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More midnight meanderings

More midnight meanderings
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  • How often do you eat full meals out after midnight?
    Once a week or more
    9%
    9
    Every few weeks
    14%
    15
    Every few months
    14%
    15
    Once or twice a year
    26%
    27
    Never
    37%
    39
    Total votes : 105
  • More midnight meanderings

    Post #1 - August 13th, 2004, 9:56 pm
    Post #1 - August 13th, 2004, 9:56 pm Post #1 - August 13th, 2004, 9:56 pm
    Midnight meanderings

    In April, I wrote the following, which seems to have disappeared from the site where I posted it, along with a good chunk of other posts from that period. So that gives me an excuse to post it here, with an update.

      Although we are inveterate night owls, midnight meals often become a challenge for our household. Such late-night expeditions nearly always involve a contest between my ability to come up with appealing suggestions and Himself's desire to go home, raid the fridge and put his feet up. (Since the concept of a hunk of good cheese at home nearly always sounds better to him, in the wee hours, than, say, a hot dinner at an all-night Grecian diner, my urge for a late-night restaurant meal often requires stretches of ingenuity.) On a recent Friday, I had hopes of trying somewhere new....

      We started out in Bucktown, but we've been to nearly all the late-night options there, so we headed south to 1492 Tapas Bar in River North, which someone had told me was open late. Untrue. The bar was still serving at midnight, but the kitchen had closed.

      With a fridge full of fine cheese looming, I prepared to abandon novelty and suggested the familiar and reliable 3rd Coast Cafe on the Gold Coast, but parking proved problematic, as it so often does in that neighborhood. There's a somewhat pricey pay lot down the street, but we were feeling cheap.

      So we headed northward. For one reason or another, we had yet to eat at River Kwai, a lauded Lake View dive serving large portions of Asian fare and liters of Thai coffee. Was tonight the night? It was not. Every seat in the tiny, decrepit place was full and when we made our way to the counter, a sign apologized for poor service, saying a family member was hospitalized. A cook warned that there were many orders and a long wait ahead of us. "Another time," we said.

      The cheese loomed larger. Somewhat desperately, I suggested Middle Eastern. "Where?" he said. "Albany Park," I said. As this could be said to be on our way home, he agreed to a look-see at George's Kabab. A brief furor ensued when I realized I wasn't certain whether we wanted George's Kabab, on Lawrence, or George's King Kabab, around the corner on Kedzie, both of which were still open at 1 in the morning. We agreed that the Lawrence Avenue restaurant looked a little more inviting. (I do not know what, if any, relationship exists between these establishments.)

      Entering, we found a large, plain storefront with a long counter, a number of tables, a few incongruous pictures on the walls and a large-screen TV tuned to Al Jazeera. Most of the few other customers -- all male, and with the appearance of cab drivers -- were avidly watching the news. A pair played pool at a table behind a partition. Later, a young couple came in and sat at the table next to ours.

      A pretty, Asian waitress brought us menus. Dinners, she explained, came with "stew"; I chose eggplant, Himself asked for the cauliflower. What came were substantial bowls of hearty and delicious soup with large chunks of savory stewed vegetables. We also received large mixed salads, topped with piquant pickles, and a basket of flat oval rolls. As a starter, we ordered hummus, which was smooth, flavorful and came with large, thin, irregularly shaped, soft flatbreads for scooping.

      I had ordered what was listed on the menu as a half chicken, and received a whole Cornish hen, flattened and nicely grilled, plus a huge mound of yellow rice. Himself got the shawarma, a big plate of juicy, well-seasoned morsels of meat, ringed around a similar rice mountain. The waitress, friendly and helpful, offered to bring me a knife for my poultry, but got sidetracked and never managed to bring it. It was no hardship to eat with fork and fingers. Each meal came to $8.

      Definitely a triumph over cheese.

      1492 Tapas Bar
      312/867-1492
      42 E. Superior St.
      Chicago
      11 a.m.-11 p.m. Su-Th; -12 a.m. F-Sa

      3rd Coast Cafe
      312/649-0730
      http://www.3rdcoastcafe.com
      1260 N. Dearborn St.
      Chicago, IL 60610
      7 a.m.-2 a.m. M-Th; -4 a.m. F;
      8 a.m.-4 a.m. Sa; -2 a.m. Su

      River Kwai II
      773/472-1013
      1650 W. Belmont Ave.
      Chicago, IL 60657
      10 p.m.-6 a.m. W-Su (variable: "If no one shows up by 11 p.m., go home.")
      (NOW 11 p.m.-6 a.m.; still variable)

      George's King Kabab
      773/588-0866
      4714 N. Kedzie Ave.
      Chicago
      (CLOSED)

      George's Kabab
      773/588-1800
      3216 W. Lawrence Ave.
      Chicago, IL 60625
      24 hours 7 days


      Good night,

      LAZ
    More meanderings

    We still have yet to eat at River Kwai, though we tried again the other night. On our previous attempt, I had noted that they opened at 10 p.m., more or less. A hand-lettered sign in the window read, "If nobody shows up by 11 p.m., go home." Pulling up in front at about 10:40, we found the place shut, and saw several men sitting on the ground outside. So we resolved to wait.

    A few more men joined those on the sidewalk as we waited in our car. At 10:50 there were still no signs of life in the restaurant. "I keep watching the light inside to see if anyone walks in front of it," Himself complained, "but nobody has."

    A couple of the men in front walked off. Himself wanted to go elsewhere, too. But then they came back. "Checking on somewhere else?" I speculated.

    "Gone around the corner to piss in the alley," Himself opined.

