Sunday, January 15, 2012

New Years Eve Day

On New Years Eve day, we biked Milwaukee Avenue. How often can you say that on December 31st in Chicago?

We pedaled block after block by occult bookstores, tiny restaurants and bakeries, furniture stores and a mix of ordinary and upscale shops. Trouble was we were early.

This neighborhood was still asleep and many of the shops didn’t open until noon. In fact, just as we were leaving a cheery little bake shop called Lovely’s (1130 N Milwaukee Avenue), the customers started to arrive.

It was 10:00 AM and Milwaukee Avenue was finally awake. Makes me think that I should check out the nightlife in this neighborhood.

Lovely’s poured the perfect cup of coffee (Intelligentsia ), had a vintage pressed tin ceiling (just like the old Chicago bar in Omaha) and some beautiful antiques.

The indulgence of the day: Lunch at Lilly Q’s ( 1856 W. North Avenue) for ribs.

I am happy to report that they are every bit as good as all of the reviews with just a hint of sweetness to the sauce. It may take me awhile before I find another BBQ as good as this one so stay tuned.

The fries were so amazing and were smothered in a rub called Carolina Dirt which is a blend of paprika, sugar, salt, onion powder, chili powder, mustard, garlic powder, oregano, jalapenos and again…a few secret spices.

OK, like Eischens in Oklahoma City, here goes that secret spice thing again.

One resolution for New Years: to educate myself on spices and even try to make some personal blends.

Lilly Q’s chef Charlie McKenna has won a lot of awards on the competition barbeque circuit including the top prize at Memphis this past May -- which is commonly considered as the world championship of barbeque.

I bought a bag of his Carolina Dirt rub (buy it online) and immediately went home and re-made the French fries they were that good.

So, here I was eating this magnificent meal today while I was planning my next one. Truth be told, I am usually two or three meals ahead of myself so this was a kick-back day … except for the biking home. After all the food, I would have been really happy to find a designated driver.

Bon Appetit!