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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Tuesday, August 9

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Review Sat Aug 02 2008

Urban Cafe Livens up Barren Stretch of Irving

When Urban Cafe, a new breakfast-lunch-and-dinner spot, opened down the block from our apartment at 1467 W. Irving Park a couple of weeks ago, my husband and I were thrilled. We love our neighborhood, but the lack of a coffee-and-eggs joint within walking distance has been a bummer on Saturday mornings, especially since we had great options like S&G and Wishbone near our old place.

Urban Cafe is a sunny spot with a friendly owner. We've visited twice, the first time on a weekday for to-go coffees and the most decadent chocolate ganache brownie I've ever had. I told my husband that if he is ever in the dog house with me, he'll have a much better chance of getting out if he gets me one of those brownies.

This weekend, we stopped in for breakfast. I ordered tofu hash, a healthy and tasty bowl of sauteed extra-firm tofu, nutritional yeast, potatoes, red peppers and toasted sesame seeds. It was a wholesome way to start the day, but I'll be honest: I was jealous of Brian's southwest omelet, fluffy, spicy and delicious with chorizo, roasted poblanos, cheddar, avocado and a chipotle sour cream drizzled on top. His macchiato also was excellent, a better choice than my iced coffee. Texas toast and hash browns rounded out the meal, which tallied just shy of $20 with our coffees.

The food is great. Service is very friendly, but could use a bit of polish. I expect as customers become more steady and the staff gets more accustomed to the rhythm of running a restaurant -- it's only been two weeks, after all -- the service will be as good as the food. Meantime, we'll be repeat customers, rooting for Urban Cafe to become a permanent neighbor on an otherwise dull stretch of Irving.

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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...
Read this feature »

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