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Noon Hour Grill - Suzie's Back

Noon Hour Grill - Suzie's Back
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  • Noon Hour Grill - Suzie's Back

    Post #1 - October 31st, 2013, 10:27 am
    Post #1 - October 31st, 2013, 10:27 am Post #1 - October 31st, 2013, 10:27 am
    There has been a bit of talk about Noon Hour Grill in this Bi Bim Bop thread. But, given the number of mentions this place has been getting, and the fact that it has some historical significance, I thought it deserved its own thread.

    Suzie's Noon Hour Grill
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    I went for lunch with jazzfood. For him, it was a pilgrimage to a taste memory that was deeply seated in his psyche. I'm not sure it really mattered if the food was good or not, as long as it was close enough to that which is so fondly remembered. Unlike him, this was my first visit, so the place was going to have to stand on its own merits. As soon as I walked in, I was completely won over. Eating at Noon Hour is like going to someone's Grandmother's house and having her cook for you. Once you place your order, Suzie scurries around in the open kitchen meticulously cooking each dish as if it were the only thing she was going to cook that day. No shortcuts are taken and she gets some great flavors out of humble ingredients.

    Noon Hour Cafe Bi Bim Bap
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    I didn't know what to expect when I read that this version of Bi Bim Bap was made with brown rice, but it turned out to be a great idea. As you can see in the picture, there were plentiful ingredients and, once mixed up with some gochugang, was a nicely balanced bowl of goodness.

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    Noon Hour Chop Chae
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    The Chop Chae was also pretty good, although maybe a little light on the noodles. Still, a very enjoyable, homey dish.

    After striking up a conversation with Suzie, who remembered jazzfood as a much younger man, she brought us out a little sample of her house made kimchi.

    Noon Hour Kimchi
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    I liked the kimchi. It's not the funkiest version you'll ever run into. I'd categorize it as fresh tasting, with a nicely fizzy mouthfeel.

    I'll certainly be back to try some more things, including the jazzfood recommended bulgogi and cheese omelet.

    Suzie's Noon Hour Grill
    6930 N Glenwood Ave
    Chicago, IL 60626
    (773) 338-9494
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #2 - October 31st, 2013, 10:32 am
    Post #2 - October 31st, 2013, 10:32 am Post #2 - October 31st, 2013, 10:32 am
    We love Noon Hour Grill from when we lived in Rogers Park a few years ago. It is a regular for our weekend eating. I particularly appreciated the day I went in when I wasn't feeling well and Suzie brought me some special tea -- something that was brewed with on the stove versus a cup of hot water with a generic tea bag.
    -Mary
  • Post #3 - October 31st, 2013, 5:23 pm
    Post #3 - October 31st, 2013, 5:23 pm Post #3 - October 31st, 2013, 5:23 pm
    Thanks for starting this thread, better late than never. Actually, I don't think Suzie really needs any publicity. Because she runs Noon Hour by herself, like Burt, she currently has as many customers as she can handle. On Weekend mornings, she has trouble keeping up with a full house of people enjoying her tasty bulgogi, kimchee and ginger omelets. As it is, I often end up busing my own table. I just hope when I get to be her age, I have the energy to do as much as she does (hell, I would have trouble keeping up with her now). It is amazing that she can run the whole business by herself, and still be such a meticulous chef. I think the key is that she really loves what she does. That is apparent in her warm smile, welcoming demeanor, and the care that she puts into every plate.
  • Post #4 - October 31st, 2013, 5:28 pm
    Post #4 - October 31st, 2013, 5:28 pm Post #4 - October 31st, 2013, 5:28 pm
    Note to Hammond- that's how b-bop was intended by the founders. All things mixed.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #5 - November 11th, 2013, 2:50 pm
    Post #5 - November 11th, 2013, 2:50 pm Post #5 - November 11th, 2013, 2:50 pm
    I was instantly charmed by my first experience here last week. A dying breed, this type of mom and pop neighborhood hub. As soon as I sat down, I was greeted by a former student of mine who lives in the neighborhood. I asked him what his typical order was and without hesitation, he replied "oh, the Bibimbap". He and Suzie, as it seemed with the other customers in the shop, were on a first name basis.

