Location: 6034 S Pulaski Rd, Chicago P: 773-582-4244 Hours: Sun-Thurs: 9AM-10PM, Fri-Sat: 8AM-10PM
Chicago literally has a thousand different taco stands and restaurants spread out across the city, from the North side to the South side you’d be hard pressed to go a couple miles with out seeing one. The fact that the taco scene is so saturated has taken a little away from the truly great taco joints that the city has to offer. We previously mentioned La Pasadita, but this time around we’re posting a southside restaurant; situated in Chicago’s West Lawn neighborhood, Paco’s Tacos is by far one of the CHIs top ten taco spots. The taco’s here are some of the largest that i’ve seen around the city, they literally stuff their steak tacos; usually leaving enough meet on your plate for another one. The only pitfall of this place is their operating hours, the West Lawn is far different (crime) than Wicker Park so it’s understandable; but it would still be nice to be able to stop in late. All in all, I think Paco’s easily stacks up to other, more well known places like La Pasadita, Taco Burrito King & Zaca’s; if you’re ever on the southwest side in need of grub look no further.
Location: 1366 N Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago P: 773-697-7922 Hours: Mon-Thurs: 5PM-2AM, Fri: 3PM-2AM, Sat: Noon-3AM, Sun: Noon-2AM
In June 2012 Emporium opened it’s doors at the forefront of the then current “barcade” trend. Situated in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood, just down the street from the bustling “6 corners,” Emporium established itself as one of CHI’s premier barcades. Location aside, they have an awesome beer menu, and if you’re into whiskey (we are), they have a separate menu dedicated entirely to the “Ruckus Juice.” When it comes to the games, these guys hit the nail on the head; you’ll find ALL of the classics: The Simpsons, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, NBA JAM, and Street Fighter. If that wasn’t good enough, they have a separate room dedicated entirely to pinball and live music. Emporium is dope but beware, if you come here late on a Friday or Saturday night, you’ll probably end up doing more waiting and watching than actual playing; so go early or on odd days if you’re there strictly for the games. This place is ideal for a pre-game before the night begins, I’d highly recommend a stop if you’re near “6 Corners”.
Decent burger joints are not dime a dozen. Sure, you can grab any old burger just about anywhere, but a quality patty with quality ingredients surrounding it isn’t always the easiest find. Over the last few years, Red Cow restaurants have began to make their mark in neighborhoods across the Twin Cities, one visit and you’ll understand exactly why. At their downtown location, rustic meets trendy decor envelops the dining room, kind of awkward at first; but really easy to get passed, especially when the food arrives. The proscuitto topped Barcelona and the bacon filled 60/40 are my favorites, but the Ahi Tuna and Vegey burgers are great, healthier options. The restaurant walks a tight wire, the dining room is perfect for date night, while the not so far bar doubles as a solid back drop for a few early drinks with friends. I can only imagine this location becoming even more crowded as the North Loop and Saint Anthony Main neighborhoods continue into full scale gentrification, but you can bet they will ALL be fed well. Cost comes with quality and location, this is not your $5 corner burger joint, but I assure you that your $12 will not be spent in vain. Check one of their locations out for yourself, click the link below for more information.
The city of Chicago is well known for its hot dogs, polishes & pork chop sandwiches; but only few places cook ’em like the guys at Jim’s. Indeed there are various locations on just about every side of Chicago, but the original location near Maxwell Street is the truly great one. Open 24 hours, 365 days a year; the original Jim’s is a mecca for drunken bar goers of all ages, wasted college kids and pretty much anyone looking for good food at too cheap of a price (yes too cheap). That other place down the street (Maxwell’s) might have the best dogs on the block but Jims’ polishes & pork chops blow theirs out of the water. We’ve made many a drunken stops at Jim’s and I can’t remember an occasion when anyone was unsatisfied upon leaving, if you can’t find 1 thing on their menu that you like; you might not be human (or just vegetarian). If you’re ever near U.I.C’s campus or heading south on 94 from downtown, make the stop; it’ll be worth every penny.
Standing right in the heart of downtown NE lies Masu. After passing by Masu well over a dozen times, we finally made our way inside for some sake and noodles. After entering the restaurant, we couldn’t help but notice the unique layout. In the center of the restaurant, there is an enormous curved bar followed by a handful of neon bright Pachinko games tucked in the back corner. If you are looking for more of an intimate setting, the left side of the restaurant has just what you need.
Masu has it all really: it is an aesthetically pleasing restaurant with delicious food, great sake, and an attentive staff. When it comes down it it, we plan to be back for seconds. Most importantly, If you’re looking for a decent bowl of pork belly ramen – look no farther.
