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Chinatown: lunch for one

Chinatown: lunch for one
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  • Chinatown: lunch for one

    Post #1 - October 25th, 2007, 12:27 pm
    Post #1 - October 25th, 2007, 12:27 pm Post #1 - October 25th, 2007, 12:27 pm
    I'm on my way to work and am planning to swing through Chinatown for barbecue pork and fried egg over rice at Seven Treasures (they make it in about three minutes flat for $4); it's not the paragon of cuisine there but it's my current hankering.

    Which places do any of you use for lunch for one, either eat-in or to go? Who has the good specials in these heady days of late 2007? Lao Sze Chuan still seems to offer or not offer the lunch menu by whim. Many other places remove items (apps or soups) if you take out vs. eating in. Some places that I would like to go for lunch don't have a place for double-parking for pickup, or take a while to deliver the goods. Please share your favorite Chinatown lunches for those misanthropic solo days.
  • Post #2 - October 25th, 2007, 1:14 pm
    Post #2 - October 25th, 2007, 1:14 pm Post #2 - October 25th, 2007, 1:14 pm
    The lunch special at Spring World, if it's still the same, is one of the best deals in town. Choose one from column A and one from column B plus tea, soup, and rice for under $5.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #3 - October 25th, 2007, 2:12 pm
    Post #3 - October 25th, 2007, 2:12 pm Post #3 - October 25th, 2007, 2:12 pm
    LTH is a great place to go for a solo lunch. I've done it many times.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #4 - October 25th, 2007, 3:19 pm
    Post #4 - October 25th, 2007, 3:19 pm Post #4 - October 25th, 2007, 3:19 pm
    Thanks to both of you. Stevez, any favorite LTH menu item for lunchtime? Do they have an actual lunch special, or do you make hand motions a la Gary to get the BBQ plate?

    By the way - the BBQ pork and fried rice at Seven Treasures hit the spot as expected. I have to have this once a season. You get your protein, carbs, fat, a strong kick of house-ground fivespice, and all the runny egg yolk your heart could desire. But I do crave some alternates, so I offer much appreciation for further suggestions.
  • Post #5 - October 25th, 2007, 3:53 pm
    Post #5 - October 25th, 2007, 3:53 pm Post #5 - October 25th, 2007, 3:53 pm
    Santander wrote:Thanks to both of you. Stevez, any favorite LTH menu item for lunchtime? Do they have an actual lunch special, or do you make hand motions a la Gary to get the BBQ plate?


    I don't usually order any lunch specials when I go, so I'm not sure what they might be. Although they do offer dim sum from a paper menu at lunchtime, I wouldn't necessarily recommend it. Generally, if I am dining alone, I'll order either the pork and duck over crispy noodles (heavy on the duck and hand motions) or salt & pepper shrimp and take some home for later.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #6 - October 25th, 2007, 4:22 pm
    Post #6 - October 25th, 2007, 4:22 pm Post #6 - October 25th, 2007, 4:22 pm
    I second the rave for <b>Spring World</b>- try the Sechuan style Tofu (column B)
    and I like the twice cooked Pork.
    The portions size ther is outta control- you will be full.


    Another Chinatown lunch special is <b>BBQ King House</b>
    2148 S. Archer,
    in the same "mall" as Lao Sze Chuan, and Spring World...about in the middle- great Char Siu there as well (as well as an occasional BBQ Chicken Liver).
    The lunch special comes w/ soup (albeit is watery), Entree and rice.
  • Post #7 - September 12th, 2019, 7:34 am
    Post #7 - September 12th, 2019, 7:34 am Post #7 - September 12th, 2019, 7:34 am
    Dusting off a completely apt oldie.
    All of my cohorts that I expected at the office today totally bailed on me. I sit alone on State and Adams.

    EFF em.

    I'm thinking of hopping on the el and hitting Chinatown for lunch on MY terms. I'll have essentially NO ordering power, juss me, and I don't want leftovers.

    Any lunch special joints killing it lately?

    Gratuitous usage of Szechwan Peppercorns preferred, but well made ANYTHING is more important. I can ask for chili oil and slather it on.

    I happily eat everything, except shellfish.