    Suzie seemed taken a back by our order of three plates for the two of us (maybe she hasn't had a lot of traffic "from the internet"). We assured her we were hungry and mentioned we would take the extras home.

    Laikom wanted to try the Yuk gae jang.

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    This was leagues better than a version I recently had at Cho Sun Ok, which had an insipid broth and flavorless, spent beef. The spice in Suzie's was manageable, but the broth was quite rich, almost tomato-ey. In fact, it reminded me of an amped up American beef vegetable soup with its inclusion of carrots and celery in the soup base. The beef itself was tender and plenty beefy tasting.

    Requisite Bibimbap

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    Very nice, like many have said, maybe the best version around. This isn't always my favorite dish to order at restaurants, I eat veggies, rice, and kimchi with fried eggs on the regular at home. Everything was done right in this bowl, though, from the brown rice, to the not overly-sweet bulgogi, to the house-made gochujang. I could eat this everyday.

    Kimchi and bulgogi omelet

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    This one, what do they say, "gilded the lily". I'm very interested in how Korean cuisine adopts American convenience foodstuffs (Spam, canned tuna, holdovers from the American military presence). And of course, kimchi has been popping up in unlikely places all over menus in the West Loop. So, I've been digging the combination of processed cheese and kimchi lately and I was pretty stoked by the presence of white American cheese in this guy. However, the bulgogi, kimchi, and cheese made for a salt/umami overload. This is great end-of-the-night/hangover food, but I was glad to share it on this visit.

    I can't wait to return to Suzie's. This part of Roger's Park still has a great small town/college-y feel with the old fashioned pharmacy on the corner, the Heartland, and whatever that bonkers community theatre place is next door to the restaurant. Noon Hour seems to be an anchor of this community turning out honest, cared-for food. I wish every neighborhood had a Suzie.
  • Post #6 - March 24th, 2015, 3:44 pm
    Post #6 - March 24th, 2015, 3:44 pm Post #6 - March 24th, 2015, 3:44 pm
    I made my first trip to Noon Hour this past weekend, and I really enjoyed it. I can't say it any better than Jefe did, so I'll just quote him.

    Jefe wrote:I was instantly charmed by my first experience here last week. A dying breed, this type of mom and pop neighborhood hub... I wish every neighborhood had a Suzie.

    Yes. This. Exactly.

    Jefe wrote:Kimchi and bulgogi omelet
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    And this. This omelet is the only thing I'll ever order at Noon Hour. It was just that good. Something about how the american cheese melded with the mellow kimchi and tender bulgogi just worked perfectly.

    Thanks to laikom for the nudge. I'm only sorry it took me so long to make it here.
    --Rich
    I don't know what you think about dinner, but there must be a relation between the breakfast and the happiness. --Cemal Süreyya
  • Post #7 - March 24th, 2015, 4:08 pm
    Post #7 - March 24th, 2015, 4:08 pm Post #7 - March 24th, 2015, 4:08 pm
    We were also at Noon Hour this weekend. Had a late breakfast, more like lunch, on Sunday. Susie had clearly been busy -- three of the five tables needed to be bussed (which we did for her) and the other two were occupied. She also ran out of rice with our order and she advised other customers it would be 25 minutes if they wanted something with rice. The bi bim bap hit the spot as always. Some day, I'll try something else....
    -Mary
  • Post #8 - March 20th, 2016, 4:21 pm
    Post #8 - March 20th, 2016, 4:21 pm Post #8 - March 20th, 2016, 4:21 pm
    Noon Hour was great for a last minute impromptu lunch with jazzfood.

    Suzie at Work
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    Bi Bim Bap
    As served
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    As Mixed
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    Bulgogi & Cheese Omelette
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    Kimchi
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    Noon Hour Grill
    6930 N Glenwood Ave
    Chicago, IL 60626
    (773) 338-9494
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #9 - September 4th, 2017, 6:55 pm
    Post #9 - September 4th, 2017, 6:55 pm Post #9 - September 4th, 2017, 6:55 pm
    After hitting the Glendale Sunday Market, I was hungry, and managed to just beat the rush at Susie's.
    image.jpg Bulgogi BiBimBop

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