Location: 825 Washington Ave SE #104, Minneapolis P: 612-378-3243 Hours: Sun-Thurs: 10:30AM-10PM, Fri-Sat: 10:30AM-Midnight
Cane’s is one of those places that you might pass everyday without noticing it, but once you stop in you’re hooked, possibly for life. Situated in Minneapolis’ Stadium Village neighborhood, Cane’s has quickly become a local favorite among hungry University of Minnesota students. Originally based solely in Louisiana, Cane’s specializes in premium chicken; they only have chicken strips and chicken sandwiches…that’s it. The simplicity of the menu adds to the greatness of the restaurant, you know the chicken’s good when that’s all they serve. For all my sauce savvy eaters beware, Cane’s strictly prohibits any other condiment but their own “Cane’s Sauce” which tastes like a mixture of familiar flavors (Thousand islands?), but is still very much a mystery. This place wont put too much of a beating on your wallet either and I’ve found it to be a great hangover cure as well. Stop in and get a taste of what you’ve been missing.
Location: 500 E Lake Street, Minneapolis Hours: Sun-Thurs: 11AM-11PM, Fri-Sat: 11AM-Midnight
Located in Minneapolis’ Phillips West neighborhood, A&Js is far from new to any southsider with a craving for fried chicken. As a loyal customer I may be biased, but I’ve grown to appreciate this place for it’s consistency. They offer the gamut of “southern cooking” including fried chicken, tilapia, catfish, collard greens, mac & cheese, perch, and even fried okra. This isn’t your crowd funded, yuppie hangout where “world class” chefs find their roots, it’s simply good ass street food that fills a much needed greasy void in our new, ritzy surroundings. You wont be paying $9 for 4 wings here, and you wont have 8 sauce selections, but you can rest assured that your wings will be good! Their menu is expansive and they have a surprisingly large delivery range, your best bet is the wings or the catfish, but there are definitely a few hidden gems. Phillips West & East are often overlooked, but A&J’s is worth a visit for anyone in the area looking for a quick bite. Click the link below for a peek at their menu.
Location: 2622 N Clark Street, Chicago P: 773-477-7444 Hours: Sun-Thurs: 10:30AM-4 AM, Fri-Sat: 10:30AM-5 AM
The Weiners Circle is definitely a top 10 hot dog shack in the city of Chicago. Situated just south of Chicago’s bustling WrigleyVille corridor, this place can get pretty out of control around bar close, which makes for an interesting experience. During the day you’ll get the toned down version but venture here late on a Friday or Saturday night and i guarantee you’ll leave full and with a smile on your face. Obscene comments, offensive remarks and all; this place actually has some pretty good food. The char-broiled cheddar burger is a personal favorite but i’ve heard good things about their char-dog as well. The Weiners Circle recently inked a deal with Tru Tv for a reality show so be on the look out for that, check out the clip below if you want to see what you’re in for.
Location: 800 Washington Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55401
Hours: MON-FRI 8-8 SAT-SUN 9-5
Be’Wiched is a full on gourmet deli located in the warehouse district of Minneapolis. On a hungry afternoon driving around, this place happened to catch my eye. Come to find out, the place has been rated the #1 deli to grab a sandwich by multiple critics. Mike Ryan and Matthew Bickford are the master chefs behind the place. Both have culinary backgrounds which they decided to use to create these delectable sandwiches. I ended up ordering the classic pastrami, and god damn I have never tasted something so fresh and delicate. The sandwiches are priced around $10 a pop, so they are a little spendy, but worth it in my eyes.
Before Eat Street was well…..Eat Street, The Bad Waitress stood prominently at the corner of 26th & Nicollet as a sign of things to come. As the strip grew (Icehouse, Eat Street Social, Black Sheep etc) The Bad Waitress maintained it’s glory as the areas go-to diner. Minneapolis’ Whittier neighborhood has always been known for it’s wide range of international eats, Thai & Chinese places sit side by side with Mexican & Middle Eastern eateries; while The Bad Waitress embodies the American diner style of restaurant. As with most diners, cool nostalgic posters, toys & records from America’s past adorn every wall; giving you plenty to look at while waiting and eating. Setting itself apart from other diners in Minneapolis, The Bad Waitress strictly buys local; assuring you that everything you eat was in fact produced in the great state of Minnesota. Another cool touch is the comic book & monster themed tables (The Invisible Girl table is primo) that allow for super quick service, our food was laid before us in what felt like one blink of the eye. With all of the great things that can be said about The Bad Waitress, i did leave with 1 pretty insignificant gripe. Other breakfast places like My Kitchen, Uptown Diner & Mickey’s offer more bang for your buck, we know ridiculously large portions are now frowned upon; but when you’re hungover and in need of a monster meal, having to order twice can be dissappointing. All in all, The Bad Waitress is a great place to eat with great service and a cool atmosphere (prime location); however, if you find yourself looking for a feast on a budget, you may want to look elsewhere.