29 May 2016

#A25DayJourney begins

A friend once told me that traveling was the best gift you could give yourself. With time, I’ve learned it is also the best thing you can give to a person you love. More than a trip, what begins today is all about my mother’s stroll down memory lane. We’re revisiting all the cities and places where she remembers to be the happiest.

And if only you could see her face. Almost 74-years young, this lady is as excited as Madonna going on tour. Six countries, 16 cities, 25 days! Talk about a ridiculous mission! But is all for her. We are holding on to our skepticism, and following her blindly into the unknown. It’s going to be a good one.

Day 1 started with very long trip from Chicago to Lisbon via Madrid, the city where we decided to meet my parents, who were coming from San Juan. They arrived a day earlier to rest before the big adventure and to have an excuse to enjoy a nice cafecito and flaky croissants at El Horno de Almudena, their favorite bread shop on Calle Infantas.

We met downtown at the trendy Mercado San Miguel for a quick bite and headed back to the airport to catch our flight to Lisbon, our first stop. Follow our journey with the hashtag #A25DayJourney.

21 May 2016

Middle Eastern Bakery

We’re all about embracing the diversity in our Edgewater neighborhood. Every specialty market and family restaurant gives us a new perspective on food, culture and life. It makes us more excited about Chicago overall. The Middle Eastern Bakery in Andersonville is one of those places we kept on hold for a while, always intrigued by the teapots, the bread and pastries perfectly aligned by their street window.

This is the sort of place that teaches you something. You don’t just go there to enjoy the spinach pies and kibbi, but in their market section you go to find all the tasty treasures to cook and experiment with —pickles, spice rubs, sumac, nougat, imported chocolates, coffee, bulghur and beans. We could easily be here a while.

They recently opened a new café next door, between Clark and Foster. And it’s also pretty great. It’s hard not to come in when you can see juicy rotating meat roasting next to the window. Nabol wanted to try their ground beef kefta kabob wraps; I went for the kefta plate with salad and hummus. Super fresh, aromatic and delicious. And there are so many more staples in their menu. 

After a well-rounded meal, you quickly stop by the market for some homemade baklava, to eat Chicago-style on your way to the Red Line. And you know you’ll be back, many more times, because places in your community like this one inevitably become part of your identity, like a good book or a good song. It’s no longer just about the ethnic market close to home.

Kefta plate at Middle Eastern Bakery

Cherry candy with pistachios 

Pickles & Olives 

15 May 2016

Torrance Farmer's Market

California produce una cantidad considerable de las frutas, vegetales y nueces que consumimos en Estados Unidos. Por eso, no es sorpresa que sus mercados agrícolas estén entre los mejores de la nación, como el que visitamos recientemente en Torrance, California. Aquí se encuentran verduras y productos de unas 60 granjas locales.

California produces a sizable majority of the fruits, vegetables, and nuts we consume in the United States. It should be no surprise that they have some of the best Farmer's Market's in the country, like this awesome market we visited in Torrance, California. You can come here to find top quality produce from over 60 local farms.

El Original Farmer's Market

El Original Farmer's Market en el corazón de Los Ángeles es una de las instituciones más viejas de la ciudad y comenzó con un grupo de agricultores que encontraron un espacio en común para vender sus verduras frescas y productos artesanales. Hoy día es un paraíso para foodies donde se encuentra un poco de todo, desde quesos franceses e ingredientes exóticos hasta pequeños restaurantes y establecimientos de cerveza. Además, el market está conectado con The Grove, un centro comercial al aire libre y muy de moda donde hasta podrías toparte con alguna estrella de Hollywood.

The Original Farmer's Market in the heart of Los Angeles is one of the oldest institutions in the city and it started with a group of farmers that found a common spot to sell their fresh produce and artisan products. Today, it has become a foodie heaven where you can find everything from fine French cheeses and exotic ingredients to casual dining spots and small beer establishments. The market is also connected to The Grove, a very trendy open-air mall where you might find Hollywood stars doing a little shopping.

