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NY Times on the Second City, again

NY Times on the Second City, again
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  • NY Times on the Second City, again

    Post #1 - September 28th, 2005, 5:42 am
    Post #1 - September 28th, 2005, 5:42 am Post #1 - September 28th, 2005, 5:42 am
    NY Times reports that Chicago has better Thai and Mexican than NYC. A good thing the article doesn't out LTH's GNR's. Next thing you know, they'll be chronicling beef-a-thons.
    ................

    http://travel2.nytimes.com/2005/09/25/t ... ROHUB.html

    "Gastro Hub
    By JONATHAN HAYES

    Surveying the country's restaurants in 1976, the food writer Waverley Root and his co-author, Richard de Rochemont, sniffed, "Chicago has not developed restaurants which have left their mark on history, unless you count the collective mark of its steakhouses." In 2005, eating in Chicago is almost painful: to choose one superb restaurant is to reject a dozen others..."



    Alinea 1723 North Halsted Street; (312)867-0110.

    Avec 615 West Randolph Street; (312)377-2002.

    Avenues 108 East Superior Street; (312)573-6754.

    Blackbird 619 West Randolph Street; (312)715-0708.

    Charlie Trotter's 816 West Armitage Avenue; (773)248-6228.

    Hot Doug's 3324 North California Avenue; (773)279-9550.

    Japonais 600 West Chicago Avenue; (312)822-9600.

    Le Lan 749 North Clark Street; (312)280-9100.

    Moto 945 West Fulton Market; (312)491-0058.

    Osteria Via Stato 620 North State Street; (312)642-8450.

    Tru 676 North St. Clair Street; (312)202-0001.

    Vermilion 10 West Hubbard Street; (312)527-4060.
    Chicago is my spiritual chow home
  • Post #2 - September 28th, 2005, 7:10 am
    Post #2 - September 28th, 2005, 7:10 am Post #2 - September 28th, 2005, 7:10 am
    Steve:

    Thanks for the link. Nice to see the level of awareness at the NYT is rising finally... And it's especially nice to see recognition and praise for Chefs Cantu and Bowles.

    But the last paragraph is pretty lame... (And someone should tell the guy that La Guardia is in New York; he confuses Manhattan with 'New York', not something that sounds right to my ear and I grew up there).*

    Antonius

    * For me and my New-Netherlandish Sprachgefühl, 'the city' is an acceptable synonym for Manhattan, not 'New York'.
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #3 - September 28th, 2005, 8:36 am
    Post #3 - September 28th, 2005, 8:36 am Post #3 - September 28th, 2005, 8:36 am
    Chicago is blessed with strong ethnic food - the Mexican and Thai fare is much better than in New York.


    When I first saw this thread and the restaurants listed, I was like oh no, the usual dribble. OK, I read the article and it is a bit better than I thought it would be, more of an argument for Chicago eating than a real overview.

    Still, I'll quibble:

    Loved that line I quoted above, but names, how 'bout a few names, and I mean not the usual suspects, Arun's, Frontera. I mean some of the stands at Maxwell Street, Spoon Thai, TAC or Thai Avenue for instance.

    I'm sick of Hot freakin' Dougs. Doug's a nice guy (real) and the place is cool in its way, but on the scale of coolness, the primative, ultra real, ur-stands near Maxwell Street, well that's what a writer should know if he wants to know Chicago. And if you do not want ground zero, how 'bout Superdawg or Gene and Judes. You can try to be cool or you can be cool. Which one deserves more praise?

    Oh, and screw Osteria via Stato -- and the word on the street from several sources is not too kind to Tru. Rick Tramanto may be the world's most over-rated chef...
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #4 - September 28th, 2005, 8:57 am
    Post #4 - September 28th, 2005, 8:57 am Post #4 - September 28th, 2005, 8:57 am
    It does often seem as if there must be one official famous hot dog vendor at a time, and Doug took the crown from Barry Potekin (Gold Coast Dogs). That said, if it's not exactly novel that the NYTimes discovered him yet again, his avant-garde dogs fit the point of the story in a way that a Superdawg wouldn't (indeed, it would contradict the "Chicago food has gotten more sophisticated" thing).

    My carp would be the idea that Achatz might be the next great American chef. Well, he was a great chef when I ate at Trio 3 years ago, as far as I'm concerned, so what does it take to be "the next great" one? The Times calling you that, I guess.
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  • Post #5 - September 28th, 2005, 9:02 am
    Post #5 - September 28th, 2005, 9:02 am Post #5 - September 28th, 2005, 9:02 am
    Vital Information wrote:Oh, and screw Osteria via Stato -- and the word on the street from several sources is not too kind to Tru. Rick Tramanto may be the world's most over-rated chef...


    I was really surprised to see Osteria via Stato on that list too - it stuck out like a sore thumb. I was under the impression that - after the intial wave of hype - interest in that place had died away.

    I had a profoundly uninteresting meal there just after it opened and then promptly forgot it even exisited. I sincerely hope no visitors to Chicago chose to eat there after reading that article, as I can't imagine it would impress anyone too much. But maybe I'm wrong...

