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    Post #1 - February 10th, 2015, 12:56 pm
    Post #1 - February 10th, 2015, 12:56 pm Post #1 - February 10th, 2015, 12:56 pm
    I grew up a few blocks away from Cross-Rhodes in Evanston and it featured prominently in my family's meal rotation back then. It still does today. I'm excited to nominate it for a Great Neighborhood Restaurant, though it has been a great neighborhood restaurant for a very long time.

    Cross~Rhodes is a family-style Greek-American restaurant. The killer dish is the gyros with Greek fries. More accurately, the killer dish is Greek fries with Gryos. Or the Greek fries with skirt steak. Or the Greek fries with Pastitsio. Or the Greek fries with an old shoe. Large steak fries, fried until they are crispy, and then served in a white wine, lemon, and herb dressing. They are delicious. The standard order in our house also includes a Greek salad and Greek chicken, which is covered in the same white wine dressing. Yes, the chicken is generally a bit overcooked. I can't explain why I still like it very much.

    Here are some examples of LTH love for Cross~Rhodes:

    Cross-Rhodes: An Old Favorite in Evanston

    Eva ~ "Cross-Rhodes is a family standard at our house."

    AaronSinger ~ "...I really like the country-style pita with fries in the sandwich."

    leek ~ "My go-to order from them (esp when I lived DIRECTLY behind them) was always a greek salad (sometimes with chicken) and a spanakopita. So good. Miss it like crazy :("

    chitrader ~ "Loved the fries with the oil & lemon sauce, were they called Greek fries? Back in the Stone Age (87-91) of Evanston dining, a poor student like myself really appreciated Cross-Rhodes."

    Good gyros fast

    nr706 ~ "Great carryout gyros"

    montwyn ~ "I have one rule when it comes to ordering gyros, the establishment must have a minimum of two spits running; anything less than two spits and the quality/turnover of gryos meat is always questionable. Both Cross-Rhodes & Parkside meet this critical criteria."

    brotine ~ "It's gotta be Cross-Rhodes! Absolutely addictive lemon-seasoned fries -- diets be damned."

    Cathy2 ~ "Overall this was a very fresh tasting Gyro with meat crust and juicy having been cut fresh from the cone....The Greek fries, highly touted by Brotine, were a big hit."

    Cross~Rhodes also has an excellent burger, as noted in these threads:

    Burgers, Burgers

    d4v3 ~ "For years, Cross Rhodes has served one of my favorite burgers. They are not huge and they don't come with a lot of options (just lettuce, tomato, onion and a pickle spear). They are just good basic char-grilled burgers. I like my burgers rare, which can be a pretty risky proposition. I trust Cross-Rhodes to always serve absolutely fresh top quality ground beef. The owner takes great pride in the quality of his burgers and has the preparation down to a science. His cooks can make a rare burger that is perfect, charred on the outside and still bright red on the interior. The only negatives are the lack of bread choices and no spicy mustard, but that fits the owner's philosophy of delivering a simple burger made with fresh ingredients and perfectly cooked to order."

    G Wiv ~ "... I had a Cross Rhodes burger for lunch yesterday. I'd agree, a very good burger, beefy flavor, bit of char, done dead-on to my med-rare specs and good value.

    Why isn't Chicago a GREAT hamburger town?

    ChgoMike ~ "Anyhow, I made my way to Cross Rhodes in Evanston today, a short walk from my office. I'm surprised it hasn't been mentioned here, yet. These Charburgers are top-notch in my book. Hand made, charred, properly cooked to order, and a fine half-pound slab-o-meat. Lettuce, raw onion, tomato and pickle spear on the side. I do regret not having a camera with me - I promise to return soon for pics if anyone doubts my sincerity. ... Below my Charburger this day were greek fries. One could order rice, or dry fries... but don't bother. The greek fries are well fried potatoes that are super crispy, and then lightly covered with a bit of greek salad dressing - essentially a mix of what I believe to be olive oil and red wine vinegar. You might think that this would make the fries soggy. Nope. They're still crispy on the outside, but the inside is soft, almost a mashed potato consistency. Go ahead - imagine mashed potatoes inside a container of a crispy potato. Mmmmm."

    mrbarolo ~ "On the topic of the Cross-Rhodes burger: I completely agree that it is a fine rendition, made distinctive by the addition of a slab of tangy feta, if you like, and put right over the top by the lovely, crispy, lemony, greek fries."

