Here at Grubhub, our employees are pretty obsessed with food. Every day, we’re making sure delicious food finds its way to your door…and to ours. Say what? Correct, we too order from Grubhub (so meta).
With our “What I Ate in a Week” series, you’ll get a sneak peek into the lives of actual — never not hungry — Grubhub team members. A nice benefit that happens to come with our jobs is what we call “mealperks” — our weekly Grubhub stipend. Clearly, we’re using this to get the best bites in town each and every week.
On deck, we have: Kevin, a Restaurant Sales Executive at Grubhub. Get the lowdown on his delivery highlights of the week and top ordering
Hey! Thanks for stopping by. To give you a brief introduction about myself, I was hired at Grubhub about eight months ago to join the Sales team and I was named after Kevin Costner (true story!). My parents are both chefs and migrated from Bangkok to New York City where baby Kevin came into this world. We spent most of my childhood in Miami and then moved to Georgia so they could pursue their dream of opening a restaurant. I’m very blessed to have grown up eating good food and that’s why I feel like it’s my duty to introduce my friends to things that I love to eat (even if they might think something is weird).
When I’m not at the office or eating out, I’m usually napping (also a true story). I basically hibernate all year long. In order to maintain this sloth-like lifestyle, I have to consume large quantities of food. Luckily, I live in Chicago. There’s so much amazing food in Chicago, especially in South Loop where you can find me on my couch and/or super comfortable bed. I have so many recommendations that I don’t even know where to start! So, I think it makes sense to focus on just one cuisine type and you already know that nothing beats Asian cuisine. I swear I’m not being biased at all [insert smirking face emoji]. Asian cuisine is influenced by a diverse influx of cultures as each region has a distinctive cooking style. I’m going to touch on some Asian gems that are walking distance from where I work in the Loop.
Here are my top eats from last week…
Sushi from Umai
Sometimes, I can be a bit of a snob when it comes to sushi, but Umai hits the spot. The best part? It’s pretty much across the street from my apartment building! Out of their extensive menu, I love to order from their Signature Maki section.
The best bang for your buck is to choose the 2 half rolls. That way, you have the opportunity to try two different rolls. I used my mealperks for this lunch… so shout out to Grubhub for the free sushi. If you have trouble deciding, then I would say to go for the Le Bonki Maki and Surf & Turf Maki. Whatever you decide, I’m sure you can’t go wrong since this place is so darn good.
Pho from Lotus Cafe & Bánh Mi
You know that feeling when it’s dark and gloomy outside then starts pouring rain, and it makes you just want to snuggle up at home and watch a movie? Well, this was me on Monday with Chicago’s unpredictable weather. I treated myself to indulge in some Pho Noodle Soup with Honey Glazed Pork from Lotus Cafe & Bánh Mì.
By the way, I highly recommend putting in the special instructions section asking them to provide an extra side of fish sauce and chili oil. My teammates/friends will probably disagree, but mixing those two ingredients in your noodle soup will enhance the flavor of the broth by a ten-fold. Now that I think about it–how could you not love fish sauce?
I want to share these easy steps on how to dress your pho that I learned from my mom. Squeeze some lime juice into the broth to start off, then take a small amount of the chili oil. The next step is to add about the same amount of fish sauce as you did with the lime juice.
Poke from Aloha Poke
Technically, Hawaii isn’t in Asia, but but since Hawaiian food is heavily influenced by Asian culture and flavors, I decided to feature an island delicacy that’s trending here on the mainland. Poke is essentially a deconstructed sushi roll. It’s like the next generation of sushi.
Aloha Poke is my go-to choice for poke bowls. It’s not traditional by any means, but definitely one of the best tasting ones in Chicago. I typically pack my own bowl with everything on it. They have their own house creations, but I like to finesse the eatery into giving me more food. If you’re judging me right now, just know that you would do the same.
I have another quick tip to share from my experience in the restaurant industry. Most poke establishments will ask if you want either naked or marinated raw fish. I highly recommend the naked style… you can dress it up however you want.
Mango Sticky Rice from Siam Rice
The most simply, yet most delicious Thai dessert is the mango with coconut sticky rice at Siam Rice. By far, this is my favorite dessert next to Häagen-Dazs chocolate ice cream. This is a dish that has roots in Northern Thailand, where sticky rice is a staple. Back when I was a stay-at-home son, my mom would always make this for me.
If I had to recommend any dish that would represent Thailand, then this would be it. The sticky rice is prepared with this sweet coconut milk sauce that makes you daydream about taking a bath in it. And then the intricately sliced mango to pair. I’m excessively salivating as I write this. Order it, trust me.