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Spring World NOT gone (open again after remodeling)

Spring World NOT gone (open again after remodeling)
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  • Spring World NOT gone (open again after remodeling)

    Post #1 - November 9th, 2007, 4:47 pm
    Post #1 - November 9th, 2007, 4:47 pm Post #1 - November 9th, 2007, 4:47 pm
    I had heard a rumor a couple months ago that Spring World was planning to close. I hoped then that the rumor was not true.

    Today at lunchtime, though, there were workers ripping out the interior of the restaurant. I'm afraid our only Yunnanese place is now history. :(

    [Edited to remove the previously gloomy title of this thread...]

    Spring World
    2109 S China pl
    Chicago, IL 60616
    312-326-9966
    Last edited by Amata on November 11th, 2007, 7:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #2 - November 9th, 2007, 4:54 pm
    Post #2 - November 9th, 2007, 4:54 pm Post #2 - November 9th, 2007, 4:54 pm
    Total Bummer-Although I was wondering how they were staying open-never seemed to be anyone there despite great food. Was going to take an out of town friend there tomorrow-guess not...
    I love animals...they're delicious!
  • Post #3 - November 9th, 2007, 5:55 pm
    Post #3 - November 9th, 2007, 5:55 pm Post #3 - November 9th, 2007, 5:55 pm
    Wow, that makes me sad.

    This isn't saying nearly as much as it would be for many other LTHers, btu Spring World was easily my favorite Chinatown restaurant.
  • Post #4 - November 9th, 2007, 8:43 pm
    Post #4 - November 9th, 2007, 8:43 pm Post #4 - November 9th, 2007, 8:43 pm
    wow, terrible news.
  • Post #5 - November 9th, 2007, 9:20 pm
    Post #5 - November 9th, 2007, 9:20 pm Post #5 - November 9th, 2007, 9:20 pm
    Not so fast. I spoke with the owner briefly by phone the other day, and it sounded like a remodel. If I understood him correctly he said he was planning to reopen.
  • Post #6 - November 9th, 2007, 9:41 pm
    Post #6 - November 9th, 2007, 9:41 pm Post #6 - November 9th, 2007, 9:41 pm
    I heard the same rumors about closing and, hoping they weren't true, ate at Spring World at least a dozen times in the last few months. Today I watched sadly as they tore up the dining room. I certainly hope the talk of reopening is true.

    Spring World, November 9, 2007
    Image
  • Post #7 - November 10th, 2007, 9:46 pm
    Post #7 - November 10th, 2007, 9:46 pm Post #7 - November 10th, 2007, 9:46 pm
    Stopped by Spring World tonight after hot pot at Double Li. It was open, bustling, remodeled, and ramping up an expanded Yunnanese menu (not printed yet).
  • Post #8 - November 11th, 2007, 2:28 am
    Post #8 - November 11th, 2007, 2:28 am Post #8 - November 11th, 2007, 2:28 am
    m'th'su wrote:Stopped by Spring World tonight after hot pot at Double Li. It was open, bustling, remodeled, and ramping up an expanded Yunnanese menu (not printed yet).

    Good news indeed.
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #9 - November 11th, 2007, 7:26 am
    Post #9 - November 11th, 2007, 7:26 am Post #9 - November 11th, 2007, 7:26 am
    Wow, that was fast! Thanks for the great news, Mike.

    I'll change the header of this thread. I'm so glad to have been wrong about them closing.
  • Post #10 - November 14th, 2007, 5:19 pm
    Post #10 - November 14th, 2007, 5:19 pm Post #10 - November 14th, 2007, 5:19 pm
    Something seemed to encourage Spring World today...

    They are still not quite spiffed up, almost, and luckily, they did not open up the pant jar until after the food was (mostly) eaten, but very much open and serving outstanding food.

