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Hermosa, Hot Dog Stand W/ Asian Influence

Hermosa, Hot Dog Stand W/ Asian Influence
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  • Hermosa, Hot Dog Stand W/ Asian Influence

    Post #1 - November 6th, 2019, 4:22 am
    Post #1 - November 6th, 2019, 4:22 am Post #1 - November 6th, 2019, 4:22 am
    Fuck waiting in line and getting stabbed at Popeye's, Cambodian Fried Chicken sandwich from Hermosa hit my 2019 highlight reel two bites in. Hat tip to Dennis Lee for posting on Instagram and compliments to Chef/Owner Ethan Lim for his sense of culinary style. Had a gratis taste of Moo Ping sandwich, dusting of toasted ground rice powder pure genius.

    Small spotless space in a slightly out of the way location with the feel of a classic hot dog stand run through the prism of Asia. There are a number of items I'm looking forward to trying. Also hot dogs, soup, chili, salads, shakes, ice cream and burgers. Including 2-dogs, fries and a soda for $7.95 special.

    Hermosa Restaurant, count me a Fan!

    HermosaRestaurantP1.jpg Cambodian Fried Chicken Sandwich

    HermosaRestaurantP4.jpg Moo Ping Sandwich (tasting size)

    HermosaRestaurantP2.jpg Interior facing North

    HermosaRestaurantP6.jpg Menu

    HermosaRestaurantP7.jpg Menu

    HermosaRestaurantP5.jpg Exterior (entrance on Kostner)


    Hermosa Restaurant
    4356 W Armitage Ave
    Chicago, IL 60639
    872-802-4920
    https://www.hermosarestaurant.com/
    Opens 11:30am, closed Sunday & Monday
    Last edited by G Wiv on December 12th, 2019, 10:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #2 - November 6th, 2019, 8:11 am
    Post #2 - November 6th, 2019, 8:11 am Post #2 - November 6th, 2019, 8:11 am
    When I was working a short term contract in the area I attempted to visit a couple of times but they were not open during posted hours. :(

    I did finally manage a visit when they were open and asking about the erratic hours he mentioned something about catering orders keeping him busy.

    Mostly about keeping the school kids fed there were a few, but messy, gems on the menu...

    41980612-0AC2-40A7-9489-DB238811C5A8.jpeg

    Both picture about the same...

    7F6B04E5-C506-45FE-96DF-626524D3939C.jpeg

    A wonderful combination of flavors combining the tender meat, crunchy vegetables and savory sauces.

    Googoo's Table
    4356 W Armitage Ave, Chicago

    ... on the corner is owned by the same family and does a good job at your traditional Chinese with a few unique items...

    346D9A44-E0B5-485A-AF41-935FA495069E.jpeg Cambodian Chicken Curry Soup

    Not a bad corner to grab a bite.
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #3 - November 6th, 2019, 8:38 am
    Post #3 - November 6th, 2019, 8:38 am Post #3 - November 6th, 2019, 8:38 am
    Nice short piece by Louisa Chu: https://www.chicagotribune.com/dining/c ... story.html
    "I live on good soup, not on fine words." -Moliere
  • Post #4 - November 6th, 2019, 8:41 am
    Post #4 - November 6th, 2019, 8:41 am Post #4 - November 6th, 2019, 8:41 am
    We got a Popeye's Chicken sandwich Monday night with a short wait. It was very mediocre and I don't get the craze. I would frankly take McD's spicy chicken sandwich any day, especially the ones in Taiwan made with real thighs. The Popeye's in Toronto had better fried chicken sandwiches and better mash and gravy.

    Anyways this looks delicious. Reminds me of Big Boss down in Bridgeport. Also Googoo's has a legit looking Cambodian beef noodle soup.
  • Post #5 - November 6th, 2019, 9:20 am
    Post #5 - November 6th, 2019, 9:20 am Post #5 - November 6th, 2019, 9:20 am
    botd wrote: Also Googoo's has a legit looking Cambodian beef noodle soup.
    Lim's sister owns Two Lanterns Cafe in Lincolnwood, I have not been but there are a few items on the menu that piqued my interest.