    I'm scouring the other threads, but if you have anything in your back pocket, lemme know.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #8 - September 12th, 2019, 8:34 am
    Post #8 - September 12th, 2019, 8:34 am Post #8 - September 12th, 2019, 8:34 am
    Either basement of Richland Center, Chiu Quon or Wentworth Seafood House. WSH reflects my current mood/weather as I love their pumpkin congee w/seafood. Also, shrimp crepe (add egg), steamed wonton, fried shrimp & chive dumplings and whatever else catches your fancy on the breakfast menu, served till late afternoon. Table black vinegar and decent chili oil available.

    WentworthSeafoodHouse9.jpg Wentworth Seafood House

    Ahhhh, Fu*k, I have poor reading comprehension. No shellfish and my suggestion for WSH is loaded with shrimp.

    Wentworth Seafood House
    2229 S. Wentworth Ave
    312-808-0899
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #9 - September 12th, 2019, 8:58 am
    Post #9 - September 12th, 2019, 8:58 am Post #9 - September 12th, 2019, 8:58 am
    seebee wrote:Dusting off a completely apt oldie.
    All of my cohorts that I expected at the office today totally bailed on me. I sit alone on State and Adams.

    EFF em.

    I'm thinking of hopping on the el and hitting Chinatown for lunch on MY terms. I'll have essentially NO ordering power, juss me, and I don't want leftovers.

    Any lunch special joints killing it lately?

    Gratuitous usage of Szechwan Peppercorns preferred, but well made ANYTHING is more important. I can ask for chili oil and slather it on.

    I happily eat everything, except shellfish.

    I'm scouring the other threads, but if you have anything in your back pocket, lemme know.


    I haven’t been in a while, but my fave quickie no-shellfish lunch super close to the train in C-town is Ma Gong La Po—always the same order: vinegar spinach with peanuts, tofu with green onion and preserved egg and either spicy beef tendon or chicken in chili oil. All apps so it’s dirt cheap and still plenty of food. MGLP doesn’t get much love on here but I think it’s worth checking out.

    Ma Gong La Po
    2215 S Wentworth
    Chicago
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #10 - September 12th, 2019, 9:16 am
    Post #10 - September 12th, 2019, 9:16 am Post #10 - September 12th, 2019, 9:16 am
    At Richland, what's worth trying these days?
    Haven't been in a few years, and I'd bet all of the stalls have changed since I went.

    So far, my quick thoughts are to hit:
    BBQ King for a three meat on rice, an avocado smoothie with boba somewhere, and then a bakery for sesame balls, curry beef puffs, and Glutinous balls (the glut balls recommended VERY HIGHLY from a Chinese coworker.)

    Richland FC was 2nd, low key, no frills, with the possibility of finding a gem is always high on my list of adventure.

    ==
    boudreaulicious -
    In looking at MGLP's menu -
    Dan Dan
    +
    Chicken in Chili Oil, and maybe something else
    Sounds like a lunch right up my alley for a reasonable price. Definitely a front runner at this point, especially if I'm gonna grab some bakery stuff and a smoothie as well. Thanks!!!
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #11 - September 12th, 2019, 9:19 am
    Post #11 - September 12th, 2019, 9:19 am Post #11 - September 12th, 2019, 9:19 am
    Richland Center basement. Snack Planet reigns supreme but there's a couple of newer stalls down there I haven't been to. Its hard not to over order from snack planet. My consistent favorites are the cumin lamb ribs and the spicy beef noodle soup. I've never had a bad meal there and the prices are such that you can always add a wildcard to your tried and trues.

    The Taiwanese place (2nd stall from the stairs) who's name I can't remember has a surprisingly excellent popcorn chicken with basil. They have a cutlet that I haven't had- next time I'm there solo I will do that.
  • Post #12 - September 12th, 2019, 9:27 am
    Post #12 - September 12th, 2019, 9:27 am Post #12 - September 12th, 2019, 9:27 am
    I can vouch for the Mapo Tofu lunch special at Sze Chuan cuisine. Seven bucks, lots of peppercorns and a good portion that comes with rice and tea. It's a short walk from the Cermak red line, and you will also pass Chui Quon on your way there and back.

    Sze Chuan Cuisine
    2414 South Wentworth
    (312) 791-1882
    szechuancuisinechicago.com
  • Post #13 - September 12th, 2019, 11:16 am
    Post #13 - September 12th, 2019, 11:16 am Post #13 - September 12th, 2019, 11:16 am
    Sitting in mglp right now. Walked RIGHT past it.

    They clearly believe i made a mistake coming here. "Dan dan spicy, you sure?"
    "Chicken in chili oil. Maybe you mix it."

