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  • Heaven on Seven

    Post #1 - January 17th, 2005, 7:47 pm
    Post #1 - January 17th, 2005, 7:47 pm Post #1 - January 17th, 2005, 7:47 pm
    That's it, enuff 'znuff! I'm sick of the indifferent at best, rude at worst Hosts. I've had it with their bored servers, dirty bathrooms and completely unwelcoming vibe. This place (600 N. Michigan and 3478 N. Clark St.) scream we don't care that you're here, we don't give a r*t's ass if you enjoy yourself and we sure as hell don't care if you ever come back! C'mon this place truly has the best Gumbo I've ever had, their cornbread is yummy and the fried shrimp salad is damn fine. But, again, enuff 'znuff!

    I've been patronizing Heaven on Seven for twenty years, near as I can recall, obviously the majority of it at the original location in the Garland Building at 111 N. Wabash. I've savored the Gumbo, marveled at their Bananas Foster French Toast and thoroughly enjoyed a myriad of Jimmy's delectable Cajun delights. The original location is a 'Greek style' diner that happens to be on the seventh floor of a downtown office building where long lines, brusque waitresses and a typically rushed atmosphere are not only expected but also comforting. The newer Chicago locations are simply unacceptable. They clearly don't rely on repeat business and must rest on the fact that 'tourists' and other 'one-timers' will fill their tables.

    I hate to say it but I'll be back, their Gumbo is the finest I've sampled and as much as the atmosphere consistently gives me indigestion the 'soup' compels me back!
    "Good Timber Does Not Grow With Ease, The Stronger The Wind The Stronger The Trees"
  • Post #2 - January 17th, 2005, 10:49 pm
    Post #2 - January 17th, 2005, 10:49 pm Post #2 - January 17th, 2005, 10:49 pm
    If HOS's gumbo is the best you've ever sampled, we need to have a lay some cajun hands on you and heal you of that affliction.

    I completely agree with you regarding the service. And frankly, the food has always underwhelmed me there.
  • Post #3 - January 18th, 2005, 8:18 am
    Post #3 - January 18th, 2005, 8:18 am Post #3 - January 18th, 2005, 8:18 am
    Here is a recent thread on the Naperville location http://lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=1374&highlight=heaven+seven

    This is the only one I have tried, and based on three visits, I would say that if you stick to the cajun standards, they do a decent, if erratic job. The service was not so much abusive as lackadaisical, and that may also be the best term to describe the performance of the kitchen. Or you could call it hit or miss. 3 months ago, it certainly seemed a bit out of control.

    Given the prices and the crowd, it does not compel me to go back, though I will to enjoy fried oysters and gumbo. In Naperville, anyway, they are selling atmosphere as much as than anything now, and quite successfully. Too bad. If someone would get the kitchen under control, it would be quite good.
    d
    Feeling (south) loopy
  • Post #4 - January 18th, 2005, 12:00 pm
    Post #4 - January 18th, 2005, 12:00 pm Post #4 - January 18th, 2005, 12:00 pm
    I think that for whatever reason, this is not a business that should be expanding the way it is. The only site other than the Garland Bldg. that I've been to is 600 Mich., before a movie once or twice. Always barely adequate.

    The original, however has always been fine. Both the cajun specialties and occasional dips into the coffee shop menu for breakfast things. Busy, yes. But never rude or slow. And never bad food.

    I just wish that they'd either commit to expanding with the quality they started with, or just stop exapnding. Maybe the outposts, as defficient as they are, still make tons of money.
    "Strange how potent cheap music is."
  • Post #5 - January 18th, 2005, 12:19 pm
    Post #5 - January 18th, 2005, 12:19 pm Post #5 - January 18th, 2005, 12:19 pm
    I actually went to the Clark location this past Friday night. The gumbo was good, as usual, but the jambalaya was just plain mediocre. You know when I'm mixing a bunch of hot sauces on the table to get it to do something to my taste buds, something is wrong.

    And the service was horrible...there's this one waiter who acts like your buddy but is incredibly insincere. I've had him before, too. He always pimps the most expensive items on the list but warns you to "stay away from the pork tenderloin" like he's your pal. Well, my girlfriend bit on his recommendation of the Shrimp & Andoulle Sausage with "big, juicy gulf shrimp" (he might've tossed succulent in there, too). I tried one of her shrimp - they were neither big nor juicy. Definitely less than average...and at $18.95, they should be VERY good.

