So I breathed a sigh of relief after I lifted my ridiculous and not-very-well-thought-out 1-year deadline for the Around the World in 80 Meals Project. This is me trying to eat 80 ethnic meals in and around the greater Chicago area. Why? Because I love traveling, hence, I love ethnic food – duh. If done in a year, that would mean 6.6 ethnic meals per month – not even I can accomplish that. Plus – why a year? Right? So – if it takes 18 months, or even two years, so be it!
I added a new one on Friday night, at Sunshine Cafe, a tiny little family-run Japanese spot at 5449 N. Clark St. in Chicago (no web site). It’s BYOB and they’re only open until 9 p.m. The ambience is nothing to write home about, but the food is solid Japanese home cooking. Think sukiyaki (which I think I last had in about 1974), shrimp and veg tempura and grilled fish dishes. Along with tiny, delish shrimp dumplings and cold seaweed salad, they pour endless amounts of good green tea. I liked it! It was a cold, raw October night (way colder than it is supposed to be!) and it was definitely sukiyaki weather. The cast iron pan of hot, salty, sweet broth had thin slices of beef, tofu, bok choy and maybe some seaweed and what not and when added to the v. good Japanese white rice, it was the perfect Japanese comfort food for a Friday night with good friends.
Next, I need to conquer a slew of Eastern European countries and thank God it’s fall, because that food is built for cool weather – schnitzel, dumplings, pierogi, goulash and the like. More to come, as I travel the food globe without leaving Chi-town! (Confession: I am going to Madrid in November, but that won’t count – this project is all about eating and celebrating the global delights that one fabulous city can offer!)