Brunch.

After a lengthy trip exploring the coast and its cuisine, I found myself back in Bloomington, Indiana, with my new month-long roommate, former co-worker, and freshman year floor mate, Kelly.  I had the opportunity to pick our weekend brunch spot and the pleasure of introducing her to FARM Bloomington, a local hot spot with farm-fresh ingredients and a mouthwatering daily omelette special.  Today’s omelette: a cheesy and rich, bison-chili topped dish served over home-fries.  We, of course, started off our meal sharing a bowl of the FARMfamous garlic fries, which were way too much for either of us to finish, but definitely worth getting.  FARM continues to be one of my favorite breakfast/brunch spots in Bloomington aside from my forever-favorite Runcible Spoon where they serve up the dangerously delicious salmon omelette.  If you have the chance while visiting Bloomington, make FARM a priority for your breakfast needs and you won’t be disappointed.

21st Century Dating.

Falling into line with the rest of many of my fellow millennials, I, especially in visiting a new area like New Orleans, took to Tinder to find potential matches and adventure.  A day before my arrival I started chatting with a down-to-earth guy that I wound up grabbing a drink with later in the week–this post becomes food-related I promise.  After our second quasi-date, when he went to drop me off I found myself locked out of my friend’s place where I was staying.  Like a proper gentlemen he let me tagalong with him to run an errand and grab a bite to eat.  See! I promised this would tie back to food.  We ended up at a sushi joint, Hoshun, right off of St. Charles Avenue in Uptown.  My first introduction to sushi outside of Indiana was comparatively, and unsurprisingly, out of this world.  I opted for the not-so-healthy, deep-fried Streetcar roll stuffed with sweet snow crab, creamy avocado, and finished off with a spicy mayo and complementary champagne sauce drizzle–talk about delicious! If you’re in the area I definitely recommend visiting this spot whether you go alone, with friends, or with a special someone.

Away.

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While the past month or two have been a whirlwind between graduating and traveling, I found myself again sidetracked from this blog, but fear no more, I am back and hope to continue to share with you my culinary experiences (though they may be out of order).  Since my last post I have ventured along the East Coast and am currently writing from Uptown in New Orleans where I have had an utterly amazing time exploring its cuisine and culture.  The warm people and even warmer weather have grown on me.  I am smitten.  From shrimp and crawfish boils to gator dogs and turtle soup, everything has been a delight.

5. Siam House

Per usual, I had some time to spare after classes one day so I stopped in to experience Siam House’s buffet.  Though at first I was planning on ordering off the main menu, I ultimately decided to try out the buffet so I could experience a smattering of different dishes.  The star of the day was Pad Thai; it was delightfully sweet and delicate, and it was my first experience with an authentic version of the dish outside of Noodles & Company, the world kitchen where I honed my skills as a ‘noodle grill’ aficionado.  While I thoroughly enjoyed the dish, after a few bites it became dangerously sweet and I needed something to balance it, so I was happy to have a palette of different flavours in front of me. One of the more bizarre things I had was a fried banana fritter-like dessert.  I’m not sure whether it was my lack of exposure to anything like it or my initial thought that it was a fried protein, but its flavour profile didn’t sit well with me.  Through the meal I gravitated toward chicken and beef dishes paired with steamed rice and delicious lo mein noodles.

 

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I happened to stop in right before Valentine’s day one afternoon, so the restaurant was decorated for guests ready to enjoy a romantic ambiance.

The owner was absolutely the sweetest during my visit, and the next time I go I will definitely try something off their main menu, perhaps a curry dish.

 

 

4. Falafels!

A few weeks ago I interviewed with PepsiCo for a sales position with Frito-Lay, which I didn’t get, but afterward I did get to try a mean chicken gyro/falafel hybrid at Falafels Middle Eastern Grill.  It was around 4 o’ clock so it was only me in the quiet little spot off of Kirkwood, but my server was delightful and made great recommendations with it being my first time visiting

Next time I would probably opt for a traditional gyro over the chicken, but I wanted to give it a go this time around.

For my listening enjoyment, in the background the classic crooners like Sinatra were serenading me over the speakers.  The pita was overflowing with chicken and was accompanied by a (free) side of delicious Mediterranean-style fries courtesy of my handy-dandy Hooked app. If I weren’t so full I would have sprung for a cup of gelato they serve, but I paid my bill and was on my way.  8/10 would reccommend.  I can’t wait to try their gyros.

3. M.I.A.

I let things get away from me for a moment to focus on work, school, and preparing for after I graduate, but don’t worry, a girl still has to eat and while my blogging may have had a brief hiatus, I definitely still managed to try a couple restaurants these past few weeks, so look out for some restaurant reviews with a dash of my own attempts to create culinary masterpieces.  Every time I make a trip home I always have to indulge in some local comfort food that I miss while I’m away at school; this typically includes, in no particular order: Gyros (Mr. Greek Gyros in Merrillville or Munster Gyros), Chinese (Kowloon in Schererville), pizza (usually Rosati’s), Mexican (El Amigo).

Luckily, after spending the day downtown at an advertising career fair, I treated myself to this beautiful (and delicious) sight.

Life lesson: Never turn down a chance to shovel some of the best deep dish into your face, because when in Ro…I mean Chicago.

 

Two. B Town Gyros.

Growing up I remember the visits I took with my dad to Munster Gyros. We’d sit down at a plastic red booth and would either end the meal with dessert in the form of 50 cent Mike and Ike’s from the candy dispenser or an ice-cream cone from the shop next door. Whenever I go home, gyros is one of the Chicago area staples I have to indulge in because, in my biased opinion, no place here, in Bloomington, gets it quite on par with the restaurants back home. Before attending a guest-speaker roundtable event I stopped by
B Town Gyros, a restaurant nestled within a convenience store in Bloomington, to give their gyros sandwich a try.

The meat was juicy and delightful, but the sauce, while good, was lacking something I desired; I think my preferences have been spoiled by the extra-creamy tzatzikiI grew up enjoying.  I was also surprised to find romaine lettuce stuffed into the sandwich–something I have not encountered in my gyros experience.  Now, I wish I had indulged in some feta to sprinkle on top to add a bit more zest and dimension.

While I definitely preferred this sandwich to Trojan Horse’s version, up to this point I maintain that the best gyros in Bloomington are from The Gyro Truck that frequents Kirkwood. Overall I would rate B Town Gyros 5 out of 10.