Oh, the irony... The "California" Street station on the blue line (which goes to ORD) on a bleak winter day.
Addis Abeba, 3521 N. Clark near the Addison stop on the Red line, 773.929.9383. Ask for Rebecca. My favorite Ethiopian restaurant in the Central time zone! I usually ordered the Veg-Meat Combo with Yesiga Wot (a spicy beef dish) with Mitin Shiro (roasted, powdered chickpeas simmered in spiced butter with cinnamon & cloves - I always ordered it), and Tekil Gomen (cabbage, carrots, & potatoes). Another favorite was a spicy chicken dish with jalapeno named Doro Tibs.
Tre Kronor, 3258 W. Foster Ave., 773.267.9888.
Wonderful blackberry pecan danish! Great eggs benedict as
well. Many thanks to Brigid for this tip. (I ate like a hog both
times I went here in June, 2004.)
Ann Sather (Swedish), 929 W. Belmont, near the Red line. Decent, popular place. Everybody in Chicago seemed to flip over the cinnamon rolls.
Arco, N. Halsted. Good food, but a real Ratbastard Aquarius introduced me to it in 1997. (I just tried to look up the address and found nothing - could be gone.)
Blue Frog Bar & Grill, 676 N. LaSalle (Huron). From Geri: try the BLAST (bacon-lettuce-avocado-sprouts-tomato)or the daily Blue Plate Specials.
Cafe Iberico , 739 N. LaSalle, 312.573.1510. Delicious tapas restaurant which Brigid recommended to me.
Cafe 28, 1800 W Irving (Ravenswood) (Cuban). Recommendation from Geri: "very very good - I unfortunately can't have fish and the few people that had fish loved it - Sue and I had duck and it was as good as duck in bohemian places - appetizers were excellent and it's BYOB."
Czerwone Jabluszko (The Red Apple) (Polish), 3123 N. Milwaukee (W. Belmont). Truly one of the cheapest (under $5), heaviest lunch buffets in the country. I think the dinner buffet is still around $5. Incredibly filling food. Brigid and I liked the place. I think I remember liking the meatballs.
D'Agostino's, 1351 W. Addison (Southport). Geri's suggestion "for good old fashioned thin crust pizza".
The Damen, 1958 W. Roscoe, 773.248.9523. I don't know if this place is still here, but their polenta was one of my few goosebup-inspiringly-tasty Chicago food experiences.
Dinkels (any apostrophe?) Bakery, 3329 N. Lincoln. Geri says you have to get there early.
El Jardin. Horrible Mexican food.
Fernando's, 3450 N. Lincoln (Addison). A Mexican suggestion from Geri (rather, a suggestion for Mexican).
Finkl's Deli, 171 W. VanBuren. I (and my old (former) boss Eva) loved the tuna sandwiches. Lunch time on a budget in the Loop is slim pickin's, so this was a pleasant find.
Heat, Brigid had the $25 lunch special
Jay's, 4418 N. Narragansett (Montrose). From Geri: best Italian beef sandwiches.
Jezebel, 3517 N. Clark St., 773.929.4000. Greg (ORD) and I had a couple of good meals here.
King's #2, 5233 N. Milwaukee (Foster & Central). Geri's suggestion for gyros & onion rings. Open until 4:AM.
La Creperie, 2845 N. Clark, 773.528.9050. I went here a few times and enjoyed it.
Las Mananitas, 3523 N. Halsted, 773.528.2109. I think I had some decent molé here.
Lin's Garden, 6556 N. Milwaukee. Geri's (and her son's) suggestion for Chinese.
Lucky Platter, 1400 N. Lake Shore Dr. Geri says it's great for lunch, esp. sweet potato fries. Cute art deco atmosphere.
Maggiano's Little Italy , 516 N. Clark St., 312.644.7700. The head of our department at my old employer there took us all out there; it was tasty, but I don't remember what I ordered. Also see Cuisinenet's take on this place.
Mambo Grill. I would never go here again. Food definitely did not make up for the noise (I think I recall it was smoky, too).
Mateo's, 6815 W. Montrose. Another suggestion for Mexican from Geri in ORD.
Mirabell (German), 3454 W. Addison. A suggestion from Geri. Her favorite: veal medallions in cream sauce with spaetzel (sp?); her husband's favorite is a huge meat platter with all kinds of sausages & potatoes. Better than Zum Deutschen Eck!
Moti Mahal, 1031 W. Belmont. Geri said the chicken dishes were great and the eggplant was excellent.
Penny's Noodle Shop, 3400 N. Sheffield. Very popular, but the one night I went there I got sick (food poisoning?) and threw up. Maybe it was my date.
Reza's (Persian), 5255 N. Clark, 773.561.1898. Don't remember what I ate; I just remember I wanted to eat there again. Geri's daughter Ellen loved the veggie/hummus sampler platter.
Roong Petch (Thai), 1828 W. Montrose (near the Ravenswood tracks). Geri et husband say everything they've tried here has been excellent - and BYOB to boot!
Savoy Truffle, 1466 Ashland, W-Sa dinner. Someone recommended this place (I scribbled it on the back of a credit card receipt with no other information). Y'all let me know how it is.
Siam Cafe, 4710 N. Sheridan, 773.989.0157. My friend Greg introduced me to this place just about the time I was leaving Chicago. Doh!!! (the Homer Simpson noise)
Signature Room, John Hancock Tower, 875 N. Michigan (E. Delaware/E. Chestnut), 312.787.9596. A (usually) somewhat average lunch buffet with great views (on a clear day). For $9, it's hard to beat. Our usual waitperson was Patrick.
Star of Siam, 11 E. Illinois. Sucked. Go to Siam Cafe if you're not going to have Thai on the West coast (where it's best).
Stefani's (casual Italian), 1418 W. Fullerton, and Lino's, 222 W. Ontario ("a little hoidy toidy" according to Geri). Geri says these sister restaurants have great pasta dishes, and her husband gives the fish dishes thumbs up.
Swedish Bakery, 5348 N. Clark. Yummy cakes with marzipan (and non-marzipan). The best bakery I found in Chicago. (Forget about Let Them Eat Cake; go WAY up to 5348 Clark.) Some wonderful marzipan concoctions/cakes.
Tibet Cafe , 3913 N. Sheridan Rd., 773.281.6666. I went here several times (once with THE dumbest man I have EVER met in my life). I liked the Sha-Bhale and the funny little potato dumplings. Think Asian comfort food.
Treasure Island. I read that Julia Child called it the "best grocery in the nation". That is either out of date or she was drunk (or both). Skip it.
Under 55, 55 E. Monroe. A breakfast place at the basement level which has a $2.19 special including a made-to-order omelet, potatoes, bagel or toast, and coffee (if you drink the stuff).
Wishbone (Southern), 1001 W. Washington (N. Morgan). I had a couple of good meals here, but their Sweet Potato Pie is substantially overrated. If anyone finds a really great sweet potato pie, please let me know.
Brett recently (13NOV99) told me about Midwest Salvage Grocery, 2812 North Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, IL 60618, 773.645.0526. It sounds similar to the Grocery Outlet in SFO.
Flags courtesy of ITA 's Flags of All Countries .