Signature dishes: The brie grilled cheese at Daniel’s Charcuterie, taco pizza at Easy Street and street tacos at Qué Onda
By Trent Modglin
Brie grilled cheese at Daniel’s Charcuterie
It hasn’t taken Daniel’s Charcuterie long to garner a strong reputation for their creative and tasty charcuterie boards, but here’s a helpful tip: Do not overlook the rest of a diverse menu that offers an array of fresh salad and gourmet sandwich options. Like this one, which is made with melty brie and saba, an Italian condiment that’s “more like a sweet balsamic — not vinegary at all, which creates a nice complexity to it,” says Daniel Boland, chef and co-owner.
Add in a fig spread imported from France for another element of sweetness, which expertly complements the crisp, green apple chunks hidden inside the sandwich. There’s a sweet, tart, crispy bite to it, and it’s served warm on whole grain bread with the cheese oozing out of it.
We’re told you can order the grilled cheese with strips of prosciutto wrapped around it as well. This was news that made our heart skip a beat. “The sandwich just makes sense, to be honest with you,” Daniel adds with a shrug and a smile. Kudos, sir. No argument here. Makes sense indeed.
Daniel’s Charcuterie is located at 15 S. Fairview in Park Ridge. 224-585-6100. DanielsCharcuterie.com
We’re told you can order the brie grilled cheese with strips of prosciutto wrapped around it as well. This was news that made our heart skip a beat.
Street tacos at Que Onda
The focus is at this upscale Mexican cantina in the heart of Edison Park is “locally-grown produce, sustainable choices and the freshest flavors,” and their delicious street tacos are evidence of that.
You get four tacos, and they request you choose a maximum of two different kinds per order. Luckily, we mixed and matched two orders, so we were able to try several — like the crispy battered fish with slaw, a garlic lime mayo and fermented fresco sauce, as well as the al pastor (slow-roasted pork, pineapple, salsa verde, cilantro and onion) and succulent shrimp with a honey-chipotle mayo and cucumber slaw.
Left to tempt us on our next visit are the barbacoa, crispy pork belly, char-grilled chicken, carne asada-chorizo combo, and a couple vegetarian options. The tacos are served with the perfect complement of black beans and rice to round out the meal. Make it Taco Tuesday any day of the week here. You won’t be disappointed.
Que Onda is located 6701 N. Northwest Highway in Edison Park. 773-824-4000. QueOndaEdisonPark.com
Taco pizza at Easy Street Pizza
Easy Street Pizza has quickly become a local favorite since opening early this past fall in the old Perry’s space on Devon in South Park. The casual, family-friendly restaurant was already famous in Chicago for their pan and specialty pizzas, as well as their homemade sangria and appetizers like popcorn chicken and loaded tater tots.
But we’re going to stick with their thin-crust taco pizza here because, well, it’s fantastic. And different. And able to cure a number of different cravings at once. And did we mention fantastic?
A taco and a pizza in one — messy, flavorful and scrumptious. Yes, we know Easy Street didn’t invent the idea. But they do it right.
It’s topped with an even blend of seasoned ground beef, shredded lettuce, cheddar cheese, pico de gallo, black olives and crunched Doritos. A taco and a pizza in one — messy, flavorful and scrumptious. Yes, we know Easy Street didn’t invent the idea. But they do it right. And that’s all that matters to us.
Easy Street is located at 711 Devon. 847-823-4422. EasyStreetParkRidge.com