Originally Published at Gapers Block: Drive Thru.
This week I would like to introduce Mara who writes the blog “What’s for Dinner?”
What brought you to Chicago?
I was born and raised in Skokie, IL, and with the exception of the 5 years I lived in Peoria for college, I’ve stayed in the general area. I lived in 3 very different neighborhoods in the city over the course of 4 years, and now live out in the NW Suburbs.
What do you do when you aren’t blogging?
I’m a middle school Spanish teacher, so much of my time is spent planning/grading, but other hobbies besides cooking and blogging include crocheting, photography (of things besides just food) and, my fiancé’s least favorite hobby: shoe shopping.
Favorite restaurant in Chicago?
For years now, I’ve said that my very favorite restaurant is Frontera Grill… long before Rick Bayless was the Top Chef Master! I had my first margarita EVER there, as well as my first taste of real mole, which is now among my favorite foods. HOWEVER, Tank Sushi is a recent favorite as well, as I have a weakness for good sushi.
Favorite restaurant in Chicago, if you aren’t paying?
Hands down: Mirai Sushi. I had the pleasure of dining there once, and it was the most delicious, elegent, and beautiful sushi I’ve ever eaten…and I’ve eaten a LOT of sushi!
Favorite recipe and/or post?
My favorite post by far is here, after I won a spot at the FoodBuzz community table dinner at Tru. My favorite original recipe is, by far, my creamy gnocchi with Chavrie, grape tomatoes, and shrimp.
How do take your coffee?
If its straight up coffee: with skim milk and splenda. A latte must be non-fat and sweet, preferably flavored
Cubs or Sox?
What is the one thing/place/restaurant that you recommend to your out of town guests?
I’m a big fan of showing out-of-towners the smaller, less known places. For pizza, rather than Malnati’s, we’ll do Pete’s on Montrose. Instead of Carson’s for ribs, we’ll do Gale Street Inn in Portage Park. I also, almost always, take out-of-towners to Daruma in Hoffman Estates since its my fiancé and my favorite sushi place.
One (or two) things that you can’t live without in your kitchen?
My good knives that I splurged on when I moved out on my own, and my huge and heavy cast-iron skillet.