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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Friday, August 12

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Review Wed Aug 13 2008

Shikago Slow Down

Shikago, the chic Asian restaurant on the first floor of 190 S. La Salle, opened around this time last year to overwhelmingly positive reviews from serious amateurs and semi-serious professionals alike. I admit, I drank Kool Aid (not literally -- I think I drank water and black tea) and was happy to count it among my favorite downtown eats, even if I didn't get there as often as I would have liked.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. My most recent trip, after a long absence, was one of the most disappointing lunch experiences I've had in the Loop in a really long time. And yes, that includes a stop at The Great Steak and Potato.

The dining room was still cool and dark, and seemed full of happy lunch-goers, so perhaps I'm judging too harshly the wrong section of the restaurant. But the take-out counter was a train wreck. One harried cook was rushing to fulfill an order for a cranky woman who claimed to have placed an order for pick-up 20 minutes ago, as two bored-looking sushi chefs looked on and tried not to get involved. When another kitchen denizen finally materialized to lend a hand, I was skipped in line, despite standing patiently for 15 minutes. A small tantrum got me service, but only after I'd seen the original cook scoop out short ribs from one of Cranky Lady's to-go bento boxes, replace them in their deli case bin, and sub in some barbeque pork. It may not be a health code violation, but come on dude, at least do it out of sight. If the food had been worth this irritation, I probably wouldn't be complaining. But the tofu tomato and cucumber was all water with little flavor, and the spinach salad (which totally looked like seaweed salad, and how would anyone be the wiser, as nothing in the case is labeled) tasted like a dirty dish sponge. Yeeegh. At least the smoky barbeque pork, sticky with an almost chocolate-y five-spice glaze, was still delicious. But I don't know if it was enough for me to consider going back. What a disappointment.

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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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