Apr 302012

When I get off the train at Damen, I invariably wander up to North Avenue to Birchwood Kitchen. Sometimes its for one of their amazing sandwiches, and sometimes it’s browse the to-go items they have up front. It’s always a challenge to decide between eating in and taking things home. I usually end up doing both.

Birchwood Kitchen

Tuna sandwich from Birchwood Kitchen

Though this casual spot gives the appearance of a sit-down restaurant, it’s actually run as a deli. Place orders at the counter and they’re cheerfully served a few minutes later. The tuna topped with tomatoes and Gruyère cheese on multi-grain is my go-to choice, though I’m occasionally lured by the hot pot roast or cold chickpea sandwiches. I once had a goat cheese sandwich with curried veggies that sent me over the moon.

Dill Carrots | Birchwood Kitchen

Bliss! Dill Carrots!

The side dishes and pickles are “complimentary” with the sandwiches but are actually ingenious lures back to the deli counter. The “on the side” dilled carrots I had with my last sammie ended up becoming a minor obsession. They were the accompaniment to every meal I had for the next several days I only pray they’re still on the menu the next time I make it by.

However, I’m not that worried. I’m sure there’s a new favorite obsession to discover on my next visit. Birchwood Kitchen is good that way.

Birchwood Kitchen
2211 West North Avenue
Chicago, IL 60647

May 182011
Lemon Cupcake - Real Kitchen

Lemon Cupcake

In addition to an amazingly good take-out and catering menu, Real Kitchen offers daily cupcakes for $2.50. I tried one with lemon frosting and filling from pastry chef Andrea Correa that tasted as good as it looked. The lemon flavor was bright and fresh without that metallic bite you get in some fruity cupcakes. Perfectly sized, too, with a good balance of frosting and cake.

A lot of places that offer cupcakes on the side don’t wow me, but I will be back for more cupcakes and to sample the other baked goods.

Real Kitchen
1433 West Montrose Avenue
Chicago, IL 60613
(773) 281-2888

Oct 202009
You don't have to go south to get a rainbow cone.  Just make your way to State and Lake.

You don't have to go south to get a Rainbow Cone. Just make your way to State and Lake.

It was a gorgeous day in the city today, and tomorrow’s supposed to be more of the same!  So make the most of the fine weather, and head over to the Halstead Street Deli (177 N. State Street) to grab a Rainbow Cone for lunch.

The sandwiches there are tasty too, but why not have dessert first? Just think of it… chocolate, pistachio, strawberry and Palmer House (a cherry-nut blend) ice creams, along with a layer of orange sherbet all in one cone.

I know it’s old news that this five-layer thing of beauty, which has been a south side tradition since 1923, is now available downtown.  But I thought you’d appreciate the reminder. I splurged on Rainbow Cone myself recently, and it made my afternoon. I had to share the joy.

You know you want one! I’ll meet you there. :)