Jeff Pearl has lived in the Chicagoland area his whole life, and is currently a medical student at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. Food has always been one of his passions. In his free time, Jeff enjoys cooking with his friends, going out to a new restaurant, or training for his next triathlon. In February 2010 he started writing about his dining experiences in his blog, Jeff Eats Chicago.

RJ Grunts. All photos by Jeff Pearl.

RJ Grunts. All photos by Jeff Pearl.

Chicago is an interesting place. Everyone complains about the weather, but it’s not so much the weather as the people. I mean, if you go to Minneapolis, people go out and enjoy the snow and the cold. If you hit up Madison, you’re likely to be overrun by some obnoxious cross country skiers. That being said, the winter for most Chicagoans means hibernation. The only time most of my friends leave their apartments with the exception of work is to eat out. Then, from some combination of wanting to be warm and not wanting to bring their monster coats to the bar, everyone just heads home after dinner. So, here’s my list of places to hit up for the winter. Most of them have some kind of warm food, warm environment, or they’ll just make you so full that you’d never want to do anything other than go home and sleep after anyways. (more…)

Posted by on December 3rd, 2013

Salmon at Devon Seafood. Photos by Jeff Pearl

Salmon at Devon Seafood. Photos by Jeff Pearl

Any Chicagoan can see that the closest body of water is not anywhere you’d want to go fishing. My sister and brother-in-law went kayaking down the Chicago River last year and probably saw more dead fish than live ones. All that aside, there are some spots in Chicago that take large measures to serve up solid seafood options year round. Here are my ten favorites. (more…)

Posted by on September 24th, 2013

Photo by foodnerd

Photo by foodnerd

When it comes to barbecue, Chicago isn’t usually the first city to come to mind. “Chicago Style” barbecue is a questionable mix of techniques often involving a combination of dry rub, sauce, and usually some slow roasting or even boiling of ribs. Plenty of places just choose to incorporate a mix of other popular barbecue styles. Either way, I’ve had a lot of barbecue that doesn’t cut it, so I hope that my list of Chicago’s Best BBQ Spots will save you some time.
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Posted by on August 6th, 2013

Whole Snapper at El Barco. Photos by Jeff Pearl.

Whole Snapper at El Barco. Photos by Jeff Pearl.

Despite the recent rain showers, I think it’s about time I put out my list of favorite outdoor dining options in Chicago. You might have to plan ahead for these guys, and it’s really not all that long until the heat gets to the unbearable point one might expect in late July or early August. That being said, the glory days of Chicago weather are upon us for the next few weeks. Go for a run during the day so that you can gorge yourself by night at some of these great spots.

10) El Barco Mariscos

It’s hard to miss the big sign with the fish just off of Ashland that practically screams EL BARCO! The inside is packed with large parties drinking heavily and making noise. The patio is lively as well, but in a more tolerable quantity. Go for the fried whole red snapper, and you won’t be sorry. (more…)

Posted by on July 1st, 2013

Flo. All photos by Jeff Pearl, except where noted

Flo. All photos by Jeff Pearl, except where noted

My original thought for a May-themed post was to talk about outdoor dining options, but anyone in Chicago right now can see that that’s just ridiculous thinking. It snowed a few days ago right after a 70-degree showing the day prior. But with Cinco de Mayo around the corner, these are my top 10 Mexican restaurants. (more…)

Posted by on May 1st, 2013

Photo by The Vibary of Buffalo Grove

Photo by The Vibary of Buffalo Grove

With the Cubs back for another season, I thought it would be a good time to review my favorite hot dogs. While I haven’t written about everywhere on this list individually, I’ve been eating hot dogs for as long as my dad could sneak me food behind my mom’s back, and I definitely remember my favorites. It’s also worth mentioning that there are a ton of hot dogs in this city and only so many arteries to go around. With that in mind, these are my ten favorites. (more…)

Posted by on April 23rd, 2013

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