Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Thursday, February 22

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Restaurant Tue Feb 19 2008

Noodles & Co. opens in the Loop

When Noodles & Company first opened in the Loop nearly two weeks ago, I excitedly went for lunch, but the line told me to come back later when it buckled at the door, even as a friendly employee handed me a menu and engaged me to ask questions about it. Today, there was nearly no line, minutes before noon. Before I ordered, I asked the cashier if the Indonesian Peanut Sauté was vegan. "Let me check for you," she said as she turned to consult a nearby sheet. Yes, it's vegan, she told me. I asked her for it with tofu while noticing her co-worker using a scale in the background to measure vegetables. With a number card so they could bring me my food, I took a seat on a wooden counter among wooden tables and booths, over carpeting and under framed photos of farm stands and another of people eating. The setting is a hybrid of fast food and sit down. You order and pre-pay at a register but are served with metal flatware and ceramic bowls. "Need anything else," the person who delivered my food asked. The bus person thanked me as I left. Service was great, and my food tasty. The rice noodles were bunched up and sticky with savory peanut sauce. They were steamy, despite one cold carrot sliver among otherwise hot vegetables and cubes of tofu. One broccoli floret tasted especially full of flavor, like citrus, perhaps from my squeezing of lime. I'm curious to go back soon and see what the Sriracha hot chili sauce on the table does for their Bangkok curry and Japanese pan noodles. 180 N. Michigan Ave.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
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