    A taxicab pulled up and five guys got out. They all seemed to know the guys already out there. At this point, I wondered whether we should get out of the car, so as to claim a place in line. Himself said we should wait.

    A few more men came up, but at 10:59, there was still nobody inside the restaurant. The cluster milling around outside the place moved, though, so that I could see a new cardboard sign giving the River Kwai hours as 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. But nobody came at 11 or at 11:05. At 11:10, we finally left; I had a line on another Asian restaurant, Edo Sushi, supposedly open till midnight. But alas, it was not.

    Where now? There were lots of late-night taquerias around, but I'd had Mexican for lunch. Neither of us wanted Grecian-diner fare. Finally I remembered San Soo Gab San on Western.

    This Korean spot is by no means a new discovery: Walk inside and you'll see a large Tribune spread featuring the restaurant, with photos of our own VI and Rene G eating there in 2002. Wooden nooks conceal the other diners from your view, but the savory scents of char-grilled foods rise in the air. Shown to our own nook, we ordered gun mando, chap chae and -- with some persuasion on my part, bulgogi to grill for two. (Persuasion required because Himself had wanted bibim nyaeng myun but the grill dishes are only served for a minimum of two people.)

    The waitress brings our plump, half-moon-shaped mandu, which prove to be the potsticker-style, nicely pan-fried, with their soy-vinegar-onion sauce. A good start. Then comes the chap chae, a really superior version: garlicky cellophane noodles with slivers of carrot, onion and spinach and bits of marinated beef. This is a very large portion, belying the "appetizer" label above it on the menu.

    Then she returns with a tray laden with 18 kinds of banchan -- 18! I counted -- various vegetables and pickles and even oysters, yet oddly, no cabbage-based kimchi. There is an excellent radish version, however, and several other things that I would call kimchi, and a number of things besides that which Himself believes should be classed as kimchi and we begin to argue about the definition of kimchi and resolve to ask the waitress as to which she calls kimchi, but fail to do so. I try to order tea when she brings a pitcher of ice water, but I'm told there isn't any.

    A beefy Mexican bus boy turns up with a pot full of burning charcoal and sets it into a hole in our table's center and the waitress returns with a platter full of thinly sliced beef in marinade, a plate full of lettuce leaves, a bowl of slivered green onion and a dish containing a thick and tasty miso-based sauce and slices of raw garlic, plus hot white rice. It's a little tricky to spread the paper-thin slices of raw meat out on the grill she's brought to cover the fire pot, but we manage, and the beef is very good, rolled into the lettuce with its accouterments.

    It's fairly busy at 1 a.m. It's hard to tell who our fellow diners are, but with shameless eavesdropping and some judicious peering I'm able to tell that one table is a bunch of teen-agers, doing something a little different to with their Korean-American friend. A couple of tables appear to be 20-something Korean Americans, speaking unaccented English. Another table contains older men, speaking in Korean. (That "hamneeda" suffix is unmistakable, once you get used to hearing it.) Everything is relatively calm and quiet, despite the busy atmosphere.

    What a contrast from last night's midnight meal, at the Omega in Niles. We arrived there from Lincolnwood, after a typical session of fits and starts. A grill on Lehigh, said to be 24 hours, no longer exists. Caponie's, celebrated on this board, is open till 1 a.m. only on weekends; we discovered they close at 11:30 during the week.

    Hence the Omega, which is on the way home, and therefore a regular stop. The Omega is a big, boisterous, 24-hour Grecian diner. I believe it is part of a small Midwestern chain. A huge pastry case filled with gorgeous pastries dominates the view when you enter the place (though the taste seldom measures up to the looks). There's a nice basketful of breads with every meal. The coffee is weak, old-fashioned American-style, but drinkable. On this occasion, Himself has the corned beef sandwich, which he pronounces OK. It's at least thick and full of meat. I order the pork chop sandwich -- two thin grilled chops on toast, with a mound of pretty good steak fries. It's kind of bland, but OK. The curry chicken rice soup that preceded it was very good, however.

    The restaurant is full of teen-agers, for whom, one gathers, this is a hangout. The atmosphere is raucous, even in the nonsmoking section. Several of the boys are eating with their hats on. One young man has removed his shoes, and placed his bare feet on either side of his girlfriend on the banquette across from him. From where I sit, I can see him curling and uncurling his toes, and wonder what she's doing with her feet. In the booth behind ours, another youth is engaged in building a sculpture from rolls and breadsticks. We can hear his tablemates discussing its anatomical correctness.

    Still, these are clean-cut kids, for all that one boy seems to have adopted his pointed sideburns and beatnik tuft from old reruns of the "The Lives and Loves of Dobie Gillis" and another wears a two-tone rayon shirt that appeared to be a relic of the "Jackie Gleason Show." (Are the '50s back? Again?)

    This is as opposed to the teens who spend their nights at the only 24-hour restaurant in our neighborhood, the Mount Prospect Steak 'n Shake, which appears to be Slacker Central. They typically have multiple piercings and what looks like prison tattoos, the waitstaff not excepted. On our last visit, I said to Himself, "Maybe we're too old to eat here."

    So -- where do you go for meals after midnight?


