TOC Digested: Critical Condition, Savory Cupcakes, Just Opened

The headlining article in today’s TOC is something near and dear to our hearts: the state of the restaurant critic in the age of the internet. While David Tamarkin’s piece could read as the next stage in his feud with Steve Dolinsky, it’s much more interesting to see how the various restaurant critics in Chicago view the rabid hordes of Yelp, LTHForum, and (though it’s not mentioned) this very site — not to mention how they self-define against this new blogger context. Lots of names weighing in here, from Chicago Mag’s Jeff Ruby to the Sun-Times’s Pat Bruno to NewCity’s Mike Nagrant (who posts his own, extended take on the matter on Hungry Mag).

It’s semana del Tamarkin at TOC, apparently, as David steps off his soapbox to compare/contrast the various savory cupcake offerings from newcomers Chaos Theory Cakes and More Cupcakes. Going head-to-head are the dueling bakeries’ bacon, curry, and tomato mini-cakes. Whose cuisine reigns supreme? There’s no clear-cut overall winner. Psh.

We feel this sort of centered peace upon seeing the ol’ Heather Shouse byline again (hi Heather! Welcome back!), as she profiles (see Tamarkin’s first article to grok that this is not a review) Jamaica Jamaica (1512 Sherman Ave, Evanston, 847 328 1000). Bet you can’t guess what kind of food they serve! The restaurant is from the owners of Good To Go, and the classic island fare — jerk chicken, meat patties, other good stuff — is augmented by a 25-plus-item smoothie menu.

Shouse also profiles the just-opened Bristol, but we are guessing you already know everything you need to know about that place.

And Tamarkin for the close, with a profile of the just-opened Cafe con Leche, which is related to but not identical to the same-named restaurant in Logan Square.

[Photo: one of Chaos Theory’s bacon-peanut butter cupcakes, via their Flickr]

TOC Digested: Critical Condition, Savory Cupcakes, Just Opened