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July 2006

Ravi Kabab House {From The Raving Dish}

Dscf1424 Roscoe Village is a great place to skip around, but sometimes I need a full-on switch. When that mood hits, the madness of Devon Avenue is the perfect place for me. I love the scents of charred, cracklin' meat; the rumbles of Indian tunes; and the loud colors of saris on parade.

Getting there isn't a problem, but deciding which restaurant to hit up sure is. They all look good and smell even better. There are traditional all-you-can-eat buffets for less than $10 to consider, but then there's also the delicious chaat houses doling out Indian-style tapas on every corner. The eatery that always catches my eye, however, is the Indian/Pakistani Ravi Kabab House, 2447 W. Devon Ave., with its giant glazed and smudged over front window. I love it because you can peer into the open kitchen and see what's being whipped up every time a new order is place.

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Be a Bikram Babe~

Summer2006schedule_3Here's a new article I just wrote for you might wanna wait til the temp drops before you give this one a go...The schedule posted is from my fave place to do Bikram, BYC.

So You Wanna...Be a Bikram Babe
By Misty Tosh

There are people who sweat and there are people who don't sweat. I used to think I belonged to the latter: clean as whistle regardless of the heat index. Bikram yoga brought new meaning to the phrase "slick as a goose."

I was a riverbed by the end of the 90-minute class, held in a steamy, 105-degree environment, and after a solid week of hardcore sweat sessions at the airy Bikram Yoga Chicago studio in Wicker Park (the sister studio is in Lakeview), not only was I leaner and meaner, I was ready for more.

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Into Africa: New Article in Time Out Chicago Magazine this week

Dscf1276I have been taste testing tons of African food the past few weeks for this new article that appears in this weeks Time Out Chicago magazine.  There is so much good food and out of everything I sampled, this charcoal grilled fish at Yassa's reigned supreme.
Into Africa

Dive into African eats at this weekend’s Ghanafest, then use our guide to regional specialties to continue your culinary travels.

By Misty Tosh

With fiery food, traditional dancing, live music and ceremonial wear, Ghanafest 2006 (Sat 29, 1–10pm in Washington Park, 5500 S Cottage Grove Ave) will maintain its status as the largest Ghanaian cultural celebration in America. According to Reuben Hadzide, the president of Ghanafest, this 18-year-old festival is one of the city’s best-kept secrets. “It’s amazing that thousands of people show up from around the country every year, yet not a lot of locals know about it.”

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Late Night Diners

Dscf1412 If I try, I can remember points in life when I had all the time in the world to hit up late-night diners, with absolutely no fear about waking up in the morning. I'd blaze through the Hollywood Grill every other night after having drinks at Katerina's and sit there 'til the wee hours laughing with my friends.

Times like those have changed. My schedule is rocked with atrocious deadlines, wildly sporadic hours and hellacious turnarounds. I finally had a meltdown.

I got out of work at 1 a.m. last night and had to be back by 8 a.m. I just wanted to feel like my old self again, the girl who had all the time in the world to pick and choose where she wanted to eat then sit there with plate of country-fried eggs, steaming hash browns and buttery pancakes. Not the girl with a seven-hour turnaround and a delirious mind.

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The Flying Chicken

Dscf1375 This weekend I miraculously managed to brave the blistering heat and make my way to a restaurant I've been meaning to try for quite some time: The Flying Chicken. The Colombian eatery had been calling my name since I laid eyes on it a few years ago, and I finally reached the point where my body needed some chicken. How did I justify slamming down a quarter-chicken in about a minute flat? It all started with my never-ending quest for the perfect sailboat...

I had woken up that morning totally delirious and happy at the same time. In my first real moment of freedom all week, I'd gotten on the horn with my dad, who was raving about a great website that has a sailing simulator on it. Cut to an hour later and I'm still whipping that boat through the ocean. When I finally noticed the time, I slowly backed away from the computer and attempted to release myself from the wild potential of being sucked in even longer.