    Edo Sushi
    2407 N. Clark St.
    773/281-3131
    Dinner, 4:40-9:45 p.m. Su-M, W-Th; -10:45 p.m. F; -10:15 p.m. Sa
    Lunch, 12-3 p.m. Su

    San Soo Gab San
    5247 N. Western Ave., Chicago
    773/334-1589
    10 a.m. to 6 a.m. daily

    Caponie's Trattoria
    3350 N. Harlem Ave., Chicago
    773/804-9024
    11 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Th-Th; -1 a.m. F-Sa

    Omega
    9100 W. Golf Road, Niles
    847/296-7777
    24 hours 7 days

    Steak 'n Shake
    201 E. Euclid Ave, Mount Prospect
    847/368-9122
    24 hours 7 days
    Last edited by LAZ on August 21st, 2004, 2:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #2 - August 14th, 2004, 11:01 am
    Post #2 - August 14th, 2004, 11:01 am Post #2 - August 14th, 2004, 11:01 am
    LAZ,

    I don't go out for meals late-night as much as I used to, but will still occasionally, especially when i have certain friends in town. I do try to keep aware of what my options are. There are quite a few more than what you've touched on so far.

    Similar somewhat in atmosphere to George's that you mentioned are a number of Pakistani and Indian cabbie joints around chicago and orleans as well as on devon. For a great rundown of the downtown ones, you should look up ReneG's post on chowhound

    Chicago and Orleans

    Baba's Palace
    chicago & orleans
    Chicago
    (312) 329-9499

    Zaiqa Indian Restaurant
    858 N Orleans
    Chicago
    (312) 280-6807

    Kababish
    939 N Orleans
    Chicago
    (312) 642-8622

    pakizah

    here are a couple on devon, there are a few more including gaseeta khan, shirazi grill-and chill, and I think usmaniya as well

    Delhi Darbar Kabob House
    6403 N. California Ave
    Chicago
    (773) 338-1818

    Ghareeb Nawaz
    2032 W Devon
    Chicago
    (773) 761-5300

    Another Korean late night restaurant which many like besides san soo is one most folks call "korean restaurant" A korean friend once gave me the actual name

    Hanguk Gwan (Korean Restaurant)
    2659 W. Lawrence Ave.
    Chicago
    (773) 878-2095

    Many Chinatown restaurants stay open late, some like triple crown are especially noted for the late night menus

    Triple Crown Seafood
    211 W 22nd Place
    Chicago
    (312) 791-0788

    There are also quite a few mexcian spots around town that are open very late here are a few

    Atotonilco (they may have the best al pastor I have had in the city)
    3916 W. 26th St.
    Chicago
    (773) 762-3380


    Birriria Huentitlan
    4019 W North
    North & Pulaski
    Chicago
    (773) 276-0768

    Chorritos
    6404 N. Clark
    Chicago
    (773) 381-0902

    I think most of these restaurants have been commented upon either here or on chowhound, so if you're willing to do a little searching you can find out quite a bit more about each of these.

    worst comes to worst, you have a lot of options to try.
  • Post #3 - August 14th, 2004, 12:21 pm
    Post #3 - August 14th, 2004, 12:21 pm Post #3 - August 14th, 2004, 12:21 pm
    I very rarely eat out super-late nowadays. I've always had problems waking up after less than 8 hours of sleep, and a 9-5 job means I have to be in bed before midnight to get there on time.

    I do have one place to add to the list, though, Pequod's Pizza in Lincoln Park. They're open until 2am monday through friday, 3am saturday, and midnight on sunday.

    Great pizza, whether you get thin, pan, or deep dish, and the caramelized cheese on the crust of the pan/deep dish pies is one of my guiltiest pleasures.

    When I was there a few months ago at 1:30am on a weeknight, the place was pretty empty except for a table of what looked to be friends of the staff playing poker. I suspect they were still doing a decent delivery business, though.

    -ed

    Pequod's Pizzeria
    2207 N Clybourn Ave
    Chicago, IL 60614
    (773) 327-1512
    Open Hours: 11am-2am Mon-Fri; noon-3am Sat; noon-midnight Sun
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #4 - August 14th, 2004, 8:23 pm
    Post #4 - August 14th, 2004, 8:23 pm Post #4 - August 14th, 2004, 8:23 pm
    it's nothing fancy....but it's friendly and it never closes

    the white palace grill at roosevelt and canal

    perfect poached eggs


    eve
  • Post #5 - August 14th, 2004, 8:38 pm
    Post #5 - August 14th, 2004, 8:38 pm Post #5 - August 14th, 2004, 8:38 pm
    it's nothing fancy....but it's friendly and it never closes

    the white palace grill at roosevelt and canal


    Pixie!

    Did you go there before White Palace was overhauled and I believe changed owners several years ago? It is a spiffier place today than ever before, even approaching fancy when compared to it's earthier earlier legacy.

    I had breakfast at the older variant several times after dropping someone off at Midway Airport. I haven't been there since it was retooled.

    If you or anyone else tried the before and after, then could you please comment how the experience differs? Are there grits or biscuits and gravy?

    Thanks!
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #6 - August 15th, 2004, 4:05 am
    Post #6 - August 15th, 2004, 4:05 am Post #6 - August 15th, 2004, 4:05 am
    Cathy2 wrote:Did you go there before White Palace was overhauled and I believe changed owners several years ago?


    Cathy,

    White Palace Grill has not changed owners. There was an article about the owner in Crains a couple of months ago talking about how he refuses to sell despite astronomical offers for the property (from real estate developers). The owner said he "just wanted to run his restaurant."
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #7 - August 15th, 2004, 12:27 pm
    Post #7 - August 15th, 2004, 12:27 pm Post #7 - August 15th, 2004, 12:27 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:
    it's nothing fancy....but it's friendly and it never closes

    the white palace grill at roosevelt and canal


    Pixie!

    Did you go there before White Palace was overhauled and I believe changed owners several years ago? It is a spiffier place today than ever before, even approaching fancy when compared to it's earthier earlier legacy.

