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  Cafe Orchid - Top Turkish in town
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  • Cafe Orchid - Top Turkish in town

    Post #1 - February 17th, 2013, 5:39 pm
    Post #1 - February 17th, 2013, 5:39 pm Post #1 - February 17th, 2013, 5:39 pm
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    Until Cafe Orchid opened, I had resigned myself to the fact that Chicago's Turkish food scene was sub-par. Every time I visited New York, I'd make a beeline to Tacis Beyti to get my authentic Turkish fix. No longer! I've known for years that Cafe Orchid is my favorite Turkish restaurant in town, but it wasn't until I returned from a trip to Istanbul that I really appreciated how lucky we are to have it here. Some of their finest dishes wouldn't be out of place on İstiklâl Caddesi. Appetizers like the ezme and the eggplant salad pack a flavorful punch, and go great with the basket of warm, fresh Turkish bread that accompany every meal. The entrees keep the hits coming--grilled, marinated meats among my personal favorites.

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    Though some menu items receive more praise than others here on LTH, Cafe Orchid is nearly universally lauded in its main thread. Finding some choice quotes wasn't too hard. Here are some standouts, in chronological order:

    abolt: "A hidden gem…very charming family type of place."

    rmtraut: "I went to this place on a whim, and was glad I did…The food was great"

    Habibi: "Absolutely wonderful…food was great…highly recommended…I just love this place"

    crrush: "I’m happy to repeat previous praise—incredibly fresh and tasty dishes. Clearly, someone in the kitchen has a great hand for seasoning, and goes the extra mile in putting together ingredients from scratch."

    Mike G: "Good fresh renditions of some classic dishes."

    Commbrkdwn: "Just returned from an absolutely delicious meal here…I'm pretty sure I'll end up being a regular here."

    Suzy Creamcheese: "What a great meal"

    ViewsAskew: "…happy we'd found a new place that was not only able to accommodate us, but that did so seemingly as if we really mattered to them."

    skess: "Cafe Orchid has earned a solid spot in the rotation"

    Jed: "I have had many wonderful meals at Cafe Orchid…I'm amazed that Cafe Orchid doesn't get more discussion here...it's a quintessential LTH kind of place."

    turkob: "I think their strength is their meze. They do good versions of classics like lentil kofte, imam bayildi, ezme, eggplant salad and bean salad. I rarely go out to eat those food because they're easy to make and I make them at home, but if I don't want to cook and I'd like to share those foods with friends, Cafe Orchid is my first choice."

    riddlemay: "I agree with all those here who consider it a very special place…Overall, everything he did made us feel welcomed; I don't want to go overboard, but the feeling of hospitality he extended almost made me feel as if I were a guest in someone's home. Cafe Orchid--a treasure!"

    leek: "It definitely felt like we were in a restaurant in Istanbul."

    jfibro; "I had ...the Iskender last night. Once you get a perfect bite of buttery bread, tomato sauce, doner meat and yogurt together, you've handed over all control to your hand and mouth, because your brain won't be able to stop you until the plate is clean."

    boudreaulicious: "delicious, very reasonable, BYO... solid and interesting Turkish--the food is very fresh and a bit more diverse menu than the typical schwarma spot."

    It is with great pleasure that I nominate Cafe Orchid as a Great Neighborhood Restaurant.

    Cafe Orchid
    1746 W. Addison
    Chicago, IL 60613
    (773)327-3808
    http://cafeorchid.com/