Redondo Beach Pier

La semana pasada estuvimos por California visitando familia en el área de Redondo Beach. Mis padres nos llevaron al viejo Redondo Pier a comer mariscos y disfrutar de la vista. En el siglo 19, este muelle estaba dividido en pequeños muelles donde llegaban barcos de todas partes con carga y pasajeros. Hoy en un área frecuentada por locales y turistas para disfrutar del pescado más fresco y de las actividades que se organizan aquí. En particular, nos gustó mucho el Quality Seafood Market y los tragos creativos de Tony's.

Spent a couple of days in California this past week visiting family in the Redondo Beach area. My parents took us to the old Redondo Pier to eat great seafood and take in the view. Back in the 19th century, the pier used to be a series of disjointed wharves where ships could dock to load and unload cargo or passengers. Today, tourists and locals come to enjoy the catch of the day and other events happening at the pier. We particularly enjoyed the Quality Seafood Market and the crazy drinks at Tony’s.

01 May 2016

Lickety Split Pop Up & Food Truck Fridays

Edgewater sigue creciendo. Seguimos viendo nuevas reposterías, restaurantes y complejos de apartamentos nuevos en nuestra comunidad, al igual que mejoramiento de los espacios abiertos y calles. Esto nos emociona y nos asusta a la vez, considerando que seguramente los precios de alquiler van a subir. Aún así, estamos demasiado encantados con este lugar como para movernos.

Edgewater goza de diversidad cultural y está perfectamente localizado al lado del lago Michigan donde termina Lincoln Park. Aunque por mucho tiempo se subestimó su valor, ahora es el sitio de moda. ¡Todos los hipsters se están mudando acá!

Una buena señal de progreso es la tienda pop up que abrió Lickety Split en el edificio histórico conocido como “Pink Building” o lo que era antes el Edgewater Beach Hotel, construido en 1916. Cada viernes, la heladería local estará vendiendo su delicioso custard en la vieja floristería del edificio para motivar a otros empresarios del área a ponerse creativos en su estrategia para revivir la comunidad.

A Lickety Split se le sumarán también diferentes food trucks cada viernes en la esquina entre Sheridan y Bryn Mawr.

Nosotros nos dimos la vuelta para probar el helado y los deliciosos tacos de La Patrona. Además, habían dulces de Auntie Vee’s, pizza de Da Pizza Dude y comida para perro de 6 Mutts. Aunque todavía estaba un poco frío para salir a comer afuera, había suficiente espacio dentro del pop up para mantenerse caliente y disfrutar de buena comida.

Lickety Split Pop Up & Food Truck Fridays

Our Edgewater neighborhood is booming. New bakeries, restaurants and apartment complexes are popping up and there’s overall improvement of the streets and open areas. This is both exciting and scary at the same time, considering your rent is definitively going up next year and you’re too in love with the place to move out.

Ethnically diverse and perfectly located by the lake where Lincoln Park ends, Edgewater is no longer underrated. It’s trending. (Hipsters are moving in!)

A good sign of this progress is Lickety Split’s new pop-up concept at the historic “Pink Building” or what used to be the Edgewater Beach Hotel, built in 1916. Every Friday, the local ice cream parlor will be taking over the old flower shop at the building hoping to encourage other business owners to get creative in their strategy to revive the neighborhood.

Lickety Split’s pop up will also be joined by different food trucks every Friday by the corner of Sheridan and Bryn Mawr.

We stopped by last Friday for some delicious custard and street tacos from La Patrona. There were also sweets from Auntie Vee’s, pie from Da Pizza Dude or doggie treats from 6 Mutts. And while it was still a bit too cold to be outside, there was plenty of space inside the pop up to stay warm and enjoy your awesome food.

Here’s a super quick vid. Hope to see some of you around next time.