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Citrine and evolving Oak Park scene

Citrine and evolving Oak Park scene
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  • Post #361 - May 4th, 2018, 8:16 am
    Post #361 - May 4th, 2018, 8:16 am Post #361 - May 4th, 2018, 8:16 am
    I discovered that my favorite Sushi place Fuji Grill closed abruptly with apparently no explanation. It was located in the strip mall just north of Parky's on Harlem in Forest Park. IMHO (as did many others based on reviews) they had the freshest fish, best presentation and friendliest staff of all other Sushi places in both Forest and Oak Park. We ended up at another place in Oak Park (which shall remain nameless.) that was a major disappointment and couldn't compare to Fuji Grill. Overall a very disappointing evening.
    Why does man kill? He kills for food. And not only food: frequently there must be a beverage.
    Woody Allen
  • Post #362 - May 4th, 2018, 10:25 am
    Post #362 - May 4th, 2018, 10:25 am Post #362 - May 4th, 2018, 10:25 am
    Saigon Pho reopens 5/10 according to sign on door.
  • Post #363 - May 4th, 2018, 10:56 am
    Post #363 - May 4th, 2018, 10:56 am Post #363 - May 4th, 2018, 10:56 am
    Marshall K wrote:I discovered that my favorite Sushi place Fuji Grill closed abruptly with apparently no explanation. It was located in the strip mall just north of Parky's on Harlem in Forest Park. IMHO (as did many others based on reviews) they had the freshest fish, best presentation and friendliest staff of all other Sushi places in both Forest and Oak Park. We ended up at another place in Oak Park (which shall remain nameless.) that was a major disappointment and couldn't compare to Fuji Grill. Overall a very disappointing evening.


    We wound up there a few months ago on a weeknight with the family. Agreed that, in the past, the fish was always quite good and the staff friendly. On this particular night, they were definitely struggling. Very short-staffed. Instead of properly busing the three active tables in the dining area they were just stacking plates, etc on a nearby empty table. One party came in and waited at the host stand for a long time and left before they were seated due to nobody even approaching them.

    Our meal was still delicious - though the special rolls were not very special, which was a change from our previous experiences there - and the one person working the room was as friendly as ever. But, it was pretty disconcerting. I'm not surprised they closed given that evening. It leaves a hole, it was our go-to for dining in; Sen Sushi is our take-out mainstay but dining there with our family during peak dinner is a challenge. I don't think any other place nearby can fill that gap.
  • Post #364 - May 4th, 2018, 9:07 pm
    Post #364 - May 4th, 2018, 9:07 pm Post #364 - May 4th, 2018, 9:07 pm
    The Michael's owner is the grumpiest guy. But the place is infinitely improved since he took over. Solid all around Chicago style beef/burger/dog joint.
    i used to milk cows
  • Post #365 - May 7th, 2018, 5:11 pm
    Post #365 - May 7th, 2018, 5:11 pm Post #365 - May 7th, 2018, 5:11 pm
    Just curious...

    Penny's Noodle Shop
    1130 Chicago Ave, Oak Park

    ... has been there for a while and over the years we will stop in and give a few things a try. Not much has stood out.

    Today I took a look at their website and at the Grubhub link it will often list popular items...

    Pot stickers, egg rolls, crab rangoon... Pad Thai...

    Not very adventurous.

    Is there something I am missing? I want to make sure I am not just dismissing it out of hand.

    Change my mind. :)
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon
  • Post #366 - May 7th, 2018, 6:17 pm
    Post #366 - May 7th, 2018, 6:17 pm Post #366 - May 7th, 2018, 6:17 pm
    You could / can do worse than Penny's. I actively like the goofily-named Thai Ravioli bowl - they make the cha siu and the shrimp dumplings for it in house. Note that this dish is a mess when ordered to-go / delivery: dine-in only, please.

