Tasting Notes: Birchwood brownies, cocktails at Mana, Bucktown caipirinhas
I swear to you that what I'm about to write is true: Last night, I dreamt about XOCO's churros. Having written thousands of pages about food, I'm sure I've claimed in print that I've dreamt about food before. Certainly I've called things "dreamy." But this is the first time it really happened. And let me tell you: It's kind of embarrassing. I woke up and thought: What the hell? Am I really that into doughnuts?
What can I say. The things are mentally-ill delicious.
But those churros were just the start of my weekend eating—not, by any means, the finish. Here's what I—and some other TOC staffers—ate between then and now:
David Tamarkin, Food Editor:
- Speaking of Blue Sky Bakery and Cafe (which in the interest of full disclosure I should mention I am on the board of), my Sunday breakfast consisted of one of its impeccable cheddar-chive scones and one of its chewy chocolate-chip cookies.
- Sand dabs at The Publican. I'd never had sand dabs (a small, delicate whitefish); this simple dish made me a big fan (despite their annoying bones).
- Chickpea salad, spicy sesame noodles and "Mana sliders" at Mana. Yes, that was me scarfing all of that food down in the middle of the Renegade Craft Fair.
Julia Kramer, Eat Out Writer, On Wicker Park's highs and lows:
High: The cucumber sakerita and the watermelon-and-mint cocktail at Mana. Incredibly refreshing, and I didn't even run into David (phew!).
John Dugan, Wed Editor:
- My lady and I had a few too many things on our agenda Saturday evening—so I ended up whipping up a bottle of lazy man's caipirinhas to take to a party that we ended up not having the time to make it to—instead, we took our homemade cocktails up on the roof of our building in Bucktown and took in the view on what seemed like a perfect end of summer night. The lady was impressed with my beverage—which, in fact, had been her idea. Somehow, we finished the whole batch before we slipped out for sushi at Mirai. Here's how I made the drinks.
1 liter bottle of Trader Joe's French Market Limeade
1/3 liter Cabana Cachaca
Slices of lime
1 empty French soda bottle
Muddle a bunch of fresh mint in a glass/bowl with a few splashes of the lime soda. Fill the empty soda bottle about a quarter to a third full of cachaca. Pour the muddled mixture and mint in another empty soda bottle—looks classy. Then fill the remainder with TJ's lime soda. Don't shake—it will explode. Serve on ice with some slices of lime.