Tag girl & the goat

Parties That Cook’s Summer Sweets Round-Up: Chicago’s Best Creameries

San Francisco is cool, but right now, Chicago is HOT! We know it’s been a while, so we thought it’s time for another great guest post from Parties That Cook’s awesome Chicago team. City manager, Brandy, take it away:

It’s been one of the hottest Chicago June’s on record – so bring on the ice cream, gelato and custard! I polled our lead chefs to see where they go to cool off and enjoy some sweet treats.

When Chef David isn’t working at Girl & The Goat, he gets his fix at Black Dog Gelato. They offer a great selection of out-of-the-ordinary flavors like goat cheese+caramel+cashews or brown butter+bourbon. He also loves Black Dog because it’s truly a home grown Chicago business.

Chef Liz, our chef in the burbs, raves about All Chocolate Kitchen in Geneva. According to Liz, they have the best Gelato outside of Italy!  I don’t doubt her — All Chocolate Kitchen’s gelato is made fresh everyday using natural and artisan ingredients. Swing by for a taste of Stracciatella, vanilla with chocolate traces, Pistachio from the region of Bronte, or a sweet Passionfruit. Yum!

Chef Heidi’s favorite spot, Ollie’s Frozen Custard, is close to her hometown in DeKalb. She used to go with her parents and now brings her children! Heidi’s pick for the best menu item is Black Raspberry Custard, but you have to go on Saturday to get that famous flavor. If you’re a chocolate lover, the Turtle Sundae is TDF (high five for anyone who correctly guesses that acronym). All summer long, the custard is served up by local high school students to a long, winding line of dedicated patrons.  They tough it out even while being attacked by relentless mosquitoes! City dwellers who make the journey: If you can’t get enough of Ollie’s on the spot, they’ll pack a quart on ice to take home!

My favorite spot is the famous Margie’s Candies. My parents took me there as a kid after White Sox games, and the whole family would share one of their “Jumbo Creations”. Oh, memories of the Turtle Tummy Buster… Five scoops of Margie’s Famous Ice Cream and a Turtle on top. Over the top? Yes. Worth the 30 minutes wait? Yes. Delish? Oh, yes! I even hear the joint has been visited by Al Capone, and after performing at Comiskey Park, The Beatles dropped by with dates and enjoyed Margie’s Atomic Buster Sundaes – a fruit and fudge delight. Nice choice, fellas.

Here’s to a long summer of spooning up some of the best!

Thanks for that fun round-up, Brandy! I’m sure mouths are now watering and ice cream cravings have been sparked! Now I’m off to see if there’s some way to incorporate ice cream into our cooking classes in Chicago! Date Night, maybe? Brews & Bites?? Cupcake Wars?!

Parties That Cook’s Chicago Team Treat: An Evening at Girl & the Goat

This blog is brought to you by Parties That Cook’s Chicago team! In lieu of Chicago’s traditional cookbook club this quarter, PTC lead chef David Avila recently hosted fellow PTC chefs Heidi, Molly and Brandy at Chicago’s hottest restaurant: Girl & the Goat. David runs the restaurant’s prep kitchen five days a week, so he treated the girls to an evening of delicious food and offered nuggets of insider information about the history and creation of each dish.

David said the Girl & the Goat team does all their own pickling – and a lot of it! He has even been out to the local farms, such as Slagel Family Farms, where Girl & The Goat sources meat and produce from. Sounds like the definition of farm-to-table dining.

After delivering a bottle of vodka and bag of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups to the kitchen chefs, Heidi, Molly and Brandy sat and sipped cocktails. They then enjoyed two delicious breads made just for them: A hearty pretzel bread with a perfectly crunchy crust paired with a horseradish butter and a “corny” corn bread with a sweet and spicy corn relish. One of the restaurant’s owners stopped by their table and gave them the scoop on “Top Chef” winner Stephanie Izard’s new retro-inspired diner opening this fall, “The Little Goat”. Talk about getting the VIP treatment!

Then the food started coming.

Of course, Heidi, Molly and Brandy let David order for them. They nibbled on bites of pretty much everything. First up was the Roasted Cauliflower with pickled peppers, pine nuts, and mint. Yum! The girls also got a taste of the Grilled Edamame with smoky blue cheese and rosemary. The consensus was that the smoky blue cheese melted over the edamame put it over the top in the best way. The Squash Blossom Rangoon with crab, chive yogurt and toasted almonds was delish, as was the Chickpea Fritters with eggplant-tomatillo caponata and mozzarella. The texture of the fritters was amazing and the fact that they sat on top of a bed of mozzarella made the dish that much better!

The Seared Tuna came up next – served with a delicious crumbled lamb sausage, grilled blueberries and pepitas. Yes, I said grilled blueberries! David explained that the grilling is done by putting a cooling rack on a hot grill and then “spilling” the blueberries on the rack. This was Heidi’s favorite dish of the night, while Brandy’s favorite was the Kalbi style beef ribs. She further explained, “It melted in my mouth and was served over the cutest corn coblettes and topped with charred okra.” There was more, including some oysters that were to-die-for, but if you couldn’t guess by the photos, it’s time to move on to desserts.

The group ordered all four desserts offered that night. They enjoyed the Chocolate Bouchon with a foie fluff and the Brown Sugar Cake with goat cheese mousse of the most perfect texture, but the highlight hands down was the Pork Fat Doughnuts with house-made honey yogurt and lemony eggplant. While eating, Molly shared the tale of a former job where she had to serve homemade donuts from a machine every night. Though she would normally curse a doughnut, she scraped the plate on this one.

All in all, it was an amazing experience and Heidi, Molly and Brandy thank David and the staff at Girl & the Goat for a wonderful night.

I’d like to thank Heidi, Molly and Brandy for a wonderful blog!