    Based on my one visit Hermosa is a gem, unique interesting delicious fairly priced. I was there well over an hour at lunchtime with only a few other customers. It would be a serious shame/waste of talent, if the majority of sales were of the hot dog special variety to school kids.

    Two Lanterns Cafe
    3900 W Touhy Ave
    Lincolnwood, IL 60712
    847-410-7829
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #6 - November 9th, 2019, 8:32 pm
    Post #6 - November 9th, 2019, 8:32 pm Post #6 - November 9th, 2019, 8:32 pm
    Been there twice now for lunch when they should be open and they aren’t. Menu items look so good I’ll give it a third try but if they aren’t open, it’ll be three strikes and I’ll never try again.
  • Post #7 - November 9th, 2019, 9:40 pm
    Post #7 - November 9th, 2019, 9:40 pm Post #7 - November 9th, 2019, 9:40 pm
    Lancelac wrote:Been there twice now for lunch when they should be open and they aren’t. Menu items look so good I’ll give it a third try but if they aren’t open, it’ll be three strikes and I’ll never try again.

    I’ve had the same experience and also almost gave up.

    To not waste a trip a visit next door would not be a waste of time.
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #8 - November 14th, 2019, 6:34 pm
    Post #8 - November 14th, 2019, 6:34 pm Post #8 - November 14th, 2019, 6:34 pm
    Hermosa lunch, I'm pretty keen on this place and the 3 guys I went with possess both practiced palates and razor sharp tongues. While there was spirited banter, Hermosa's superb sandwiches earned a solid "delightful" with Cambodian Fried Chicken and Moo Ping, with its dusting of toasted rice powder taking the lead. Ngau Nam, think french dip, close behind followed by Korean spicy pork and cheese steak. Though I'd happily eat all five again, and plan too soon. Talented chef/owner Ethan Lim gracious to a fault.

    Hermosa, count me a Fan!

    HermosaP1.jpg Cambodian Fried Chicken

    HermosaP2.jpg Moo Ping

    HermosaP3.jpg Ngau Nam

    HeremosaP5.jpg Korean spicy pork

    HermosaP4.jpg Cheese Steak
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #9 - November 15th, 2019, 6:06 am
    Post #9 - November 15th, 2019, 6:06 am Post #9 - November 15th, 2019, 6:06 am
    this place looks real good, wish it wasn't so far from home/office
  • Post #10 - November 15th, 2019, 8:15 am
    Post #10 - November 15th, 2019, 8:15 am Post #10 - November 15th, 2019, 8:15 am
    Curious about the bread.

    Hoping it's not like Zenwich– interesting/well made (Asian spin) fillings on Sysco bread.

    Still excited to try this place.
  • Post #11 - November 15th, 2019, 8:41 am
    Post #11 - November 15th, 2019, 8:41 am Post #11 - November 15th, 2019, 8:41 am
    Jefe wrote:Curious about the bread.
    Bread is from Highland Baking Company, I asked. Highland is an excellent local commercial bakery with a Huge array of products available. Super responsive to customers with reps who think nothing of bringing chefs multiple samples multiple days until satisfied. I have personal experience with Highland, used them at Barn & Company, had a great relationship with my rep to the extent she called a few weeks ago and asked if I would like a couple of challah for Rosh Hashanah even though I've not bought from them recently.

    Highland also ponies up a dozen dozen dinner rolls for our yearly Christmas event at the Salvation Army, which is coming up on 12.20.19. I will be asking soon for volunteers. (please don't litter this thread with "count me in")

    Eric, having had the pleasure of your company at the dining table on more than one occasion I can say without hesitation Hermosa is your kind of food and Ethan your kind of guy/chef/person. I'd be happy to join you there anytime.
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #12 - November 15th, 2019, 11:02 am
    Post #12 - November 15th, 2019, 11:02 am Post #12 - November 15th, 2019, 11:02 am
    G Wiv wrote:Eric, having had the pleasure of your company at the dining table on more than one occasion I can say without hesitation Hermosa is your kind of food and Ethan your kind of guy/chef/person. I'd be happy to join you there anytime.