    Needless to say, he got the worst tip %-wise that I've left in Chicago. And I don't plan on going back anytime soon. Blue Bayou isn't a revelation, but it won't take much to top THAT Heaven on Seven, anyway.
  • Post #6 - January 18th, 2005, 2:03 pm
    Post #6 - January 18th, 2005, 2:03 pm Post #6 - January 18th, 2005, 2:03 pm
    I have found the service at the off- Michigan location unappetizingly, greasily, obsequious. The s/o is somewhat obsessed with the andouille/sweet potato polenta(not available at the original) and I don't mind the soft shell crab po-boy. We seem to just end up there. I could easily riff on the lack of cajun authenticity(my grandfather taught me the real deal).
  • Post #7 - January 18th, 2005, 3:36 pm
    Post #7 - January 18th, 2005, 3:36 pm Post #7 - January 18th, 2005, 3:36 pm
    When this was originally posted in September, I had always had good experiences with Heaven on Seven, first on Clark St. and then when they came to Naperville. The food had been good each visit before but we went back in October, just as the Naperville Farmer's Market was ending, and although the food was decent, the service was awful. We asked for non - smoking and although the place was nearly empty, we were seated at the table right in the front where the only thing that divides smoking and non smoking is a 4" wide railing. Wasn't a problem, smokers didn't arrive until we were done but there was a problem was the service. Again, there were probably only 5 tables occupied but yet server after server would walk by us. After we did order every contact with a server from that point on was done in silence, no thank you, no how are you doing, no refills on water and after we paid the bill, which took a effort to retrieve, we passed by the hostess station which had serveral servers gathered about and not one person said good bye or thanks for coming. I have wanted to like this place but after that, I wrote a letter to their website and told them what happened. I got a very nice reply from the Naperville manager within 2 days who wanted me to contact him so they could take my reservation to have me come back but I never did. There are too many places to eat in Naperville that I still haven't tried on my once every few months trip there. I'll save my cajun urges for the real deal or Ron's Cajun Connection in Utica.
  • Post #8 - January 18th, 2005, 4:26 pm
    Post #8 - January 18th, 2005, 4:26 pm Post #8 - January 18th, 2005, 4:26 pm
    The one time that I ate at the Michigan Ave. location, I thought the food was pretty decent, especially compared to the usually overpriced tourist places along Michigan Ave. However, the restaurant appeared to be cramped and the prices were pretty high for the food ordered.

    I have spent a few weeks in the past year hitting the boudin stands and the various low-end eateries of the southwestern six parishes of Louisiana. Some of the food has been very truly outstanding and some of the stuff has been real garbage that would make you swear off Cajun cooking. It seems that the further you get off of I-10, the better.

    I have had two darn good Cajun inspired meals in the past month. The first was at Almond's Restaurant in Clayton, MO. Great food and great service and gumbo to die for. Prior to this, the only two really good Cajun places in St. Louis were flooded out in 1993 and never reopened.

    Based on the recommendations, we also tried Chuck's Southern Cooking. I really liked the place. Their gumbo was really good. Their pulled pork was also pretty good although I prefer the South Carolina style better. The guy's menu is creative across the board. I had two of the specials and while technically not Cajun, they were still very good. Worth the long drive to Burbank.
    Last edited by jlawrence01 on January 18th, 2005, 11:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #9 - January 18th, 2005, 7:37 pm
    Post #9 - January 18th, 2005, 7:37 pm Post #9 - January 18th, 2005, 7:37 pm
    This might be a little off topic, but has anyone tried the cooking class offered at Heaven on Seven? It's $75.00 and it includes 5 courses cooked personally by Jimmy Bannos, all you can drink beer, wine and signature Hurricanes, recipes and instructions.

    A friend of mine wants to go, but I'm not sure if it's worth it (she says that for all-you-can-drink, it's worth it).

    Thanks in advance.
  • Post #10 - January 18th, 2005, 7:41 pm
    Post #10 - January 18th, 2005, 7:41 pm Post #10 - January 18th, 2005, 7:41 pm
    IIRC someone posted on the cooking class.
  • Post #11 - January 18th, 2005, 8:01 pm
    Post #11 - January 18th, 2005, 8:01 pm Post #11 - January 18th, 2005, 8:01 pm
    that would be this writeup by AtOurTable.

