Chicago: Union & Oiistar

Alright, I know I was in the middle of my random France posts, but I think I’ve pretty much given up on that.  On to…or back to…one of my favorite cities to visit: Chicago.

Being that Chicago is such a quick and easy trip from Detroit, it is an obvious choice for a quick getaway.  With so much culture and diversity, the food options are endless.  Chicago first introduced us to Michelin Star restaurants, as there are sadly no qualified restaurants locally. It was where my husband moved to when we first met, so we have quite a bit of nostalgia and great memories associated with the city.

We try not to go to the same restaurants over and over again, as there is so much to explore, but sometimes there are things that we crave and can’t satiate with any other substitutions. Here are two of those places!


Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar
230 W Erie St, Chicago, IL 60654

Alligator and Kangaroo…two proteins that I can say I have tried, thanks to Union Sushi.  Never in my life did I ever find myself with an occasion to try Kangaroo (not even when I was in Australia), until one fateful night in Chicago.

I will tell you, it tastes just like deer meat; lean and gamey, and unfortunately, nothing special. Was it worth a poor kangaroo life?  Definitely not; and yes, I felt a little sad afterwards.  They are way too cute to eat; and before someone tries to tell me that piggies are also too cute to eat…..bacon.  I mean, come on….bacon makes it all worth it

ANYWAY. Despite my morbidity just now, this is still one of my highly recommended restaurants.  Their menu has exotic proteins, but they are so simple and so tasty.  A simple marinaded [delicious] meat skewer, grilled with some slight char?  I’ll take that over a prix fixe fancy meal [with ingredients I’ve never heard of] any day!

And look, they even give you cheeto-y “cheez” covered edamame while you look through the menu. This is spectacular, in case you were wondering.

Bottom line is, if you like grilled meat, and want to try something different without committing to a completely unfamiliar full meal, try Union!


1385 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Talk about comfort food….nothing is more comforting than a giant bowl of perfectly tasty ramen and giant bao buns.  And by “giant”, I mean they literally give you a ladle as a spoon. 

The buns are soft and pillowy, with perfectly cooked proteins.  I like that they give you multiple options, as not everyone likes pork belly [which means, more pork belly for MY belly muahahahah].  I had a duck bun there that was pretty interesting as well; delicately prepared, with tons of flavor. 

The best part of the meal: the ramen.  I don’t know how they get such a consistent flavor, but their broths are intoxicating. They are so rich and vibrant, with perfectly cooked soft boiled eggs, and chewy ramen….and their names are exactly what you can expect. 

I prefer their Umami ramen, which boasts a ton of umami flavor.  It is delicate, decadent, and savory, with fresh cut scallions to bring a breath of fresh herby-ness.  My husband likes their Spicy Garlic ramen, which is indeed spicy and garlicy [wouldn’t recommend this if you’re on a date]. 

So if you’re searching for some warmth and comfort, especially during the dreary winter season, do not hesitate to visit this place!

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