Announcing the Class of 2016 GNRs

Onur Usmen (turkob)

Spring is in the air, which means it’s time again to award LTH Forum’s Great Neighborhood Restaurants. The Class of 2016 features 11 new restaurants that offer a range of culinary experiences that reflects LTH Forum’s broad tastes. The GNRs are a list unlike any other, highlighting classics like fried chicken alongside hand-pounded Thai curries and mouth-numbing Szechuan appetizers.

Isla Pilipina
Kare-Kare at Isla Pilipina, photo by Ron Kaplan
Introducing: The Class of 2016

The Class of 2016 introduces three new cuisines to the roster, a testament to the incredible variety of the dining options in Chicago. Badou is the first sub-Saharan African GNR serving Senegalese specialties like pastels, a chicken-stuffed pastry, and diby yaap, spicy grilled lamb. Xi’an Cuisine brings the cuisine of China’s Shaanxi Province to Chinatown, where their lamb soup with hand-pulled noodles and spicy lamb flatbreads have been exciting LTHers since they opened. The cuisine of the Philippines finally gets its due with two members of the Class of 2016, Isla Pilipina and Uncle Mike’s Place, offering very different takes on what is often called the soul food of Asia.

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Welcome to the new LTH Forum

by Ron Kaplan (ronnie_suburban) and Matt Miller (milz50)

New LTH Logo

Welcome to the newly redesigned and updated LTH Forum. We’ve made changes to the way the website looks, and to how it works on the front end and behind the scenes. And if you’re reading this via your mobile device, hopefully you’re experiencing some increased usability and functionality.

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Announcing the Class of 2015 GNRs

Onur Usmen (turkob)

The time has come once again to crown a new class of LTH Forum’s Great Neighborhood Restaurants and Resources (GNRs). The Class of 2015 reflects the diversity of the forum, featuring places across state lines, food from all over the globe, and restaurants old and new.

Analogue, photo by Nick Murway
Breaking Down The Results

The Class of 2015 is the tenth class of GNRs and the program remains as strong as when it began in 2005. At its core, the GNRs are about bringing together those who passionately ply their craft – be it mixing drinks, baking bread, grilling burgers, or curing meat – with those who tirelessly seek out the best culinary experiences Chicago has to offer. The LTH Forum community remains dedicated to finding great food and sharing their experiences so others can learn for themselves what we already know: Chicagoland is one hell of a great place to eat.

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An LTHer’s Guide To Cactus League Eats

By Dominic Armato (Dmnkly)


“Pitchers and Catchers Report” takes on a very different meaning when you move from Chicago to Phoenix. No longer a harbinger of less frigid weather, it is instead a reminder that hot summer is about to give way to very, very, very hot summer and soon we will all be on fire. But before we combust, there’s the glorious month of March, when the skies are a brilliant blue, Phoenix is the center of the baseball universe (sorry, Florida), and those in the restaurant business are never more content to be so exhausted. 

It’s been an unusually lively offseason for Chicago baseball fans, and the wisest among them will surely be visiting Phoenix for Spring Training, a time when their faith in their teams can’t be shaken by the pesky reality of the standings. Of course, we all know it’s the <REDACTED> fans who really have cause to be excited about the 2015 season, but hey, everybody’s gotta eat, right? So if you’re making the pilgrimage this year, here are some Phoenix restaurants that I’m always especially happy to share with visitors from back home.

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An Insider’s Perspective on Health Inspections

By Jared Leonard (rubbbqco)

Recently, a popular restaurant was closed by the Chicago Department of Public Health, and it got a lot of chatter on the interweb. As I read the comments, I thought I could clear up some misunderstandings about restaurant inspections, specifically failing one of them (and what it takes to get a green sign on the door). 

Failures and closures have become popular fodder for internet news outlets. Details of every inspection are shared publicly by the City of Chicago, and closures are a favorite of DNAInfo and Eater.

I am not going to take sides on this; that’s not the point of what I’m writing. I, as a restaurant owner, would simply like to fill in the blanks – and correct some misinformation that has been written and/or assumed. 

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