Daily Archives: November 9, 2011

[Chicago] Meli Cafe

301 S Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60607
Neighborhoods: Greektown, Near West Side, West Loop

(312) 454-0748





I stayed in Greektown while I was in Chicago.  Upon checking in at the hotel, I asked the front desk to recommend a good breakfast place.  The guy recommended the hotel’s restaurant and this local breakfast joint.  So I tried both.  The hotel’s breakfast is slightly better than normal hotel breakfasts, but Meli was really great.  It’s just 2 blocks away from the UIC/Halsted station.  Meli was already packed when I got there around 8am, so be ready for a wait!


The daily menu has lots of interesting options.  The regular menu is also very extensive.


Started off with some hot cocoa


Jams and whipped cream for the toast came in a cute little platter


My breakfast:  corn & crab omelet.  Goat cheese and asparagus went surprisingly well with the corn and crab.  The portion was huge!  Even the potatoes were nicely seasoned and not dry.  Also comes with toast! $12.95

[Chicago] Meals on Wheels Celebrity Chef Ball

I love food events, especially those that contribute toward a good cause.  On my recent trip to Chicago, I found a Travelzoo deal for the celebrity chef ball — $99 as opposed to the regular price of $125.  It’s a once-a-year event in Chicago which draws tons of great chefs, with even more foodies.  All of the proceeds benefit the Meals on Wheels program, which provide home-delivered meals to people in need.  This year’s event was held at the Macy’s on State Street, occupying all of the 9th floor, with 85 chefs.  Yes, 85 chefs!!!  I wish we have this kind of event in LA!  The chefs, all eager to showcase their specialties, bring lots of creative dishes and they don’t skimp on the ingredients either.  Each chef is stationed at a table and presents 1-2 dishes.   You can personally meet all of the chefs, while trying out their creations.  Everything is self-serve, which means, if you really like a dish, you can go back for seconds.  Portions are hor dourves-sized.

Best part about this event, besides the food, is that they provide you with a booklet which contain biographies of all of the chefs, along with their various recipes.  🙂


Lots of people all around!  The event is cocktail-dress formal.


I think this was a meat ball with deviled egg on a stick — didn’t get to try since I was already full at this point!


Kurobuta pork with scallop.  Yum!


Even lobster made its way into the appetizer/salad section – from the Michael Jordan Steakhouse.  I didn’t even know MJ has his own restaurant!


After eating the various dishes, then I found out there was another whole section full of DESSERTS!  Pear sorbet on a waffle cone.  I think this was from Black Dog Gelato.  So good!