    Love it!
    Currently battling 3 fruit flies for this ma la goodness. Loving it.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #14 - September 12th, 2019, 11:22 am
    Post #14 - September 12th, 2019, 11:22 am Post #14 - September 12th, 2019, 11:22 am
    seebee wrote:Sitting in mglp right now. Walked RIGHT past it.

    They clearly believe i made a mistake coming here. "Dan dan spicy, you sure?"
    "Chicken in chili oil. Maybe you mix it."

    Love it!
    Currently battling 3 fruit flies for this ma la goodness. Loving it.


    Hahahaha—been there, done that. But when I told them I wanted spicy, they brought it. The vinegar spinach dish is my favorite thing—followed closely by the tofu & egg dish. Both were as good as those at the late, lamented Homestyle Taste.
    Last edited by boudreaulicious on September 12th, 2019, 2:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #15 - September 12th, 2019, 1:03 pm
    Post #15 - September 12th, 2019, 1:03 pm Post #15 - September 12th, 2019, 1:03 pm
    boudreaulicious wrote:
    seebee wrote:Sitting in mglp right now. Walked RIGHT past it.

    They clearly believe i made a mistake coming here. "Dan dan spicy, you sure?"
    "Chicken in chili oil. Maybe you mix it."

    Love it!
    Currently battling 3 fruit flies for this ma la goodness. Loving it.


    Hahahaha—been there, done that. But when I told them I wanted spicy, they brought it. The vinegar spinach dish is my favorite thing—followed closely by the tofu & egg dish. Both were as good as those at the late, lamented Northern Taste.


    Correction, the late, lamented Homestyle Taste. Northern Taste is still around and putting out pretty good food too.
  • Post #16 - September 12th, 2019, 1:18 pm
    Post #16 - September 12th, 2019, 1:18 pm Post #16 - September 12th, 2019, 1:18 pm
    The dan dan was fantastic. The noodles were predictably, boring, but very well cooked. Nice chew - al dente perfection. Obligatory spinach, ground pork bits, and a heavy dose of chili oil, not too much soy. Simple and great. Some fried garlic bits would have thrown it over the top into my "bests" discussion, but for quantity and quality, it's right up there. HUGE bowl. (You listening, LSC? - I didn't think so. Their tiny lil bowls tick me off.)

    The chicken in chili oil was heavily soyed, so the bits that were soaking in the pool of oily lava near the end of the meal were cringingly salty. But the rest of that entire bowl was FIRE.

    I'm guessing they'll be describing me to their families tonight:
    "And then, he ate the SHIT out of the chicken and noodles...WITH CHOPSTICKS"

    I wandered down to Chu Quon bakery, looked at their prices, and walked right out.
    I wound up across the street at the bakery that starts with F. Graffiti on the front windows, and a guy smoking next to the door. It looked about 347% more ghetto, and that's where I fit in more, so...

    The lady behind the counter wound up yelling at me. None of their shit had labels so, I started asking and pointing. After the third ask/point, the lady said, "You want sweet kind or meat kind?" Of course, I said..."Yes." She didn't take too kindly to my attempt at assholic humor. Anyway, I scored an avocado smoothie there, and a shit ton of buns, and sesame balls, and a 6 count bag of day old egg tarts. The avocado smoothie wasn't as deeply flavored as I hoped, but still hit the spot. The bobas were barely past crunchy, so they were some serious chewy contrasts. That bakery was a riot!

    I loved BOTH places. These are the spots my fam puts up with my stubbornness on picking meal places for.

    boudreaulicious's ma la recs - count me a fan!

    Feida Bakery
    2228 S Wentworth

    ==
    Ma Gong La Po
    2215 S Wentworth

    Bonus about MGLP:
    They have bakery cases at the front with most of the usual suspects including sesame balls (80 cents, thankyouverymuch)