    I had breakfast at the older variant several times after dropping someone off at Midway Airport. I haven't been there since it was retooled.

    If you or anyone else tried the before and after, then could you please comment how the experience differs? Are there grits or biscuits and gravy?

    Thanks!


    They have both grits and bisuits and gravy but I haven't tried either.
    Objects in mirror appear to be losing.
  • Post #8 - August 15th, 2004, 4:50 pm
    Post #8 - August 15th, 2004, 4:50 pm Post #8 - August 15th, 2004, 4:50 pm
    Zim , thanks for the Birria Huentitlan mention. Last night, after early drinks at the matchbox (matchless martinis and manhattans) we found ourselves driving out North Ave in the hopes of catching a cemita before Taqueria Puebla closed. No luck on that front, but as I wracked my brain and tried to remember whether Huentitlan was on North, Fullerton or 26th st, Kerensa called out, "let's go to that place; it's packed". Sure enough, it was Huentitaln, and we sat down for a very satisfying brace of tacos. I especially liked the lengua and the al pastor; the namesake birria left me flat.
  • Post #9 - August 15th, 2004, 5:43 pm
    Post #9 - August 15th, 2004, 5:43 pm Post #9 - August 15th, 2004, 5:43 pm
    Hi,

    We have late night Chinese. If anyone knows of a 24-hour Chinese, please speak up.

    Just this afternoon, I was talking to my friend Helen about doing a dead early breakfast this week. She is especially easily persuaded because she still has jet lag from a European vacation. Helen claims to have seen a place on Wentworth with a sign advising they are open for breakfast. Does anybody know what place she is referring to? Can you advise is it indeed a Chinese style breakfast of Congee? Dim sum? I'm not really fussy just curious what menu would be available early morning.

    Thanks!
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #10 - August 15th, 2004, 6:53 pm
    Post #10 - August 15th, 2004, 6:53 pm Post #10 - August 15th, 2004, 6:53 pm
    hi Cathy,

    Did you go there before White Palace was overhauled and I believe changed owners several years ago? It is a spiffier place today than ever before, even approaching fancy when compared to it's earthier earlier legacy.


    though i've lived in the general area for over 18 yrs, i think i was in the "old" palace maybe 3 times (mostly because manny's is so close by and i wasn't eating after midnight)

    for whatever reason, we've found ourselves in need of late night breakfast
    more often these days

    the old palace was barely more than a counter served good breakfast & respectable dive burgers. it was certainly friendly but had the dingy-ness of a very well worn greasey spoon.

    the new incarnation is....white. spotless and much larger with a back room for nonsmokers complete with colorful chicago themed murals.

    the food is basic diner -- i haven't been through much of the menu but the grits seem repectable... and the kitchen seems to magically produce perfect poached eggs.

    cheers,

    eve
  • Post #11 - August 16th, 2004, 5:57 pm
    Post #11 - August 16th, 2004, 5:57 pm Post #11 - August 16th, 2004, 5:57 pm
    zim wrote:There are quite a few more than what you've touched on so far.


    Oh, absolutely. These are just a few of those I've been to recently, posted in hopes of stimulating discussion of the late-night dining scene. People don't always think to mention restaurant hours when they post. I'll be posting more about my late-night experiences as time goes by.

    I'd like to hear about others' recent experiences, including not only food but what the place is like late at night -- or early in the morning, depending on how you view it. (There are plenty of places that are fine in the daytime but scary in the wee hours.)

    With late-night restaurants, it's especially important to stay current, because in this town, they have an alarming way of suddenly turning into early-closing restaurants.
  • Post #12 - August 20th, 2004, 8:42 pm
    Post #12 - August 20th, 2004, 8:42 pm Post #12 - August 20th, 2004, 8:42 pm
    Kman wrote:They have both grits and bisuits and gravy but I haven't tried either.
    After driving by it about twice/week when I take the car to work, I decided to stop in there this morning at 6AM for exactly that. I grew up in a Greek-owned place in the loop (Randolph/Dearborn, gone for about eight years) and I didn't realize how much I missed that "sunrise breakfast with cops" vibe. I had biscuits, gravy, grits, and two sausage patties, and coffee. The grits were perfectly made with a nice dollop of whipped pancake butter. The biscuits and gravy were good, but the biscuits are a little thin. The sausage was so-so, looked like it was hurried, and I had to send it back for more flame. The coffee was weak but drinkable. Total bill was $8.80 plus tip. My dining area had 6 cops and 4 other patrons in it, that's the ratio I like!
  • Post #13 - August 20th, 2004, 8:59 pm
    Post #13 - August 20th, 2004, 8:59 pm Post #13 - August 20th, 2004, 8:59 pm
    Hey LAZ... the various Steak 'n Shakes seem to attract different crowds depending on the suburb. Late night in Hoffman Estates (on Barrington Rd) seems to be full of Abercrombie-clad future frat boys, while in Evanston the crowd is often Northwestern students. Of course, for us U of C students, the late-night hangout is invariably Clarke's right outside the Belmont El (not necessarily local, but convenient, considering it's in familiar territory very close to the Red Line). The breakfast items (pancakes, omelettes, etc.) are pretty good.
  • Post #14 - August 20th, 2004, 11:35 pm
    Post #14 - August 20th, 2004, 11:35 pm Post #14 - August 20th, 2004, 11:35 pm
    Evan B. Druce wrote:Hey LAZ... the various Steak 'n Shakes seem to attract different crowds depending on the suburb. Late night in Hoffman Estates (on Barrington Rd) seems to be full of Abercrombie-clad future frat boys, while in Evanston the crowd is often Northwestern students. Of course, for us U of C students, the late-night hangout is invariably Clarke's right outside the Belmont El (not necessarily local, but convenient, considering it's in familiar territory very close to the Red Line). The breakfast items (pancakes, omelettes, etc.) are pretty good.


