Brunch at Honey Cafe

honey cafe in glen ellyn

It is always a pleasure to spend time with Jacqui of Happy Jack Eats—that girl makes two hours at a Barnes & Noble book signing seem fun—so this last Saturday, after two months of sickness and holidays and traveling and (for her) wedding planning!, we met up at Honey Cafe, a suburban brunch spot I’d read about online that was said to rival the best of the city, and can I just say? It does.

downtown glen ellyn

First of all, it’s in downtown Glen Ellyn, where they have historic houses surrounding a few streets of shopping and dining, all smack-dab next to a Metra station, and there’s a historic theatre and a mom-and-pop grocery (where I bought a loaf of bread! support local business!) and random alleys that make for nice pictures with the blue sky poking through above.

glen ellyn theatre
glen ellyn grocery
glen ellyn alley

Honey’s also pretty inside.

Read More

Review: Best Food Writing 2009

best food writing 2009

I don’t usually dedicate entire posts to books I’ve read, but in this case the book is about the very things this site is, food and writing, so that warrants an exception, I say.

Best Food Writing 2009 is exactly what the title suggests: a compilation of last year’s best food-centric stories, as published in magazines like Gourmet, Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, The New Yorker and Saveur; as well as Web sites like and I finished my review copy last weekend, in the air somewhere between Chicago and Charlotte, North Carolina, and I have to tell you: I was sad it had to end.

See, what’s so great about collections like this one, which was edited by Holly Hughes and features work by big-name authors like Calvin Trillin, Ruth Reichl and Frank Bruni alongside essays from new-to-me-but-no-less-gifted writers like Jason Sheehan (newly of Seattle Weekly and formerly of Denver’s Westword), Francine Prose (a celebrated novelist) and Todd Kliman (a James Beard award-winning restaurant critic and Dining Editor of The Washingtonian), is it gives you tastes of so many different writing styles (journalistic, personal, probing, funny) that all have one chief thing in common: a skilled command of language and information that makes you think, whether about the ethics of meat or the community of sitting around the table.

Read More

Friends! Food! Florida!

Florida in January

Before my plane landed in Tampa Friday afternoon (where it would be a balmy 74 degrees!), I did a lot of thinking about the last time I’d touched down in the Sunshine State, back when I was an unhappy freshman, and about how strange our life paths are, with mine taking me from Illinois to Florida to Wisconsin and to Illinois again, and how here I was nine years later, wanting to be in Florida for the weekend when before, I had wanted to be anywhere else.

My friend Elizabeth picked me up at the airport. We had lived together in Unit G—the bed bug unit—and reconnected only recently, through Facebook, drawn into deeper correspondence through, well to be totally honest, this blog, and she lives in the same town as one of my roommates from that college in Wisconsin I ended up transferring to, a roommate who also likes to cook, isn’t that crazy?

Over our fast weekend, we did simple things like eat Thai food at Elizabeth’s favorite hole-in-the-wall place, where I tried Pad Thai for the first time (and loved it):

pad thai

and grabbed breakfast at a bagel place (twice!) where Elizabeth and her family know the people by name, that’s how much they love it (that curly-haired girl is her daughter—gorgeous!):

fishhawk bagels
Fishhawk bagels

and, the highlight of the whole weekend, attended the kumquat festival in Dade City, all because I saw it online and thought it was just crazy enough to be fun, which it was, even with the rain that hit us after about 45 minutes there:

Read More
  • 1
  • 2