    I really enjoyed I ate: Yunnanese style ribs (more in a moment); pig's tongue in the standard red chile spicy stuff, "interesting flavor" chicken, about in the same sauce as the tongue only different [ed., more interesting right?] and jelly noodles in more black/red/white gunky sauce; in fact the glass noodles are really just an excuse to eat sauce.

    As I'm sure you will hear from GWiv, Steve Z and m'th'su who also hit Spring World today, the winningest dish was the ribs. Hacked pork bones dipped in a cumin heavy flour, fried and then stir-fried with garlic and chili's; a great melange of flavors and textures [ed., just the type of dish to dust up melange huh?]. The dish also stood in start contrast to that other Chinese cumin dish around town, the lamb in cumin at like Ed's or Mandarin Kitchen. This was cumin powder instead of cumin seed, and it was just not so overpowering as that dish can be. This, my Forum, was the finest use of cumin in a Chinese restaurant in Chicago [ed., that you know of, right?]
  • Post #11 - November 14th, 2007, 7:23 pm
    Post #11 - November 14th, 2007, 7:23 pm Post #11 - November 14th, 2007, 7:23 pm
    Are they still serving their lunch special? 2 dishes + soup for $3.95... best deal in town? Heck yes.
  • Post #12 - November 14th, 2007, 9:55 pm
    Post #12 - November 14th, 2007, 9:55 pm Post #12 - November 14th, 2007, 9:55 pm
    Funny.
    I was in the area for a Trade Show(<b>FabTech</b>)- so stopped in @ Spring World......and was "shocked"stunned at first by the make-over......Fancy-schmancy new rectangular rough hewn white marble tile now clads the walls up to about 48". (along with other details including a redone bathroom - with a very cool Chinese Porcelain bowl as a Vessel Sink!)

    I was nervous at first- my <i>sense</i> told me...."Lunch Special" go bye-bye, with "old" decor.......but, after asking for the " Lunch Special menu"- the waitress was only glad to oblige.
    I had an awesome, flavor-packed combo of Szechuan Tofu w/ Black Bean and ginger, along with Cashew Chicken, a HUGE serving of white rice, soup and tea....for 4 dollars and change w/ the tax.

    <b>Such-a-deal!!</b>

    But, I do have to say- they will offer the "regular" book style menu to those "rubes" who come in- say as "regular" customers....with <b>no</b> mention of the "Lunch Special", or a copy of that menu offered, unless - you request it.
    Kind of a little game they play.
  • Post #13 - November 14th, 2007, 11:40 pm
    Post #13 - November 14th, 2007, 11:40 pm Post #13 - November 14th, 2007, 11:40 pm
    Hombre de Acero wrote:
    But, I do have to say- they will offer the "regular" book style menu to those "rubes" who come in- say as "regular" customers....with <b>no</b> mention of the "Lunch Special", or a copy of that menu offered, unless - you request it.
    Kind of a little game they play.


    I'll have to differ with you, HdA. Although I might be a rube, I still prefer ordering off of the regular menu. That's where you'll find the more interesting dishes. If you're looking for egg foo yung or kung pao chicken or the like, the lunch menu is a great deal, but if you're into some more authentic dishes, the regular menu is the way to go. It's not like anything on the regular menu (or the soon to be released translated Chinese menu) are all that expensive to begin with.

    In terms of today's lunch, I'll echo Rob's opinion that the Hunanese ribs were the star dish today. They were excellent, with just the right amount of cumin taste.

    Spring World Hunan Style Ribs
    Image

    We also had, among other things, a bowl of soup called something like over the bridge soup. It photographed beautifully, but was a bit disappointing in the taste department. It wasn't bad, but not something I'd go out of my way to order again.