    Sold!
  • Post #13 - December 12th, 2019, 6:15 pm
    Post #13 - December 12th, 2019, 6:15 pm Post #13 - December 12th, 2019, 6:15 pm
    Hermosa Resteraunt lunch, as in past visits loved the unique food and charmed by Ethan Eang Lim's hospitality. If you have not read Mike Sula, of the Chicago Reader, wonderful review of Hermosa please do so now. ---->Link

    Hermos23.jpg Ginger chicken soup

    Hermosa22.jpg Cambodian Fried Chicken Sandwich

    HermosaP26.jpg Moo Ping Sandwich


    Hermosa Restaurant, count me a Fan!
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #14 - December 12th, 2019, 9:18 pm
    Post #14 - December 12th, 2019, 9:18 pm Post #14 - December 12th, 2019, 9:18 pm
    I've tried going twice. Once on a Sunday (around noon) and today at 11:45 am. Closed both times. According to their website they open at 11am on these days. I'll probably give it one more shot, maybe I'll call before I go... But it seems silly that I should have to call to confirm openness during times that are already posted on the website.
  • Post #15 - December 12th, 2019, 10:49 pm
    Post #15 - December 12th, 2019, 10:49 pm Post #15 - December 12th, 2019, 10:49 pm
    jellob1976 wrote:I've tried going twice. Once on a Sunday (around noon) and today at 11:45 am. Closed both times. According to their website they open at 11am on these days. I'll probably give it one more shot, maybe I'll call before I go... But it seems silly that I should have to call to confirm openness during times that are already posted on the website.


    Hermosa hours:
    11:30 - 8pm
    Closed Sunday and Monday (which I say in the first post in this thread)

    I was there today, Thursday 12.12.19, at a few minutes after noon and they were open.

    Chef/Owner Lim is a one man show, a wonderful talented creative fellow. I suggest trying one more time. He is also responsive on Facebook messages, if you feel like checking on hours or if he will be open.

    Note:
    I just changed the hours from 11 to 11:30, my post said closed Sunday and Monday all along as does the copy of the menu I posted
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #16 - December 13th, 2019, 11:02 am
    Post #16 - December 13th, 2019, 11:02 am Post #16 - December 13th, 2019, 11:02 am
    When I finally was able to stop by when he was open during posted hours (once after 3 tries) he did mention that his catering will often distract him.

    It is a one man show and this should be a busy time for catering.
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #17 - December 13th, 2019, 11:03 am
    Post #17 - December 13th, 2019, 11:03 am Post #17 - December 13th, 2019, 11:03 am
    I enjoyed lunch here with the Notorious GWIV yesterday. A squeaky clean little lunch counter, house remixes bumping just above conversation level, Ethan, a hip yet humble host.

    The flavors on these sandwiches pop big time. Moo ping salt fat acid heat like it should be (I suspected and spied Turano rolls on the way out back there, Gary. Local at least.) Cambodian fried chicken even better– nicely marinated thigh, lots of surprising crunchy vegetation, and a considerable heat note. Brioche roll better than Popeye's.

    I look forward to returning for the prakoh ptiss sandwich. I think I could easily down 1.5-2 of Ethan's sammies. My excuse for only splitting two yesterday was anticipating a long workday on my feet, though maybe I was just being coy with my date :oops:
  • Post #18 - December 29th, 2019, 8:17 am
    Post #18 - December 29th, 2019, 8:17 am Post #18 - December 29th, 2019, 8:17 am
    This place 100% lives up to the hype. The Cambodian fried chicken is worthy of all of the praise. The flavors have been adequately described but I'd like to add a note praising Lim's mastery of the deep fryer. Just a perfectly cooked piece of chicken. I thought the ngau nam was even better thanks to an aromatic broth that I would drink for days. I used my last bit of bread to absorb every last drop of the dipping sauce. I didn't love the pot-au-feu, which, while perfectly solid, paled in comparison to the other two.