    -ed
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #12 - January 19th, 2005, 6:01 pm
    Post #12 - January 19th, 2005, 6:01 pm Post #12 - January 19th, 2005, 6:01 pm
    Thank you for the link! Tres helpful. :)
  • Post #13 - January 25th, 2005, 9:12 pm
    Post #13 - January 25th, 2005, 9:12 pm Post #13 - January 25th, 2005, 9:12 pm
    As a former resident of New Orleans and patron of HO7 for 15 years I can state the following.

    Jimmy's Gumbo is as good as anywhere else here or in Louisiana. I defy you to name the definitive Gumbo. WHY? If you ask anyone is Louisiana where to get the best Gumbo they would all give you the same answer.

    "My Momma's House!!" :lol: :lol:

    The same answer applies to the best of the following: Red Beans and Rice, Jambalaya, etouffee

    This is not haute cuisine, this is what your paw paw makes with leftovers
    Ian Alexander
  • Post #14 - January 26th, 2005, 8:08 am
    Post #14 - January 26th, 2005, 8:08 am Post #14 - January 26th, 2005, 8:08 am
    The food is not the problem, I have liked everything I have had on all my visits, the problem, at least in Naperville, is poor service. On our last vist we had an incredible snapper that was the special but aside from ordering and recieving our food, we were ignored. The staff seemed more interested in gathering around the hostess station.
  • Post #15 - December 13th, 2007, 6:59 pm
    Post #15 - December 13th, 2007, 6:59 pm Post #15 - December 13th, 2007, 6:59 pm
    Went with a work crowd for a late lunch to the original location in the Garland building on Wabash. Service was fine, the place was nearly empty from 2:30-5 when they closed. Gumbo was good, my crabcakes were terrible, BBQ shrimp pasta was OK. I didn't taste the other entrees. No one was raving about it, though.

    Heaven on Seven
    111 N. Wabash
    7th floor
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #16 - February 6th, 2015, 10:34 am
    Post #16 - February 6th, 2015, 10:34 am Post #16 - February 6th, 2015, 10:34 am
    They're launching dinner service on Thursday until 9 p.m., and until 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

    http://chicago.eater.com/2015/2/4/79816 ... ven-dinner
    "At a formal dinner party, the person nearest death should always be seated closest to the bathroom." George Carlin
  • Post #17 - February 6th, 2015, 12:19 pm
    Post #17 - February 6th, 2015, 12:19 pm Post #17 - February 6th, 2015, 12:19 pm
    Since the thread was already bumped...

    I will walk over to the Garland location a couple of times a summer for a a late lunch of a bowl of gumbo, a corn muffin, and some exercise. I have friends who loved the Rush St. location, and other friends who love the Naperville location. I'd go with them if invited but I'd never suggest it myself.

    The one time I was in New Orleans many years ago, i had a meh time and then was topped off by food poisoning from Mother's. So I don't know what is "authentic."

    The Garland building atmposhere is comforting to me because I grew up in a downtown diner setting. I prefer it to the "party an d beads" setting of the other locations.
    "Fried chicken should unify us, as opposed to tearing us apart. " - Bomani Jones
  • Post #18 - February 6th, 2015, 12:29 pm
    Post #18 - February 6th, 2015, 12:29 pm Post #18 - February 6th, 2015, 12:29 pm
    The first time I ever went to Heaven on Seven there was only one. It was in the Garland Building. I still ate animals. I just loved the setting. This old school feeling diner serving not what I think of as diner food. Tasty corn muffins, sweet little bowls of gumbo with a dollop of white rice, hot sauce, fountain made Cherry Coke, and a lovely key lime pie.

    I can remember bringing my parents. I am sorry things have changed. Need to find out if the key lime pie is vegetarian. I could stand to pop into the Garland building. It's been years.
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #19 - February 10th, 2015, 5:37 pm
    Post #19 - February 10th, 2015, 5:37 pm Post #19 - February 10th, 2015, 5:37 pm
    http://chicago.eater.com/2015/2/9/80064 ... ush-street
  • Post #20 - February 10th, 2015, 5:46 pm
    Post #20 - February 10th, 2015, 5:46 pm Post #20 - February 10th, 2015, 5:46 pm
    Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #21 - February 10th, 2015, 6:46 pm
    Post #21 - February 10th, 2015, 6:46 pm Post #21 - February 10th, 2015, 6:46 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered.

