GO RAMEN Totally Confirms My Ramen Suspicions and FoodFilmFest! (Chicago, IL)

OMG, DAMN. I was reading on Go Ramen’s blog about how he was coming to Chicago and do a serious demo on his food (awesome ramen!), but damn damn damn I couldn’t make it. So I’m totally late about it, but today is the last day of the Chicago Food Film Festival and if you have time, please go and support them. There’s one film left in the festival and you can view ticket info right here.

And yes, GO Ramen TOTALLY confirms my ramen suspicions. Sorry Slurping Turtle fans, but their ramen is not up to par. And apparently, that’s Chicago’s best/most known ramen shop. Good grief. Tokyo 21′s ramen sucked so bad that Keizo didn’t even bother much with it. I commend Keizo for trying the ramen in Chicago, but sorry, our ramen sucks.

I love ramen and still think most of the U.S.A. is far behind in the ramen game. You simply can not step into a place and expect good ramen. I’ve been to insane ramen places where I’ve been served a mostly raw “hanjuku” egg and shitty salty broth (I’m looking at YOU, Toki Underground in DC, supposedly best ramen shop in town), been told that I had to wait 2-3 hours from ramen (I am not waiting this long in NYC [maybe Japan] so open up more shops Ippudo!), and have been served ramen that tasted familiar and turns out to taste like the pre-packaged refrigerated ramen that I got at Mitsuwa (Shame on me once, never twice Satsuma DC!).

Chicago Film Festival: http://thefoodfilmfestival.com/

Go Ramen Blog Post: GO RAMEN!: Chitown!!!….

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Event Alert – Taste of Chicago’s RogersEdge 2012 (Oct. 11)

Taste of RogersEdge

Re-posting for interested folks.

Support local businesses while sampling a variety of sweet and savory goodies in the Taste of RogersEdge!

On October 11th, 2012, Loyola University, Rogers Park Business Alliance, and the Edgewater Chamber of Commerce will partner again to take you on an exciting tour of the diverse restaurants in the Rogers Park and Edgewater neighborhoods. Starting in The Morgan at Loyola Station lobby, “crawlers” will begin sampling delicious food and then hop aboard an authentic Chicago Trolley that will escort them to the next of over 20 restaurants on the crawl!

What could be better than dining on delicious food while supporting local businesses?

Registration:

On the day of the event, pick up your tickets at The Morgan
1209 W. Arthur Chicago, IL 60626

http://www.morganatloyolastation.com/chicago/the-morgan-at-loyola-station/map-and-directions/

LINK: Taste of RogersEdge.

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What I Saw and Ate at VeganMania 2012 (Chicago, IL)

Chicago VeganMania

I had never been to VeganMania, nor had I ever heard of such an event until a local newsletter landed in my inbox and informed me that THIS event was occurring in Chicago. So of COURSE I had to get up there and see what this was about. I read that VeganMania had grown so large that they needed a larger space, hence, their event was moved to the Broadway Armory. And it seems, as one man remarked to his friend in passing, that the “event is STILL DAMN CROWDED!” But isn’t that a good thing?

Food venders
When you step into the main space, there were lines for various food vendors. Everyone had to exchange their money into silver tokens ($1 = 1 silver token) in order to pay. I thought this was a good idea because you don’t want food vendors handling somewhat unclean money while dishing and handing out food at the same time. It makes the process easier and simplifies things. PLUS! The tokens are reusable and are not as wasteful as say, paper tickets! I was also amazed that the veganmania staff labeled garbage bins for recycling and ACTUALLY RECYCLED!

Booths

There were a variety of interesting regular booth vendors that included some vegan friendly companies (Knudsen, Raw Revolution, etc.), local vegan groups, advocacy groups (there was a group accusing Kashi of GMO-ing their food, WTFARK!), independent companies with their vegan products and vegan notables. I tried some samples of Raw Revolution and I loved it! I later bought some bars from Whole Foods to snack on!

Food Vendors Lines

I would have to say that Soul Vegan won out for having the longest lines for their food, as they actually ran out of food and was replenishing their supply while their dedicated customers patiently stood in line for the food to come. I checked out their menu and it looked really great, but I am not into lines and wanted to eat something without waiting forever.

Sign of Vegetarians

I saw this interesting poster of notable people who were vegetarians. Apparently, the creator of MIME (email), Steve Jobs, Aung San Suu Kyi, and the 14th Dalai Lama were/are all vegetarians. The sign said that they all observed a vegetarian diet and affirmed its necessity from the standpoints of morality and logic.

Vegan Black Metal Chef

I also saw the vegan black metal chef greeting his fans, signing autographs and taking a ton of photos. I was really bummed that I missed his cooking demo at veganmania, but thought it’d be awkward if I had approached him as I don’t know a lot of his cooking as I’ve seen only 1 of his cooking videos. NEXT TIME!

