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  • The Chopping Blog

Accidental Grilling in Chicago

Posted by Luke on May 19, 2015

A couple of weeks ago, right about when the mercury hit 50 degrees, we rearranged our front window at The Chopping Block Lincoln Square to feature this display.​


I have never seen so many adults with their noses pressed to a window like kids at a candy shop before. Of course, we all know people love Big Green Eggs but about a week later, a newcomer arrived on the scene.


Isn't it a beaut? We have a couple Rosle grills for our grilling classes here, and I got a chance to fire it up for a tasting last Saturday. I can attest it's just as nice as it looks, and user friendly (even for a newbie on the grilling scene).

We dusted off our outdoor grilling patio last weekend to get it ready for the first grilling class of the season Grilling Boot Camp.


So, it's official. Grilling season is underway, and that means summer is right behind it.

As I've mentioned in my other blogs, I'm pretty new to the cooking scene myself. My grill skills are just a little better than my steak skills, but there's not much art to heating up some hot dogs, is there? I know I have a long way to go, and I'm planning on taking advantage of our grilling classes this summer.

But sometimes all of our best plans end up being just a little too late. In this case, while I was hoping to get into our New Orleans Brunch on the Grill, or maybe Beef on the Grill to start out with, I found myself wandering into Chicago Kalbi one night last week.

Now, I've lived a few blocks away from Chicago Kalbi for almost two years. I've walked past it every day on my way to the bus, but I wasn't really sure what it was. Korean Barbecue, so it probably worked something like a regular barbecue joint, right?

Remember, folks, I grew up in a tiny town in Kansas. I'm still working on the whole Chicagoan knowledge base. So you can imagine my surprise when I sat down and saw this.


A hole in the middle of my table, with a professional looking hood above it. And, when my order came...


Oh. Well then. Sure enough, a few minutes later...


This was going to be fun. Chicken, shrimp, kalbi (marinated short ribs) and then a plethora of side dishes that I, frankly, had no idea what to do with. Was I supposed to grill the pickled daikon? Stack it on the meat? Make myself a salad? As plates continued to arrive, my partner looked more and more amused, and I felt more and more panicked.

​Thankfully, our waiter was apparently used to cultural tourists stumbling in at 10pm, and took pity on us. He walked us through what everything was, and even told us how to wrap things up in the lettuce.


It was excellent! Awesome waitstaff, excellent food, and the best crash course in both grilling and a new kind of cuisine that I've ever stumbled into. Plus, dessert was included!


While I do recommend food adventures in our fair city, next time I'm going to go for something a little more structured. Maybe I'll see you at our Grilling Workshop, or The Argentine Grill, if I'm feeling particularly adventurous, but I'll also accept any recommendations for places with fun eating experiences a Kansas kid like me might have missed!

 Grilling Classes


Topics: Local Spots, Grilling

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