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Introducing the GNRs Class of 2014!

Introducing the GNRs Class of 2014!
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  • Introducing the GNRs Class of 2014!

    Post #1 - March 20th, 2014, 9:42 am
    Post #1 - March 20th, 2014, 9:42 am Post #1 - March 20th, 2014, 9:42 am
    After 6 weeks of nominating, commenting, and discussing, the time has finally come to announce this year's Great Neighborhood Restaurants and Resources (GNRs). This year's class features 13 restaurants and 1 resource that run the gamut from depression dogs in Des Plaines, to classic cocktails in Evanston, to aquarium smoker tips and links in Richton Park, to French pastries in Roscoe Village, and plenty more in between. The GNRs are LTHForum's way of recognizing the restaurants and shops that resonate with the membership and this year's class continues that tradition admirably.

    The GNR Award Ceremony will take place on April 21. Come celebrate with us as we thank the people who create the food that we love. Details on how to purchase tickets for the event will be coming soon.


    The Class of 2014

    Bad Wolf Coffee-- Since it opened its doors in Roscoe Village, Jonathan Ory has served a bounty of fresh, delicious and coffee-complementing pastries daily with Counter Culture coffee/espresso drinks…his canele is a particularly awesome treat that exhibits his skill and attention to creating the perfect pastry…this place should have a line out the door always.

    Big Guy’s Sausage Stand-- The sausages are remarkably well-curated, a mix of some of the best from city butchers and their own creations…it's actually their hamburger and weekly sandwich specials …that put this place in nomination territory…simple food served with a smile.

    Boston Fish Market-- Since it opened, the route from my house to Boston Fish Market has become a well-worn trail for both the variety of fresh seafood (at some very nice prices) as well as the delicious meals prepared by Louis & his crew…from the funky fried clams, Greek style grilled fish, grilled octopus, to Zuppa Di Pesci all while allowing BYOB.

    Fat Rice-- For many of us, Fat Rice is one of our favorite restaurants… boatloads of accolades, and still are down-to-earth, putting out wonderful food consistently, with good service and no pretension… service with a smile and superb unique food… where else in the world would one find a Portuguese/Asian/African fusion restaurant?

    Homestyle Taste-- Homestyle Taste quickly became a favorite spot for us…excellent renditions of Dongbei dishes…something simple like spinach with vinegar and peanut hits the spot every time we visit… tofu with scallions and thousand year eggs is a must order… the iron pots are the ideal cold weather remedy… owners are very warm and proud of their region's cuisine.

    Mariscos el Veneno-- One of those singular neighborhood places that draws everyone in…Langostinos, the perfectly tender “Pulpo Especial,” piles of crabs swimming in buttery red sauce, and the “Veneno salad …the type of place where you plan ahead to wear your “eatin’ shirt,” because you will get messy, and you won’t even care.

    Nicky's Hot Dogs - Not all Big Baby places are created equal…perfectly proportioned, elemental hamburger…emphasis on meticulously assembling each and every Big Baby…one of my favorite simple pleasures in Chicago.

    Psistaria Greek Taverna-- Fortunate that it's near my office because it has become our ace-in-the-hole, go-to place for lunch…daily, house-made soups, whole grilled fish, grilled octopus, house-made gyros, Spanakopitakia, cold dips and many of the specialty entrees are all highlights… the new gold standard for traditional Greek fare.

    Rainbow Thai Cuisine-- Rainbow is much more than just the best Thai cuisine currently in Chicago…the Naem Khao Tod, and Issan sausage are just the tip of the iceberg… the owners are the friendliest, warmest people you will meet…the type of restaurant that represents the common interests that tie together this mishmash of people from all walks that is LTH forum.

    Rand Red Hots-- There are hundreds, maybe thousands of hot dog joints throughout the city and suburbs…and yet only a handful stand out as exceptional… done everything right since the day they opened…hot dogs are top notch, with an almost audible snap upon first bite… fries are done to crisp perfection every time… brings something special to its little island along Rand Road.

    Sanabel Bakery-- Sanabel is one of those places that I was surprised when I realized that it isn't a GNR…extremely fresh pita made in house and top notch dairy, pie, and produce…my go to place whenever I need any Middle Eastern bread or ingredient…

    Schoops Hamburgers (Munster location only)-- Schoops is one of those places that even owners of the best burger spots in town speak of with reverence…this burger is a classic--no one does crispy edges quite like Schoop's…the crazy-good onion rings, crispy thick fries and rich shakes were instant favorites as well…uniquely Chicagoland place that represents what GNRs are all about.

    Uncle Johns Barbecue (Richton Park)-- Top tier BBQ legacy lives on quite well in Richton Park… these are the same amazing tips and links that everybody loves… great BBQ is definitely worth the trip…sometimes the sequel can be as good as the original.

    Ward Eight-- In the past year, I’ve had more cocktails than I’ve had in decades… I blame Anne and Cody… a relatively small beer list compared to other joints…exceptionally well chosen… food menu is similar – small, but well crafted… would be rare that someone discovered it while walking down the street. But it’s exactly the kind of place that deserves GNR recognition.

    I'd like to thank all the members of the GNR Committee (ronnie_suburban, stevez, dicksond, boudreaulicious, Santander, RAB, pairs4life, JoelF, Darren72, and The GP) for their efforts behind the scenes and to all the nominators and posters that contributed to the discussion. The dedication of the board to the GNRs is what makes the entire process so fun and so rewarding.

    The list of all current GNRs can be found at the following links:
    By Cuisine
    On a Map

    -Onur, for the GNRs