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Food: the essential ingredient in life

Enjoy food most of time except when I am overstuffed by the buffet, my mom and before the exam.


Mi Tierra Mexican Restaurant

 1039 W Belmont Ave
Chicago, IL

quick, colorful and plentiful

The restaurant is conveniently located next to the Belmont CTA stop. The interior design of the place is fun, colorful and definitely Mexican. It is spacious. At 6pm on a Friday night, there weren’t many people. However, as the night progressed on, more people started to trickle in. The one thing I love about the place is the speed of their cooking. Eventhough, it took us forever to order our dishes (too many selections), the food came before I have time to complain how hungry I am. The price is reasonable and the portion size is huge. Even though, it wasn’t the greatest chimichanga that I ever had, I did enjoy my dish. Would come again if I am craving for Mexican food.


Tasteful, but I had even better ones before. Only able to finish half of my portion and I was full. I picked chicken for my burrito and there were lots of it.


Sweet Tomatoes

 1951 Mcconnor Pkwy
Schaumburg, IL

Healthy but filling buffet

Upon entering the restaurant, you will first meet the salad buffet counter. After getting all the possible salad selections they have to offer then you will pay your entrance fee at the end of the counter, which costed 7.99 without tax for lunch. Inside the restaurant, they offers a few warm dishes including some pastas, soups and bread/muffins. Since this month is the “the pleasures of pineapple”, they have dishes like carrot pineapple muffin w/ oats bran and curry pineapple pasta some other pineapple specials. They were all pretty tasty. Personally, I like the curry pineapple pasta, strawberry buttermilk cornbread (fat-free) and big chunk chicken noodle soups the most….since I am not a big salad person. However, they do have a decent salad bar with many options to pick from. Also, you can always end the meal with some ice creams (they are low fat of course) and there are many toppings including from strawberrys, chocolate chips, caramel…..ect.

At the end, I walked away with a happy, not too oily and full tummy.


Grand Victoria Buffet

 250 S Grove Ave
Elgin, IL

Great bargain for a casino lunch buffet

We came during Friday lunch hours for the casion’s All-you-can- eat buffet and it only cost $9.99 for each person. Althought the lunch buffet doesn’t have the crab legs as would be provided during dinner hours, it did have a wide variety of food. We definately ate till our hearts content.

The buffet had a good salad bar, pasta and pizza sections. They also have a few Chinese and Mexican dishes. Even though I don’t eat steak, my friend had praised the deliciousness of the steak the whole time we were there. The buffet offered the steaks as either medium rare and well done. They also had ham on the side if the steaks don’t interest you. In general the foods are all pretty fresh and flavorful. Althought they didn’t have much choices for the ice cream flavors, they did have a wide selection for the toppings. The caramel, rainbow sprinkles and chocolate chips were all very yummy. =) They also have a decent dessert section, but I only had stomache for a chocolate cake, which was a nice sweet finale to my over indulged lunch.

I am not an expert on casino buffets, but I would say come if you ever are free on a week day lunch hours. Besides, you can always go spent some money in the casino (which is in a boat), if the buffet wasn’t entertaining enough.


Noodles & Company

 895 S Randall Rd
Elgin, IL

Americanized pan-international noodles

The service of the restaurant is like a fast food place. The difference is that they will bring the food to your table. The atmosphere felt very open and clean cut. I came during lunch hours and the food came fast. Their menus selections weren’t especially huge but it included from Japanese to Mediterranean to American. We all liked our dishes. I wouldn’t say my Japanese noodles tasted like genuine Japanese food, but its modified version is pretty good. However, the only complaint I have is that the portion size is much smaller than the plate.

Also if you don’t know how to use chopsticks, they have “chopsticks helper” in little plastic wraps so you can eat noodles in true Asian style.

Japanese Pan Noodles

Sauteed udon noodles with sprouts on the side. It is a little spicy, but not overpowering. Pretty tasty, but is different from any noodles dishes I have tried before. I guess it is suppose to be ginger-soy sauce.


Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba!

 2024 N Halsted St
Chicago, IL

come with a big group

This is my second time coming to Ba-Ba-Reeba for dinner. The first time I came w/ a group of 10 and this time w/ group of 5. It was definitely much better and more fun with large group because you get to try a much wider selections. You get a tiny bite of everything and each dish gets so much more delicious. Agree with the previous review that the dish is on the pricier side for dinner. One thing I didn’t like as much is that the dishes don’t come out at the same time so usually we have to eat one small tapa dish at a time and we wil be waiting for the next one. Overall, the tapas are pretty good. Generally I perferred the hot tapas over the cold ones. Most of the desserts are pretty delicious and the passion fruit sangria is something good to start out the dinner with. The ambience is definitely lively and loud. The stream of people just kept flowing in on a saturday night. I would recommend making reservation ahead of times.

Chicken Paella

A good dish to fill one’s stomach if the small tapas can’t satisfy you. It comes out hot on an iron plate and they transfer it to a plate in front of you. Chicken is well done and pretty tasty overall.

Seared Sea Scallops, Raisins, Couscous & Pinenuts

I really like the scallops. They are very tender, fresh and go well with the pinenuts.