    Edited to fix misspelling of one LTH user's name
    Last edited by tapler on February 18th, 2013, 8:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #2 - February 17th, 2013, 7:33 pm
    Post #2 - February 17th, 2013, 7:33 pm Post #2 - February 17th, 2013, 7:33 pm
    I would second this nom, its truly is a great neighborhood restaurant. Feel very lucky to have down the street And has always been tasty, reliable and the passion of the owner drives the success of the restaurant.
  • Post #3 - February 17th, 2013, 9:26 pm
    Post #3 - February 17th, 2013, 9:26 pm Post #3 - February 17th, 2013, 9:26 pm
    Its been a couple years, but yeah, this place is great.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #4 - February 19th, 2013, 11:12 am
    Post #4 - February 19th, 2013, 11:12 am Post #4 - February 19th, 2013, 11:12 am
    Yes, yes, yes. I've been wanting to nominate them for years. They are the Turkish (pre-renovation) Salam: that is, best in class, offering near-perfect renditions of simple, everyday classics from the mother country. I've eaten a lot of Turkish in NYC, which has a huge Turkish population, and Cafe Orchid stands with the best of the joints here. It even compares favorably to restaurants I visited in Istanbul. Just a wonderful place, a gem in an otherwise boring (culinarily) neighborhood. If this place isn't a GNR then you might as well call LTH "Yelp with more words."
    "By the fig, the olive..." Surat Al-Teen, Mecca 95:1"
  • Post #5 - February 19th, 2013, 11:59 pm
    Post #5 - February 19th, 2013, 11:59 pm Post #5 - February 19th, 2013, 11:59 pm
    I'm putting together a group on Friday March 1 to visit GNR nominees Cafe Orchid and Scofflaw. Details and sign-ups are here. Space is limited, so if you'd like to join in, please sign up asap.

    Thanks :)

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

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #6 - February 22nd, 2013, 7:45 pm
    Post #6 - February 22nd, 2013, 7:45 pm Post #6 - February 22nd, 2013, 7:45 pm
    Cafe Orchid has been my destination whenever I crave food that is just like back home. I never had anything that I didn't like there. I fully support this nomination
  • Post #7 - February 23rd, 2013, 8:11 am
    Post #7 - February 23rd, 2013, 8:11 am Post #7 - February 23rd, 2013, 8:11 am
    I definitely support Cafe Orchid as a GNR. It's got the whole package going for it. Great food and great service. Here's a post of a recent dinner I had there.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #8 - February 23rd, 2013, 1:56 pm
    Post #8 - February 23rd, 2013, 1:56 pm Post #8 - February 23rd, 2013, 1:56 pm
    as my quote above implies, fully supported. and have met turks there on multiple occassions, which is always a great sign.
  • Post #9 - March 2nd, 2013, 12:10 am
    Post #9 - March 2nd, 2013, 12:10 am Post #9 - March 2nd, 2013, 12:10 am
    Another worthy nom. I fully support, and am grateful for, Cafe Orchid, which is cheaper than flying to Istanbul (and honestly, sometimes a better tasting experience).
    "To get long" meant to make do, to make well of whatever we had; it was about having a long view, which was endurance, and a long heart, which was hope.
    - Fae Myenne Ng, Bone
  • Post #10 - March 2nd, 2013, 10:10 am
    Post #10 - March 2nd, 2013, 10:10 am Post #10 - March 2nd, 2013, 10:10 am
    I can't believe they flew under my radar for so long. Had a wonderful meal last pm that put me in a food coma. Definitely GNR worthy.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #11 - March 2nd, 2013, 5:21 pm
    Post #11 - March 2nd, 2013, 5:21 pm Post #11 - March 2nd, 2013, 5:21 pm
    Jazzfood wrote:Definitely GNR worthy.

    I agree 100%. Cafe Orchid is a great neighborhood restaurant.
    --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 #12 - March 2nd, 2013, 6:34 pm
    Post #12 - March 2nd, 2013, 6:34 pm Post #12 - March 2nd, 2013, 6:34 pm
    We found this place several years ago when we were searching out Turkish restaurants after a fabulous vacation in Istanbul. We've been there three times, none recently enough that I can describe what we ate, but it was always very delicious and the service was friendly. I would agree that it is the top Turkish in town and should be a GNR. For an additional point of comparison, last year I ate at several Turkish places in NYC, and none of them served me anything as tasty as Cafe Orchid did, nor were they warm and friendly.
  • Post #13 - March 3rd, 2013, 4:36 pm
    Post #13 - March 3rd, 2013, 4:36 pm Post #13 - March 3rd, 2013, 4:36 pm
    As I just posted here, I have much love for Cafe Orchid and enthusiastically support this nomination.

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

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

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