    Spring World "Over the Bridge" Soup
    Image
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #14 - November 15th, 2007, 9:27 am
    Post #14 - November 15th, 2007, 9:27 am Post #14 - November 15th, 2007, 9:27 am
    SteveZ.......
    You mistook my point.....
    Yes- it's <b>ALWAYS</b> about the foood.
    Granted.
    But- for my $3.95 - the value /to flavor/to interestingness ratio-
    is a <b>VERY HIGH NUMBER!!!</b>

    FYI- The <b>don't</b> do EggFoo Young there(on the Lunch Special menu).
    AND- the "Lunch Special menu" features some great dishes- cloaked in the common Chinese restaurant default menu lingo ....ie/some key words- but lacking in specificity in description......
    Happy Hunting.
  • Post #15 - November 15th, 2007, 9:43 am
    Post #15 - November 15th, 2007, 9:43 am Post #15 - November 15th, 2007, 9:43 am
    Z,

    Much as I like the regular menu items at Spring World, I have to go with HdA on this one, $3.95 for kung pao chicken, maybe the best in the city, and Szechuan style tofu makes for a flavor packed and unrealisticly inexpensive lunch.

    Image

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #16 - November 15th, 2007, 9:53 am
    Post #16 - November 15th, 2007, 9:53 am Post #16 - November 15th, 2007, 9:53 am
    Wow, tripe with pickled cabbage, sauteed winter melon and soup for $3.95? I need to figure out how I can end up in Chinatown around lunchtime.

    The pork with tree ears (black fungus) looks interesting too.
  • Post #17 - November 15th, 2007, 10:34 am
    Post #17 - November 15th, 2007, 10:34 am Post #17 - November 15th, 2007, 10:34 am
    stevez wrote:We also had, among other things, a bowl of soup called something like over the bridge soup. It photographed beautifully, but was a bit disappointing in the taste department. It wasn't bad, but not something I'd go out of my way to order again.

    Z,

    I liked the soup, true it was a bit neutral, containing both dried and fried tofu, the occasional shrimp and quail egg, but in conjunction with flavor packed dishes such as Szechwan Beef and Maw and Ribs with Yunnan style it served as palate cleansing counterpoint. By the way, gorgeous photo.

    Special Yunnan Rice Noodle Across Bridge (# 101)
    Image
    Image

    I'll echo both you and Rob meaty cumin laden Yunnan style ribs pocketed with bits of crisp fat were terrific.

    Ribs with Yunnan Style (# 113)
    Image

    A big mound of hand Shredded Chicken with it's vinegary tang tempered by the nutty sesame seed (tahini) is a must do starter for $4.95, though if I had to choose between that and the Beef and Maw Szechwan style, $4.95 I'd go with the maw, no contest. In fact, I thought Spring Worlds clean flavored beef and maw was an even finer exemplar of the dish than Lao Sze Chuan, but I tend to love the one I'm with. ;)

    Hand Shredded Chicken Spicy Sesame Vinaigrette (# 211)
    Image

    Sliced Beef and Maw Szechwan Style (# 201)
    Image

    Crisp ever so slightly oily Scallion Cake is the perfect foil for both Szechwan Beef and Maw and Shredded Chicken, not to mention table chili oil.

    Scallion Cake (# 913)
    Image

    New decor is comfortable and attractive, prices have not changed, food is as good, if not better, than always and they are in the process of adding additional Yunnan dishes. Spring World seems really on track. As Michael Morowitz said, Spring World is one of those places that always manages to fall just off my radar. When I managed to make it back, I'm always pleased. Me, I plan on making it back soon.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Spring World
    2109 S China pl
    Chicago, IL 60616
    312-326-9966
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #18 - November 15th, 2007, 10:40 am
    Post #18 - November 15th, 2007, 10:40 am Post #18 - November 15th, 2007, 10:40 am
    I've always skipped the lunch special as a matter of course, but after gazing at the menu posted above, there seems to be several gems.
    My only question is "How in the hell can they stay in business?" They'd have to do several hundred covers at lunch. Having said this, I need to drop in for my "drop in the bucket" contribution to the cause.
    I love animals...they're delicious!
  • Post #19 - November 15th, 2007, 10:59 am
    Post #19 - November 15th, 2007, 10:59 am Post #19 - November 15th, 2007, 10:59 am
    G Wiv wrote:I liked the soup, true it was a bit neutral, containing both dried and fried tofu, the occasional shrimp and quail egg, but in conjunction with flavor packed dishes such as Szechwan Beef and Maw and Ribs with Yunnan style it served as palate cleansing counterpoint. By the way, gorgeous photo.


