Entrana at Las Tablas

coupons

Actually it should say Groupons, I use Groupons to get pizza…. and steak. Yes, I use Groupons to get steak. The other day I found a Mac Daddy of a deal for a Colombian restaurant called Las Tablas: 2 appetizers, 4 entrees and 4 desserts. CanIeatthemallmyself?

I went through a rigorous interview process to determine which lucky friends of mine to take with. One stipulation was that everyone had to order what I wanted and then share with me.

That didn’t really happen. Yes it did.

We made reservations and were seated right away upon our arrival. We handed our shiny new Groupon to our waiter who gave us the deets on what we could or couldn’t order. (Sidenote we could basically order anything we wanted.) We went with his suggestions and ordered the combo empanadas as our appetizers. Umm about the pictures of those…… We were kind of hungry I guess, because I don’t appear to have any.

We all ordered the same entrees. Two of us ordered the house specialty, Entrana, and two of use ordered the Entrana y pollo. Also known as skirt steak and skirt steak with chicken in case you couldn’t figure that out.

entrana

Skirt steak with yucca, potato & plantain

entrana y pollo

Skirt Steak & Chicken

Basically a flipping mouthgasm.

All four of us agreed it was the best steak we’d ever had. And trust me, we like to EAT, so we know what we are talking about.

The chicken was really great too especially with the seasoning they use on it. All four of us are waiting with bated breath for Las Tablas’ online store to restock that spice rub they use so we can rub it on ourselves cook with it.

We got some bomb ass desserts that we inhaled even though we were nearly stuffed to the brim with steak and chicken.

 

coconut flan

Coconut flan

 

Oreo Cake

Oreo Cake

Ugh everything was so good! That coconut flan was so dreamy and creamy it was possibly my favorite thing I ate there. Errr besides the skirt steak. Well, maybe the flan…DON’T MAKE ME CHOOSE.

I will definitely be back to Las Tablas, even without a Groupon.

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A Baker’s Tale and all sorts of Treats

I don’t know if there is anything greater than reading a good book. They transport you to different places, give you characters you love/hate and when you’re done reading you feel like you lost a good friend. Okay, c’mon don’t look at me like that. You know you nerd out about dumb shit too.

When I heard about A Baker’s Tale opening up in Wicker Park last week….. I could barely contain myself.

I absolutely went the week it opened. I mean, I NEEDED to or else I would die or something akin to dying. Oh, did I mention this place was Alice in Wonderland themed?

LIKE THE BOOK.

Prepare for a lot of photos.

interior

booktree

Those are book pages and teacups people!

bakery case

photo

c/o A Baker’s Tale website

bathroom

Even the bathroom was cute!

Okay lets get real here, this place is nothing if the food sucks. Cute decor can’t carry the business forever. I tried a lot of food here just to be sure. I mean I was doing you guys a favor, so I had to try a lot of stuff. Everything I looked at practically had an “eat me tag” on it.

bsplit_creampuff

banana split cream puff

pbsmore&cookie

peanut butter s’more and sugar cookie

White Chocolate raspberry puff

White Chocolate Raspberry Puff, Cookies & Cream macaron

latte

cappuccino w/ soy milk

Sriracha caramel

Everything that I tried was really delicious and a reasonable price. My absolute favorites were the raspberry puff and the peanut butter s’more. The peanut butter graham cookie was crunchy perfection and the marshmallow top was fluffy, sticky and just the right amount of sweet. The raspberry puff was big and soft with a crisp outside shell just bursting with raspberry cream inside. Nothing was hard or stale (and trust me I’ve had a lot at “high end” type bakeries) and you can tell everything was made in-house. My cappuccino was huge and about what you would get from a coffeehouse. I found that a plus since some bakeries just care about their baked goods and can dole out some poor excuses of a caffeinated beverage.

I do have a couple critiques, which are minor.

One: their macaron’s are small, and pretty average tasting for $1.75 a piece. I may be biased because I live next to Sugar Fixe in Oak Park, but these are not up to par with those.. smaller and higher priced left me disappointed.

Two: That sriracha popcorn was soft. POPCORN SHOULD NEVER BE SOFT. It was weird and unpleasant and none of us would eat more than a kernel or two. But that flavor was really good so it was confusing.

Those are my only complaints. Keep doing what you’re doing A Baker’s Tale and people will dig it. Except the soft popcorn. Never the soft popcorn.

I’m rooting for you

Biscuits and Pie from !Bang Bang Pie!

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There is probably nothing as exciting as the prospect of pie for breakfast. Throw in biscuits and its even more special. My roommate and I shuffled down to Logan Square to see if the biscuits and gravy at !Bang Bang Pie! rivaled our favorite from our local Oak Park spot. We decided to order a couple other things to get the full experience.