    Finally, there is a thread devoted to reminiceses about Jeff Russell, the founder, who passed away in 2012.

    Cross~Rhodes
    913 Chicago Avenue
    Evanston, IL 60202
    (847) 475-4475
    http://crossrhodes.biz/
    Mon - Thurs: 11:30am - 9:30pm
    Fri - Sat: 11:30am - 10:00pm
    Sun: 4:00pm - 9:00pm
    Cash only.
  • Post #2 - February 10th, 2015, 2:04 pm
    Post #2 - February 10th, 2015, 2:04 pm Post #2 - February 10th, 2015, 2:04 pm
    Yes to GNR for Cross-Rhodes!

    Consistently fine food? Check: especially the gyros, the burgers (special shout-out for the feta burger), and, of course, the Greek fries.
    Friendly, efficient service? Check.
    A comfortable neighborhood place that welcomes everyone? Check.

    Cross-Rhodes is a place that keeps on doing well what it's so good at.
  • Post #3 - February 10th, 2015, 2:16 pm
    Post #3 - February 10th, 2015, 2:16 pm Post #3 - February 10th, 2015, 2:16 pm
    Definite support for Cross-Rhodes. Should also note it's a short walk (a block or less) to FEW distillery and Sketchbook Brewing.
  • Post #4 - February 10th, 2015, 5:03 pm
    Post #4 - February 10th, 2015, 5:03 pm Post #4 - February 10th, 2015, 5:03 pm
    Cross-Rhodes has been a family favorite since shortly after it opened. All of the above praise is well earned.

    On a special note: 1) the salads are always fresh, even with winter tomatoes; 2) a great place to get taramasalata; 3) excellent burgers. The (older) redecoration and (the more recent) menu additions raised C-R to a higher level. And with very reasonable prices, too.

    Definitely worthy of a GNR -- and we still miss Jeff and his can't-be-told-in-mixed-company jokes.
  • Post #5 - February 10th, 2015, 5:53 pm
    Post #5 - February 10th, 2015, 5:53 pm Post #5 - February 10th, 2015, 5:53 pm
    Yes! Yes! Yes!
    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 #6 - February 10th, 2015, 6:58 pm
    Post #6 - February 10th, 2015, 6:58 pm Post #6 - February 10th, 2015, 6:58 pm
    I strongly support this. CR is the very definition of a GNR. I've been eating their gyros with fries on the bottom since the mid 80's. Jeff was a great friend and is sorely missed. It's wonderful to see his work continuing.
  • Post #7 - February 11th, 2015, 1:01 am
    Post #7 - February 11th, 2015, 1:01 am Post #7 - February 11th, 2015, 1:01 am
    I will add my vote for Cross-Rhodes!

    Oddly, I've been going there all my life, but have never ordered a burger.
  • Post #8 - February 11th, 2015, 12:33 pm
    Post #8 - February 11th, 2015, 12:33 pm Post #8 - February 11th, 2015, 12:33 pm
    Great call. Can't believe it isn't already on the list. Good lord, I love those fries.
  • Post #9 - February 12th, 2015, 1:51 am
    Post #9 - February 12th, 2015, 1:51 am Post #9 - February 12th, 2015, 1:51 am
    I ate there tonight as I often do when in Evanston. I support it on the basis of the fries and salad and service. The avgolemono is an unfortunate weak link in my extensive survey I will never have time to post. I think Kuni's around the corner is just as worthy in this category of worn, lived-in, poorly ventilated, no bullshit places of the Ginza (RIP) ilk. Cross-Rhodes offers quite a value as well, and compares favorably to the Athenian Room and the diviest Greektown places and makes much more of a commitment to brand, quality, and consistency than the Greek-run diner places like Salonica in Hyde Park. It has that extra unexplainable something Darren hinted at. I'm happy to get behind it.
  • Post #10 - February 14th, 2015, 9:01 am
    Post #10 - February 14th, 2015, 9:01 am Post #10 - February 14th, 2015, 9:01 am
    This is a tough one for me. I nominated Athenian Room and it wasn't deemed fit. I don't go to Cross Rhodes bc Athenian Room is virtually the same and closer to me, not to mention attached to one of my old time watering holes. But those fries are fire.

    Santander wrote:The avgolemono is an unfortunate weak link in my extensive survey I will never have time to post.