    The breakfast items may be pretty good, but the stuff I've tried on the menu was fairly foul.

    That being said, it's a great place to people-watch.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #15 - August 21st, 2004, 3:01 am
    Post #15 - August 21st, 2004, 3:01 am Post #15 - August 21st, 2004, 3:01 am
    Friends of mine who went to school in Champaign-Urbana have a fondness for Steak 'n Shake, but it's mainly the hours that recommend it to me. I'm not much enamored of the food, though I like that you can get flavored Cokes. I've never been there for breakfast -- they only serve it in the morning.

    I'm rarely awake during the hours most people think of as breakfast-time, and if I am, it's likely that I've been up all night. Even in times when I'm on a daytime schedule, my usual breakfast is a half hour's extra sleep. However, the other day, I was headed home from an all-nighter at work at about 5:30 a.m., and since my dinner had been desk food, I was feeling pretty peckish. This, as Cathy2 has pointed out, is an awkward time, because lots of places that serve breakfast aren't open yet. However, I knew the Omega would be open, and it was on the way home, so I stopped in for a bite.

    The Omega serves breakfast all the time, but if you go there in the morning, I discovered, they offer a wider selection from a breakfast menu. Moreover, breakfasts at this time of day come with a small glass of freshly squeezed orange juice and a bowl of fresh fruit. I ordered eggs benedict and a side of bacon. The bacon was cooked to crisp perfection. The poached eggs were just right and the Canadian bacon excellent. The hollandaise, however, tasted like it had made from a mix -- fairly dreadful. Things were pretty empty, so service was very attentive.
  • Post #16 - August 27th, 2004, 11:51 am
    Post #16 - August 27th, 2004, 11:51 am Post #16 - August 27th, 2004, 11:51 am
    Cathy2 wrote:vacation. Helen claims to have seen a place on Wentworth with a sign advising they are open for breakfast. Does anybody know what place she is referring to? Can you advise is it indeed a Chinese style breakfast of Congee? Dim sum? I'm not really fussy just curious what menu would be available early morning.


    Sounds like Seven Wives (love that name!), which serves HK-style breakfasts (ham and eggs, sausage and eggs, congee, noodles with BBQ pork, etc.). Pretty good. They open at 7:00. They also have lots of fruit drinks and milkshakes.

    Seven Wives Restaurant
    2230 S. Wentworth Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60616
    312-842-7888
  • Post #17 - August 27th, 2004, 12:37 pm
    Post #17 - August 27th, 2004, 12:37 pm Post #17 - August 27th, 2004, 12:37 pm
    Hi,

    Seven Wives is a good beginning. You wouldn't happen to know another Chinese restaurant which may open at 5 or 6 AM, would you?
    Though I guess I could break pattern and do a reasonably early breakfast at 7 AM for the style of breakfast you describe.

    Thanks!
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #18 - September 2nd, 2004, 3:58 pm
    Post #18 - September 2nd, 2004, 3:58 pm Post #18 - September 2nd, 2004, 3:58 pm
    zim wrote:LAZ,


    here are a couple on devon, there are a few more including gaseeta khan, shirazi grill-and chill, and I think usmaniya as well

    Delhi Darbar Kabob House
    6403 N. California Ave
    Chicago
    (773) 338-1818

    Ghareeb Nawaz
    2032 W Devon
    Chicago
    (773) 761-5300


    Missed this thread earlier. There *are* a couple more on Devon - "Daata
    Durbar Restaurant and Grill" on 2241 West Devon. And "Hyderabad House"
    (which is maybe 3 doors further east, though there is a small street in
    between, dont know the address). Both are 24-hours IIRC, Hyderabad
    House probably has the better food nowadays (though Daata Durbar
    usually has decent stuff on Fridays I hear).

    There is also the "Blue Diamond" I think? On Ridge, just off Devon (past
    the Mcdonalds). I believe thats a 24-hour joint too.

    Also, Usmaniya is among the better food options of their kind on Devon,
    or anywhere in the city IMHO - but it is *not* a late-night place as such.
    I believe they close their doors at midnight (or maybe even at 11pm
    some days) - they are a 12-11 spot IIRC. Their food is good however,
    as Ive said before I personally prefer it to the more famous Sabri
    Nehari's (the menus are almost identical IIRC).

    c8w
  • Post #19 - September 3rd, 2004, 2:05 pm
    Post #19 - September 3rd, 2004, 2:05 pm Post #19 - September 3rd, 2004, 2:05 pm
    c8w wrote:
    There is also the "Blue Diamond" I think? On Ridge, just off Devon (past
    the Mcdonalds). I believe thats a 24-hour joint too.

    c8w


    I think you are referring to bismillah (used to be blue ribbon, next to the blue ribbon cab company) although they claim to be 24 hour I've gone by a number of times in the morning around say 6 or 7 am and have seen them closed. some time ago a certain three initialed poster told me he though that they had they best 2.99 biryani around (of course most of the hyderabadi spots charge a little more)
    Last edited by zim on September 3rd, 2004, 5:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #20 - September 3rd, 2004, 3:44 pm
    Post #20 - September 3rd, 2004, 3:44 pm Post #20 - September 3rd, 2004, 3:44 pm
    This thread makes me think that we are coming due for another 24 hours of chow...

