Tribune Dining, Digested: SugarToad & An Epic Loop Lunch Odyssey

• Naperville’s Sugar Toad has a weird name, but Vettel loves it anyway, awarding the Southern-and-French restaurant three stars. The crab cakes are so spectacular as to merit the adjective “toe-curling,” which makes us feel a little weird, and nothing else Vettel tries falls too much farther: the arugula salad, wagyu steaks, creme brulee, and the tweely-named “cheeks and leeks” all get raves. Gotta admit, we’re getting sold on this.

• Oh my goodness, so much going on here in the Trib team’s roundup of Loop Lunches. Twenty-five restaurants get the treatment, divided into directional quadrants. The best for business, family-friendly, on-the-go, and various other categories of lunches can all be found. We are stopping further description right now because looking at these pictures is literally making us salivate, and that is distracting.

• Janet Franz picks up where Andy Rooney left off, with a rant about counter operations with multiple lines. She talks to Isidore Kharasch, a professional who handles stuff like this for a living, and he offers some quick fixes that sort of boil down to “the designers of restaurants should stop being so dumb.”

• Joe Gray rides the Cheap Eats train to Rocks Lakeview. This review ran a few weeks ago as well, and we’re going to give this a pass because it’s the week before Thanksgiving and also because Bill Daley (who we like! A lot! And didn’t mean to indict with that whole “HoliDaley” pun!) once kindly explained to us the reasons the Trib will run things multiple times in the online version (it has something to do with something blah blah).

[Photo: A plate at Sugartoad, by Kate Gross for TOC (Remember when the chef left before Tamarkin finished his meal? That was insane!)]

Tribune Dining, Digested: SugarToad & An Epic Loop Lunch Odyssey