Chicago Diner's Vegan BBQ "Wings"

I got hungry and saw that people had this really tasty looking vegan wing with celery sticks meal so I headed over to the Chicago Diner’s booth and snagged the vegan bbq wings with celery sticks and vegan sauce. The “wings” were seitan (wheat gluten) and it seemed to be breaded, maybe fried? and mixed with a hot sauce. I think this was my first time eating seitan in a non-Asian prepared dish and thought this was actually fairly decent. I thought the seitan was a little chewier on some parts of the ‘wings’ due to them sitting in a catering pan, but this was overall very decent for 5 silver coins and was fairly pleased with my purchase.

Fresh Ginger Ale by Bruce Cost

I needed something to drink and was immediately distracted by this vendor who had ginger ale among his wares. I really enjoy ginger ale, especially if it’s strong so I handed over my 2 silver coins for the Ginger Ale by Bruce Cost and tried it out. The drink had a pleasing ginger taste, not too sweet which is a big bonus for me, and had a smooth after taste. You can see the ginger bits swirling on the bottom of the bottle and believe me, you might actually end up drinking all of it, ginger bits and all in one gulp, like I did. What a great drink!

Funny Shirt

The sense of humor of these vendors never ceased to amaze me and everyone seemed to want to make things right in the world with products that promoted sustainability of Earth’s resources and healthier eating. I have to admit, the shirt that said that “I don’t eat anything that poops!” was awesome and if anyone is shopping for a vegan, this would be it!

I would have to say that my only issue with veganmania was that there were a lot of vendors harking “vegan” versions of totally non-vegan dishes (i.e. mac and cheese, vegan “cheese”, etc.) and thought that instead of trying so hard to re-create these faux dishes, it might be more effective to embrace cooking and preparing things in way that is not “mimicking” non-vegan foods. I thought that a vegan can not eat anything from an animal so why try so hard to mimic some of these products? In any case, while the event was crowded, I thought people were really nice and perhaps unusually friendly and polite as we bumped into each other while navigating the crowds. I learned more about veganism and thought this was a grand way to learn more about it without feeling alienated. I hope next year’s veganmania is bigger and better! Thanks for reading all the way through! :)

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Event Alert: Chicago VeganMania 2012 (Sept. 29)

Chicago VeganMania

I’m super excited to share info on this year’s VeganMania celebration! Here’s some additional intel on the event, listed below. Bolded emphasis is mine.

“Chicago VeganMania is a celebration of this dynamic new community. We bring together the vegan restaurants and food companies, leaders and entrepreneurs, doctors and chefs, businesses and organizations, singers and dancers, and we put them in one big place to show them all off to the world.

You certainly don’t have to be vegan to attend or enjoy Chicago VeganMania. You don’t even have to understand or carewhy people would adopt a vegan lifestyle. We just want you to have fun. Chicago VeganMania is basically a big friendly party, a festival where you can eat wonderful food, enjoy great music and lively entertainment, and have an opportunity to discover unique vegan products and learn the secrets of vegan chefs. There are even places where you can learn about the whys and hows of veganism is you’re so inclined.”

Is there anyone I’m excited about? Vegan Black Metal Chef is going to be doing Chef Demos at the event! Heck yaaaa!!! I’m also digging the “Ask a Vegan Expert” panels, I really hope I can wake up and get there on time because this sounds like a lot of fun even though I’m totally not vegan!

Saturday, September 29th, 2012
10am-4pm
Broadway Armory
5917 N. Broadway, Chicago

For more information: Chicago VeganMania 2012

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Lao Sze Chuan is Now Open on the Northside! (Chicago, IL)

Omg, there’s a new Tony Hu restaurant and he’s coming to the northside of Chi-town! And guess what?! He took over the recently exited Marigold restaurant space too! Any early adopters want to share how the food is?

And what about Marigold? Oh, they’re relocating to the Andersonville neighborhood and will be just across the street from Hamburger Mary’s and Brown Elephant!

Link: Uptown Update: Lao Sze Chuan Has A Broadway Opening.

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Red Mango’s Mixed Berry Parfait (Chicago, IL)

Red Mango's Berry Parfait

Hey folks, I took the rest of summer off from blogging and am back again. I had some points to use up on my Red Mango account so I got their mixed berry parfait. You can choose what yogurt flavors to put into the parfait and was pretty excited to see that the employees were psyched about the yogurt too.

I chose plain yogurt and pomegranate for my parfait. Layered throughout the parfait included sliced bananas, blueberries, strawberries, and granola. I really liked the granola and enjoyed getting my daily fruit intake for the day. The chopped strawberries were still a bit frozen, but was easy to eat. I must admit that the size was bigger than I had expected and had to maneuver my spoon to prevent the granola from coming off the parfait. You might need another person to share this really big parfait as I was barely able to eat all of it in one sitting.

Overall a positive experience and hope to come back soon. Goodness knows how many reguar yogurts I’ve eaten from there.

Red Mango
6460 N. Sheridan Rd.
Chicago, IL 60626

http://www.redmangousa.com/

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A Sun Wah BBQ tofu tour

Tofu making!

Check out the link for a really cool look into Sun Wah’s venture into tofu making! I’ve tried the soymilk that comes out of the tofu making process and it’s not bad, pretty good. For those wondering where I got my soy milk, I got it from Tai Nam Supermarket by Arygle and Broadway streets.

A Sun Wah BBQ tofu tour.

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