    Here's a couple more places either 24 hours or late:

    River Forest Grill - Burger's with a side of contemp - 7225 NORTH AVE,
    RIVER FOREST,IL,6030

    Harlo Grill - An upscale River Forest Grill - North Avenue near 25th Ave, Melrose Park (sorry I do not have the exact address)

    Greektown has not 1, not 2, not 3 but 4 24 places on or about the corner of Halsted and Jackson including the purported purveyor of camel meat, Kabab House.

    Huck Finn Donuts - Much better as a place to hangout and enjoy the specatcle than for actually good donuts. - 3 Locations

    There are at least 2 24 hour bowling alley's left in Chicago: Waveland and Maranzano's Miami Bowl.

    Rob
  • Post #21 - September 3rd, 2004, 3:59 pm
    Post #21 - September 3rd, 2004, 3:59 pm Post #21 - September 3rd, 2004, 3:59 pm
    Vital Information wrote:River Forest Grill - Burger's with a side of contemp - 7225 NORTH AVE,
    RIVER FOREST,IL,6030

    Harlo Grill - An upscale River Forest Grill - North Avenue near 25th Ave, Melrose Park (sorry I do not have the exact address)


    Upscale? I dunno about that.. I'd say they've both got about the same ambiance. I think, actually, harlo grill may be a little scuzzier than the river forest grill.

    For what it's worth, I found harlo to have better fries and a better deal, but river forest grill's burger was superior. But that may have been the bacon I got at RF grill and not at harlo.

    -ed
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #22 - September 3rd, 2004, 8:29 pm
    Post #22 - September 3rd, 2004, 8:29 pm Post #22 - September 3rd, 2004, 8:29 pm
    c8w wrote:And "Hyderabad House" (which is maybe 3 doors further east, though there is a small street in between, dont know the address). Both are 24-hours IIRC, Hyderabad House probably has the better food nowadays


    We were just there. Report forthcoming.

    I appreciate the pointers, guys. I had hoped for more comprehensive late-night reports, but given the way the poll numbers are running, I suppose that pointers are the best I can hope for. I'm really surprised that night-hawks are so rare.
  • Post #23 - September 3rd, 2004, 9:01 pm
    Post #23 - September 3rd, 2004, 9:01 pm Post #23 - September 3rd, 2004, 9:01 pm
    I used to go to Harlo once in a while when I lived in Elmhurst and needed to get out at 3am and get a bite to eat. About all I'd trust myself to eat there was a grilled cheese sandwich and hash browns - they seemed like the type of place where the burgers could be full of filler. But it got the job done of getting me sufficiently awake to get some work done.

    I made a right down 25th street the other day and saw that there was a "New Harlo Grill" on 25th about two blocks south of North. Does anybody know if they are related?
  • Post #24 - September 4th, 2004, 7:44 pm
    Post #24 - September 4th, 2004, 7:44 pm Post #24 - September 4th, 2004, 7:44 pm
    Another midnight, another meal....
      Preface: Indian food is among the cuisines I know least about. Back in the Pleistocene, I had a disastrous date who took me to an Indian restaurant, one of the very first experiences I'd had with that cuisine -- or with dating, for that matter. I spent the night being violently ill, whether from the food or in reaction to the stress of the evening I've never been quite certain.

      The episode didn't quite sour me on men, but it did put me off Indian fare, which I subsequently avoided whenever possible. For years, just the smell of curry nauseated me. When for some reason I did wind up at an Indian restaurant, I typically ordered something safe and recognizable, like tandoori chicken. And I never tried to learn anything much about the cuisine.

      Now that more than a score of years has passed, I've been trying, somewhat desultorily, to overcome this early prejudice and to taste and learn a bit more about this deep, complex and varied cuisine.

    Having decided to check out the late-night offerings of Devon Avenue, we settled on Hyderabad House through the simple means of observing which of the eateries we passed looked busiest. Hyderabad House was jammed, indoors and out, with nearly every seat inside the small, nondescript dining room taken and its tiny parking lot overfilled with taxi cabs and men eating at an outdoor table.

    Inside, a pair of TVs played what appeared to be some kind of a love story, and a pool table was in constant use. When I entered, I became the only female in the place. This is not a restaurant where I'd feel comfortable dining by myself. Perhaps the clientele is somewhat different in the daytime, but I doubt it.

    We were waved to the one empty two-top and a man came to take our order. There were no menus, just a whiteboard with a short list of dishes scrawled on it. We'd planned to order biryani, but they'd run out of it. So I ordered the "chilly chicken." Himself listened to a description of saag gosht: "meat with a vegetable, I can't remember the name in English." We were pretty certain about the vegetable -- spinach -- less so about the meat, but he ordered it anyway.

    I also ordered a Limca soda, an Indian product of the Coca-Cola Company. The label claims the beverage contains "no fruit juice." I believe it. If you mixed Lemon Pledge with soda water, it might taste something like this. In one corner of the room, a self-serve cooler provided water.

    When our food came, we were asked if we wanted rice. When we said yes, the waiter said he'd bring it later in the meal. The "chilly chicken" turned out to be chicken on the bone in a thick, spicy, but very flavorful, bright orange-red curry. The saag gosht was indeed meat with spinach, equally hot, and we still aren't certain of the meat. Lamb? Goat? No matter; it was savory.

    However, both of these dishes were at the upper levels of my heat tolerance. I'm no stranger to spicy foods, but while the heat of Mexican or Thai food seems to affect mainly the palate and the sinuses, Indian food burns all the way down. (And all the way back up, as an acquaintance put it.) A more layered, complex seasoning? Probably.