    Also worth noting that Hermosa is BYOB.
  • Post #19 - January 1st, 2020, 1:46 pm
    Post #19 - January 1st, 2020, 1:46 pm Post #19 - January 1st, 2020, 1:46 pm
    Had to come back and review after my previous post was just whining about the couple of wasted trips I made when they weren't open, and I've been back 4 times since then, each time a wonderful experience. Chef Ethan provides incredible hospitality and really makes you feel at home (remembers you, makes you feel at ease, etc.). I'd say my favorites line up with those of others (Camobodian Chicken and Moo Ping), but the steak sandwich and spicy pork were no slouches either. One item I haven't heard anyone mention is how good the french fries are as well. Consistently super crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. Really love this place and will be back again and again in 2020.
  • Post #20 - January 4th, 2020, 11:56 am
    Post #20 - January 4th, 2020, 11:56 am Post #20 - January 4th, 2020, 11:56 am
    Dinner last night. When Ethan tempted me with only one Cambodian chicken sandwich left, I caved and said yes along with the planned Moo Ping. Really enjoyed the Moo Ping, but the Cambodian chicken sandwich??? OMG, wow, just wow... What an explosion of flavors on a roll. So glad Ethan brought it up.

    Pro tip: Ethan made the sandwiches spicy, but when I said they weren't that spicy, he brought me a cup of his nam pla prik for each. I used all of both. This is pure genius! What tremendous umami addition to already delicious sandwiches. The nam pla prik takes it to 11. I love this sauce, but never put it on a sandwich.

    Has a nice conversation with Ethan, love what he's doing here. Can't believe he's doing it all solo, he puts it all together with care.
  • Post #21 - January 4th, 2020, 1:35 pm
    Post #21 - January 4th, 2020, 1:35 pm Post #21 - January 4th, 2020, 1:35 pm
    I've been in a few times (once during my family's annual crawl) and I really love what Ethan's doing. Found a couple of shots from early November that I'd neglected to post until now . . .

    Image
    Moo Ping Sandwich

    Image
    Cambodian Fried Chicken Sandwich

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #22 - January 10th, 2020, 12:59 pm
    Post #22 - January 10th, 2020, 12:59 pm Post #22 - January 10th, 2020, 12:59 pm
    G Wiv wrote:
    jellob1976 wrote:I've tried going twice. Once on a Sunday (around noon) and today at 11:45 am. Closed both times. According to their website they open at 11am on these days. I'll probably give it one more shot, maybe I'll call before I go... But it seems silly that I should have to call to confirm openness during times that are already posted on the website.


    Hermosa hours:
    11:30 - 8pm
    Closed Sunday and Monday (which I say in the first post in this thread)

    I was there today, Thursday 12.12.19, at a few minutes after noon and they were open.

    Chef/Owner Lim is a one man show, a wonderful talented creative fellow. I suggest trying one more time. He is also responsive on Facebook messages, if you feel like checking on hours or if he will be open.

    Note:
    I just changed the hours from 11 to 11:30, my post said closed Sunday and Monday all along as does the copy of the menu I posted


    I went this past Saturday, and the Cambodian fried chicken was sold out by the time I got there (12:45). I got the Korean steak sandwich which was good but not great. Went again today to try it, and it's closed (at 1pm). The website has also changed and doesn't have hours anymore.

    I'm glad you all have had such fantastic experiences here... But I've struck out 4 times now. I guess I'm an idiot for not calling ahead (although 3/4 times I was in the neighborhood)... But I don't feel like I should have to call ahead to confirm openness during posted open hours. I think I'm giving up on it.
  • Post #23 - January 11th, 2020, 10:17 am
    Post #23 - January 11th, 2020, 10:17 am Post #23 - January 11th, 2020, 10:17 am
    jellob1976 wrote:But I don't feel like I should have to call ahead to confirm openness during posted open hours.