    And I agree that it would be nice to see some of the great "Mexican and Thai fare" mentioned by name. Maybe next time...

    I'm not even close to being sick of Hot Dougs, although I see your point.
    Last edited by LionRock on September 28th, 2005, 9:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #6 - September 28th, 2005, 9:07 am
    Post #6 - September 28th, 2005, 9:07 am Post #6 - September 28th, 2005, 9:07 am
    To be fair, it's merely a parenthetical mention that Tramonto is involved in a less fancy place than Tru. Compare it to the amount of linage Avec gets.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #7 - September 28th, 2005, 9:08 am
    Post #7 - September 28th, 2005, 9:08 am Post #7 - September 28th, 2005, 9:08 am
    Really, in the game of "Which One Is Not like the Others?" Osteria stands out on that list. LEY publicity machine hard at work. Hot Doug's is probably there based on its previous NYT stroking. Doug could cash in and franchise thirty watered-down versions of his place throughout the Chicago area. He chooses not to, and for that, he deserves all the love he gets...misdirected as it occasionally may be.
  • Post #8 - September 28th, 2005, 9:12 am
    Post #8 - September 28th, 2005, 9:12 am Post #8 - September 28th, 2005, 9:12 am
    CoolerbytheLake wrote:Hot Doug's is probably there based on its previous NYT stroking....


    As it says in the article, I think it's also there because a lot of the young chefs mentioned in the article eat there. I've spotted Chef Cantu there a couple of times, and I know that Chef Bowles eats there too (I believe he reported this fact in this very forum).
  • Post #9 - September 28th, 2005, 9:20 am
    Post #9 - September 28th, 2005, 9:20 am Post #9 - September 28th, 2005, 9:20 am
    Personally, I wish they would move on to Superdawg from Hot Doug's. Everytime I go by Doug's these days, there is a line of 30+ people out the door waiting to get in.

    It's a good Hot Dog stand. But, it ain't good enough for that kind of wait.

    I was going to open my own place called Hot Willie's. But, that sounds like something you might have on a Saturday morning after drinking a lot of draft beer.
  • Post #10 - September 28th, 2005, 9:47 am
    Post #10 - September 28th, 2005, 9:47 am Post #10 - September 28th, 2005, 9:47 am
    LionRock wrote: I've spotted Chef Cantu there a couple of times, and I know that Chef Bowles eats there too (I believe he reported this fact in this very forum).


    It was Cantu who mentioned he was bringing his entire kitchen staff over to Hot Doug's for a field trip, I believe..
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #11 - September 28th, 2005, 9:51 am
    Post #11 - September 28th, 2005, 9:51 am Post #11 - September 28th, 2005, 9:51 am
    YourPalWill wrote:Personally, I wish they would move on to Superdawg from Hot Doug's. Everytime I go by Doug's these days, there is a line of 30+ people out the door waiting to get in.

    It's a good Hot Dog stand. But, it ain't good enough for that kind of wait.

    I was going to open my own place called Hot Willie's. But, that sounds like something you might have on a Saturday morning after drinking a lot of draft beer.


    Go on a non-friday weekday after 2pm. Virtually no line, sometimes none at all. That's how I manage to make it from my bucktown office to Doug's and back (dining in) in an hour.

    I've often thought someone could do pretty good business by opening up a doug's competitor in, say, Greektown, serving a menu similar to his but with the addition of a lot more regional specialties: a real coney island, a real new york street vendor dog, a real gray's papaya, something a la pink's, et cetera.

    At the very least it would finally shut up all the people who just want a damned new york style hot dog.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #12 - September 28th, 2005, 10:38 am
    Post #12 - September 28th, 2005, 10:38 am Post #12 - September 28th, 2005, 10:38 am
    When Mr. Hayes spoke to me (after he was done eating his meal at Avenues), he asked what place some of the local Chefs like to go. I mentioned a list of names, with Hot Dougs being one of them. He shot me a wide grin and said that a lot of the chefs he spoke with for the article had mentioned the same place.

    ChefGEB
  • Post #13 - September 28th, 2005, 10:45 am
    Post #13 - September 28th, 2005, 10:45 am Post #13 - September 28th, 2005, 10:45 am
    Thanks chef! What, if you can satisfy our curiosity, were some of the others?
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #14 - September 28th, 2005, 11:47 am
    Post #14 - September 28th, 2005, 11:47 am Post #14 - September 28th, 2005, 11:47 am
    Does anyone else agree that Vermilion is worth the mention?

    My one experience there involved over-priced, mediocre food, served by a pretentious, hipster-wanna-be staff.

    Is it worth another shot?
  • Post #15 - September 28th, 2005, 12:10 pm
    Post #15 - September 28th, 2005, 12:10 pm Post #15 - September 28th, 2005, 12:10 pm
    Ralph Wiggum wrote:Does anyone else agree that Vermilion is worth the mention?

    My one experience there involved over-priced, mediocre food, served by a pretentious, hipster-wanna-be staff.

