.  I still need to get here for one of their decadent brunches.  Soon.  Very soon 🙂



Andersonville Big Jones Cajun gumbo

The darkest, richest roux in a gumbo I have ever tasted 🙂

Continue reading