In Evanston — a town where you learn about most all things by word-of-mouth — my discovery of this new spot came at the end of a text string. While choosing a restaurant for a night out with friends, the conversation ended like this: … there’s also the new place La Principal but no idea what their atmosphere is like. Wait, what? A quick look revealed photos of a glowing corner on Main street and a simple menu of Mexican small dishes. We took the kids and went for a family dinner that night. Days later, on an unusually warm and grey afternoon, I sat down with Eric Young, its chef and managing partner.
When we lived along Southport Avenue in the city, the Viennese coffeehouse Julius Meinl was a few blocks away. It sits on a corner and always got great natural light. And I loved their petite cups with the red fez logo. Now that we’re a little north, I was happy to see a new place, Coralie, open up. It also sits on a bright corner and serves Meinl coffee and other sweets. Yesterday, I stopped in for a croissant and a chai tea.
When our local take-and-bake pizza place folded this past summer, it left a big hole in my weekly menu plan. And it wasn’t just that. I was sentimental about it too. It was a place we’d been going to since before we had kids, and eventually, it became our go-to family spot at least once a week. Sometimes more.
The first time I tried fish and chips I had been living in London, working as a newspaper intern. I don’t remember the pub. I remember I was on Canary Wharf and it was lunchtime. The norm was to go out, usually on Fridays, and order up a plate of beer-battered cod and thick-cut chips with a side of malt vinegar and a pint. Normally, this would put me right to sleep. But as the saying goes, when in Rome…