    Is it worth another shot?


    I agree with you, Ralph, and not the NYTimes. A few months after their opening, my wife and I went there for Valentine's day, feeling that we'd been marketed to effectively (I'm of Pakistani origin, she's of PR/Domincan extraction).

    But, it was a poor and expensive experience. Shame on us for going out for Valentine's day, but it was a definitely a one-trial experience for us. The upside is that it was bad enough that we've promised ourselves to cook at home together for V-day, etc. -- to great ends so far.

    Incidentally, I tried twice two post a non-caustic negative review on Metromix (before I knew about LTH), but it never got posted.

    Zee
  • Post #16 - September 28th, 2005, 12:38 pm
    Post #16 - September 28th, 2005, 12:38 pm Post #16 - September 28th, 2005, 12:38 pm
    Zeeshan wrote:
    I agree with you, Ralph, and not the NYTimes. A few months after their opening, my wife and I went there for Valentine's day, feeling that we'd been marketed to effectively (I'm of Pakistani origin, she's of PR/Domincan extraction).


    But at least you sound like the ideal Vermillion demographic!
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #17 - September 28th, 2005, 5:17 pm
    Post #17 - September 28th, 2005, 5:17 pm Post #17 - September 28th, 2005, 5:17 pm
    Antonius wrote:Steve:

    Thanks for the link. Nice to see the level of awareness at the NYT is rising finally... And it's especially nice to see recognition and praise for Chefs Cantu and Bowles.

    But the last paragraph is pretty lame... (And someone should tell the guy that La Guardia is in New York; he confuses Manhattan with 'New York', not something that sounds right to my ear and I grew up there).*

    Antonius

    * For me and my New-Netherlandish Sprachgefühl, 'the city' is an acceptable synonym for Manhattan, not 'New York'.


    For what it's worth, my grandmother, a lifelong Brooklynite (b. Bushwick, Mar. 14 1912 d. Sheepshead Bay June 25 2001) usually referred to trips to Manhattan as going to "New York." Maybe the differentiation, to her and other Brooklynites of her era (for whom a trip to Manhattan from the reaches of Southern Brooklyn, even in the age of the express subway, meant a major, minimum 2 hour travel-time committment) was made between counties and not cities, per se. Of course, Antonius, I agree that this particular writer is showing his Manhattan-centric colors by casually glossing over Queens as he does (and thereby ignoring the wealth of fantastic Thai, Mexican, and dozens of other ethnic eatieries which lie within that most gloriously un-hip of boroughs). The last sentence of the article displays an attitude which only the Times would... or be able to get away with.

    Reb
  • Post #18 - September 28th, 2005, 6:06 pm
    Post #18 - September 28th, 2005, 6:06 pm Post #18 - September 28th, 2005, 6:06 pm
    But Manhattan is also New York "County", maybe that's what they both meant.

    :P
    Last edited by Vital Information on September 28th, 2005, 8:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #19 - September 28th, 2005, 7:31 pm
    Post #19 - September 28th, 2005, 7:31 pm Post #19 - September 28th, 2005, 7:31 pm
    Vital Information wrote:But Manhattan is also New York "County", maybe that's what they both meant.


    VI:

    I don’t think that’s it; people don’t worry much about the names of the counties in New York City. Heck, lots of people don’t even know them.

    hungryrabbi wrote:For what it's worth, my grandmother, a lifelong Brooklynite (b. Bushwick, Mar. 14 1912 d. Sheepshead Bay June 25 2001) usually referred to trips to Manhattan as going to "New York."


    For Brooklyn natives from that era, definitely; Brooklyn had only recently become a part of New York. When my grandfather was born there, it still was an independent city and one of the larger ones in the US. So what you say of your grandmother's usage I don't find surprising. In fact, my mother, also a native of Brooklyn, grew up using “New York” as a synonym for “Manhattan” in familiar settings. But the setting here is not familiar, the speaker (actually ‘writer’) is surely not an old-timer from Brooklyn or early post-Anschluß-mit-New-York Brooklyn, and especially in the combination with the involvement of a place in Queens, I find this "from La Guardia to New York", at the very least, extremely odd sounding.

    But maybe now my own usage is dated and it’s become normal for people outside of Brooklyn to use that expression too, including folks who aren’t even from the area. But I also wonder whether there’s a little bit of the hyper-New-Yorkism thing going on here.

    But who cares anyway... it’s a minor point...

    Anyway, I’m looking forward to getting back one of these days to the city.

    Antonius

    P.S. I do believe Jonathan Hayes is not a native of New York (or Brooklyn), though he’s been there awhile. And he’s a good writer too, judging from a few things I’ve seen.
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #20 - September 28th, 2005, 7:37 pm
    Post #20 - September 28th, 2005, 7:37 pm Post #20 - September 28th, 2005, 7:37 pm
    But I also wonder whether there’s a little bit of the hyper-New-Yorkism thing going on here.


    Do people there have that attitude? I never noticed.

    Now I have to go answer some questions on Chowhound about where to find a market like Fairway in New York.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.

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