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Citrine and evolving Oak Park scene

Citrine and evolving Oak Park scene
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  • Post #661 - October 18th, 2019, 8:08 am
    Post #661 - October 18th, 2019, 8:08 am Post #661 - October 18th, 2019, 8:08 am
    I did the P&M in Mariano's Westchester and was not impressed with the product. Pulled pork was OK, but the brisket was almost flavorless. Gobs of bbq sauce helped a bit, but even those tasted generic.

    Having a Blackwood right outside the door at work kinda spoiled me, but I think they have dropped a notch since the Naf-Naf takeover as well....
  • Post #662 - October 18th, 2019, 8:16 am
    Post #662 - October 18th, 2019, 8:16 am Post #662 - October 18th, 2019, 8:16 am
    stoutisgoodfood wrote:I did the P&M in Mariano's Westchester and was not impressed with the product. Pulled pork was OK, but the brisket was almost flavorless. Gobs of bbq sauce helped a bit, but even those tasted generic.

    Having a Blackwood right outside the door at work kinda spoiled me, but I think they have dropped a notch since the Naf-Naf takeover as well....

    I’m not sure I would go there for bbq as that’s not his specialty. I’m surprised he would put together a simple sandwich?
    Panther in the Den wrote:We had visited the Bucktown location...

    Pork & Mindy's
    1623 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago

    ... and thought it was good! I thought the different flavor combinations in the sandwiches were special enough to set them apart and the Bacon Candy was fun. :) Nice atmosphere.

    I always try to hone in on what might be different.
    CCAB32B5-D2B4-474F-AA17-A7D14E96A1B6.jpeg Chicago Style Pot Roast Sandwich

    2525505E-66F2-4D78-AC72-240AC4C28812.jpeg I think this was Pork Belly Bao?

    Both these sandwiches were fine with good flavors and different just enough.
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #663 - October 18th, 2019, 12:06 pm
    Post #663 - October 18th, 2019, 12:06 pm Post #663 - October 18th, 2019, 12:06 pm
    Panther in the Den wrote:
    thetrob wrote:
    Panther in the Den wrote:Wow! I did a driveby on Tuesday and the sign was still up.

    This is sad news. :( I was looking forward.


    I drive by it almost every day, today is the first day I noticed it was gone. Let's see what the next few days bring. Maybe it was removed as they are going to be removing the windows or something? Not sure.

    Has anyone had Pork and Mindy's? What is your opinion? I have tried some of the locations downtown a few times and was not blown away by anything. Menu items sound great but execution was not as expected and value/portion size was not great.

    We had visited the Bucktown location...

    Pork & Mindy's
    1623 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago

    ... and thought it was good! I thought the different flavor combinations in the sandwiches were special enough to set them apart and the Bacon Candy was fun. :) Nice atmosphere.

    141DF6EC-1BF5-492E-ABBB-1BE792C8CCB4.jpeg

    Kinda reminded me of the nice flavor combinations that Bobby Flay was able to come up with for Big Guys when they first opened. There is something about a chef’s touch brought to a simple sandwich.

    Price? Well it’s price. I’ve long given up on complaining about price. I’ll try any place once but might not go back.

    I once got shouted down about complaining about a nice roasted chicken dinner at a good Mexican rotisserie place comparing it to Jewel. If you want something good often you will have to pay.


    Who doesn't like a little Pig Candy.....

    Maybe it was just the locations I have been at, which are in Food Courts, so as to atmosphere.......not so much. In terms of the food, maybe as I said it was just execution. Maybe attributed to being in a food court? Similar to not expecting quite the same from Honey Butter, Budlong, etc. as you would get in their "regular" locations.
  • Post #664 - October 18th, 2019, 12:17 pm
    Post #664 - October 18th, 2019, 12:17 pm Post #664 - October 18th, 2019, 12:17 pm
    Panther in the Den wrote:New in the hood...

    Pit Zone BBQ
    7247 Roosevelt Rd, Forest Park
    (708) 435-4117
    http://pit-zone-bbq.business.site

    Wow! 2 new BBQ places just recently.

    But financial struggles have meant hard times for Smith, who started a GoFundMe in September 2019 to raise money to keep Pit Zone going.

    https://www.oakparkeats.com/food-news/p ... rving-bbq/

    Maybe if it had smoke flavor it might be better received?
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #665 - October 26th, 2019, 1:14 pm
    Post #665 - October 26th, 2019, 1:14 pm Post #665 - October 26th, 2019, 1:14 pm
    Panther in the Den wrote:
    Panther in the Den wrote:Restaurant Row
    Gringo & Blondie Taqueria & Churreria - Summer

    Gringo & Blondie Taqueria & Churreria - Window wall complete, graphics on them. Advertising for staff.

    Open!

