Monday, April 20, 2009

The Three Stags

If you are in London, and are near Lambeth and Kennington, check out a place called The Three Stags. It is an authentic English pub with a fine selection of beers on tap, and a good wine selection. It’s also a place to get a good meal at a good price. So good the owners call it a gastropub, an interesting term.

Okay. First, it’s a pub and what would a pub be without a nice selection of beer. They have a good selection of cask ales on tap, along with the prerequisite selection of tap beer.

Now then, the food. The three owners are all culinary people and they have a simple philosophy. They buy fresh food from local markets and they support the small producers. That food is turned into some nice dishes and the menu changes depending on what is available. They claim it is incredible food cooked with passion.

I had the pleasure of talking to Richard, one of the owners, when I was in London and found him to be a friendly guy who has a passion for the business. He told me that one of his goals was to serve not just good food, but fresh and environmentally sound food. Richard said they try to be conscious of their carbon footprint and recycle almost ninety percent of their rubbish. He also said half the fun is in creating new and exciting dishes to reflect what is available in the market.

Check out their website for more information, and the menu.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Clark Street Chicago

I love Chicago for a lot of things and one of the things I love best is the food. I mean just look at me and you can see why. Also, Maria and Dan are always eating, having a beer, or drinking coffee so I need to do quite a bit of research. When we visit we hit many good places and this year it seemed like we were eating on Clark street everyday. I'll talk about a few of them here.

Starting out with the last place we went to is the Goose Island Brew Pub on Clark, less than a block from Wrigley Field. Visit them at When I eat there I like the Stilton Burger which is a half pound of pepper crusted beef covered in roasted garlic and Stilton cheese and served on a pumpernickel roll. Make sure you try the fried pickles too and a nice cold Rye PA. Goose Island is a favorite of the Hart family as well and Maria and Dan celebrated their fifteenth wedding anniversary upstairs in a private party room.

Another cool place is way up north in Andersonville called Hamburger Mary's. Their site is This place is full of kitsch. I had the Blue Boy Burger. We ate outside and watched the people go by so we didn't get the full effect. Inside there are some great old movie star pictures. Overall very nice.

Down closer to the city, and right across the street from where the Saint Valentine's Day massacre occurred is the Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Restaurant. This is the place Rachel Ray features on TV and we had to wait an hour and a half for tables as a result. Their web site is had a sausage oven grinder which was delicious and a pizza pot pie which is a deep dish pizza cooked upside down, then flipped onto your plate. Very good.

We didn't eat here but just down the street from Hamburger Mary's is the Hopleaf Bar. They literally have hundreds of beers available and they specialize in Belgians. Very crowded at night.

Not on Clark was the Grafton. There it was the Grafton burger with bacon and blue cheese. Another half pound of heaven.

Also not on Clark is the Chicago Bauhaus on North Lincoln. Try the bratwurst with red cabbage as a side. Good old world flavor and charm.