Thursday, July 29, 2010

Restaurant Review: Flo & Santos (Chicago)

I decided to supplement this blog a little bit with a Restaurant Review feature (What with my running around all summer and not doing very good work with DOCUMENTING the recipes of what I make). I've eaten at SO many good places in Chicago this summer, and I know there are plenty elsewhere that are worthy of a good review, so I might as well share them. This also gives me an outlet for the many pictures I take every time we eat anywhere. Many of the first posts in this section will be Chicago locales, so bare with me if you don't live near, and be sure to make note if you do, or plan on visiting anytime soon!

It's only appropriate to start this feature with Flo & Santos... what has become our new South Loop favorite. This "Pizza & Pierogies" joint is located in Chicago's South Loop on 1310 S. Wabash, and every single thing I've tasted has been delicious!!!

Their thin crust pizzas are truly some of the best pizza I have ever had... not too thin and crispy but without too much dough, featuring thick cut pepperoni, giant chunks of sausage, and all sorts of delicious vegetables and cheeses. Best of all is that, as my dad puts it, "This pizza reheated in the oven is better than most of the pizza I've ever had fresh out of the oven!"

They also have AMAZING waffle fries hovering perfectly between crispy and "squishy", as well as "Flying Pork Wings" which are similar to a cross between ribs and buffalo wings with an abundance of tender, fall of the bone meat. An order of five was more than enough for an appetizer for three of us! Our family recommends going with the barbeque... Dad and brother tried the Teriyaki and thought it was a little too salty.

Last, but certainly not least, is one of the most delicious Grilled Chicken sandwiches that I have ever had in my life. The Grilled Chicken on Ciabatta is topped with provolone, a layer of roasted red pepper, pesto mayo, and then the typical toppings of lettuce, red onion, and tomato. The chicken was wonderfully juicy and tender and nearly melts in your mouth with the provolone, pesto mayo, and ciabatta. I will definitely be going back for this one!!!

Prices are fairly decent (Especially for Chicago restaurants), with an average meal price of a little under $10. You can view the full menu here. If you are anywhere CLOSE to the South Loop and hungry for pizza or an amazing chicken sandwich along with a cold beer, you'd be crazy not to drop by! They also feature varying drink specials on different days of the week such as half price bottles of wine and $5 Svedka cocktails.

Monday, July 5, 2010

My Mother's Famous Macaroni and Cheese

It's a wonder I've never put this recipe up before. It's been passed all throughout our family and is pretty much the go to side dish for any summer gathering, and many gatherings of the other seasons as well. It truly is THE BEST macaroni and cheese I've ever had, and I've heard the same from several friends! It does take a little bit of time to make, but is totally worth it, and it can always be prepared ahead of time and then refrigerated until you're ready to cook it... saving you the extra prep time for those summertime cookouts!

This recipe makes a regular batch... when my mom makes it for bigger groups she doubles it, and the doubled recipe, shown in the pictures, is enough to fill a 9 x 13 baking dish.


2 Cups Milk
¼ Cup Butter
¼ Cup Flour
¼ Pound Velveeta
½ Cup Cheez Whiz
Salt and Pepper
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce (Optional)
2 Cups dry Macaroni
4 oz Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Parmesan Cheese
A few tablespoons of melted butter for drizzling

Heat milk to steaming but not boiling. Cook together butter and flour. Add to hot milk. Add Velveeta, cubed, and Cheez Whiz. Season with salt and pepper. Stir continually until smooth and bubbly. Add Worcestershire sauce.

Cook Macaroni. Pour sauce over cooked macaroni and stir. Top with shredded cheddar cheese.

Sprinkle liberally with Parmesan cheese. Drizzle butter over Parmesan.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 45 minutes. Serve with your favorite steaks, pork chops, burgers, brats, or WHATEVER YOU like and ENJOY!!! It goes with just about anything!