Irish Brown Bread Recipe

Irish Brown Bread Recipe

Good enough to make every day - this is a hearty easy-to-make bread.

Good enough to make every day – this is a hearty easy-to-make bread.

Last year on March 13, 2012, I found a great recipe and article in the Chicago Sun-Times about what is more typically served in Ireland:

Real Irish Don’t Eat Soda Bread?

I really love the recipe and I hadn’t used it in a while; I think it needs to become more of a staple in the Two Urns bread basket each morning.  It is very delicious made with whole wheat flour and wheat germ.

 

Delish Diner

Delish Diner

The Delish Burger - topped with bacon and fried egg

The Delish Burger – topped with bacon and fried egg

Delish offers regular diner fare, burgers, tuna melt, reuben, shakes and sundaes in a retro decor complete with 2 sets of 1940′s kitchen table and chairs in the front windows.  A very respectable burger for $7, they have daily specials, too.  2018 W Division Street – just west of Damen.  (773) 276-5200

Big Star

Big Star

Taco de pastor - heavenly!

Taco de pastor – heavenly!

On the corner of Damen and Everyone how can you not love these tacos when the people watching is so great!  Located just south of the Damen blue line stop and North Avenue. Expect a wait, even for the carry-out window.   Hang here long enough and you can end the night across the street at the Violet Hour with a cocktail.

Nando Milano Trattoria

Nando Milano Trattoria

Nando Milano's owner will greet you with a smile

Nando Milano’s owner will greet you with a smile

We sometimes have a hard time squeezing in last minute to this wonderful,  very Italian trattoria, offering authentic home-made pastas and great Italian hospitality by the owner, Dario, who generally greets you at the door.  Luca is a wonderful server and don’t miss out on their Limoncello – a great way to end their delicious Italian fare.  It feels like Italy when we walk in here.   Kalina loves the gnocchi with gorgonzola and Kapra’s favorite is the Fettuccini Bolognese.  Al fresco dining during good weather, but  it is always better to make a reservation in advance 773-486-2636.  Located a short walk from Two Urns, just past Damen at 2114 W. Division. www.nandomilano.com

Artopolis in Greektown

Artopolis in Greektown

Greektown's perfect little pastry and cafe  is open late!

Greektown’s perfect little pastry and cafe is open late!

Artopolis is our family favorite cafe for late night nibbles and delectable desserts.  Try a  slice of hazelnut or mango mousse – you can also pick up a cake to-go or butter cookies or freshly baked breads.  This lively cafe has open windows to the sidewalk during summer and is cozy and warm in the winter serving dinner or desserts.

El Barco

El Barco

Whole red Snapper is a great catch here!

Whole red Snapper is a great catch here!

This ship-shape restaurant has lots of fresh fish in true Mexican style.  Their “coctel de camaron” reminds Miguel and me of Xipolite: hanging in hammocks, ordering beer and “coctel” as we watched the sun set on the wild surf  of the Pacific.   Served with totopos or saltines (de rigeur table side) it’s a great way to get the night started and we also love their ceviche – freshly prepared and never disappoints.  A pitcher of Mango Margaritas is the best way to really quench your thirst on a warm summer’s night in Chicago followed by the feast of one of their Parrilladas – grilled chicken, steak, seafood and vegetables for 2, 3 or more; easily shared between 3 or 4.  This is simply great, authentic “mariscos” and always takes us back to memories of relaxing vacations by the sea.

Shaw’s Crab House

Shaw's Crab House for fresh oysters and seafood

Shaw’s Crab House for fresh oysters and seafood

This Lettuce Entertain You restaurant serves fresh fish including a wide range of fresh oysters in a formal, dimly lit, dining room or a more casual oyster bar where all the action occurs. We celebrated Miguel’s birthday at their Sunday brunch in the oyster bar, with four stations of food:

  • chilled seafood with ceviche, sushi, lobster and shrimp cocktail, smoked salmon, chopped salad and bagels
  • omelette and waffles made-to-order
  • breakfast meats, eggs, eggs benedict, potatoes, crabcakes, breaded shrimp, potatoes au gratin and roast beef carving station
  • mini desserts that included hand dipped chocolate strawberries, key lime tart, pot au creme, fresh fruit, cookies, mini cupcakes, creme brulee and truffle pops

‘O Oysters,’ said the Carpenter,
‘You’ve had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?’
But answer came there none –
And this was scarcely odd, because
They’d eaten every one.

… and you will want to join Lewis Carroll in eating one of everything, so take an empty stomach.

Live music in the evenings and it is just next to one of Chicago’s top Jazz venues: Andy’s so walk a couple of doors west to Andy’s for a Chicago Classic Jazz club.  Shaw’s Crab House, 21 E. Hubbard Street (312) 527-2722

 

Cemitas Puebla

Cemitas Puebla

Antonio showing off his tasty cemitas to Miguel

Cemitas Puebla, 3619 W. North Avenue, received a special mention as best Cemitas (a Mexican sandwich on a sesame seeded bun) in “Bon Appetit” so Miguel and I though it was worth a trek, even after a late February snow storm to see for ourselves.

We loved the “pastor” sandwich, with Oaxacan string cheese, avocado and tasty pulled pork meat.  Their chipotle sauce in the yellow bottle was great on the sandwich, just as Antonio had suggested; followed by a tasty Jamaica (hibiscus tea) and Horchata (rice milk drink) we were happy and all for about $10/person.

The North Avenue bus is just 3 blocks north of us and will take you directly to Central Park where you are 1/4 block away from cheery Antonio and Cemitas Puebla.

Chicago’s Best Blueberry Pancakes

Chicago’s Best Blueberry Pancakes

Two Urns whole wheat pancakes  with blueberry honey butter!

Where can you find some of the best breakfasts in Chicago?  Think fluffy whole wheat pancakes with homemade blueberry butter – think Two Urns!

Want to make your own Blueberry Honey Butter?  Take 1 cup honey (or maple syrup), 1 cup blueberry puree and 1/2 cup butter (or Smart Balance for Vegans), puree with a hand blender and heat on cooktop or in microwave, stir and serve!

Your Hosts

We bake our muffins every morning to serve to our guests!

The House of Two Urns was started in 1991 by Kapra Fleming, video artist and photographer, more by chance than by design.  With one guestroom she gradually expanded as her family did with husband, Miguel, joining her and in 2002 he purchased a nearby building that also has B&B guestrooms.    Miguel, an extremely multi-talented artist, sculptor, printmaker, photographer and poet has many of his artworks for sale in the Two Urns gift shop.   More Info

A side garden to the main inn produces lots of fresh berries, fruit, herbs, tomatoes and greens that grace the breakfast table during growing season and as jams year round.  Where else in Chicago can you sit and watch the fruit grow and spread it on some yummy bread the next morning?  Some of the jams include, black raspberry, apricot, currant, gooseberry, strawberry, blackberry and blueberry – all made by Kapra from garden-grown fruits.

We welcome you to our artistically unique home and to garden-fresh goodness every morning!