    Why not? Of course its entirely your prerogative but, for me, its a small price to pay for well executed innovative can't get anywhere else sandwiches. Ethan, chef/owner, is responsive via Facebook messenger as well.

    If you go to Hermosa and are stumped there are three great places in the immediate area plus GooGoo's next door. Morena's Kitchen, Mr. D's and Minna's.

    Mr. D's
    6656 W Diversey Ave
    Chicago, IL 60707

    Morena's Kitchen Dominican Food
    5058 W Armitage Ave B
    Chicago, IL 60639

    Minna's Restaurant
    5046 W. Armitage Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60639
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #24 - January 18th, 2020, 2:16 pm
    Post #24 - January 18th, 2020, 2:16 pm Post #24 - January 18th, 2020, 2:16 pm
    Tried to go for the first time today and struck out. Short bus ride to Morena's solved things but damn did I want to try those sandwiches.
  • Post #25 - January 25th, 2020, 3:44 pm
    Post #25 - January 25th, 2020, 3:44 pm Post #25 - January 25th, 2020, 3:44 pm
    Copied from The Kingdom thread...
    susan13 wrote:An E-mail from Autre Monde:
    Sandwich Pop Up with Hermosa
    Stay tuned for this delicious collaboration coming in late February, we will team up with our friend, Chef Ethan Lim for a fun and fabulous sandwich pop up. In place of our normal dinner menu we will offer a menu of sandwiches which will represent a selection of delicious choices created by our Chefs and items created by Chef Lim which will represent his fabulous array of asian influenced sandwiches such as the delicious Cambodian Chicken Sandwich pictured here. We will partner and feature some craft brews and boozy floats. The official announcement will appear shortly on our FB page!

    Autre Monde Cafe & Spirits
    6727 Roosevelt Rd, Berwyn
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #26 - February 18th, 2020, 11:22 am
    Post #26 - February 18th, 2020, 11:22 am Post #26 - February 18th, 2020, 11:22 am
    Had a chance to stop by and grab a few sandwiches this past Saturday. The Moo Ping was outstanding followed closely by the Cambodian Chicken. The only miss for us was the Korean Steak sandwich which was a little light on the meat and mostly bread.

    I would highly recommend calling in your order ahead of time, they noted that the Cambodian Chicken sandwich would take 15-20 minutes, but despite only one other customer in the shop our order of 3 sandwiches took 45 minutes to make.
  • Post #27 - February 20th, 2020, 8:49 am
    Post #27 - February 20th, 2020, 8:49 am Post #27 - February 20th, 2020, 8:49 am
    Why not? Of course its entirely your prerogative but, for me, its a small price to pay for well executed innovative can't get anywhere else sandwiches. Ethan, chef/owner, is
    -IMHO- one who should be a Caterer, and not own a Restaurant.

    Why, do I say this- because after traveling to that far corner of Chicago, with a friend to eat a Cambodian Chicken or Moo Ping-sandwich- we were informed that the two items of uniqueness- were not available for "about-an-hour"-on a Saturday afternoon??-WTF? :evil:
    Same friend - has now travelled there- 3x- and never gotten the damn Cambodian-Chicken-sandwich.