    It's not so much the blandness that I found objectionable, it was the backnote of sweaty feet that I didn't like.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #20 - November 15th, 2007, 11:21 am
    Post #20 - November 15th, 2007, 11:21 am Post #20 - November 15th, 2007, 11:21 am
    stevez wrote:It's not so much the blandness that I found objectionable, it was the backnote of sweaty feet that I didn't like.

    One mans sweaty feet is another mans tasty soup. ;)

    Also, if you are at all interested, you are dissing one of Yunnan's most famous dishes, Across the Bridge Rice Noodles, which has it own accompanying folklore.

    It took all my effort to keep out of the blue zone in this response
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #21 - November 15th, 2007, 11:39 am
    Post #21 - November 15th, 2007, 11:39 am Post #21 - November 15th, 2007, 11:39 am
    For a dish with great cumin flavor, I had the rice cake with chicken (or something close to that) from the Yunnanese menu. It was towards the top on the right side of the Yunnanese menu. The rice cakes were gnocchi like little pillows with a little chew and were quite good with the chicken. For a really good "bland" soup, I really like the tofu meatball soup cooked in a special pot. It serves as a needed relief from the onslaught of chili which is present in so many Spring World dishes. I prefer it to the "Across the Bridge". Unfortunately, they didn't have the beef with special Yunnanese dried mushrooms.

    I'm always amazed that Spring World doesn't have a bigger following.
  • Post #22 - November 15th, 2007, 11:48 am
    Post #22 - November 15th, 2007, 11:48 am Post #22 - November 15th, 2007, 11:48 am
    G Wiv wrote:Also, if you are at all interested, you are dissing one of Yunnan's most famous dishes, Across the Bridge Rice Noodles, which has it own accompanying folklore.


    Please note, I am not dissing the dish, I'm dissing the preparation at Spring World. It didn't do anything for me. As you know, I'm probably one of the bigger fans of noodle soup (in more ways than one).
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #23 - November 15th, 2007, 1:12 pm
    Post #23 - November 15th, 2007, 1:12 pm Post #23 - November 15th, 2007, 1:12 pm
    Gee, in the dozens of times I've had lunch at Spring World over the last five years (usually one of 2 or 3 diners present), it never once occurred to me to order the Egg Foo Young! Perhaps they will serve it to me with a couple of Scorpion Bowls, a la The Simpsons.
  • Post #24 - November 21st, 2007, 5:00 am
    Post #24 - November 21st, 2007, 5:00 am Post #24 - November 21st, 2007, 5:00 am
    LTHForum,

    Spring World has completed renovation and, in addition to looking quite nice, there is a new feature, an appetizer bar. For $4.99 one gets a choice of three cold appetizers such as bone-in Szechwan chicken, sliced potato, spicy green beans, pigs tongue and, kidneys, chicken feet, tripe and three types of pig ear.

    Spring World Appetizer bar
    Image
    Image

    Rounding out a wonderful lunch of Ribs with Yunnan Style, Cold Chengdu Noodle, Kung Pao Chicken and Scallion cakes the ever interesting P Daane and I had a fresh tofu dish with pickled Chinese vegetables, crisp fried soy beans, scallion topped with mouth tingling chili broth.

    Tender Tofu Home Style (# 906) (Might be called Tofu Flower, there seems to be some mix up on the menu.
    Image

    In addition to the appetizer bar there seems to be a lunch deal from the Snack section of the menu, near as Peter and I could figure out it's slightly smaller portions of any 3 items for $3.95 with accompanying small dishes of Szechwan cabbage, pickle.