    9519F01B-D54D-4438-BED6-B57E1D5693F0.jpeg
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #666 - October 30th, 2019, 9:42 pm
    Post #666 - October 30th, 2019, 9:42 pm Post #666 - October 30th, 2019, 9:42 pm
    I understand that operating a restaurant in our neck of the woods presents some challenges but I do have a pet-peeve regarding stated hours. My wife and I had been trying to get out for the past few weeks and have also been thinking about attempting to becoming "regulars" at some nearby haunt. To that end we decided to walk to Autre Monde tonight - it's a few blocks and the weather was miserable but we were looking forward to saddling up to the bar. Sadly, when we arrived at 8:30PM it was "lights out". Website says 10PM on Wednesdays and their facebook page had a post from 6:30PM telling folks to "come on out". This kind of stuff is the genesis of my aforementioned pet-peeve. For about 5 hours today I was really looking forward to dinner. Sadly, I think I'm done. I know the weather was bad, and it was game 7 of the World Series, etc. but man, to close up shop 90 minutes before advertised on a Wednesday night?

    Oh well. We continued our walk down Roosevelt to Capri and had a delightful meal. We weren't rushed out the door and there were a few other parties scattered about the room also enjoying themselves. There's something to be said for being reliably open.
  • Post #667 - November 4th, 2019, 8:37 am
    Post #667 - November 4th, 2019, 8:37 am Post #667 - November 4th, 2019, 8:37 am
    dradeli wrote:Has anyone been the the new Cajun boil on South Blvd?

    A teaser article...

    https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/illinoi ... ations-il/
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #668 - November 7th, 2019, 9:11 am
    Post #668 - November 7th, 2019, 9:11 am Post #668 - November 7th, 2019, 9:11 am
    Panther in the Den wrote:
    Panther in the Den wrote:Busy time in The Kingdom!

    Forest Park
    Chirrion (The Forest Perk)

    What a great time to be alive. :)

    Chirrion
    7510 Madison St, Forest Park

    Open! (about 3 weeks)

    Ducked in and grabbed a menu $3.50 (and up) tacos! The taco price escalation continues. ... and I thought the $3 ones from other new places was excessive.

    Nothing really stood out other than all day breakfast offerings (they open at 11?). I’ll take a closer look.

    I asked the gal what distinguishes them from the other places? She couldn’t answer other than to say their food was good!?!

    I’ll drop by for a steak taco soon and it better be well filled, tender and delicious otherwise I’ll be going to...

    Taco Tu
    7321 Madison St, Forest Park

    Well, as promised I did drop in for a steak taco.

    “... it better be well filled, tender and delicious“

    D5A1AB53-4B87-41F0-8993-4B9D0895882F.jpeg Outer Skirt Steak Taco

    Well, it was all that! Filled so full that meat was falling out and gave me a good chance to taste the meat solo. Nice flame broiled flavor. Juicy too leaving a nice puddle of grease on the plate when I was done. Maybe the best taco I’ve had in the area matching my first visit to Cactus Grill on Harlem (not so good on the second).

    25B84BD3-9FA0-4B0B-9BED-E4E36BD07C04.jpeg Upscale with fancy cone baskets

    Salsa packing no heat, good flavor to the Pico de Gallo but once again very mild. No spicier options available.

    5473EA86-D41F-4EBE-8C2B-1A211E434927.jpeg

    0B0843D2-BD0D-42B6-AB6E-C3D7984A66A5.jpeg Contents of the pickled vegetables

    Additional $0.50 charge for Pickled Vegetables. Fresh, mild, Jalapeños very soft with heat. Maybe I could of sliced them and put that on the taco to amp them up?

    I sat at the 3 stool counter and the owner was in residence. Asking him, other than the Outer Skirt Steak, what are the dishes he is trying to highlight? He mentioned the soups, chicken and beef, are also very good. I will give them a try soon.

    He also reiterated that the Outer Skirt Steak is used in several of the dishes on the menu.

    The nitty gritty. The taco with a side of pickled vegetables set me back just short of $5. Very good taco though.

    Margaritas (slushy and regular) and beer also available.

    With that price I might of expected housemade tortillas.
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #669 - November 9th, 2019, 9:20 am
    Post #669 - November 9th, 2019, 9:20 am Post #669 - November 9th, 2019, 9:20 am
    Man doesn’t live on just hotdogs and pizza alone.

    Mickey's Gyros & Ribs
    525 N Harlem Ave, Oak Park

    4F928ECE-A8CA-43C7-ADAB-64289C670141.jpeg

    Riblet Sandwich and a Gyros Plate for Date Night dinner with My Bride.

    82905468-8DF9-41EB-8774-C77AB665F64C.jpeg Riblet

    Imagine a boneless rib (not tips) baked then finished on the grill, slathered in a tasty sauce then served on garlic bread. My favorite at this restaurant!