    Other acceptable items include the Vietnamese spring rolls (not the Thai spring rolls) with their house mustard sauce (especially while Saigon Pho is closed, but when/if it reopens, go back to Lake Street), the spicy basil noodles with minced (specify minced) chicken or pork, and the Thai fried rice platter with basil and a runny fried egg requested atop. I try the Thai beef salad every other year and it never quite hits the spot. YMMV.
  • Post #367 - May 9th, 2018, 9:21 pm
    Post #367 - May 9th, 2018, 9:21 pm Post #367 - May 9th, 2018, 9:21 pm
    Mexican food along Roosevelt

    First the bad news...

    The stalwart...
    Inos
    7100 W Roosevelt Rd, Oak Park
    ... has a For Sale sign in the window. Still open for business.

    I have been a fan ever since they were located just on the other side of Harlem and Carm’s Beef occupied their current spot.

    Several unique items, double burritos, all beef burritos and their special Steak and Mushroom burrito.

    Most of their menu was prepared well to this standard.

    Don’t know what the story is about the sale.
    ——————————
    BRASAS
    6011 W Roosevelt Rd, Cicero

    I had stopped in here a few months ago inquiring about the Pancake House they are planning to open a little to the west (still not open).

    Tiny place (4 tables, 10 chairs) was packed!

    My Bride had a meeting to attend and I was on my own so I stopped in.

    Tuesday night at 9 pm? Packed again and this time mostly carry out.

    Looking over the menu, most of the items appeared fairly standard. A nice variety of traditional meats, breakfast, several different hamburgers including...

    C188C093-8F8C-4F46-83F2-17FB4762EE24.jpeg Tex Mex Burger
    Burger, chorizo, pico de gallo, avocado. Toasted bun, condiments including mayo (or more likely, crema).

    The chorizo crusted burger had a different mouth feel from a standard burger and all the toppings mixed together into a mash. Not dripping down the chin juicy but messy.

    Pretty good compared to others I’ve had. Thin fries might compare to McDonald’s.

    E4D999C2-7554-4AA1-A8C0-1399292B51AE.jpeg Mexican Hotdog
    Deep fried dog (big! Maybe 1/4 lb?) wrapped in the requisite bacon.

    Usual mishmash on top and must of been a jalapeño relish that packed a good bit of heat! Toasted bun again.

    I chose these two items because they were somewhat unique but certainly these are not the items drawing the crowds. Further exploration of the menu might determine that.
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon
  • Post #368 - May 16th, 2018, 10:01 pm
    Post #368 - May 16th, 2018, 10:01 pm Post #368 - May 16th, 2018, 10:01 pm
    Panther in the Den wrote:Opening in the Harrison Arts District by October 31st?

    District Kitchen and Tap
    (from the people who brought you Scratch Kitchen)
    In the same row of store fronts that also houses Happy Apple Pie Shop (226 Harrison St).

    http://mobile.oakpark.com/News/Articles ... -Harrison/

    They better get going to meet that date. :)

    Read they had promised to be open by the Blooming event on Saturday and driving by this afternoon they were packed.
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon
  • Post #369 - May 17th, 2018, 10:56 am
    Post #369 - May 17th, 2018, 10:56 am Post #369 - May 17th, 2018, 10:56 am
    Panther in the Den wrote:Read they had promised to be open by the Blooming event on Saturday and driving by this afternoon they were packed.


    I think they were doing Friends and Family yesterday, with the intention of being open to the public today. Pretty exciting to see the first new restaurant to open on Harrison (save the pie shop) since I moved west. I feel a touch of sympathy for Trattoria 225 across the street (pizza and pasta never great, but it was *there,* and they could make a martini), which has a sexy new wood-fired competitor in DKT.
  • Post #370 - May 17th, 2018, 6:54 pm
    Post #370 - May 17th, 2018, 6:54 pm Post #370 - May 17th, 2018, 6:54 pm
    After dkt's shiny new fanfare dies down, if anyone wants to go have a beer and a "one of each" pizza trial in a few months...OPBOYZ?

    I'm guessing it'll be packed for a while.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #371 - May 17th, 2018, 8:40 pm
    Post #371 - May 17th, 2018, 8:40 pm Post #371 - May 17th, 2018, 8:40 pm
    seebee wrote:After dkt's shiny new fanfare dies down, if anyone wants to go have a beer and a "one of each" pizza trial in a few months...OPBOYZ?

