David Hammond, a corporate communications consultant and food journalist living in Oak Park, Illinois, is a founder and moderator of LTHForum.com, the 8,500 member Chicago-based culinary chat site. David is a regular contributor of restaurant reviews and food-related articles for Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, TimeOut Chicago, Local Beet, and Chicago Reader, which published his seven-part guide to regional Mexican food in the city. He has also contributed food writing to blogs such as the Local Beet and Grubstreet Chicago. With his friend Michael Gebert (creator of Sky Full of Bacon video podcasts), he hosted a cable documentary on Hispanic chow at Chicago's Maxwell Street Market,and has just completed working on a video about Taste of Melrose Park. A returning guest on WLS and WGN AM radio, David produces the "Soundbites" series on the James Beard-nominated Eight Forty-Eight (Chicago Public Radio, WBEZ, 91.5FM); these radio pieces examine how Chicago chefs use sound in their kitchens; listen here: http://tiny.cc/QpCTA. David was featured on "Good Morning, America," "Chicago, Tonight," and Nippon TV when he developed recipes for preparing seasonal cicadas, which invaded Chicagoland during the spring of 2007. More information, including writing samples and bug-cooking videos, can be found at www.dchammond.com.
Carnivore opened late last summer, and we've been there a few times to pick up meat and fish. The boys at Carnivore now also offer lunch. Stopping in for a sandwich is a good way to sample their hand-crafted wurst.
It's easy to imagine how One Lake Brewing (1 Lake St.) will be a local success: it's a good space for all kinds of groups, very pleasant, with food that will probably get better and an ambitious beer program. It's also a very cool addition to the neighborhood, which doesn't have any other place like this.
In the genre of Midwestern strip mall Chinese, our food from #1 Chop Suey was pretty good: the vegetables – broccoli, carrots and mung bean sprouts – seemed fresh and were not overcooked: they were crunchy and had surprisingly good color. And the meat was…velveted.
The Scratch Burger has a lot going for it: bleu cheese (always so good with beef), arugula (the leaf's pepperiness balances juicy beef), red onion (somewhat sweeter than yellow and more complementary to the cheese flavor), all on a pretzel bun (preferable to the standard white flour bun).