The Food and Wine Hedonist

leave your inhibitions at the door

Chicago Gets Hedonized Part 3 – The Final Frontier

After we ordered most of Roister’s menu, we were too full to go for another Bang Bang.   It was a pretty gluttonous night day weekend so a little bit of a stroll through the neighborhood was in order.  We moved to Ann Arbor 12 years ago, which seems an unfathomably long time to me.  It really does feel like yesterday.   But in that time, the Fulton Market area EXPLODED with growth.   What used to be wholesalers and other non-restaurant  businesses is now filled with chic restaurants and bars everywhere we turned.   The fact that we were able to stroll through the neighborhood – in safety and amongst other people – is still mind boggling.   When we moved away from the Chicago, a drive through that area at night was a risky move.

We played some pool late that night to work off that meal. Yeah, any “sport” that featured someone named Minnesota Fats is not going to burn off much calories.


So the next morning we hit the gym pretty hard.



The whole premise for the weekend was to hit up Kultura, which was celebrating its third year at Bar Emporium.   It’s a celebration of Filipino culture with food, some speakers, food, artwork, food, musical performances, and food.   Bet you can guess what we were there for. 

Because we hit the gym a little too hard, we didn’t get there until 4pm, and the fest was from 11am to 6pm.  Unfortunately, a lot of the items we wanted to try were  sold out.   At some point I’m going to make it to these places to try these dishes:

  • Hapa Chicago’s Brisket Kare Kare – maple-mesquite smoked brisket, toasted pandesal (Filipino rolls), coconut peanut annatto sauce
  • Hapa’s Tocino Poutine – three-day sweet cured pork shoulder, white adobo gravy, french fries
  • Chef Sharwin Tee’s Okoy – fried shrimp and vegetable fritters with fresh banana ketchup.

OK, that last one may have to wait a while since he’s from Manila.

Two things that we DID have – and we had a multiple servings of each – were

Guerrilla Streetfood’s (St Louis)  Pato Arroz Caldo, or duck rice porridge

Rice porridge with duck leg, crispy duck skin, hard cooked egg, fried garlic, patis (fish sauce), and scallions


Sarap Detroit’s Bicol Express

Pork belly simmered in coconut milk and chilies, topped with shrimp and scallions and served over jasmine rice


I’ve had Sarap Detroit’s food before and can’t wait to have some more.   They are a Detroit-based pop-up with high-concept Filipino fusion food.  Incredible food from an incredible couple.


The Upside Down

Right next door ( I think it was still part of Bar Emporium) was another  pop-up.  But instead of food, this was just drinks.   As the name implies, it’s theme was based on the popular Netflix series


I had actually read about the pop-up earlier in the week.   Usually, pop-ups like this don’t get a lot of attention, but this one did.  Seems the folks at Netflix weren’t very happy about it and sent them a cease and desist.  I’m pretty sure we were there on the last day.


Hard to see, but the ceiling had a whole living room on it.



Small Cheval

We got back to El Douchebag’s and were hanging out, mindlessly watching TV.   At about 8:30, even though we were still full, we started to talking about food again.

Small Cheval is a burger stand half a block away from our condo in Bucktown.  The small space used to be a Mexican brunch cafe that we used to frequent all the time.   Now it’s an offshoot of Au Cheval,  the very popular Chicago restaurant whose burgers often make national best lists.

I thought the menu painted on the side of building was just a sample…

Until I saw the actual menu…


A little sparse but, dayummmmmmm, that was an amazing burger.


Overall, the weekend was an amazing success.  We got to try everything from high-brow, upscale dining from one of the world’s greatest chefs to authentic Filipino food (twice) and everything in between.   We visited a bar that was  only supposed to be open temporarily but was made even more temporary by Netflix.   And I tried a cake shake.

But the best part were all the smiles and belly-busting laughter from El Douchebag and girlfriend Pam, Chemical Al, Sh!tshow, and – of course – The OG.

About thefoodandwinehedonist

I don't know everything about the world of food and wine, but I'm not going to let a small detail like that stop me from blogging about it.

One comment on “Chicago Gets Hedonized Part 3 – The Final Frontier

  1. ksbeth
    December 14, 2017

    sounds like a rip-roaring time all around )

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This entry was posted on December 14, 2017 by in Dining, The Chi and tagged , , , , , , .
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