Trekking Through The Tribune & TOC: 103 Cafe, Bluebird, Simply It

Today, we’re combining the Thursday food sections. We’ve picked the articles we most enjoyed, but first, the reviews:

Simply It: fantastic, cheap, accessible Vietnamese at this BYOB by a former owner of Pasteur

Bluebird Bistro and Winebar: lovely new Bucktown wine bar with hearty dishes, reasonable prices, and a controversial wine list

Cafe 103: Beverly’s New American bistro that could, can - tasty food and BYO policy are bringing in locals and epicures alike

Moving right along to the rest:

• Serrano mania! Both publications have articles on the pepper; TOC’s is about where to buy them, and the Trib’s is about what to do with them (eat, and be wary)

• The vegetable theme continues in the Tribune. Phil Vettel chronicles his ten favorite salads in the city, Kevin Pang finds out how to make recognizable, enjoyable salads out of what’s available in your garden-variety salad bar (ha!), and Bill Daley tells us what wines to pair with the bounty of tomatoes currently issuing forth from the earth

• Two other TOC articles that we like include recommended beach eats (get it now before it’s a frigid hellhole!) and the Hot Seat with Natalie Zarzour of Pasticceria Natalina. What’s so special about that? We’ve asked Ms. Zarzour repeatedly for her menu only to be rebuffed every time, and we grudgingly respect that (although if anyone has it, please feel free to send it in).

• Finally, our favorite article this week is about how chef dream up new dishes, by Susan Taylor for the Tribune, because we’re endlessly fascinated by the inner workings of the creative process. What happens at the moment when an idea pops into the head of someone willing and able to execute it? You get “a large piece of brioche coated in almond batter, deep-fried and rolled in chopped candied Marcona almonds” (coming later this month at Lula), that’s what.

[Photo: Serrano peppers in Tyler, TX - FuriousGeorge1/flickr]


Trekking Through The Tribune & TOC: 103 Cafe, Bluebird, Simply It