Eating America: The Best Food in Chicago, Part 1: Budget Restaurants

Consider this the food blogger's guide to Chicago. As I say on my About Page, being a GastroGnome is not about sitting idly on the front lawn of culinary cottages. Each year I tell my stories of trips to Beijing, Hanoi, and Mexico, but sometimes I leave out my favorite places right here in the U.S. No more! This is the latest installment of my 'Eating America' series, featuring the best eating around our fine nation. In my few trips to Chicago, I’ve mostly had the chance to eat at only a few places while passing through the city on the way to Brett’s family’s place out in the burbs. … [Read more...]

Feasting like a Princess in Queens

"But where in New York can one find a woman with grace, elegance, taste and culture? A woman suitable for a king?" "Queens!" If anyone else grew up in a household with two brothers and only basic cable, you too have probably seen Coming to America over a thousand times and when the New York City borough of Queens is mentioned, this line is all that you can think of. No? Just me? Again? Alright, this is enough already. Seriously though, we did a food excavation of Queens on our most recent trip to New York. We had overlooked the boroughs on our last … [Read more...]

Kitfo Caprese: Cultures Combined

To understand how I dreamed up such a ridiculous thing as combining Kitfo, an Ethiopian raw steak dish and Caprese salad, the Italian classic, you must understand the level of sleep deprivation I had. A serious eating trip to Vancouver had been completed the previous day and was over 16 hours door to door, including many miles walked and more (delicious) meals than you could shake a stick at. Are you there with me yet? In this tired, half-functional state I decided to go grocery shopping. And not just anywhere, but at the high-falutin Met Market. It wasn't cheap, folks. But why would it be … [Read more...]

Karama: An Exersice in Ethnic Eating

Being whiter than Weird Al, I often find satisfying my cravings for eats from random ethnicities to be a bit of an exercise in patience and rolling with the punches, though often with delicious rewards. Karama, a new self-described "East-African, Somali, Italian, Mediterranean and American" food restaurant was no different. Usually I will avoid any restaurant that claims to do that many different cuisines, but upon reading the menu and seeing what they offered, I instead rang up my friend M, who lived in Tanzania, and informed her of my findings. We made a date and headed down with our … [Read more...]