    I'm guessing it'll be packed for a while.

    I’m in. I always wait a month for them to iron out the kinks.

    The burgers and Mac-n-cheese have always been pretty good.

    We’re going tomorrow for a date night drink.
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon
  • Post #372 - May 21st, 2018, 12:27 pm
    Post #372 - May 21st, 2018, 12:27 pm Post #372 - May 21st, 2018, 12:27 pm
    Panther in the Den wrote:
    seebee wrote:After dkt's shiny new fanfare dies down, if anyone wants to go have a beer and a "one of each" pizza trial in a few months...OPBOYZ?

    I'm guessing it'll be packed for a while.

    I’m in. I always wait a month for them to iron out the kinks.

    The burgers and Mac-n-cheese have always been pretty good.

    We’re going tomorrow for a date night drink.

    We did stop by last Friday.

    There are two main seating areas, one with the small bar (6 seat) and another with the stage. Both areas had both high and low tables.

    Simple menu, pizza, wings, nachos, sliders, and salads.

    Might of had burgers and Mac-n-cheese and I would be surprised if they didn’t.

    https://www.scratchfp.com/locations/dis ... -oak-park/

    Apparently they were just coming off of a rush as several tables were being cleared, buffed and after 15 minutes without service we decided to head to Obsessed Kitchen for our date night drink.

    Obsessed Kitchen and Bar
    800 S Oak Park Ave, Oak Park

    I’ll give them a few more months...
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon
  • Post #373 - May 23rd, 2018, 12:11 pm
    Post #373 - May 23rd, 2018, 12:11 pm Post #373 - May 23rd, 2018, 12:11 pm
    Panther in the Den wrote:Mexican food along Roosevelt

    First the bad news...

    The stalwart...
    Inos
    7100 W Roosevelt Rd, Oak Park
    ... has a For Sale sign in the window. Still open for business.

    I have been a fan ever since they were located just on the other side of Harlem and Carm’s Beef occupied their current spot.

    Several unique items, double burritos, all beef burritos and their special Steak and Mushroom burrito.

    Most of their menu was prepared well to this standard.

    Don’t know what the story is about the sale.
    ——————————

    I managed to drop by for one of my favorite...

    954EB127-5B28-465C-9BF1-D8B61FE253F8.jpeg Steak and Mushroom Burrito

    ... and it was as good as ever.

    I always thought of it as Mexican with a French flair. :)

    Talking to the employees it seem that the restaurant is just looking to get out of Oak Park and not to close. Trying to find a new spot in Berwyn/Cicero. For Sale sign has been up since early in the year.

    While waiting for my order I noticed (and asked) that they are making their tacos from a whole (not chopped) piece of skirt steak (ala: Mr Taco) and avoiding the dreaded ‘Bucket ‘o Grease’ and cooked to order. Going back to give one of these a try.

    Mr Taco
    5960 Ogden Ave, Cicero
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon
  • Post #374 - June 2nd, 2018, 10:59 pm
    Post #374 - June 2nd, 2018, 10:59 pm Post #374 - June 2nd, 2018, 10:59 pm
    Friday @ 9:30 PM My Bride and I decided to try one of the newer spots for date night dinner after a movie at The Lake.

    Altiro - As we were spying from across the street they turned off the lights... Wha? Checked Google and they were supposed to be open until 11:00?

    Amerikas - Once again spying from across the street, candles being removed from the tables, then a moment later, chairs up. Well at least they were supposed to close at 10.

    We have had a few meals at Citrine and Rustico but wanted something new. I had been to Two Brothers only once (open 'til midnight) without My Bride so...

    So, so...

    Mixed drinks were good!

    Friday night?
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon
  • Post #375 - June 4th, 2018, 4:27 pm
    Post #375 - June 4th, 2018, 4:27 pm Post #375 - June 4th, 2018, 4:27 pm
    teatpuller wrote:The Michael's owner is the grumpiest guy.


    So true. I thought it was just me, but that guy was sullen at best.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #376 - June 4th, 2018, 6:12 pm
    Post #376 - June 4th, 2018, 6:12 pm Post #376 - June 4th, 2018, 6:12 pm
    David Hammond wrote:
    teatpuller wrote:The Michael's owner is the grumpiest guy.


