This trendy hot spot in River North was a surprising gem both for great food and good deals. We took advantage of the Samba Hour (Sun-Thurs 4pm-7pm and 10pm-close and Fri-Sat 4pm-6pm and 11pm-close) which was $5 small plates and $20 pitchers of specialty drinks. We started off with a pitcher of Caipirinha, a traditional Brazilian cocktail infused with lime.
We decided to start with the fried bok choy, local corn tempura, and yellowtail taquitos. The bok choy was simple and perfectly seasoned. The corn was spectacular, something I otherwise would have passed up thinking it was to boring. The crispy texture mixed with the truffle cream sauce was unbelievably delicious. The taquitos were fabulous but it was the red spicy sauce that made the dish. I’m not very tolerant of spicy food but this was different than any spicy sauce I’ve ever had, it had a good bite but didn’t leave me grabbing for my drink in pain seconds later.
We were impressed to say the least so we decided to forge ahead and ordered two more dishes, the Duck Croquettes and the Kobe Goya. The Kobe was my favorite dish. It was like a dumpling in a sweet butternut squash puree and then dipped in a soy sauce, so many different flavors and textures that blended so well together.
We really enjoyed the atmosphere too. It was fun and still comfortable. I’ve been to so many restaurants that had great food but the decor was so over-the-top it wasn’t comfortable. We sat on this couch in the lounge with the doors open and chatted for several hours. It’s definitely somewhere I would go back to for another date or a night with the girls or even after work with coworkers.
We came across this place in the West Loop during the Taste of Randolph Street a few weeks ago. We decided to try it for lunch one Saturday and sat out on the sidewalk. There were a few things I saw that I wanted on the menu but just couldn’t justify the price so I went with a pizza. It turned out to be a great choice and better yet, they offer it in whole-wheat! I ordered the Yoga Master pizza which was loaded with veggies and big enough for two people to share. I would love to go back for dinner sometime, especially because apparently they have a great rooftop deck.
I forgot to bring a lunch with me today and was worried about finding something healthy for lunch. One of my coworkers said this place had a great vegetarian sandwich called the Baja and it is conveniently located right next to my office on State and Lake. Consequently the lovely ladies at Cheeky Chicago were also talking about the Baja on twitter so I was really looking forward to trying it!
It was not a boring veggie sandwich as some might think. I always thought sandwiches had to have meat in them to even call themselves a sandwich, well this one proves that theory wrong. The roasted red pepper totally made this in my opinion. It filled me up and I still felt good about eating it. Needless to say, this is now my go-to lunch spot!