    Spring World Snack Menu
    Image

    The $3.95 lunch specials, mentioned upthread, are available as well.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #25 - November 21st, 2007, 8:51 am
    Post #25 - November 21st, 2007, 8:51 am Post #25 - November 21st, 2007, 8:51 am
    The appetizer bar is especially appealing. I like a taste of pig ear but usually do not want to contend with a whole platter of them.

    I poked my head in Spring World on Monday; it looked pretty nice.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #26 - November 21st, 2007, 2:45 pm
    Post #26 - November 21st, 2007, 2:45 pm Post #26 - November 21st, 2007, 2:45 pm
    G Wiv wrote:Tender Tofu Home Style (# 906) (Might be called Tofu Flower, there seems to be some mix up on the menu.
    Image


    Nice update Gary; That style of tofu (not the toppings/sauce) is indeed called Tofu Flower or "Dou Fu Fa" - oftentimes you'll get it served hot or cold w/ honey-sugared ginger syrup as a desert.
  • Post #27 - November 27th, 2007, 10:03 am
    Post #27 - November 27th, 2007, 10:03 am Post #27 - November 27th, 2007, 10:03 am
    Over the weekend, for a turkey break, my family and I dined at Spring World. Boy is this place doing it right, and a full house certainly recognizes that fact.

    From the appetizer bar our three were the micro-dice of green beans, a cucumber pickle (not as deliciously brutal as Katy's but still good) and chicken livers. I got bored/frustrated at eating the teeny-tiny green beans with my chopsticks, but I found that a mistake. If you eat too many at one time, the ginger intensity overwhelms. Just a warning.

    Our additional dishes were Yunnan noodles, a spaghetti shaped noodle in a spicy meat sauce; tofu skin with leeks, the house special (bony) fried fish with hot peppers, pea shoots, and the real treat of the evening, rice cake with chicken. I only know Shanghai style rice cakes. These were different, not so much chewy as soft. Think gnocchi. Both the chicken and the rice cakes got breaded with some type of spice, not cumin heavy like the ribs but savoy. You did not know until you bit if it would be chicken or rice cake. That bit of risk in each bite, soft or hard, was part of the fun.

    Great place.
  • Post #28 - November 28th, 2007, 10:33 am
    Post #28 - November 28th, 2007, 10:33 am Post #28 - November 28th, 2007, 10:33 am
    Another great dish to try at Spring World:

    It's not on the English menu, but I'm sure it can be easily ordered. It's chicken with a variety of mushrooms served in a bamboo log (green). Amazingly complex sauce, slightly spicy, a bit numbing from szechuan peppers, fragrant from spices, try.
  • Post #29 - November 29th, 2007, 5:53 am
    Post #29 - November 29th, 2007, 5:53 am Post #29 - November 29th, 2007, 5:53 am
    Vital Information wrote:From the appetizer bar our three were the micro-dice of green beans, a cucumber pickle . . .

    Image

    Vital Information wrote:. . . and the real treat of the evening, rice cake with chicken. I only know Shanghai style rice cakes. These were different, not so much chewy as soft. Think gnocchi. Both the chicken and the rice cakes got breaded with some type of spice, not cumin heavy like the ribs but savoy. You did not know until you bit if it would be chicken or rice cake. That bit of risk in each bite, soft or hard, was part of the fun.

    Image

    Vital Information wrote:Another great dish to try at Spring World:

    It's not on the English menu, but I'm sure it can be easily ordered. It's chicken with a variety of mushrooms served in a bamboo log (green). Amazingly complex sauce, slightly spicy, a bit numbing from szechuan peppers, fragrant from spices, try.

    Image

    Good suggestions, all.
  • Post #30 - November 29th, 2007, 11:42 am
    Post #30 - November 29th, 2007, 11:42 am Post #30 - November 29th, 2007, 11:42 am
    Vital Information - If you look up thread you can read my comments on the chicken with rice cakes. I guess we agree on the gnocchi like texture of the rice cake, but I find the dish aggressively cuminy (if that is a word) in a good way.

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