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Weekly Planner: Brunch News Edition

Brunch News Edition Lowcountry Adds Brunch Fasten those bibs, because brunch is served at Lowcountry. The South Loop outpost of the boil-in-a-bag seafood concept, which specializes in Cajun-style shellfish, has added weekend brunch to its popular portfolio. A slight departure from its usual eat-with-your-hands bag-centric menu, the brunch offerings span a spectrum of Southern comforts, from […]

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Jun 18, 2018 09:51 PM
Best Restaurants in Boystown

With June being Pride Month, there’s no better time of year to spend dining and drinking in Chicago’s Boystown neighborhood. The vibrant Lakeview area enclave is best known perhaps for its clubs, drag brunches and rainbow pylons, but the neighborhood is becoming a serious dining destination in its own right, thanks to restaurants like these: […]

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Jun 11, 2018 10:32 PM
Weekly Planner: Taco Joint’s Specials and ROOF on theWit’s Movie Series

Happy Hour at Punch Bowl Social Happy Hour at Punch Bowl Social Happy hour is the happiest of all when you’re surrounded by bowling alleys, bocce courts, karaoke rooms and dart boards. The West Loop’s brand new Punch Bowl Social, a behemoth dining and gaming complex out of Denver, has jumped on the happy hour bandwagon, […]

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Jun 05, 2018 06:53 PM

Sweet of the Week: Rice Pudding at Svea

Rice pudding, against all childhood odds, is one of my all-time favorite desserts. Bar none. I remember scoffing audibly at my dad when he would purchase rice pudding at the grocery store when I was young. I thought the idea of rice in pudding sounded revolting, considering most of my experience with rice at that point was confined to pilaf and fried Chinese food. So naturally, the idea of rice for dessert was not appealing, to say the least. But like many childhood taboos-turned-obsessions, I quickly developed a love for the dish after finally amassing enough curiosity to try it. Flecked with plump raisins and a dusting of cinnamon, rice pudding turned out to be a masterpiece. Before long, I was the one begging my parents for more, and greedily shoveling spoonfuls into my mouth at the refrigerator. We've come a long way, rice pudding and I have. And nowadays, since it's sadly such a rarity on restaurant menus, I light up with glee anytime I get the opportunity to order some. I was presented with just such a fortune at Svea recently, capping off a Swedish brunch in the best way possible. 


Rice pudding at Svea

At Andersonville's Svea, one of the last remaining Swedish relics of the heavily Scandinavian neighborhood, the menu and motif are both old-school, kitschy, and deeply comforting. The squishy counter stools and vintage Nordic paraphernalia dotting the walls make for a cozy backdrop in which to tear into Swedish sausages, gravy-laden meatballs, and eggy pancakes. But no matter what route you take here, be sure you wind up with a plate of rice pudding in front of you at meal's end. Served modestly and simply on a bright blue plate, the pudding is a hefty slab stacked high. It sports two layers of textures here, one being a somewhat crunchy al dente rice "crust" and the other being a creamy, airy, and sugary patina. Together, they meld to create a unique, well-balanced bite of pudding. The icing on the cake here, true to Swedish form, is the dollop of tangy lingonberry jam glazed over top. 

- Matt Kirouac

Neighborhoods: Andersonville

Honoring Andersonville's Scandinavian roots, Svea is one of the sole remaining relics of Swedish dining in this north side enclave. This old-school diner, open for breakfast and lunch daily, features...

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