    AND
    The back of their menu has a list of bbq skewers in whatever Asian language ONLY. Most were between 1 and 3 bucks each. I asked the server, and she started listing them off: beef tendon, chicken wings, lamb parts, some vegetables. The phone rang before she finished, but I have a feeling that a bowl of dan dan, and a few skewers would be a fantastic lunch or or something to share between a few people. Well worth investigating more.
    Truth be told, shit, I don't even recall the last time we set foot on Wentworth, we've been hitting the places in the mall/square so much for years now. This MGPL place tho...I kinda like it. Gruff, no frills...DEFINITELY no frills, I dig it. The fruit flies made me laugh, I've had em before - end of summer, ripe fruit and veggies, doesn't bug me. Place made me feel like I was in gramma's kitchen in late August. Just needed one of those steel bladed oscillating table fans.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #17 - September 12th, 2019, 2:02 pm
    Post #17 - September 12th, 2019, 2:02 pm Post #17 - September 12th, 2019, 2:02 pm
    For me, there is only one choice: China Cafe at 2300 S Wentworth. The first time I walked into the place, the place was filled with old Cantonese guys eating dim sum, yelling at each other, and passing around a Costco-sized jug of Kirkland brandy. The second time I visited, the Cantonese guys were gone but the bottle of brandy was stashed under my table in what I presume is its customary hiding place. That was my first clue that I was gonna love this place.

    They have an entire lunch special menu with dozens of items that range from $6-8 and everything I've tried has been good. My go-to is their beef with enoki stir-fry in sa cha sauce, which is like a savory XO-type sauce:
    Image
    Dim sum is very good here without the crazy crowds of the big dim sum joints. I usually get the tofu skin rolls (fu zhu juan) and the siu mai. Definitely a great place to get lunch and play spot-the-brandy-bottle if you're so inclined.
    Last edited by eating while walking on September 12th, 2019, 2:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #18 - September 12th, 2019, 2:05 pm
    Post #18 - September 12th, 2019, 2:05 pm Post #18 - September 12th, 2019, 2:05 pm
    botd wrote:
    boudreaulicious wrote:
    seebee wrote:Sitting in mglp right now. Walked RIGHT past it.

    They clearly believe i made a mistake coming here. "Dan dan spicy, you sure?"
    "Chicken in chili oil. Maybe you mix it."

    Love it!
    Currently battling 3 fruit flies for this ma la goodness. Loving it.


    Hahahaha—been there, done that. But when I told them I wanted spicy, they brought it. The vinegar spinach dish is my favorite thing—followed closely by the tofu & egg dish. Both were as good as those at the late, lamented Northern Taste.


    Correction, the late, lamented Homestyle Taste. Northern Taste is still around and putting out pretty good food too.


    Damn damn damn—thank you! I knew that didn’t sound right when I typed it.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #19 - September 12th, 2019, 3:06 pm
    Post #19 - September 12th, 2019, 3:06 pm Post #19 - September 12th, 2019, 3:06 pm
    I have not had the best luck with MGLP but these datapoints will usher in a visit soon - thanks.

    You (I think) turned me on to the silky tofu and flank steak at MCCB and that's a quarterly lunch (and dinner) now in my rotation.

    I still often do lunch weekly or biweekly these days at Seven Treasures (pork and fried egg, original post from 12 years ago!) and Emperor's Choice (sesame beef), and Evergreen (lemon chicken) on Wentworth, throwing in Slurp Slurp or Golden Bull occasionally, these all for the carb and wok hei rush, not for spice.

    Richland is my rush hour delay tactic, and lately down there it's been Shan Shaan Taste, the special with a "burger" for now (lamb or pork bing) and the liangpi for tomorrow (even better when refrigerated overnight). They will make things hot and numbing on request. Madame Zhou at the front counter (I don't know her actual name) is also a (de)light.

    Flanking SST, Hello Jasmine has the addicting popcorn chicken, and Elitea has the deeper roasted tea flavored drinks (their brown sugar syrup is also better than the Okinawa offering at Te Amo, Tony Hu's daughter's Hyde Park place). However, I'll actually take Taipei Cafe on Halsted over both of those for snacks and tea.
  • Post #20 - October 3rd, 2019, 9:46 am
    Post #20 - October 3rd, 2019, 9:46 am Post #20 - October 3rd, 2019, 9:46 am
    Quick datapoint:
    A coworker let me know that Daguan Noodle is one of his go to's for clean, rich broth and noodles at a decent price. He's Cantonese and lives in Chinatown. Another coworker and I checked the place out, and it was pretty darn good. The coworker that went with me is now an addict for the stuff. We both had the fish soup a few weeks ago. We're going back today for it.

