Yesterday, I desperately wanted to check out Frog & Snail.
Hangovers, diets and friends in town all hijacked my dreams and no one would go with me to Frog & Snail. Stay tuned, I will prevail!
However, I still turned out the big winner of the day because I finally, finally, tried Crisp. I’ve wanted to go forever and just haven’t, for whatever reason, and the super casual vibe was perfect for a lazy Sunday night. This is not a new restaurant – located in Chicago’s East Lakeview neighborhood, it opened in 2008, which makes it practically a hundred in Chicago restaurant terms. A number of friends have enthusiastically recommended it and there’s some 987 reviews on Yelp contributing to a solid 4 out of 5 star rating.
One magnificent meal later, I am a Crisp believer, and after reflecting on that meal of righteousness basically all morning, I become a Crisp evangelist. Go immediately, bring your friends, visitors, your family, get takeout… just go partake in the glory of those sweet and spicy Korean wings. (That said, do not take a first date as it is impossible to look even remotely good eating this meal.)
JB dunked everything into the Buddha Sauce, I went for Allison’s Atomic. Crisp is BYOB, but you’ll be parked at a community picnic table, so unless it’s a tall boy or something, I wouldn’t bother. If you’re in the mood for alcohol free and sickly sweet, go for Diet Cream Soda!
We split the Original Bad Boy Buddha Bowl, which is a cute name for the traditional Korean bibimbap with 8 different chilled veggies and a fried egg over hot, seasoned rice. The combo of hot and cold works so well, I promise, and the whole mess is that much better with added hot sauce of your choice. This thing is huge – probably 12″ around, and thankfully, they’re displayed when you order so you know what you’re getting into and aren’t tempted to order one per person. That being said, this would be a great choice for a vegetarian, or sans-egg for vegans.
And the star of the show: the wings. I went for 6 – which is really more like 12 as most bars and restaurants cut the wing into two pieces – with the Seoul Sassy sauce.
In the words of the great Rachael Zoe – I die.
(Those would be unlikely words to cross Rachael Zoe’s lips in this particular instance, as I imagine it’s unlikely she often digs into a tray of fried chicken, but we’ll call that her loss.)
Super meaty, very light breading, extra crispy and perfectly moist. The Seoul Sassy sauce was delicious – the website warns not to call it teriyaki but um, it tastes exactly like a very good teriyaki marinade with garlic, soy, sugar, sesame and ginger. Sorry, Crisp! That’s a compliment in my book.
JB went for the Crisp BBQ Sauce, and in my constant quest for over the top flavor, this is definitely the sauce for my next trip back. And the one after that, and after that… It is reminiscent of a traditional barbeque but with a deep, smoky heat and spices that make the sauce definitively South Korea, not South Carolina.
After what will probably go down as the least attractive half hour of my life spent demolishing all six (fine, twelve) wings, fighting for my fair share of the coveted egg yolk in the Buddha Bowl, and looking around desperately for something else to squirt Allison’s Atomic sauce onto, my handsome and gracious date rolled me and my greasy fingers out of Crisp and home to curl up into a very bloated and happy state, already dreaming up my next trip back.