    In case I'm not the only one here that didn't understand that saying - heck, I don't even know the difference between pigs and hogs - it's explained in Wikipedia:

    Wikipedia wrote:"Pigs Get Fat. Hogs get Slaughtered" means those who work hard will get what they deserve but those who try to gain something for nothing will not get very far.
  • Post #22 - February 10th, 2015, 7:04 pm
    Post #22 - February 10th, 2015, 7:04 pm Post #22 - February 10th, 2015, 7:04 pm
    nsxtasy wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered.

    In case I'm not the only one here that didn't understand that saying - heck, I don't even know the difference between pigs and hogs - it's explained in Wikipedia:

    Wikipedia wrote:"Pigs Get Fat. Hogs get Slaughtered" means those who work hard will get what they deserve but those who try to gain something for nothing will not get very far.

    I've been hearing it so long, I figured everyone knew what it meant. I don't really take it to mean what Wikipedia says. In my mind it's more like it's okay to be ambitious but greedy . . . not so much.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #23 - January 5th, 2018, 6:57 am
    Post #23 - January 5th, 2018, 6:57 am Post #23 - January 5th, 2018, 6:57 am
    LikestoEatout wrote:The food is not the problem, I have liked everything I have had on all my visits, the problem, at least in Naperville, is poor service. On our last vist we had an incredible snapper that was the special but aside from ordering and recieving our food, we were ignored. The staff seemed more interested in gathering around the hostess station.

    January 1 was the final day for Heaven on Seven in suburban Naperville. The restaurant opened in 2006. Chef Jimmy Bannos only has one Heaven on Seven location, on Wabash, remaining.

    https://chicago.eater.com/2018/1/2/1684 ... sures-2018
    "At a formal dinner party, the person nearest death should always be seated closest to the bathroom." George Carlin
  • Post #24 - January 5th, 2018, 11:24 pm
    Post #24 - January 5th, 2018, 11:24 pm Post #24 - January 5th, 2018, 11:24 pm
    At Christmas, I was talking with someone who has known the Bannos family for 40+ years and is fond of Jimmy. He agreed with my assertion that Jimmy set a mark years ago, but never really made any effort to innovate or improve, and let the dining market pass him by while he coasted. Ho7 Wabash was an amazing concept when it opened, a Greek-American kid from the near west suburbs doing reasonably authentic Louisiana cooking. But it is just part of a very crowded field today, and no longer even the best practitioner in its niche.
    "Fried chicken should unify us, as opposed to tearing us apart. " - Bomani Jones
  • Post #25 - January 6th, 2018, 10:31 am
    Post #25 - January 6th, 2018, 10:31 am Post #25 - January 6th, 2018, 10:31 am
    As one who began eating @ Heaven on Seven-
    back in the '80's when I used to work @ The C.B.O.T.- had my afternoons free-
    and Jimmy was just converting
    from a Greek-owned-Deli/Sandwich-Shop-
    to-THE-ONLY-CAJUN-place in Chicago (before Dixie Kitchen on Chgo/Franklin)
    I feel very-closely attached to this secret gem.
    The amazing Soft-Shelled-Crab-Salad-w/a Buttermilk-Honey-Jalepeno-dressing,
    may have declined a notch from it's former self (IMHO-they screwed up
    the "dressing" changing it to a more Mayo/Emulsified-based mainstream-sauce :cry: ) but
    everything else we sampled there after The New Year seemed
    richly-savory + HomeMade and GREAT.

    From a sampler of their Greens, to an amazingly savory, rich
    red-bean & Cajun-Rice side to the
    Soup of The Day-
    Corn Chowder/Shrimp Soup-
    to the Gumbo...H.O.7.'s still a wonderful gem.
    Jimmy's -High-School friend "Laura" is the new G.M./Hostess there- and she's eager to keep the place growing.(...she turned us on to The Sampler!)

