DRIVE ME CRAZY: 3 places worth the drive

Boba Burger – Morton Grove

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Instagram: catthecritic

The last place you’d expect to find a burger joint like Boba Burger is inside of a bowling alley, but…

This place serves up some seriously great Asian American fusion meals. I used to think Belly Shack in Logan Square had some ridiculously good Asian hot dogs, but then it closed down. Enter Boba Burger.

This place incorporates Japanese and Korean flavors to offer the Seoul burger ($8), dripping with kimchi, bacon and a fried egg, on top of your traditional burger components.

The Tokyo dog ($4.50) was remarkably unique. A hot dog is dipped in tempura batter and deep-fried, drizzled with wasabi aioli (not overly pungent), seaweed aka nori and pickled veggies.

Wash the whole thing down with a Vietnamese iced coffee ($3.50) and you’re set. It’s an intense drink made with espresso and condensed milk, sure to give you a jolt. Next time, we’ll be back for some actual boba.

Wanna go? Morton Grove is a 20 minute cruise west of Evanston.

Sarkis – Evanston

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Instagram: catthecritic

(cash only)

I didn’t have much faith in omelets before Andrew took me to Sarkis, but now I’m a believer. The Mexican surprise ($9) is a mouthful of chorizo, peppers, onions and tomato enveloped in fluffy egg. Order a side of special hashbrowns ($3.50), which also comes with peppers, onions, tomatoes and cheese and you’re set for a delicious brunch.

Other great things to order: the rib-eye steak sandwich ($9), crammed with onions, tomatoes, peppers and cheese. Are you noticing a trend here?

Brandon’s Grilled Cheese ($8.50) is an upgraded grilled cheese filled with bacon and a fried egg, pressed between two pieces of French Toast. A bit lighter than the omelets, but only by a bit.

During the warmer months, this quaint cafe has cheery outdoor seating on picnic tables under a roof, but you’re also welcome to sit inside a booth or at the counter, where I prefer to watch them do their thing.

Great news: this tiny family-owned cafe in Evanston is just a 10-15 min drive from campus!

Isla Pilipina – Lincoln Square

This is the only Filipino food I’ve ever really had, but DAMN is it good.

The Lumpia Shanghai appetizer ($6 for 20) is basically the Filipino version of an eggroll. These mini rolls are filled with pork, egg, chopped veggies and soy sauce. They’re then deep fried and served with an irresistible sweet & sour sauce.

The Pancit Bihon ($9) is one of the most authentic Filipino entrees out there. It’s rather simple, just chicken and shredded veggies sauteed with pan fried rice noodles. However, it’s hearty and also makes for awesome leftovers the next day if you add in extra vegetables or an egg.

“An unmistakable Filipino delicacy”, Mixed Adobo ($9) drowns chicken and pork chunks in a garlic vinegar sauce infused with black peppercorns.

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