5 issues to eat or drink in C-U this month: November 2023
Moo Shu Pork ︱ iWok
Feast your eyes on this plate. I ordered the moo shu pork ($12.75), and it got here with a scorching platter of marinated pork, egg, sliced cabbage, and shredded carrot plus a plate of pancakes, sauce, and steamed white rice. Including some smokiness, the pork’s char went very well with the wok-fried veggies. Tender crisp cabbage had a gentle, oily style, and people little egg morsels have been superior. Seasoned and fluffy, any chunk of egg served a tiny bomb of deliciousness. Moo shu at all times comprises egg; in Chinese language, moo shu refers to osmanthus blossoms (small, yellow flowers) resembling the items of egg within the dish. The pancakes have been somewhat stiff, however after a scoop of moo shu pork and cabbage, the wrapper softened nearly like a home made dumpling, and somewhat splat of that thick sauce took the pork pancakes to the following degree.
The portion was enormous; I shared it with somebody and nonetheless had leftovers, fortunate me. This dish is offered on a regular basis however Mondays when iWok is closed. The Chinese language restaurant is positioned close to Industrial Donut and El Rancho Grande II.
iWok Chinese language Restaurant
113 Calvin St
T-Sa 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Su 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Philly Steak Meal ︱ Niro’s Gyros
Of the 2 Niro’s Gyros on the town, I ordered this scrumptious Philly steak sandwich meal ($9.66) on the one on Springfield, which has been open since 1999. The man behind the counter advised me that the meat for that is slow-cooked for 2 hours. Sliced skinny, Niro’s beef tasted so flavorful with chopped onions and inexperienced peppers. The roll was tender and spongy, and the fries have been straight up wonderful. Tremendous crispy, that they had a textured exterior that was golden brown. The yellow peppers, whereas uncommon for a Philly cheesesteak, added a brilliant crunch and a few sweetness.
Niro’s mayo, banana peppers, and chopped inexperienced bell peppers aren’t conventional parts of a Philly steak, which is simply tender bread, beef, onions, and cheese, however we’re not in Philadelphia, so I’ll permit it as a result of it was really a really satisfying sub sandwich. For me, the mayo was a bit too pronounced (dare I say pointless) as a result of the gush of tangy, scorching mayo was a wild shock beneath the cheese pull. Would I get that a lot mayo right here once more? No, and also you wouldn’t both (until you’re a type of mayo freaks — and then you definitely’ll like it). I ordered it how the Philly steak comes, so customise away.
2001 W Springfield Ave
9 a.m. to 11 p.m., day by day
Inexperienced Forest Roll ︱ Sakanaya
Folks appear to be actually into timber this time of 12 months, and this inexperienced forest roll ($13) actually was evocative of a forest. Full of avocado, cucumber, asparagus, lettuce, and a spinach-artichoke cream cheese, the roll was topped with oba leaves and inexperienced spinach crunchies. The oba was brilliant like mint, and its taste was a refreshing distinction to the wealthy mouthfeel of the cream cheese. I actually cherished all of the textures of the inexperienced forest: little crunchies, sticky rice, tender avocado and cream cheese, leafy oba, woody asparagus, and chewy nori. A complete woodsy expertise, the roll celebrated all of the inexperienced issues. Bitter asparagus and spinach harmonized with the sliced cucumber and oba leaves. The delicate avocado and cream cheese added a creamy ingredient to all of the crunchy, grassy inexperienced flavors.
With no uncooked (or cooked) fish, this roll is vegetarian and a yummy solution to eat some greens. Sakanaya is open on a regular basis however Mondays on Inexperienced Avenue in Campustown.
403 E Inexperienced St
T-Th 4 to 9 p.m.
F+Sa 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. + 4 to 9:30 p.m.
Su 4 to 9:30 p.m.
Espresso Cocktail ︱ The Ribeye
Opened in 1979, The Ribeye is considerably of a Champaign establishment. Once I heard the restaurant had a menu of espresso cocktails, I finished in for dinner. On Monday night, I ordered the create-your-own espresso cocktail ($8), which got here with Columbia Avenue espresso with a selection of liqueur topped with whipped cream and a cherry. I selected Grand Marnier liquor, and it was scrumptious. The espresso had a pleasant roasted taste, and holding the glass cup saved my palms heat. With sufficient booze to style, it was good spiked espresso, and the cloud of whipped cream and cherry on prime have been enjoyable. Different choices for what to spike the espresso cocktail with embrace: Godiva chocolate liqueur, Kahlúa, Baileys, or Frangelico.
The Neil Avenue steakhouse provides quite a lot of home cocktails together with a Dreamiscle ice cream cocktail along with a dinner menu and salad bar. Search for my full assessment of The Ribeye restaurant publishing later this month.
1701 S Neil St
M-Th 4:30 to 9 p.m.
F 4:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Sa midday to 9:30 p.m.
Su midday to 9 p.m.
Sizzling Turkey Sandwich ︱ Urbana Backyard Household Restaurant
If you happen to’re already hungry for Thanksgiving meals, then go for the recent turkey sandwich ($14.99) at Urbana Backyard Household Restaurant. This was no regular sandwich. Once I ordered it, I didn’t anticipate two slices of white bread beneath a heap of smoked turkey slices drowned in gravy with a aspect of mashed potatoes additionally drowned in gravy, served with a steak knife, however it was yummy. The poultry was juicy, and I preferred the flavour, however as turkey is, it was fairly plain. Identical with the white bread, so the sandwich — and I’m utilizing the time period as loosely as Urbana Backyard — wanted one thing, and that gravy was throughout it. Sprinkled with parsley and effectively seasoned, the gravy was on completely every thing, bringing the sandwich and potatoes collectively. The gravy soaked the bread, so it was moist and flavorful, low-key reminding me of Thanksgiving stuffing.
A becoming November aspect, Urbana Backyard’s mashed potatoes have been easy and engaging. This complete meal was manner too large for me to complete which tracks with November feasts. The family-friendly restaurant is positioned in Urbana simply by Freeway 74. Since I overheard clients asking the workers at checkout, don’t confuse Urbana Backyard with Urbana’s Rainbow Backyard which is closing for good this month. Urbana Backyard is open for breakfast on a regular basis, lunch seven days per week, and dinner Tuesday by Saturday.
Urbana Backyard Household Restaurant
810 W Killarney St
M 6 a.m. to three p.m.
T-Sa 6 a.m. to eight p.m.
Su 6 a.m. to three:30 p.m.