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Simple Salads~~Easy/Peasy

Dscf1314I have been making the most fantastic lunches as of late.  All these little bean and veggie based salads that are the most delicious things ever.  One of the best is a quick concoction of chickpeas, roasted tomatoes and yellow peppers (which are very sweet), a ton of olive oil, a splash of balsamic vinegar, some oregano, some fresh basil and a few hard boiled eggs.  By the time lunch rolls around and the rest of the crew is slamming cheeseburgers and french fries, I am so happy to whip out my Tupperware dish full of marinated goodness.  I keep trying to out do myself everyday and cooking has once again become very easy.  It's nice to be stable for a few months and take advantage of the awesome Chicago summertime. 
**Though I will say that Chezne and I have gotten ourselves a BAD/MAD energy drink addiction--we're pounding about three a day---all before 9 am. on the way to work. Wow.

Italy Rules--the World Cup and Eats {From The Raving Dish}

Dscf1292 For the past month I've been working like a madwoman on a sports reality TV show out in the 'burbs called "Fan Club: Reality Baseball." We've been shadowing the minor-league Schaumburg Flyers, trying to capture a day in the life of a minor leaguer while the fans, who control the team, dream about who they want in the starting line-up. Come Wednesday the website that hosts this new show is going live. As you can imagine, the past month has been absolutely insane, all I seem to daydream about is a good, solid day off with no sports anywhere in sight. Today I came as close to the day as I could get, and it was totally blissful.

My morning started on my bike. I was up at the crack of dawn (so much for sleeping in), tossed on my backpack, met up with my Sunday-buddy Lisa and jammed over to the lake. We were on the make to get some long-absent-from-my-plate fresh fruit and veggies. But, uhh, the Green City Farmers Market is on Wednesdays and Saturdays, not Sundays. That is how delirious I am, confusing every day with the next.

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The Joys of a Hard Shell Taco

Dscf1267There is a cute Mexican joint right on Ashland (just south of Belmont) called Torta's USA that I love.  I always forget how delicious all of their tacos and tortas are.  Walking around last week, I happened to wander by again and literally something took over my tastebuds and demanded that I have steak tacos--nothing else would do at all.  My mom used to make the best tacos known to man when I was a kid (never with steak, though---only with fantastically greasy ground beef, which is still my favorite)-but now I usually go for the super lean steak version.  There is nothing better than hard shell tacos that have soaked up the grease and become slightly soft/crunchy and then are covered with sour cream y queso (though when I am in Mexico, I just go for the steak, chopped onion, fresh cilantro type on grilled baby corn tortillas).  Tortas USA also has totally gigantic tortas that draw in all the locals and a wildly flavorful horchata that I cannot seem to get enough of.  Good stuff all the way around and cheap to boot.

One More Round of Paul Bakery

Dscf1142_1I got an email (with lovely wrap party photos) today from Alaina, one of the best PA's I've ever had.  She worked with me side-b y-side in Spain for almost 2 months and was my partner-in-crime when it came to my daily Paul Bakery runs.  As soon as early afternoon hit, we'd know it was ready for a run to Paul, the best bakery in Barcelona.  Thank God it was just around the corner from our hotel/production office--this chocolate treat (photo, right) was one of my favorites and I can honestly say that I tried every single sweet, baked good, tart, cake, and flaky breaded thingy in the case.  At lunchtime, they would whip out these awesome salads and sandwiches and I'd get so excited every day to pick out a new round of desserts for the office---I promise, this is the last time I'm talking about Paul, but just, really---thanks, Alaina for  the flashback...

Fan Club: Reality Baseball

Comingsoon4_1I know I hardly ever talk about the work I do on this mostly food/adventure/travel site, but this project that I am working on until September is pretty cool. Imagine your a hardcore baseball nut and you always wanted to be the one to decide the starting line up--well, now is your chance.  Come July 11, the fans will get to take over the Schaumburg Flyers minor league baseball team and decide who stays and who goes.  This project is a partnership between MSN and LivePlanet and me and my crew been jamming hardcore the past month getting everything ready for the July 11 launch.  If you wanna vote, make sure to check in on the site daily--betcha didn't know you'd be running a baseball team someday. To place your vote and watch the reality style show every day, check out this site~~ Fan Club: Reality Baseball.