    The dishes came with a thin, soft flatbread that we saw others using as a kind of scoop for their food. There was also bowl of a thick, brilliant yellow liquid that I took to be soup. Tasting, I found it to be based on lentils and quite delicious.

    We hadn't been given any napkins or forks and, looking around, I saw the other customers were eating with their fingers. I guess I knew that eating with the fingers of one hand is customary in India, but since the Indian restaurants I've visited heretofore have all been more formal than this place and provided silverware as a matter of course, I'd forgotten.

    However, others did have napkins, so I looked enquiringly at the waiter. He came up and asked if we need forks, and I said no, but asked for napkins. He nevertheless brought a full complement of cutlery, apologizing for forgetting them. I confess, when the rice came, I was glad to have them, since neatly eating rice with sauce by hand is not a skill I have mastered. He also refilled my "soup" bowl and I realized that instead of eating the lentil puree with a spoon I was supposed to mix it with the rice.

    All in all, an educational adventure, though I think I need more schooling at the kindergarten level of Indian restaurants before further attempts at the graduate class of cabbie hangouts.

    Hyderabad House
    2225 W. Devon Ave., Chicago
    773/381-1230
    24 hours daily
    Last edited by LAZ on July 3rd, 2006, 2:46 am, edited 2 times in total.
  • Post #25 - September 6th, 2004, 4:17 pm
    Post #25 - September 6th, 2004, 4:17 pm Post #25 - September 6th, 2004, 4:17 pm
    Went for the first time this AM after a late night - my counterpart, who suggested it, had the 2222 Breakfast (2 eggs, 2 bacon strips, 2 sausage links, 2 pancakes, plust toast & jam), and I had a fried egg and bacon sandwich. He ordered a tumbler-sized glass of OJ, I had some very good coffee. The service was lightning-fast and friendly to the point of being loving, even though the place was completely full - and our tab, including tax, was 12 bucks. I'm a convert. Next time - two eggs over medium, bacon, grits, and toast. And some more coffee!

    Thanks, Brad. ;o)

    :twisted:
  • Post #26 - September 6th, 2004, 11:43 pm
    Post #26 - September 6th, 2004, 11:43 pm Post #26 - September 6th, 2004, 11:43 pm
    Having decided to check out the late-night offerings of Devon Avenue, we settled on Hyderabad House through the simple means of observing which of the eateries we passed looked busiest. Hyderabad House was jammed, indoors and out, with nearly every seat inside the small, nondescript dining room taken and its tiny parking lot overfilled with taxi cabs and men eating at an outdoor table.


    What time was this, BTW? It sort of all depends on when cabbies get off work -
    at other times it can be fairly empty (as are all the cabbie joints). At the busy
    time both Hyderabad House and Daata Durbar are very busy (Daata is a lot
    bigger while HH is quite small, so it never appears to have "overflow crowd"
    as such). But you made a good decision IMHO - I think HH has very good food,
    far better than most other late-night joints (better than DD too nowadays
    IMHO, by a bit).


    Inside, a pair of TVs played what appeared to be some kind of a love story, and a pool table was in constant use. When I entered, I became the only female in the place. This is not a restaurant where I'd feel comfortable dining by myself. Perhaps the clientele is somewhat different in the daytime, but I doubt it.


    Not very, no. I *have* seen women in there (very rarely), but it has always been
    for a pick-up, not for dine-in. Basically an exclusively male clientele, as with
    most other cabbie joints (though I suppose Ghareeb Nawaz on a weekend
    might even be a bit of a "family" place with a few women, but not much).


    We were waved to the one empty two-top and a man came to take our order. There were no menus, just a whiteboard with a short list of dishes scrawled on it. We'd planned to order biryani, but they'd run out of it. So I ordered the "chilly chicken." Himself


    Typical HH :-) Never a menu, only that scrawl on the board. Their biryani
    isnt bad, can sometimes be quite decent. Ive had very good Chicken 65
    there, but its one of those items that doesnt show up all the time. Their
    chilly chicken is decent too of course (the Chilly Chicken is the best, probably,
    at JK Kabab House IMHO, just off Devon on about Talman I think. But JK
    is not a cabbie joint, and closes at 10:30 pm everday IIRC - in general the
    food there is much better than at most of the cabbie joints IMHO, and
    probably better than most places on Devon in general).

    I also ordered a Limca soda, an Indian product of the Coca-Cola Company. The label claims the beverage contains "no fruit juice." I believe it. If you mixed Lemon Pledge with soda water, it might taste something like this. In one corner of the room, a self-serve cooler provided water.


    Limca isnt really a true product of Coca-Cola, its just owned by them. Basically
    India had Coca-Cola way back, in the 1960s and 1970s, and then they
    got booted out of the country in 1977 when a socialist government won the
    election (to much mourning among all kids I knew, we all liked Coke and
    its products, my fave as a kid used to be "Fanta" and its no fun to have your
    fave drink taken away from you for good when youre still a kid. Anyway).
    When Coke went away, only the indigenous products were left - "Thums Up"
    was the Coke-style drink, and Limca was around, as was Mangola and
    Mirinda (an orange drink). Finally Coke was let back in when the economy
    was liberalised in the early 1990s, as was Pepsi. The indigenous drinks
    that were established werent quite as popular anymore with their entrance,
    but still commanded a bit of market-share (and probably always will) - Limca
    among them. Coke bought the company that produced them in the mid-1990s,
    and has kept them in production (wisely, because as I said they still retain
    some market-share, even if not a huge one).

    Limca isnt bad, if youre used to it - Ive had it often, and so have never
    noticed the Lemon-pledge qualities :-) Its especially good after a heavy
    Indian meal, seems to aid in digesting the oily-spicy food I think.


