Of all the venues that I thought I'd write about, a hospital was certainly among the last on my list.
However, I recently visited Burrito Beach at the Northwestern Memorial Hospital location ( Burrito Beach; 251 E. Huron St. )part of several restaurants on the second floor-and, I have to say, food is now several steps above the ol' hospital cafeteria.
Like many other Mexican-American restaurants, Burrito Beach offers people their choices of bowls, quesadillas, nachos, tacos and ( of course ) burritos, with their choices of meats, vegetables and toppingsand I have to say the bowl I had was pretty good. ( There's also a "Beach Body" health-conscious section with items like Mexican organic quinoa salad and the grilled chicken-filled Lo Carburrito; in addition, breakfast is served until 10:30 a.m. )
However, this particular location has something other sites don't: a frozen custard birthday bonbon that's chock full of sinful goodness ( a housemade vanilla custard sandwiched between two chocolate chip cookies, and topped with sprinkles and a birthday candle ). There are also creamy treats called concretes, with such variations as This Won't Hurt a Bit and Triple Chocolate Blowout.
A hospital becoming a new dining hot spot? As strange as it may soundwith all sorts of places upgrading their menus and dining spotsit may become a possibility ( and if you happen to see some hot personnel, all the better ).
Luke's Lobster; Weber Grill
Luke's Lobster ( LukesLobster.com ) has opened a second location on the second floor of Merchandise Mart. ( The other restaurant is in the Loop. )
The restaurant has said that it specialized in "sustainable, traceable seafood." Specialties include lobster, crab and shrimp rolls as well as clam chowder and the Wild Blue Salad ( which comes with lobster tail, pickled wild Maine blueberries, shredded red cabbage, white beans and roasted sunflower seeds on a bed of arugula ).
Also, Windy City Times had the opportunity to witness Weber Grill's 15th anniversary at its River North location ( at Grand and State streets ). Culinary offerings included sliders ( absolutely delicious ), mac and cheese, crab-and-avocado crisps, goat cheese-stuffed mushrooms, grilled steak skewers and BBQ baby back ribs.
Note: Restaurant profiles/events are based on invitations arranged from restaurants and/or firms.