What happens when you go home after a year of COVID in a new state whose cuisine doesn’t exactly excite (if you could go get it anyway?) Foodganza!
Here’s a rundown of the restaurants we hit. Not all in Evanston, but pretty close. It’s been a whirlwind, so I may have them out of order, but you’ll never know 🙂
Libanais: Lebanese (well, duh!). Delicious and sorely lacking in Edgewater, MD. You really can’t go wrong here and the pastries are YUM (hence the 4 extra pounds on my belly).
Ovo Frito: I love breakfast out. Steven does not (just not my thing). This place is great because they have a wide range of veggie breakfasts with a Mexican slant and lunch, too.
Union Pizza: Good cocktails, food that’s not all pizza and a great place for friends to meet and catch up. Also, fronts Space, a music venue that is scheduling shows again!
Dave’s New Kitchen: We call this place Little Dave’s because he used to have a bigger space. Red-checked tablecloth Italian. If you look at the website, you will see that they are closed for Passover and Easter weekend. Hmmm.
Grilling at my brother’s: No website here, just relaxing with family.
Taco Diablo: The first time I went here, I was on the Blue Horse Tavern side of the adjoining space BUT the Blue Horse Tavern menu wasn’t available. The kitchen cooks Taco Diablo and Lulu‘s (which is the space where the tavern is now) menu, so I had tacos. Then, I was there again with my brother and his family. Can’t go wrong with tacos and margaritas, but I would have ordered Lulu’s if I had known I’d be back at Taco Diablo a few days later.
NaKorn: High-end Thai. So, yes, they have pad Thai, but expect a somewhat more gourmet version in a fancier setting. Also, pretty, flowered drinks (with or without alcohol).
Kanela Breakfast Club: This is a small Chicago chain of deliciously sweet and savory breakfasts. We walked from Evanston to the Andersonville site (6 miles! and still we did not walk enough to offset the high sugar and carb-loaded food that we ordered – it was fabulous!), so give us props for at least trying to balance the eating with some exercise.
Bar Roma: We got our hair cut and then went to dinner with our hairdresser, Charlotte. Fancy Italian. Yum.
El Carrito: Bills itself as Mexican street food. I’d call it a taqueria. Either way, good, fresh tacos and burritos and a pretty wide variety of meats and veggies to go in them. I do appreciate a veggie burrito that is not just rice and beans, but includes fresh veggies! (The mole fries seemed like a good choice at the time.)
Ravinia Brewing Company: Yes, more tacos. It just worked out that way, but the food is secondary to the people in all of these instances, so it’s fine with me.
Cara Mio: This is our last night’s dinner. Italian again! Steven is looking forward to the baked ziti with chicken parm on top if it. No wonder we’re gaining weight!
We complete promise to eat only salad for the entire month of July. And to run and do yoga. Right, Steven? (umm…sure??)
Here are few observations:
- Service is still wacky as restaurants try to staff up and figure out how many diners to expect.
- Mask-wearing has mostly fallen by the wayside fo (r diners, but not for staff.
- QR code menus are probably here to stay. That’s fine with me. Easier to change, nobody spills on them and no awkward handing back and forth of giant books or laminated pages.
- I missed eating out, but I will be happy to eat my own cooking when we get back to Maryland. (Me too. I like a good dinner out, but after 10 days of only eating out, and especially eating only at places that we really like, it will be good to have a few lighter home cooked meals.)
- I now remember why I don’t want to live here: I shouldn’t have to wear pants on the first day of summer! (It was so cold that I needed a jacket last night; wish I had brought one.)
From here, we fly to Houston to see my middle brother and his family. I bet it will be a little warmer there.