    549EA4B6-5ED9-4AD0-8240-7257AE5B1F97.jpeg Gyros Plate

    Two gyros worth of meat, two pieces of pita, tomatoes and onions. Thin fries. Pretty standard gyros (aren’t they all?) but a good tzatziki sauce.
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #670 - November 11th, 2019, 6:12 pm
    Post #670 - November 11th, 2019, 6:12 pm Post #670 - November 11th, 2019, 6:12 pm
    Filipino popup feast at...

    The Lantern Haus
    7414 Madison St, Forest Park

    ... on November 21st.

    https://www.oakparkeats.com/blogs/oak-p ... %E2%80%99/
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #671 - November 14th, 2019, 11:50 am
    Post #671 - November 14th, 2019, 11:50 am Post #671 - November 14th, 2019, 11:50 am
    Panther in the Den wrote:
    Panther in the Den wrote:
    Panther in the Den wrote:Busy time in The Kingdom!

    Opening soon...

    Downtown
    Kalamata Kitchen
    Peeked in the window, very little progress, a few partition wall framing.

    Don’t hold your breath.

    Suddenly a lot of activity! Looks like the interior is complete, looking for staff...

    Might be soon!

    Happened to be in the area, lights on, door unlocked, a gent sitting at the bar...

    Turned out to be the father of the owner and his son was at the village hall arranging final inspections.

    He was hoping they would be open by Thanksgiving.
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #672 - November 14th, 2019, 5:38 pm
    Post #672 - November 14th, 2019, 5:38 pm Post #672 - November 14th, 2019, 5:38 pm
    Panther in the Den wrote:
    Panther in the Den wrote:Busy time in The Kingdom!

    Opening soon...

    Fairgrounds Coffee & Tea

    What a great time to be alive. :)

    Open!

    702 Lake St, Oak Park

    Also noticed they have another location...

    1620 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago

    Looks nicely polished. Might stop in for a cuppa...

    Stopped in for cuppa and something sweet with My Bride.

    Nice inside, comfortable. No charging plugs for devices. They have some fun looking swings (like at a playground) but they were already frayed and out of service.

    Walked up to the counter and asked for 2 coffees and without batting an eye she put in the order for 2 small coffees (12 oz) of the house blend. They have maybe 7 different beans available (flights are available).

    Also asked for a brownie for dinner to eat in and to have it warmed up.

    Waiting for my order I noticed the gal was putting my coffee in a to go cup and asked if it could be served in one of the ceramic cups and she asked the manager and he pointed to the cup she was to use (the smaller of the two).

    As she was pouring it in I noticed the cup was about 6 oz and I asked for the larger cup. She asked the manager he flatly refused??? I attempted to talk to him a couple of times about the size difference and he stood with his his back to me and ignored me even though he was only a few feet away.

    Very odd!

    I asked the gal to pour it back into the paper cup and she happily did so obviously uncomfortable about being caught in the middle of the situation.

    Coffee good! Brownie nice and rich. Odd management.
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #673 - November 17th, 2019, 8:17 pm
    Post #673 - November 17th, 2019, 8:17 pm Post #673 - November 17th, 2019, 8:17 pm
    Panther in the Den wrote:Yay! More tacos and burrito bowls! :)

    Opening soon (in spring?)...

    currito A nationwide chain.
    Between GNC at 1112 Lake St, Oak Park and Fitzgerald's Fine Stationery (somewhat of an odd storefront that shares an entrance).

    https://currito.com/

    At first I thought it was a vegetarian place until I saw...

    ... choose from grilled chicken, grilled steak...

    Panther in the Den wrote:currito - Sign down

    Sign is back up
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #674 - November 18th, 2019, 3:42 pm
    Post #674 - November 18th, 2019, 3:42 pm Post #674 - November 18th, 2019, 3:42 pm
    Pork and Mindys files for bankruptcy:

    from Crains Chicago Business:

    Pork & Mindy’s is no more after filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on Nov. 5.
    Led by Chicago native Jeff Mauro, who called himself the "sandwich king," the company filed in the U.S. bankruptcy court for the Northern District of Illinois and listed liabilities between $1 to $10 million with an estimated 50 to 99 creditors.
    The creative BBQ concept debuted in Bucktown in January 2016 and Mauro operated two additional restaurants in Wrigley Field and the Loop. Earlier this year, Mauro signed a deal with area grocery chain Mariano’s to open in 20 stores by the end of 2019. A few were up and running before the bankruptcy filing.
    Mauro also told the Chicago Tribune he planned to open two more stand-alone locations in Elmwood Park and the Irving Park neighborhood. Representatives for Mauro could not be reached for comment.
    In August, Eater Chicago reported that original Bucktown Pork & Mindy's at 1623 N. Milwaukee Ave. was closed. The new space was intended for Pork & Mindy's workers to learn how to work at the other restaurant locations. Also, Mauro intended to open a delivery-only restaurant, private event space and training center, dubbed QU, at the location.

    A Chapter 7 usually leads to liquidation.

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