    So true. I thought it was just me, but that guy was sullen at best.

    Shit - stop by the Onion Roll sometime.
  • Post #377 - June 4th, 2018, 8:13 pm
    Post #377 - June 4th, 2018, 8:13 pm Post #377 - June 4th, 2018, 8:13 pm
    Hi,

    I need to have a small work dinner next Wednesday and Heritage is doing a wine event which doesn’t really work. Other options in the area? How’s Autre Monde these days? Would Amerika’s work?

    Thanks!
  • Post #378 - June 5th, 2018, 12:15 am
    Post #378 - June 5th, 2018, 12:15 am Post #378 - June 5th, 2018, 12:15 am
    zoid wrote:
    David Hammond wrote:
    teatpuller wrote:The Michael's owner is the grumpiest guy.


    So true. I thought it was just me, but that guy was sullen at best.

    Shit - stop by the Onion Roll sometime.


    That's especially because my great-uncle died this year, who had been their paying breakfast customer M-Sa from day one 50 years ago until the week he passed (at 98). His Sunday haunt: Denny's, with even more sullen WWII vets.
  • Post #379 - June 5th, 2018, 5:43 pm
    Post #379 - June 5th, 2018, 5:43 pm Post #379 - June 5th, 2018, 5:43 pm
    I don't care if the guy is sullen, he runs a pretty decent hot dog stand.

    Any way if I were to host a work event, I'd consider Citrine. Not amazing but I've been a bunch of times and they run a professional place. No disasters for the most part. Except when they put sun dried tomatoes on my father in laws wedge salad.
    i used to milk cows
  • Post #380 - June 5th, 2018, 8:16 pm
    Post #380 - June 5th, 2018, 8:16 pm Post #380 - June 5th, 2018, 8:16 pm
    Panther in the Den wrote:Meanwhile in the old Felony Franks location...

    6427 W North Ave

    E8F84297-5D9A-446D-B1DB-C7091CEF0983.jpeg

    Surfs Up Fried Lobster, Fish, Shrimp, Wings
    http://surfsuprestaurant.com/index.html

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/o ... story.html

    For a while they had designs to move into a storefront on Madison just east of KFC but that never materialized.

    Open
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon
  • Post #381 - June 14th, 2018, 11:50 am
    Post #381 - June 14th, 2018, 11:50 am Post #381 - June 14th, 2018, 11:50 am
    FYI, I did end up at Amerika's for work last night and thought it was quite good. Two of us share 3 plates, which was plenty. They added a free amuse soup, creamy carrot and serrano. The octopus was well cooked, although the dish was heavy on the potatoes to make it substantial. Barramundi had a nice crisp skin. Skirt steak was perfectly cooked but a bit messy to eat under a bed of shoestring potatoes. Flavors were bold and interesting, although some might suggest things were consistently a bit salty. Beer and wine offerings were decent, perhaps slightly off the beaten path. Service was good and outdoor seating on Lake was a bonus on a nice night. Plates ran around $20 which seemed fair for the size.

    I'd gladly go back, and I am sure I will, but I don't know what niche this place fills in my world. It isn't necessarily a destination place I'll get a sitter for, but probably slightly too fancy / pricey to be an everyday kind of spot. The flavors are bold, so it won't suit everyone and isn't probably a family choice. So, great spot, and Oak Park is lucky to have it, I just need to figure out how to use it.
  • Post #382 - July 31st, 2018, 6:22 pm
    Post #382 - July 31st, 2018, 6:22 pm Post #382 - July 31st, 2018, 6:22 pm
    Panther in the Den wrote:
    Panther in the Den wrote:Some more annexing and probably another nothing (especially since she opened a gaming parlor just to the west...

    "Opening Soon!" "Now hiring!" Looks ready to go.

    Rachel's Cafe and Deli
    7001 Roosevelt Rd, Berwyn

    IMG_1698.JPG


    Maybe we will be surprised!

    Driving by today I noticed the cases (deli and beverage) were filled.