    I also got a rec for Feida Bakery's Dim Sum from the same guy. He said it's not the greatest, but FOR THE PRICE, it might be. It's his go to for cheap dim sum. He laughed when I told him the ladies at the front counter always frown when I walk in. He told me it's par for the course if they have to explain anything. Still like that place, though.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #21 - October 3rd, 2019, 10:35 am
    Post #21 - October 3rd, 2019, 10:35 am Post #21 - October 3rd, 2019, 10:35 am
    seebee wrote:Quick datapoint:
    A coworker let me know that Daguan Noodle is one of his go to's for clean, rich broth and noodles at a decent price. He's Cantonese and lives in Chinatown. Another coworker and I checked the place out, and it was pretty darn good. The coworker that went with me is now an addict for the stuff. We both had the fish soup a few weeks ago. We're going back today for it.

    I also got a rec for Feida Bakery's Dim Sum from the same guy. He said it's not the greatest, but FOR THE PRICE, it might be. It's his go to for cheap dim sum. He laughed when I told him the ladies at the front counter always frown when I walk in. He told me it's par for the course if they have to explain anything. Still like that place, though.


    And this is funny: they rush to dump all of the beautiful mise into the broth unless you say Michelin or Instagram, the instant code-words for "I want to take pictures." I recommend doing that to allow your own mix of doneness and textures (and the little bowls and contents are beautiful).
  • Post #22 - October 3rd, 2019, 11:25 am
    Post #22 - October 3rd, 2019, 11:25 am Post #22 - October 3rd, 2019, 11:25 am
    Santander wrote:And this is funny: they rush to dump all of the beautiful mise into the broth unless you say Michelin or Instagram, the instant code-words for "I want to take pictures." I recommend doing that to allow your own mix of doneness and textures (and the little bowls and contents are beautiful).

    Are you talking about Daguan Noodle? Somehow Daguan escaped my attention though, since it just received a M Bib, someone must have been paying attention. Maybe Seebee and/or Santander are on the Michelin committee.

    Possibly I'm slow but when there are multiple restaurants in a thread, lots of individual references, and they, it, this, there etc are used instead of a name I get a bit confused or, at the least, uncertain.
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #23 - October 3rd, 2019, 11:33 am
    Post #23 - October 3rd, 2019, 11:33 am Post #23 - October 3rd, 2019, 11:33 am
    G Wiv wrote:
    Santander wrote:And this is funny: they rush to dump all of the beautiful mise into the broth unless you say Michelin or Instagram, the instant code-words for "I want to take pictures." I recommend doing that to allow your own mix of doneness and textures (and the little bowls and contents are beautiful).

    Are you talking about Daguan Noodle? Somehow Daguan escaped my attention though, since it just received a M Bib, someone must have been paying attention. Maybe Seebee and/or Santander are on the Michelin committee.

    Possibly I'm slow but when there are multiple restaurants in a thread, lots of individual references, and they, it, this, there etc are used instead of a name I get a bit confused or, at the least, uncertain.


    True and true. Daguan, will attempt to split when time arises.
  • Post #24 - October 3rd, 2019, 12:17 pm
    Post #24 - October 3rd, 2019, 12:17 pm Post #24 - October 3rd, 2019, 12:17 pm
    Santander wrote:And this is funny: they rush to dump all of the beautiful mise into the broth unless you say Michelin or Instagram, the instant code-words for "I want to take pictures." I recommend doing that to allow your own mix of doneness and textures (and the little bowls and contents are beautiful).


    Wait, you mean the bean sprouts and Spam and stuff?
    J/k, I just wanted to use the word Spam a few times.

    You are 100% correct, they are super quick about getting stuff in that broth if you give them the nod. After today's visit, the coworker and I both agreed that this place is pretty decent. We both had the fish soup again. I went with the "hot and spicy," which is neither hot nor spicy, but it has a peppery warmth and is SUPER tasty. We both also agreed that the Spam is fantastic in this broth.

    Hit Feida next door again. The counterlady was actually NICE today. Greeted us as we walked in while she was helping another customer. Said "thank you" as we were leaving.

    I should buy a lottery ticket.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #25 - October 18th, 2019, 10:50 am
    Post #25 - October 18th, 2019, 10:50 am Post #25 - October 18th, 2019, 10:50 am
    Another quick shout out for Daguan Noodle.
    We are 100% hooked on the fish soup. Spicy or not. Fish soup with noodle. 9.95.
    The broth has to have crack in it.
    If anyone is looking for a 1-2 punch on Wentworth, a bowl of soup from Daguan, and dessert next door at Feida (who knows what they will have that day?) is pretty high on my list these days. I'm absolutely hooked on the Hot&Spicy Fish Soup w/ noodle.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.

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