    Now- not every Food Entrepreneur has studied Richard Melman's Art-of-Consistency,
    like I have (several assignments being a "Spy"/Rater in 10 week sessions. )
    And- not every person who dreams to open a Food-anything-(Cart, Truck,Wagon,Cart,Lemonade-stand etc.) initially understands
    that the key to success is having a product that people like-
    available- for them to purchase.
    That- and consistent flavor to said item- are key-elements of consistency in The Food Service Industry.
    Liam- as nice a fella as he may be- doesn't get that.
    Sorry.
    There are- lot's of Food (fast, slow,Fine etc) options to spend one's hard earned sheckles on in Chicagoland- and if- the consumer- has to "play-a-game"- to get said food item- there's something wrong with that picture.
  • Post #28 - February 20th, 2020, 9:09 am
    Post #28 - February 20th, 2020, 9:09 am Post #28 - February 20th, 2020, 9:09 am
    Hombre de Acero wrote:There are- lot's of Food (fast, slow,Fine etc) options to spend one's hard earned sheckles on in Chicagoland- and if- the consumer- has to "play-a-game"- to get said food item- there's something wrong with that picture.

    While I agree in principle with Mr. Acero I view Ethan as artist and Hermosa as his studio or, as the #fancylads might say, atelier. Now right off the bat let me say I fully realize I'm biased, I like Ethan, have been out to dinner with my bride, Ethan, his partner and a few others, find him quiet, thoughtful and even a bit shy, pretty much my polar opposite. :)

    While some people think in terms of color, some numbers and other variations Ethan thinks in terms of sandwiches or, how can I sandwich that. Focused obsession coupled with talent is something I greatly admire.

    Thus in my outings to Hermosa I've been willing, happily willing I might add, to give the enterprise more rhythm than I might a cookie cutter hot dog/burger joint.

    Once again, I agree with Mr. Acero in principle, I just view Hermosa from a different perspective.

    YMMV

    Hermosa, Chef/Owner Ethan, count me a fan!
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #29 - February 20th, 2020, 2:13 pm
    Post #29 - February 20th, 2020, 2:13 pm Post #29 - February 20th, 2020, 2:13 pm
    I have been to Hermosa several times. While in general I have enjoyed the sandwiches I have tried, there are aspects of the restaurant that make it difficult to add to any type of regular rotation.

    First off, the wait times are just not acceptable. I have been there with one other person/family in front of me. It was 15 minutes before I could give my order, and another 15-20 before I received it. I get it, Ethan is a one man show. Take orders, fill orders, clean, etc. maybe the economics don’t work for him to hire someone, maybe he just likes doing his own thing, but I do know I can go to Susies noon hour grill, and watch her do all of the above by herself and still be served within 15 minutes. I can go to Zenwich and have a fresh from scratch sandwich within 5-10 minutes. It doesn’t have to be fast food, it does need to be timely.

    In terms of the sandwiches, while I enjoy the ones I have had, I find them a touch on the smaller side, especially as mentioned above with the Korean steak one. The Cambodian chicken also seems to be unavailable more often than available.
  • Post #30 - February 20th, 2020, 2:30 pm
    Post #30 - February 20th, 2020, 2:30 pm Post #30 - February 20th, 2020, 2:30 pm
    thetrob wrote:I have been to Hermosa several times. While in general I have enjoyed the sandwiches I have tried, there are aspects of the restaurant that make it difficult to add to any type of regular rotation.

    First off, the wait times are just not acceptable. I have been there with one other person/family in front of me. It was 15 minutes before I could give my order, and another 15-20 before I received it. I get it, Ethan is a one man show. Take orders, fill orders, clean, etc. maybe the economics don’t work for him to hire someone, maybe he just likes doing his own thing, but I do know I can go to Susies noon hour grill, and watch her do all of the above by herself and still be served within 15 minutes. I can go to Zenwich and have a fresh from scratch sandwich within 5-10 minutes. It doesn’t have to be fast food, it does need to be timely.

    In terms of the sandwiches, while I enjoy the ones I have had, I find them a touch on the smaller side, especially as mentioned above with the Korean steak one. The Cambodian chicken also seems to be unavailable more often than available.


    While I've been only once, I agree with all of this. And I really want to go back to try the Cambodian chicken sandwich (since it was 86'd before 2pm on a Saturday), but with the extremely long wait time (same exact experience), it's hard to put it high on the list of places to go again. I guess I'll try calling an order in sometime soon...

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