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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, November 29

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Restaurant Tue Sep 09 2008

Mana Food Bar

I recently met a friend at Mana Food Bar to sample the vegetarian fare.

We each ordered a lemonade (tangy or sweet for $2) and decided to split four of the small dishes. We started with the house made pickled vegetables for $4 and the baby potato salad in spicy mustard and bleu cheese for $4.

The pickle plate contained some wonderful pickled okra, a nice medium-spiced kimchi, and pickled daikon radish that we found so over-powering that we didn't finish it. The potato salad balanced the bold flavors of bleu cheese and mustard well. I am going to try to recreate this pleasing combination at home.


For our second course we ordered the mushroom saute over soft polenta for $8 and their special - an asian inspired noodle dish with squash, tofu, herbs, and coconut water (pictured) for $8. The mushroom dish was excellent with silky polenta and lots of butter. The noodle dish was perfect for a rainy night and really brightened up with the chili sauce served on the side.

Mana serves inventive food that is worth a visit. A filling dinner with drinks might land on the expensive side (they have a formidable sake selection), but it was a great place to share a few dishes while ducking out of the rain.

Mana Food Bar
1742 W. Division St.
Chicago, IL 60622

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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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