    Is the opening imminent?

    Wow! That was a long time coming. :)

    They opened a few weeks ago and I have been waiting for the dust to settle. Actually poked my head in the door a week or so ago to peruse the menu and look around.

    Not bad! Deli case a little small and menu simple. Subs, beefs, rice balls, pizza.

    Inquiring about the beef manufacturer it was mentioned it was made homemade at the mother restaurant and when inquiring about which...

    Nonna D's
    7109 Roosevelt Rd, Berwyn

    Should bode well as we have no complaints about them.

    Today I grabbed a bowl of minestrone to go and had to ask for a spoon, napkin and a piece of bread as I was waiting for My Bride at Jewel across the street and was going to have a snack.

    The pizzas are a rectangular 1/2 baking sheet style. Surprised as I thought it might of been the round, brick oven style that is so good down the street.

    Pizza looked a little stale. Not much business, on the weekends you can see some Family gents sitting on the patio and when I was there today a trio of cops came in.

    Waiting for my order the deli guy made a pair of Italian subs. Looked good enough, will give them a try.

    Heading out the door and next to the pizzas I spotted something odd and asked, Spaghetti Pizza. A friend of mine is a big fan so I went back and got a slice of that too and had to ask for some red sauce and parmesan cheese.

    During the semi-annual bar crawls I was talking with one of the bar owners and he mentioned that all the gambling places, bars, restaurants and deli were owned by the same guy. Different names to protect the innocent. :)

    Just another place for cash flow, I don't think that Big Guy's a short distance away has anything to worry about.
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon
  • Post #383 - August 22nd, 2018, 10:30 am
    Post #383 - August 22nd, 2018, 10:30 am Post #383 - August 22nd, 2018, 10:30 am
    EB9BCBA9-60A1-48F9-85A6-16C9BE3BF21F.jpeg

    Addis Cafe
    818 S Oak Park Ave, Oak Park

    Looks like the curse on this space has been lifted! :)

    Doing a brisk business after several years under this concept.

    Maybe not a destination but a pleasant stop if you are in the hood. Oft visited by locals on foot or commuters heading to the blue line.

    Menu still simple; waffles, bagel sandwiches; the usual suspects, scones, toast.

    Owner often on the premises, greeting patrons with a big smile and casual conversation, ready to man the register when things get hopping.

    Glad to have them around.
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon
  • Post #384 - August 22nd, 2018, 3:17 pm
    Post #384 - August 22nd, 2018, 3:17 pm Post #384 - August 22nd, 2018, 3:17 pm
    Working my way around the Kingdom...

    George's Family Restaurant
    145 S Oak Park Ave, Oak Park

    F0B4881C-64DE-4867-BE27-D51B16EB9346.jpeg Hot Beef Sandwich

    The ever popular...

    House roasted beef, homemade mashed potatoes and gravy (just a hint of tomato). Always my favorite.

    Extra bowl of gravy on the side.

    Used to be that the roast beef sandwich was #1 in the US but I think the burger has taken over.

    06CC1D0D-7CD3-4D35-A193-06B9EED7F6B6.jpeg Tender and flavorful

    73100FFB-5038-4016-86F9-8F1744CB0FBD.jpeg Bowl of Split Pea

    ... with a side of extra housemade croutons.

    Hasn’t changed much in the 40 years I’ve been coming here. I’m glad for that.
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon
  • Post #385 - August 23rd, 2018, 10:00 am
    Post #385 - August 23rd, 2018, 10:00 am Post #385 - August 23rd, 2018, 10:00 am
    Panther in the Den wrote:Menu still simple; waffles, bagel sandwiches; the usual suspects, scones, toast.

    Owner often on the premises, greeting patrons with a big smile and casual conversation, ready to man the register when things get hopping.

    Glad to have them around.


    Definitely agree. It's a nice, comfortable space with unique food made with care. My wife loves their turmeric latte.

