Recently I celebrated my 24th birthday with many of my friends and family. My brother drove up from University of Illinois and my friend Lora from undergrad came in from New York. Additionally, my mom and my Aunt Beth got a hotel room downtown to join in the festivities. Because of the all the special people and fun, I was able to go out to eat quite a bit. Here are some of the places we tried!
Watch out for those margs! There are dozens of different flavors and qualities of tequila to choose, tempting you keep trying more. Su Casa offers pretty standard Mexican entrees and the food is good, but the atmosphere is what makes it fun. From the outside the bright yellow building with a giant cactus sign jumps out of the beautiful, slick architecture of River North. Once you walk in, you are greeted by a loud energy and glasses clinking. As you dine you will be serenaded by a Mariachi band at your table. If you are in the mood for noise, drinks, and a good time, this would definitely be your destination.
“Really good food. Not good vegan food, but actually good food”—what my friends and I say every time as we are shoveling the food into our mouths. What’s vegan again? It just means no animals: no meat or animal bi-products. So no eggs, no cheese, no butter, no beef. My friend Lora, who came in from New York, recently went vegan to rectify some tummy issues, but to save her from embarrassment we will say she is doing it for health reasons.
I was excited to take her to Native Foods because it is a chain that New York does not have. She ordered the Bangkok Curry Bowl; tempt your taste buds with this: “Seared tofu steak on top of steamed veggies, greens and brown rice with a lemongrass and ginger-infused coconut milk curry. Topped with sesame seeds and cilantro.” Sounds great right? And it only costs $10.
Located in the West Loop, a foodie district, this is the fanciest restaurant we went to. Despite its famous chef and the pricing, it has a laidback country home feel with its family kitchen tables and rustic touches. It makes you feel as though you are sittin’ at momma’s table. The Carriage House self-describes as a “lowcountry American” style cuisine which grows from “rustic roots to offer genteel repose,” much like Southern culture.
Everything is meant to be shared, again creating that homelike atmosphere. The gals and I had fun passing around food and drinking wine. For a group of four they recommend 3-5 small plates and two supers. We went with the lowcountry oyster roast, pickle jar, cucumber salad, and the mushroom, truffle, and egg for the small plate. The oysters and pickle jar were definitely my favorite! For super we had rainbow trout and smoked pork chop. Both were great but I have to rule for the trout.
Questions for Amie? Email law-admissions [at] luc [dot] edu with the subject “Ask Amie” and she will make sure to answer them.