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National Margarita Day, Arami Omakase, Mr. Brown’s Lounge

National Margarita Day at Tuco & Blondie Now here’s a food holiday we can get on board with. National Margarita Day takes place February 22, and in honor of the sacred occasion, Tuco & Blondie is celebrating with a special margarita flight. The flight contains three 4-oz. margaritas including the smoky Mezcal Margarita, the Black Cherry Margarita, […]

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Feb 16, 2018 05:58 AM
Chicago’s Best Restaurants This Week

Chicago’s Best Chicken Wings  Wings and the Super Bowl go together like eggnog and Christmas. Which is why now is an appropriate time to round up some of the best wings in Chicago, so you can feast your way around the city preparing for the big game. From classic wings to newfangled, here are some […]

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Jan 31, 2018 02:48 AM
Where to Eat on New Year’s Day 2018 in Chicago

Soothe your Champagne hangover on New Year’s Day Since you’ll more than likely be hungover from the previous night’s revelry, it’s of the utmost importance that you eat well on New Year’s Day. Plus there’s just something so fitting about starting the new year off with a sensational first meal. Here’s where to soothe your hungover […]

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Dec 30, 2017 07:21 AM

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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