Tribune, TOC, Sun-Times On Beer & Cheese, Recipe Websites, Mass-Market Trends

We’re looking at the Tribune, Time Out Chicago and Sun-Times dining sections this week, and they sure are a hodgepodge. We’ll get to the reviews momentarily, but first, the substantive pieces:

• Phil Vettel does some cultural analysis concerning Houlihan’s makeover from cheesy mid-scale casual restaurant to soulless mid-scale casual restaurant [Tribune]

• Chris Borrelli colorfully compares breakfast sandwiches, and is surprised to find himself enjoying McD’s new chicken and biscuit entry [Tribune]

• A new breed of recipe websites let you search by ingredient and do other web2.0-type things, but the article is somewhat muddled by the overused comparison to music websites [TOC]

• Did you know that beer makes for as good, or maybe even better, a match to cheese as wine? Of course you did, because you haven’t been living under a rock for the past three years [Sun-Times]

• Although this is similarly old news, we always find articles about Dippin’ Dots charming, if suspicious [Sun-Times]

• You can never have too many upscale bakeries in Auburn Gresham…but one’s a pretty good start [Sun-Times]

As for the reviews…

• Phil Vettel chimes in on Prosecco, the swanky River North wine bar. He seems highly impressed by the lounge’s sophisticated aesthetic and by the competent regional Italian cooking, but gives little indication why it got two, as opposed to one or three, stars [Tribune]

• Joe Gray’s review of Chant, the upscale pan-Asian restaurant in Hyde Park, refers to the broccoli in the pad se-eu as “toothsome.” Puh-leeze! [

• David Tamarkin is duly impressed by Habibi, the Devon Ave Middle Eastern restaurant that has the presence of mind to put onions (i.e. thought) into their labna (and cooking, generally) [TOC]

• Heather Shouse approves of Kan Pou, a little Thai restaurant that makes up in quality what it lacks in exoticism [TOC]

[Photo: McDonald’s Southern Style Chicken Biscuit, looking kind of sad (chickensandwichblog/flickr)]


Tribune, TOC, Sun-Times On Beer & Cheese, Recipe Websites, Mass-Market Trends