Monday, June 23, 2014

Eat 'Round the World in Bucktown/Wicker Park!

Want to travel the world?

Take a walk around the neighborhood and try foods from around the world! These eclectic restaurants are all just a few blocks away from us here at Ray's BucktownB&B!

Estrella Negra
Latin American
2346 W Fullerton Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 227-5993

This arty little BYOB restaurant-slash-gallery on the Bucktown-Logan Square border serves a smallish menu of contemporary Latin cuisine alongside a big helping of local art. The casual dining room and bar area is decked out in a colorful assortment of Dia de los Muertos-themed works, most by artists from the neighborhood. (If you see something you like, inquire about a price because it's all for sale.) Eats include Mexican staples such as tacos, tamales and empanadas. Owner (and local musician) Otoniel Michels mother is in the kitchen, so you'll find family specialties, including her chicken pozole, on the menu too. If you need mixers for your booze, you can grab a variety of juices, sodas and house-made smoothies at the bar (Metromix Review). Most importantly there is a $5 for $10 deal on yelp!

Rio's D'Sudamerica
2010 W Armitage Ave Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 276-0170

At Rio’s each dish is prepared to order using the imported Peruvian products, the freshest ingredients, imaginative sauces and a masterful touch. Master cook Rosendo Monteoca from “Rinconcito Sudamericano“,  and  talented Chef Guillermo Munuz from the highest accredited culinary school and top restaurants in Lima Peru,  bring 40 years of experience and flavor to the Chicagoland area.  Rio’s D’ Sudamerica  represents old traditional Criollo style cooking along with the new modern Peruvian gastronomy of today.  Owner Dino Perez invites you to Taste the traditions of Peru (Rio's website)!

Brasil Legal Cafe
2161 N Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 772-6650

A small grocery store with a wall full of shelves, full of product. Brasil Legal Cafe shines on us with its food. There is a short menu and you can expect some "real" Brazilian food prepared in a kitchen where you can see the cooks! Start with a risole camarao and a coxhina. Have a Guanara Antartica to wash it all down. Sit and relax for awhile. Then get the feijoada (Yelp user review).

The Bento Box
Asian Fusion
773) 278-3932

The Bento Box is an Asian inspired 22 seat restaurant featuring a small and rotating menu. Chef Rick focuses on providing his customers with the freshest locally sourced ingredients as well as bold flavors in his unpretentious dining area. Braised and grilled meats, farm fresh vegetables, and from scratch sauces and curries parade the menu on a nightly basis (Bento FB page).

1414 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 342-1414

Cumin restaurant: modern Nepalese and Indian cuisine, has taken up on the task of bringing you the absolute taste of Indian sub-continent as well as the Himalayas of Nepal. Essentially similar in cooking method and taste, however, Nepalese food is milder and do not use any dairy products in the preparation; perfect for people conscious about their health related eating habits. Indian food primarily boasts of its rich taste attributed to the usage of various spice mix and rich sauce base; and usages of various vegetables and meat ingredients (Cumin website).

2252 N. Western Ave., Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 252-4747

Paladar is casual yet it has an elegant feel to it. It is a place where you feel you have been invited into a tradiational Havana family home. Guests can enjoy traditional family recipes in a new, modern way. For instance Ropa Vieja sliders, served with Grandmother’s Tropical Chicken Salad and fresh pineapple (Paladar website).
Also it’s nice to know that Lunch entrees are always 20% off!

After your feet grow weary, and your belly full, you can drink a glass of wine and play a game of scrabble at Ray's! Of course, you shouldn't forget to digest quickly so you'll have room for Ray's exotic breakfast!

Friday, June 6, 2014

I Scream, You Scream...

Summer is now in full swing, and there is only one thing on our minds:  ICE CREAM – The ultimate summertime treat.  Win a baseball game?  Get some ice cream!  Broken air conditioner?  Ice cream! Have a big date?  How about some ice cream?!  Yes, it certainly does seem to be the one thing everyone can agree on.  And here at Ray’s Bucktown B&B, we try to keep a secret stash in the freezer at all times.  If you want to kick up your ice cream experience, we recommend these local ice cream shops to stop by!

Remember that episode of Star Trek where they took liquid cream, flavored it however you wanted, and then shot it with liquid nitrogen to make ice cream?  Wait, no?  Oh that’s right because that was REAL LIFE!  Head over to icream for some seriously futuristic frozen treats!

Ok, no, it’s not ice cream.  But there’s just something about an icy, fruity brain freeze that screams summer!  This Chicago establishment is, quite literally, a hole-in-the-wall.  Just walk up to their window and order yourself some Italian ice!  And be sure to check out their orange/vanilla combo, the Orangezilla!

The pinnacle of all ice cream shops, Margie’s Candies has been Chicago’s favorite ice cream parlor since 1921.  Their homemade ice cream and hot fudge will make you forget all about that line you stood in for 20 minutes.  Why wouldn’t you want to eat at a place that once served the likes of Al Capone, the Rolling Stones and The Beatles?  Only a short walk away from us here at Rays!

A little taste of Italy, right here in Wicker Park!  Caffe Gelato makes their creamy treats fresh every morning, ensuring that your taste buds are only graced by the very highest quality gelato around.  They also serve up coffee and espresso as well as cookies and cannoli.  And keep your eye out for the yellow Caffe Gelato Vespa zipping down the streets of Chicago!  Flag them down and grab a scoop to go!

You may be thinking, ‘wait a minute Heather.  The Boiler Room?  In a blog about ice cream?  Don’t you know that the Boiler Room is a pizza place?’  Yes.  I am fully aware.  So why would I mention them?  Because they have a secret.  A delicious little secret that I will be exposing right now!  Jameson soft serve.  That’s right.  Jameson Irish Whiskey infused into creamy vanilla soft serve ice cream.  Just do it.