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!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

VIDEO: Chicago-Style Hot Dog Pitted Against New York’s, L.A.’s « CBS Chicago

NY and LA have hot dogs?

The Chicago Dog, my absolute favorite food of the gods.

My constant hunt for the ultimate dog is on going.  I have my favorites that I will drive an hour for and a few quick fix joints.

The video is fun ... Condolences to NY and LA, hard to nail it down since there is no typical LA dog.  Throw whatever on a bun and voila, it is trendy and they will eat it.

Chicago however, is hard corps and Chicagoans can be militant about the dog.  There are no exceptions ... Ketchup?  GET OUT!  (children under 12 excepted).    Personally, my favs, Byrons, Portillo's and Gene & Jude's.


VIDEO: Chicago-Style Hot Dog Pitted Against New York’s, L.A.’s « CBS Chicago

Monday, April 20, 2015

Union Sushi and Barbeque Bar

Decent, but no wow factor

I recently went to Union sushi for a quick bite and have to say, as the sushi snob that I am, it was ok, but no wow factor.  

I for their california roll, spicy shrimp Roll, Shiitake Mushroom Roll and the Pickle roll.  They were all decent, but I loved the pickle roll.  The others were pretty average, but good.  All, as expected for that area, a bit on the expensive side.  

I also got the sauteed maitake mushrooms, which were really good.  I did enjoy those very much and the mushroom soup, which was bland and not that good.  

The tables are small, to pack in the crowd, the music was loud as was the general atmosphere.  It was hard to hold a conversation.  I would not recommend this place for a date, but to just hang with friends, it is okay, which is why it was fine for my trip there.  

Overall, I don't think I would go back.  I can get better sushi for a better price in the less trendy areas of the city.  I'll leave this place to the beautiful twentysomethings which seemed to love it.  

Decent sushi, no wow and a significant foob bill - 3 stars.  

Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Byron's - Lakeview


My favorite place to go for a dog.  It reminds me of the old days when Tasty Pup was on the NW side, or what was called a "garden" dog at some of the local dog joints.  

The jumbo comes with all the usual fixings plus green pepper, cucumber and lettuce.  Basically a salad on a dog.  Really huge, you need two hands to navigate this one.  

Top it off with some really great fries and out door seating on a nice day.  I'm in!  

I highly recommend Byron's for a great hot dog, burgers, grilled chicken - all of it is good.  

Byron's Hot Dog Haus on Urbanspoon

Tokyo Lunch Boxes & Catering


I ordered spicy shrimp roll at the 300 S Riverside location in Chicago and I paid $6.50 for it.  I ate a couple pieces and noticed it was hard on the inside.  When I looked into the rolls i saw that there was NO SHRIMP!!!  It was all panko breading with a bit of hot sauce.

I lived in Japan and eat sushi regularly, usually spicy shrimp is Shrimp and hot sauce.  Shrimp tempura roll has some breading but at least it has shrimp!  

I will never eat there again and hope to spread the word on this place. What a total scam!  Now I am out $7.

Tokyo Lunch Boxes & Catering:

Tokyo Lunch Box & Catering on Urbanspoon

'via Blog this'

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Uncle Julio's - Skokie

Decent Mexican at a good price

The warm salsa is really good....a good tell that a Mexican place will be good.  the chips were light and crispy, salted just right and mixed well with the salsa,

The Fresh Margarita (no mix, just limes and alcohol) rocked.  I would have ordered another one if I didn't have to drive.

The tacos were basic.  Nothing to rave about, but they were good and I enjoyed them.  The rice, was okay and the beans were really good!

The service was attentive and very good.  I was impressed with the location, it was done very well.  I didn't know Uncle Julio's was in Skokie, I was used to the city location.  I enjoyed it and the price was about $20 per person +/+.  Good place for a date, the only drawback, it is in old orchard mall, so at certain times, parking (in a huge lot) can still be difficult.

Uncle Julio's Fine Mexican Food on Urbanspoon

Tortoise Club

One Heck of a time!

An outstanding group outing, a private room, 22 friends and a $3500.00 Tab (mostly booze).  

A good friend set up a wonderful evening in one of the private rooms of the Club on a Sunday evening.  Sadly, we were pretty much the only ones in the whole place.  

To start with, the Service was absolutely outstanding.  This was what made the entire experience worth the $150.00 per person tab. Our waiter was a total showman and on his A game for the entire evening.  

The drinks were good and average priced for Downtown.  we put down Quite a few of those.  The appetizers were amazing, personally I had a mix of east and west coast oysters.  Perfectly chilled, sweet and salty, very fresh and with a light vinegar dip.   

The second course was a cream of asparagus soup, which was perfect.  Not too salty, creamy and light, at the perfect temperature.  The courses were timed perfectly, never during the meal did we feel rushed.  

Main Course was the Berkshire Pork Chop with grits and asparagus.  Wow.... I was in heaven.  Sorry for the sloppy picture, I had to dive in to it when it came, so I messed up the presentation.  

Overall, Mainly because of all the drinking, the tab was high, but if you will moderate your libations, the dinner tab was not that bad.  Probably about $60.00 per person +/+.  

Great place for a date, the ambiance is nice, the bar is great, service is outstanding.  I highly recommend the Tortoise Club for a nice night out.  

Four Stars in my book

Tortoise Club on Urbanspoon