Left in March 2011 to explore new projects.

Mar 112011

Bridget HoulihanFive years ago, Tammy and I began documenting our dining experiences here. First through podcasts, and now with blog entries, we’ve invited you to pull up a chair to the table and to follow along on our tour of the Chicago dining scene.

I’ve had a wonderful time eating, learning, and building new friendships through Chicago Bites.  This site and the experiences I’ve documented here represent some of my proudest achievements to date, and it’s truly been my pleasure to share them with you.

Everything in life has a season though, and I’ve decided it’s time for me to move on in search of new adventures and possibilities both online and in dining.

Thank you for reading my work, for listening to my commentary, and for sharing your own insights about food with me over the years. For all of that — along with the time I’ve spent learning to build this venture — I’m forever grateful.

Please keep in touch! You can now reach me at and on Twitter.

Happy Dining,
Bridget Houlihan

Mar 102011

DMK burger patties are thin.

Bring up good hamburgers in Chicago, and DMK Burger Bar is likely to crop up almost every time. I was curious to try it and got together a group of girlfriends recently to take on the menu — from the mac and cheese to the infamous burgers.

One thing that distinguishes a DMK burger from others right away is the thickness of its patty. The patties are thin and cooked medium — that’s the deal. No exceptions that I saw, and there were enough of us dining that evening to order almost everything on the menu. The waitress even mentioned the thin patties — still I was thrown a bit when my bison burger, topped with fresh goat cheese, pickled red onions, and blueberry BBQ Sauce, was thin. A bison burger shouldn’t be thin, should it? Especially with all of those unique toppings.

Regardless of their lack of heft, all of the burgers I tried were tasty, including the marinated portobello, with blue brie,  scallions, and dijonnais; and the classic with iceberg lettuce, tomato, raw onion, bread and butter pickles, mayo, and choice of cheese.  I’ve also heard the veggie burgers are good, although we didn’t try one. (Note: Any burger on the menu can be made a veggie burger.) But are they Chicago’s best burgers? I don’t think so.

Mac and Cheese

The mac and cheese at DMK comes fully loaded and there are several options to choose from.

Now the Parmesan truffle cream fries — those are worth a big shout out. They are so good that they’re worth going to DMK for. I also enjoyed the mac and cheese. There was some disagreement at the table as to which was better — the aged cheddar with Parmesan crust or the Gruyere, smoked bacon, charred balsamic and red onion, but I think both were quality, and it just comes down to personal preference — do you like your cheese sharp or mild? Also the macaroni part of DMK’s macaroni and cheese wasn’t macaroni at all, but a corkscrew pasta that I think holds topping and cheese better than macaroni.

For dessert we had chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches. Fun in concept, but not standout.

If you’re in the mood for a beer when you go to DMK, ask the staff for recommendations and sample their favorites. They know their stuff and thanks to them, I unearthed a new favorite myself — Brother Thelonious Belgian Style Ale, a dark, complex brew that’s well-balanced.

Note that DMK doesn’t take reservations, so go early. The staff is very accommodating and with the burgers ringing in at $8 each (with a few specialty exceptions), the combo of good service and good food priced right makes for a fun, affordable evening.

And now seafood lovers can enjoy the DMK experience too! Apparently, the folks from DMK opened a new fish place in Lakeview yesterday, and I can’t wait to try it. The Fish Bar, located right next door to DMK at 2956 N Sheffield Ave, serves up seafood fare in a variety of regional styles.

DMK Burger Bar
2954 N Sheffield Ave
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 360-8686

Mar 082011
Kopp's Frozen Custard

Kopp's peach melba custard.

On a weekend road trip to Wisconsin, I stopped by Kopp’s. Oh my! If you like custard, it is absolutely the place to go.  There are no words to describe just how good it is. So feast your eyes on this Peach Melba waffle cone and know that the custard is so rich and creamy that Culver’s can’t hold a candle to it.

There are one or two flavors to choose from at Kopp’s everyday, in addition to classic vanilla, and so far, I’ve liked everything I’ve sampled there. Right now, you can also get a mint chocolate shake in honor of St. Paddy’s Day.  Look out McDonald’s! The Shamrock Shake is so tasteless in comparison, it’s hardly worth mentioning. There are three Kopp’s locations, and it’s worth the trip.

Kopp’s Frozen Custard

18880 W. Bluemound Rd.
Brookfield, WI 53045

5373 N. Port Washington Rd.
Glendale, WI 53217

7631 W. Layton Ave.
Greenfield, WI 53220