    Things continue to hum on Harrison. Buzz Cafe has been closed for the past week or so for remodeling; according to the farmers who sell meats and eggs there on the weekends, they'll be back open on Saturday. Their new neighbors, Mora Asian Kitchen, appear to be just on the verge of opening. No idea how their food will be, but I've gotta give them their due for the work they've put into the building. It's gorgeous, and completely out of place on Harrison Street in the best way possible.
  • Post #386 - August 23rd, 2018, 12:38 pm
    Post #386 - August 23rd, 2018, 12:38 pm Post #386 - August 23rd, 2018, 12:38 pm
    ndgbucktown wrote:Mora Asian Kitchen, appear to be just on the verge of opening. No idea how their food will be...

    I’ve been watching them closely, it appears they had a soft opening maybe 2 weeks ago. Don’t know what the delay is?

    I agree, beautiful remodel and space.

    I like the menu! Some good things there. Eager to try it out.
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon
  • Post #387 - August 23rd, 2018, 12:43 pm
    Post #387 - August 23rd, 2018, 12:43 pm Post #387 - August 23rd, 2018, 12:43 pm
    Final stop on my crawl yesterday. All an easy walk from my house at Oak Park and Madison.

    Obsessed Kitchen and Bar
    800 S Oak Park Ave, Oak Park

    83362A34-448D-4F0F-ADB0-542C9EA77A1D.jpeg Their tasty Double Cheeseburger

    ... with extra caramelized onions (not so extra nor caramelized).

    Parmesan dusted fries (maybe a touch of garlic?).

    Burger cooked perfectly with a soft bun with a nice skin holding it together.

    13BAD596-2E03-49A7-B9C0-0D513923A458.jpeg ... almost lacy edges. So close. :)

    F710CBE9-4EF9-4AB2-A049-A3E78AFC11E8.jpeg ... almost medium rare. :)

    133D23E8-69C2-49AB-81FE-EA89E280A399.jpeg Their ever popular Crispy Brussel Sprouts

    A huge order for an appetizer! Enough for a meal. The fire roasted jalapeño is an awesome touch.

    Popular enough that on their anniversary a few months ago, they were complementary.

    5A9791F7-C890-4D16-A35F-F91DB6291193.jpeg A fine Old Fashioned

    They do muddle the cherries and a slice of orange would be good.

    Inside was a little slow with only a few tables occupied but they stayed busy, patio outside was doing a brisk business on this beautiful night!

    Livin’ good in the Neighborhood!
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon
  • Post #388 - August 23rd, 2018, 4:51 pm
    Post #388 - August 23rd, 2018, 4:51 pm Post #388 - August 23rd, 2018, 4:51 pm
    Ok. I know my local crawl was yesterday but this popped up in my memories and I started jonesing. ... and I had an errand that took me right by.

    Parky's Hot Dogs
    329 Harlem Ave, Forest Park

    81CE832A-25A5-42D4-85DB-B457758159E0.jpeg Hotdog, fries, tamale

    I am sure usually worried about stopping by during an off hour but the place was hopping and the food fresh.
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon
  • Post #389 - August 30th, 2018, 12:45 pm
    Post #389 - August 30th, 2018, 12:45 pm Post #389 - August 30th, 2018, 12:45 pm
    Finally have a name for the new brewpub at the corner of Lake and Austin...

    One Lake

    Per the Wednesday Home Journal Facebook announcement...
    Brewing tanks have arrived for installation this week at One Lake, the craft brewery currently under construction at the corner of Lake Street and Austin Boulevard. Another key step in the long conversion of the handsome old bank building into a multi-level beer pub.

    Good to hear about progress on this project.

    I am looking forward to sitting at the rooftop bar with a view overlooking the park along the EL tracks and with a view of downtown.
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon
  • Post #390 - September 1st, 2018, 11:12 am
    Post #390 - September 1st, 2018, 11:12 am Post #390 - September 1st, 2018, 11:12 am
    Panther in the Den wrote:
    Pasquale's
    My Way Cafe
    6905 Roosevelt Rd, Berwyn
    IMG_1675.JPG

    Paper off the windows, no signage, not open at 8:00 pm when I drove by last night.

    A row of gaming machines promently along one wall. Small counter on the other. Some tables.

    Another gaming parlor, not much cafe. Another disappointment. :( No surprise.
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon

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