Meal planning seems to be all the rage these days. It doesn’t matter if you do it all yourself on Sunday evenings or if you do it nightly with the help of a meal subscription service like Blue Apron or Meez Meals, there is no doubt that people are looking to make their mealtimes easier. Other options such as joining a local food co-op or signing up for a protein subscription box are also becoming more and more popular. Recently I was introduced to a company called Butcher Box, a service that partners with a collective of small farms to bring you 100% grass-fed beef, organic chicken, and all-natural pork each month.
In September Howells and Hood hosted a burger battle attended by 10 restaurants who hoped that that their burger would take home the meaty prize of being named Chicago’s best burger. I’m proud to say that before voting, I tried at least one bite of every burger at the battle. I was expecting sliders from most locations, but most burgers presented were at least a full four ounces of pure ground goodness.
As I attempted to taste test my way through the patio I asked myself, “is a good burger just the sum of its condiments, or does it go deeper than that…into the very patty itself?” Some people are burger-purists wanting just a simple well-made and juicy patty while others would prefer their burger be topped with several different aiolis, cheeses, and condiments. What I found while battling my way through 10 burgers was that my favorites were the ones with the best patty itself. A bad burger can’t be masked by even something as good as fried jalapeños or bacon jam. If the burger itself is rubbery or over-cooked it doesn’t matter what’s on top.
In order to celebrate a few 30th birthdays the other week including TT#1 a big group of us went to Frontier with the mission of tackling their whole wild boar. I wasn’t quite sure what I was excepting from the whole experience but I was really looking forward to it!
Our group was placed right by the front window of the restaurant and so the first thing you saw when you walked in was a team of chefs breaking down this whole wild boar. We were very much the center of attention, and I thought that placing us in front is a great way of getting the rest of the patron’s attention and promoting their whole animal services. Besides wild boar, Frontier also does full-grown pig, suckling pig, alligators, lambs, and goats. Although, pig is usually the most popular.
According to Chef Jupiter at Frontier, the wild boar is rubbed with brown sugar, garlic and other spices 24 hours before it’s cooked. They smoke the boars for six to eight hours using apple and cherry woods. If you’re wondering where the boars actually come from, they are wild caught right out of Texas.