    However, both of these dishes were at the upper levels of my heat tolerance. I'm no


    Thats probably why these places are so popular with the cabbies I think - they
    dont moderate their heat-level as so many other Devon eateries seem to. Much
    more authentic in that way (and also cheap, of course, even if a little too
    oily :-)

    The dishes came with a thin, soft flatbread that we saw others using as a kind of scoop for their food. There was also bowl of a thick, brilliant yellow liquid that I took to be soup. Tasting, I found it to be based on lentils and quite delicious.


    Probably a "roti". The paratha is less healthy, more oily, but IMHO better
    tasting (and quite decent at HH sometimes). I usually order that, specifying
    I want a paratha and not a roti when I place my order :-) If you give them
    the default option, they will always bring out the roti (maybe its a bit
    cheaper to make - but more importantly the paratha takes longer to make,
    and is more work; theyve tried to discourage me from the paratha a few
    times actually, saying it'll take at least 10 minutes or whatever, but Ive
    always said "ok, I'll wait 10 mins" and theyve given in :-)

    The yellow "soup" is daal, and isnt a soup at all. As you saw later, you can
    eat it over the rice. You can also dip the roti in it and have it that way of
    course. Usually, if you order a completly "dry" entree, thats your only
    option - and not a bad one at that.

    We hadn't been given any napkins or forks and, looking around, I saw the other customers were eating with their fingers. I guess I knew that eating with the fingers of one hand is customary in India, but since the Indian restaurants I've visited heretofore have all been more formal than this place and provided silverware as a matter of course, I'd forgotten.


    Its a quite informal place in that sense - theyve always forgotten to get it
    for me too. Usually I just go get water myself (from the self-serve fountain
    at the side) - and when you do, there is a usually a big box of napkins too,
    from which I bring about a dozen before the meal. (Usually, when the plate
    arrives, its clean - but often still wet fro the cleaning. I always wipe it off
    myself before putting the food on it, just in case :-)

    However, others did have napkins, so I looked enquiringly at the waiter. He came up and asked if we need forks, and I said no, but asked for napkins. He nevertheless brought a full complement of cutlery, apologizing for forgetting them. I confess, when the rice came, I was glad to have them, since neatly eating rice with sauce by hand is not a skill I have mastered. He also refilled my "soup" bowl and I realized that instead of eating the lentil puree with a spoon I was supposed to mix it with the rice.

    All in all, an educational adventure, though I think I need more schooling at the kindergarten level of Indian restaurants before further attempts at the graduate class of cabbie hangouts.


    Its a pretty brave thing, to venture into a cabbie joint like Hyderabad House
    - especially a woman who doesnt have much experience with Indian
    food! Heck, most Indian women I know arent willing to venture into
    those kinds of places - it is certainly far less "civilized" than many other
    Indian spots, on Devon or elsewhere.


    c8w
  • Post #27 - September 7th, 2004, 1:32 am
    Post #27 - September 7th, 2004, 1:32 am Post #27 - September 7th, 2004, 1:32 am
    c8w wrote:What time was this, BTW?


    Around midnight.
  • Post #28 - September 7th, 2004, 6:30 am
    Post #28 - September 7th, 2004, 6:30 am Post #28 - September 7th, 2004, 6:30 am
    Hi,

    c8w wrote:Not very, no. I *have* seen women in there (very rarely), but it has always been for a pick-up, not for dine-in. Basically an exclusively male clientele, as with most other cabbie joints (though I suppose Ghareeb Nawaz on a weekend might even be a bit of a "family" place with a few women, but not much).


    Last Summer, I invited my sister out for dinner with vague information about our end destination. We ate at a Indo-Pakistani Cabbie Hangout, where eating-in caused quite a commotion.

    You do have to have a strong constitution to tolerate all the stares you have to endure being women alone in an all male cabbie hang out. After this adventure, my sister no longer took my dining invitations without a thorough dialogue about where we were going.

    I'd do it again.
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #29 - September 7th, 2004, 7:43 am
    Post #29 - September 7th, 2004, 7:43 am Post #29 - September 7th, 2004, 7:43 am
    I know this is a very subjective question, and how am I specifically able to rate a place for a woman to feel comfortable, but of the "cabbie places", the two that I find the easiest from a sense of not feeling uncomfortable are Kabbabish, mentioned in Cathy2's link and Shan, where we had our second round of brains on the original 24 hours of chow.

    Kabbabish is tight and it does lend itself to extended hanging-out--no pool table, and this helps make it more friendly IMO. Also, there is usually a woman making the chapati's on the grill, and that too, lessens the effect. Shan, on Sheridan a few blocks south of Foster, has a "family" room which does in fact attract families. The problem with Shan is the menu is a bit harder to negotiate. Which reminds me of the other easy thing of Kabbabish, easy pointing at food on the steam table.

    Rob
  • Post #30 - September 7th, 2004, 4:57 pm
    Post #30 - September 7th, 2004, 4:57 pm Post #30 - September 7th, 2004, 4:57 pm
    Vital Information wrote:I know this is a very subjective question, and how am I specifically able to rate a place for a woman to feel comfortable


    There are only a few sorts of places I'd feel uncomfortable dining on my own for lunch or at dinnertime -- and HH is one of them -- but plenty that I wouldn't go to alone late at night. However, the main attraction (to me) of somewhere like Hyderabad House is that it is open late. At a time of day with more choice, I'd probably prefer somewhere with more ... amenities.

    Fortunately, I usually have Himself to protect me on these late-night adventures. :) If not, I'm likely to head for somewhere more tried and true.

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