Meat and Coffee in Chicago

Last Tuesday we went to Chicago. It was a last-minute decision. Total whim. Chicago is it's own thing. It lacks pretense and is full of purposeful architecture. The river running through the city creates such a wonderful travel experience for the pedestrian and biker. Luckily, the city started it's own public bike system last year, so we got to see the city by bike. Riding around in perfect Summer weather, stopping to check out a couple of art exhibitions, wandering into restaurants that were recommended. 

The two stand-out restaurants that I went to were The Publican and Au Cheval. I received a tip from a friend (and chef) back in LA, Lydia Burkhalter. She suggested I try the homemade bologna sandwich at Au Cheval, in the meat packing district. It was unreal. The soft, thin, slightly-sauteed slices of the delicately-spiced mortadella were velvety and sweet. Layered high on a soft, eggy brioche bun, with oozy cheddar and a bit of mornay sauce, it was not the bologna you think of from that sad sack lunch from 5th grade. It was a delicacy. It was an honest sandwich, mirroring what Chicago feels like, honest and meat-loving. 

I tried the roasted chicken & sausage on fries at The Publican and, in the words from fellow TofC contributor Sam Grawe, this had the best juices. Don't miss this place! The thinly sliced Benton's country ham (Tennessee) with goat butter on housemade German-style bread, was pure joy. Salty and sweet, melting on my tongue, on par with the Iberican hams in Spain. The avocado, kale, carrot, and toasted peanut with tahini dressing was better than the kale salads back in California. They nailed it. Chicago nailed it. Skip a white table cloth table for lunch and hit these spots instead. You won't regret it.

First Bombay Style Bistro in Paris

Finally. An Indian restaurant in Paris with fresh ingredients and heart warming flavors. There is love put into this food. A respected chef from London ( Cinnamon Club) , Manoj Sharma, has put a modern touch on traditional Indian cuisine at the brand new MG Road restaurant in the eastern Marais district of Paris. MG Road will quickly become a favorite place to tuck into, with quality food that will hug you. The menu features dishes like Sea Bass steamed in banana leaves with lemon infused rice, Chicken tikka with fresh herb chutney, Creme Brulée in the form of an Indian rice pudding, and a wine list with biodynamic wines. They also sell items like vanilla salt, black salt, tea spices, teas, chutneys and more.

Velvety butter chicken curry, dal with black lentils, and Pulao rice make up the lunch box to-go called the "Tiffin Box"
We opted to try their Tiffin box, a traditional stainless steel stacked to-go lunch box, which we brought home around the corner. They have two options, one vegetarian and one with meat. You simply pay a deposit for the box and either bring the box back later, or hold on to them to re-fill later. Which we plan to do. A lot.

The owner, Stephanie de Saint Simon, has a background in high end specialty catering and event planning. Along with party planning, she started Ouma Productions,  an interior design business specializing in beautiful decor, furniture and design objects from India. 

Tiffin Boxes filled with goodness to take home for those living in the nearby quartier
Tiffin Boxes with Pulao rice, dal with black lentils, chickpeas with tamarind, and butter chicken

MG Road Restaurant
205 Rue Saint-Martin
Tel. 01 42 76 04 32
75003 Paris

Open from 9am - Midnight, closed Sunday & Monday.
Breakfast : 9am - Noon
Lunch: Noon – 3pm
Dinner: 7pm –10:30pm

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