  • Chocolate peanut butter pie, duh.
  • Biscuits and Sawmill Gravy
  • Regular biscuit with butter and jam

BBGravy

The biscuits and gravy looked so promising. I mean, look  at how beautiful and majestic that biscuit looks up there floating in vegetarian gravy. Its a real beaute. The first bite even tricked me into thinking I loved it. Soft fluffy biscuit soaked in warm gravy, it was just so pleasing. That is until the flavor literally bitch slapped me across the face. The gravy at Bang Bang is completely overwhelmed with thyme(?) and black pepper. I actually coughed when I swallowed. After a couple bites I couldn’t even eat anymore, it was. Just. Too. Much.

Bang bang biscuit

So I moved onto the regular biscuit. It came with the seasonal jam and butter, you had no choice, bummer as I can be picky. Well, guess what flavor the butter was. THYME. That bitch ass spice wouldn’t get away from my food. Maybe the jam would save my much anticipated biscuit breakfast you ask? Alas no, it too was a sour rhubarb sort of flavor that neither my roommate or I liked. Pity because I feel like if it had been LITERALLY ANY  OTHER flavor I would have had a much better experience. As for the legendary biscuit, it was dense. Like really dense. Sure it was soft on the inside and crispy on the outside but at this point I just wasn’t feeling it.

BBPie

By the time I was ready to eat my pie I was $16 poorer and really disappointed.  I NEEDED to love this pie. I can say that it was really really good. So rich that it hurt my teeth but that’s not a bad thing when you’re talking dessert. I would have much preferred there to be less of the chocolate layer and more of the peanut butter custardy(<— technical term) layer because it seemed a little unbalanced to me. I’m no expert but at $5 a slice this shit better be pie nirvana. This too was disappointing.

I really wanted to like !Bang Bang pie! in Logan Square but I just…. didn’t. I’d like to give it another chance but if we’re going to be close internet friends, the truth is, I probably wont ever be back.

French Toast at Wishbone

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When my friends wanted to go to Wishbone last Saturday, all I could think about on the way there was this dog. If you don’t know who Wishbone (the dog) is then your entire childhood was a sham and may God have mercy on your pathetic ignorant soul. Needless to say that put my expectations pretty high even though the two things are in absolutely no way related.

wishbone-on-lincoln

image c/o tripadvisor

I also didn’t eat any dog while I was there either. (What do you think this is, China?)

I started off with the seasonal lemonade which was cucumber lemonade (pictured in the top of the photo below, yo) and the orange carrot banana juice which were both delicious, refreshing, and made me feel fancy. After the previous night’s ten shots of fireball and well vodka you learn to appreciate the little things like freshly squeezed juice and sitting in a booth facing a nice dimly lit wall instead of that masochist of a sun trying to blind you through the window. But I digress, lets move on to the food.

I had was the Crunchy French toast. If you don’t know what that is, its french toast dipped in cornflakes and then pan fried. Which basically equates to delicious mouth nirvana. I’m not even going to describe it anymore because I’m going to show you the picture and then you will get it.

wishbone

Put some syrup on that shit and you will be good to go! (you can click on the picture and it gets bigger, you know that right?)

Some other notable eats at this place were the home fries- they’re potatoes so you can’t really f@&$ those up but these were particularly delicious maybe because they were covered with onions? So flavorful!

My friends had an omelette and the crab cakes and no one went home hungry or disappointed. But dat french toast doe was the star for sure.

Donuts at Glazed & Infused

This past Friday night I laid on the couch and watched TV went to dinner with some friends.  As we were walking to the restaurant I spied something in the coffee shop window next door. It was a familiar white frosted donut shape  and I was pretty sure I recognized it from somewhere.

^ My face when I realized that this magical window note said Glazed & Infused Donuts were a mile from my house. I obviously had to see if these were as exciting as people claimed they were. The next morning I hopped my chubby little ass down to the coffee shop and brought home this beautiful box:

g&I_box

g&I_box2

Ok, so technically there were six in the box but I shoved one in my mouth before I got out the door. STOP JUDGING ME.

Flavors selected were:

Red Velvet: Legitimately a red velvet cupcake in a donut shape, I can get down with this.

Peanut Butter & Jelly: Mixed berry jelly filled square donut with peanut butter glaze. The jelly was too concentrated to a small portion of the center and the glaze was very thin. It did taste like a PB&J sandwich, so, there’s that.

Crème Brule (not pictured…I said stop judging me!): Vanilla bean custard that filled the entire donut, just the way I like it. Burned sugar top could have been crispier but was still good.

Maple Bacon Long John:  Dope as f@$#. Perfect flavor balance and the candied bacon top was a nice touch.

Cranberry Apple Fritter: Nice big pieces of apple and cranberry. That’s all I remember.

Raspberry Glazed: Be still my calorie laden heart. This. Was. The. Best.  The donut was the melt in your mouth kind with a great tart and sweet raspberry glaze.

All in all, these weren’t completely amaze-balls for a $5 a piece donut. They were good but not write yo momma about it good. BUT… dat raspberry glazed doe, will keep me coming back for more.