Roast Dates With Bacon & Apple Vinaigrette

Good combination of sweet dates with bacon. We all love it on the first visit that we ordered 2 plates this time. However, the bacon was a little over done and a bit too oily this round.

Mushrooms Stuffed with Spinach & Manchego Cheese

This dish came out like 5 min after we ordered. Pretty good if you like mushroom.

Fried Calamari & Tomato Salsa

Could be more crispy. Average compare to many other restaurant’s fried calamari.


T.G.I. Friday's

 6578 Grand Ave
Gurnee, IL

smaller than I thought

The restaurant is pretty standard, just like any other TGIF out there. We went on a weekday night so we didn’t have to wait to be seated. The service was quick and friendly. They have a few new menu items and a new promotion whick you can order a smaller portion for a cheaper price. We all had a regular size meal. However, the portions seem much smaller than what the pics have shown.
We end up going for some Krispy Kreme donuts afterwards for our unsatiated appetites.

Cedar–Seared Salmon Pasta - Cedar-Seared Salmon Pasta at T.G.I. Friday's

Cedar-Seared Salmon Pasta

A new item. The salmon was slightly salty however overall it was well made. It is a pretty standard pasta dish w/ some Alfredo sauce. However, the 2 salmon pieces seems small. Maybe I was too hungry.


Joy Yee's Noodle Shop

 1335 S. Halsted St.
Chicago, IL

I am happily Topiocalized

Agree w/ previous reviews and good recommendations. Besides providing the tasty dishes so far Joy Yee has the best tapioca drinks in Chicago. It has plenty of drink selections to choose from. yum yum…. I love boba drinks. =)

Vietnamese Catfish with pork

This dish takes 15-20min to prepare and it comes out boiling hot. It is slightly spicy/salty and goes well w/ rice.

Mango Tapioca Freeze

The tapioca is not too hard and still has its bouncy consistency. The mango freeze is very yummy as well.


Viceroy of India

 2520 W Devon Ave
Chicago, IL

Tasty Indian experience

My friends and I went to the restaurant for dinner. It looks like that they provide lunch buffet, but I can’t be 100% sure. The place is well located in the midst of “Indian town” with many small Indian grocery/clothing shops around. The decor of the restaurant is nice w/ its cyrstal lights above and dim lighting. Although my friends and I haven’t tried many Indian restaurants before, we did enjoy our meal. The service was good and the dishes were colorful and tasty. They weren’t too exotic/spicy overall. We have only finish ~50% of our meal (we did have appetizer however). The entrees (w meats) range btw $12-18.

Vegetable Samosa

It was crispy and hot when it came. It was salty and not the spicy or sweet kind. Somehow, its taste was just right for me. Will definitely get it again.

Palak Paneer

It is a vegetarian dish w/ spinach, Indian cheese cubes, tomato and many other unfamiliar items smooshed together. The Indian cheese cube was surprisingly mild. The dish is thick in consistence but not strong in taste or hard to swallow. I enjoyed the dish esp w/ the pita bread.

Fish Curry

The curry has a slight hint of sweet and not spicy. A good consoling dish after eating Chicken Tikka.

Chicken Tikka

Overly spicy for my taste. Had some trouble appreciating other dishes right after eating the chicken. I guess my tongue was not made for real spicy Indian dishes.


House of Sushi & Noodles

 1610 W Belmont Ave
Chicago, IL

a buffet that worth your money

Although you can order individual sushi or other dishes seperately, I have only tried the buffet style here. The sushi buffet is priced reasonably at $12.95 and it comes with (one time only)miso soup & veggie tempera at the beginning.
The sushi rolls are well made and the contents are packed as promised from the menu. I especially like the Sunshine Maki and any other maki w/ eel inside. Each time, I left the restaurant with a happy and overstretched stomache.
The restaurant itself is pretty small and has an elongated shape. The walls are packed w/ pics of the customers. However, we were never asked to have our pics taken. I have only been here on the weekend so if you don’t want to wait in line, I would recommend coming here at 4pm on Sunday (right when it opens). Sat., the restaurnat opens longer so the wait wasn’t as bad. Anyway, just make sure you come with an empty stomache.

Sunshine Maki

What’s special about this maki is that it has tangerine in there with shrimp tempura and some other veggie. I just love its combination.


Ma & I

 1234 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL

spice up your taste bud

I went to the restaurant w/ some friends, and it is definitely a good place to hang out and grab a bite of some spicy curry or if you perfer, some sweet peanut sauced plates. The atmosphere is pretty relaxed yet elegant and open spaced. It is not over crowded like some popular Italian restaurant. I would say it is a Thai restaurant that worth trying. I personally liked the dish-Tempura, the appetizer, the most because it is freshly made and is extra cryspy. yum.
However, it is not an obvious to find restaurant.

Pad Kee Mao at Ma & I

Pad Kee Mao

It was nicely done, but way too spicy. I would have loved it if it was toned down a little. I wonder if it’s because my taste bud was not strong enough or the chef was over zealous about the hot pepper.

A big appetizer! - Tempura at Ma & I


I really like it. It was hot, cryspy, fresh w/ their shrimps, mushroom and green pepper. The sweet sauce also makes a nice compliment.

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