    Interesting Historical side note:
    many years ago when I ate there weekly-
    Jimmy & I would shoot the shit-
    & I'd share some of my enthusiasm about- all things Culinary/Food related-
    w/Jimmy, including a Magazine I used to subscribe to called-"The Whole Chile Pepper".
    In one issue- I showed Jimmy a posting of a small diner in New Mexico- where the owners Customers shared their love of HOT-STUFF- by bringing back bottles of Hot Sauce from places they'd traveled to.....and I said to Jimmy-
    "HEY! you outta do this here"....well- if you ever go there- and see any room left over- for new bottles to be displayed- lemme know- cause he's got so many- they've run outta space.

    Listen- for ANY Food Establishment to last as long as Heaven on Seven, in todays fast changing world is an amazing accomplishment.
    Jimmy has not only been able to cook with folks like Paul Prudhome (RIP) Chef Emeril- before he was a TV Big-Shot, and so many others-
    that alone-is an amazing thing.
    The fact he survived ex-Business Partners like Scott Harris (The Purple Pig debacle is well documented in The Media) and others may have caused him to learn more as business-man, than any kid from Cicero would ever learn in school.
    I'm sure that Jimmy's dad would be beaming w/ pride-
    as to how his kid-took the wack-a-doo-idea, of serving spicy food from New Orleans-
    to The Masses- and made it a "thing" here in Chicago.
  • Post #26 - January 9th, 2018, 5:14 pm
    Post #26 - January 9th, 2018, 5:14 pm Post #26 - January 9th, 2018, 5:14 pm
    Hombre de Acero wrote:As one who began eating @ Heaven on Seven-
    back in the '80's when I used to work @ The C.B.O.T.- had my afternoons free-
    and Jimmy was just converting
    from a Greek-owned-Deli/Sandwich-Shop-
    to-THE-ONLY-CAJUN-place in Chicago (before Dixie Kitchen on Chgo/Franklin)
    I feel very-closely attached to this secret gem.
    The amazing Soft-Shelled-Crab-Salad-w/a Buttermilk-Honey-Jalepeno-dressing,
    may have declined a notch from it's former self (IMHO-they screwed up
    the "dressing" changing it to a more Mayo/Emulsified-based mainstream-sauce :cry: ) but
    everything else we sampled there after The New Year seemed
    richly-savory + HomeMade and GREAT.

    From a sampler of their Greens, to an amazingly savory, rich
    red-bean & Cajun-Rice side to the
    Soup of The Day-
    Corn Chowder/Shrimp Soup-
    to the Gumbo...H.O.7.'s still a wonderful gem.
    Jimmy's -High-School friend "Laura" is the new G.M./Hostess there- and she's eager to keep the place growing.(...she turned us on to The Sampler!)

    Interesting Historical side note:
    many years ago when I ate there weekly-
    Jimmy & I would shoot the shit-
    & I'd share some of my enthusiasm about- all things Culinary/Food related-
    w/Jimmy, including a Magazine I used to subscribe to called-"The Whole Chile Pepper".
    In one issue- I showed Jimmy a posting of a small diner in New Mexico- where the owners Customers shared their love of HOT-STUFF- by bringing back bottles of Hot Sauce from places they'd traveled to.....and I said to Jimmy-
    "HEY! you outta do this here"....well- if you ever go there- and see any room left over- for new bottles to be displayed- lemme know- cause he's got so many- they've run outta space.

    Listen- for ANY Food Establishment to last as long as Heaven on Seven, in todays fast changing world is an amazing accomplishment.
    Jimmy has not only been able to cook with folks like Paul Prudhome (RIP) Chef Emeril- before he was a TV Big-Shot, and so many others-
    that alone-is an amazing thing.
    The fact he survived ex-Business Partners like Scott Harris (The Purple Pig debacle is well documented in The Media) and others may have caused him to learn more as business-man, than any kid from Cicero would ever learn in school.
    I'm sure that Jimmy's dad would be beaming w/ pride-
    as to how his kid-took the wack-a-doo-idea, of serving spicy food from New Orleans-
    to The Masses- and made it a "thing" here in Chicago.


    on a non-food note- years ago i used to buy nuts wholesale at a place called S&A nuts (i think that was the name...) on grand. it was owned by jimmy's great uncle. he was a very old guy with a goofy sense of humor. jimmy was a kid, maybe 11 or so? and he and jimmy sr. were often there. i cant remember if his dad already had opened what became heaven on seven. i think not, i believe he was working there for his uncle at the time. the place eventually closed and became condos....

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