Food Bills

Everybody has to eat, and more often than not, we like to eat out. Most of us aren't foodies or culinary experts, We just like good food at a decent price.

This blog is all about eating out in Chicago, generally not at the trendy places, the hoi polloi fancy spots or the big chains.

I'm definitely not a foodie, just a hard working guy that likes good food and I'm going to share my dining experiences with you. Hopefully it will give you the food layperson's view on Chicago spots. To keep your food bills in check.

I will also Include some “food news” about places located in my “hood” up on the Far North Side of Chicago and Evanston.

I do travel a lot as well, so I will also include a little page with some food notes from my travels!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Miss Ricky's

Comfort Food in Style 

Miss Ricky's is the new eatery in the Virgin Hotel Chicago.  It is great because it is simple and has the basics in comfort food.  The menu is simple with all the staples in diner food and 24 hour breakfasts.  On the fun side, the screens were showing old Godzilla flicks which brought a few smiles.

I started off with the Shrimp and Crab dip.  It was really good.  The dip was full of big chunks of crab and shrimp.  Strong cheese and just enough salt.  They brought out more crusty bread if needed as well, so that made it perfect!

Next step was the Tres Leches French Toast with roasted pineapple and maple syrup.  I liked this because it came out with just the right amount of sweetness for my tastes.  I am diabetic, so I shy away from these things but I could not resist.  It hit the spot and the mix of pineapple and maple syrup was perfect.

The service was prompt, friendly and very attentive.  It was a team effort of three people and I totally enjoyed the experience

The only disappointment were the bloody marys.  Touted as outstanding, I found them to be rather bland.  There was plenty of vodka, but no kick.  It was essentially vodka, tomato juice, a celery stalk and a salted rim.  Nothing to write home about.
For $12, I expected to be wow'd, but it didn't happen.

The riesling was good (for $9) and the coffee was great.

I recommend this place for a date, it was quiet and you could have a conversation.  An app, an entree, three drinks and coffee was $63 with tax.  For the Loop, I have to say, it was a pretty good deal.

Im going to give it three stars, mainly because the drinks disappointed and nothing really WOW'd me.  However, this place would rock a brunch.  I plan to try that some time and I may change my rating.  But if I am going to go to the Virgin after work, I prefer the Commons.  Better food, great drinks and the same excellent service.

Miss Ricky's on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Fish City Grill - Dallas Tx

Fish City Grill on UrbanspoonI had the opportunity to dine here a little while ago and had a great time!  First of all, they had some seriously good music on the patio, which is what drew me in.

Pair that up with some decent drinks and you have the fixings for a great time.  Of course, I tried the Bill's Bloody Mary, which wasn't the best, but it was strong and tasty, garnished with a shrimp!

The oysters were decent, but my entree was quite good as well.  I had to go with the Shrimp and Grits.  BAM!  Good Stuff.  I had no complaints about the dinner at all.
It was a bit loud, but the service was good and attentive.  Not the best for conversation or a quiet date, but definitely a place to go for a fun evening out.

Overall the price wasn't bad.  Oysters,  dinner and a few drinks for 2, about $100.

For something different, for us road warriors, I would recommend it for a try!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Neighborhood Thai - Rogers Park's Siam Pasta

A usual default of mine for Taai delivery, I rarely go there to sit and seat.  I did this weekend and was reminded of what a decent place Siam Pasta is.  Their food is consistently good and the sit down area is very nice and quiet.  Since I have been to Thailand several times, I can be very particular with my choices of Thai places.

I enjoyed the shrimp egg rolls, tom yum soup and the red curry with shrimp.  All of it was really good, a bit lacking on the spice, but I can understand that.  I like things HOT.  The service is friendly and attentive, the food comes out quick and you dont feel rushed.

A good spot for going for a Thai fix with friends.  Maybe not a date place, unless you are comfortable with each other and are into seeking out off the beaten path joints.  I highly recommend Siam Pasta!

  It gets 4 stars for consistent good food, fast and friendly service.

Siam Pasta on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Phillip's Foote - Sydney Australia

Steak on the Barbie

A night out on the town in the Rocks area just off the Circular Quay station.  

Phillip's Foote was a fun stop for dinner.  Again, what I find is common in Sydney, a do it your self style place, it was affordable and quite good.  

You buy your drinks at the bar, the prices for drinks were comparable, but you get less.  The normal size for a beer is not a pint here, it is a Schooner, slightly smaller than a pint, but for the same price.  

The Steak, which you cook yourself on a grill was $32.  You get a good cut of beef, potatoes and salad bar.  Overall, I have to say that I was impressed with the location and the food.  I had a great time there, but the friends I was with, made it that much better.  Cheers to Qantas for organizing this wonderful outing!  

I highly recommend Phillip's Foote for a nice dinner in the Rocks area of Sydney  

Phillip's Foote on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Shriners Fund Raiser for the Shriners Hospital

Shriners know how to do it!

Now this is a $65 cut of prime rib!  All for raising money for the kids and it was a fun night!  

Cargo Bar - Sydney

Not Bad for a Weds Night

My first night out in Sydney after the conference was a quiet dinner out in the city.  

We went to this place on the wharf off of Pyrmont Bridge.  They offered a $10 Rump Steak which was cooked perfectly and pretty tasty.  I was pretty happy, although the small (less than a pint it seemed) glass of beer was $8.  

The steak fries were really good, I do have to say that!  The Little Creatures Beer was also pretty tasty!

Overall, there is no tipping in Australia.  But so fat the three places I have been to, shows me that it is a "get up and get it yourself" kind of culture here.  At Cargo Bar, you never really interact with anyone except the bartender.  You order everything there and they bring it to your table.  So far, no where I went do you get water at your table, not does a waitstaff tend to your needs really, you have to flag someone down or go to the bar to get it.  Even at the hotel restaurants, this the case,  The Breakfast buffet, the only thing the waitstaff did was clear my plate, not a single word spoken, no water, even coffee was get it yourself.  

The quality of food is good, the price (it was a Weds Special) was good.  Normal price was $22 and I would not say it was worth $22.  Would I go again?  Maybe, but there are also so many places to see!  I would say, on a week night, Cargo Bar is worth a stop!

Cargo Bar on Urbanspoon