    That's a not a screaming endorsement to me. If I sincerely love a place, I'll post about it. We're all busy.
  • Post #11 - February 16th, 2015, 5:04 pm
    Post #11 - February 16th, 2015, 5:04 pm Post #11 - February 16th, 2015, 5:04 pm
    I'll add my support for this nomination. It's a place that everyone in Evanston knows about and takes for granted, but they just keep doing what they do, and doing it extremely well. Good choice. I just wish it could have been awarded when Jeff was still around.
  • Post #12 - February 16th, 2015, 5:26 pm
    Post #12 - February 16th, 2015, 5:26 pm Post #12 - February 16th, 2015, 5:26 pm
    The Greek Fries alone make this worthy of GNR status. The fact that I've been eating their Chicken Greek Style with Greek Fries for the past 33 years suggests consistency above and beyond the call of duty.

    A resounding YES!
  • Post #13 - February 17th, 2015, 12:40 pm
    Post #13 - February 17th, 2015, 12:40 pm Post #13 - February 17th, 2015, 12:40 pm
    Happy to support this nomination. We moved to Evanston almost 30 years ago and were pleased to find ourselves a short walk from Cross-Rhodes, which delighted us by being so similar to and as good as our beloved Athenian Room in Chicago.

    Cross-Rhodes has been a go-to place for us since, even after we moved out of Evanston. My personal favorite is the chicken with Greek fries, though we've been pleased with everything we've tried. In the summer I'll sometimes get a salad with gyros. My wife always orders Mousaka. I'm rarely in the mood for hamburger, but theirs is excellent. It was my late mother's favorite for years.

    We've never had a bad meal at Cross-Rhodes. It amazes me how they can be so consistently good.

    Cross-Rhodes is a wonderful example of what a great neighborhood restaurant should be.
    Where there’s smoke, there may be salmon.
  • Post #14 - February 24th, 2015, 7:22 pm
    Post #14 - February 24th, 2015, 7:22 pm Post #14 - February 24th, 2015, 7:22 pm
    We've been eating here since they opened. You never go there without seeing someone you know and the food is consistent and good. Their gyros, burgers and fries are definitely worth seeking this place out for. The waitstaff is always friendly and welcoming and many stick around for a long time. I definitely endorse Cross Rhodes as a GNR.
  • Post #15 - March 14th, 2015, 9:39 am
    Post #15 - March 14th, 2015, 9:39 am Post #15 - March 14th, 2015, 9:39 am
    Sorry folks, I dont share the love for this place. Ive lived in the neighborhood for decades and have eaten there my share of times. Nothing special. Typical Greek diner Chicago is full of them. The food all comes off a GFS or Sysco truck. Those Greek fries are just thick cut institutional frozen food service fries with dressing on them what is the big deal? Yeah, Jeff was a character and it is definitely a family friendly place, but really, people, a Great Neighborhood Restaurant? Not even close.
  • Post #16 - March 16th, 2015, 10:01 pm
    Post #16 - March 16th, 2015, 10:01 pm Post #16 - March 16th, 2015, 10:01 pm
    I absolutely support this great nomination. As I just posted in the main thread, I had a lunch here today that really impressed me. The enjoyment extended far beyond nostalgia value. They are (still) putting out some might fine, inexpensive food here. As someone who used to eat at C~R twice a week, I wondered if it would be as good as I remembered. It was every bit as good, if not better.

    Cross~Rhodes . . . GNR for sure!

    =R=
    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

    I find it a matter of note that in New York or Terre Haute, school cookies always seem to be oatmeal --Mr. French
  • Post #17 - March 16th, 2015, 10:42 pm
    Post #17 - March 16th, 2015, 10:42 pm Post #17 - March 16th, 2015, 10:42 pm
    I've been to Cross-Rhodes many times, but I almost always stick to my tried and true: gyros and Greek fries. Today, I was very pleasantly surprised by how much I liked the burger. Not that it matters all that much though, as I agree with Darren that Cross-Rhodes is all about those fries. I don't care that they are frozen, food service fries. Some kind of Fryolater sorcery and that tangy, herby dressing turn them into something special. Sometimes it's hard to stop myself from getting a second order for dessert.

    Love this nomination. Love Cross-Rhodes.
    --Rich
    I don't know what you think about dinner, but there must be a relation between the breakfast and the happiness. --Cemal Süreyya

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