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More midnight meanderings

More midnight meanderings
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  • How often do you eat full meals out after midnight?
    Once a week or more
    9%
    9
    Every few weeks
    14%
    15
    Every few months
    14%
    15
    Once or twice a year
    26%
    27
    Never
    37%
    39
    Total votes : 105
  • Post #31 - September 17th, 2004, 4:33 am
    Post #31 - September 17th, 2004, 4:33 am Post #31 - September 17th, 2004, 4:33 am
    Turkish Cuisine and Bakery

    On a recent Friday, we wound up at this charming brick-lined Andersonville restaurant after rejecting one nearby that advertised belly dancers, since we were looking for a quiet meal. It turns out Turkish Cuisine usually has belly dancers on weekends, too; they just didn't have any on the night we visited. At 11:30 p.m., we were the only customers in the place, but a couple of other parties came in as we ate. We ate in the small room near the entry, off the open kitchen -- an attractive space trimmed in colorful Turkish cloths, with a TV playing Turkish programs. There's another room that I failed to peek into, but I hear it has floor cushions.

    We started with the attractively arranged karisik soguk meze, or cold appetizer plate, which featured good versions of baba ghannouj; hummus; soslu patlican, cubes of savory braised eggplant in tomato and garlic; haydari, tart, thickened yogurt with garlic and dill; and acili ezme, a wonderful mixture of spicy, chunky chopped vegetables -- each salad separated from the next by slices of cucumber, a stuffed grape leaf in its center. A basket of warm, house-made bread was supplied for scooping.

    All of the baked goods are made in house. Large and delicious pide, hot calzone-like savory pies, come stuffed with your choice of various meat, cheese or vegetable fillings -- they're more than plate-sized, large enough to share. We also really liked the crisp, cracker-crusted lahmacun, Turkish "pizza" topped with a thin layer of ground lamb and beef, bell peppers, onions and tomatoes.

    I didn't care much for the etli bamya, okra in runny tomato sauce with tiny pieces of strong-flavored lamb, but I loved the delicious bulgur that came with it, mixed with chopped vegetables and served with yogurt sauce. I'd been given a choice of rice or bulgur, and was really glad to have made the latter choice -- it was terrific on its own and with the sauce, which the owner urged me to try.

    They make many desserts, from well-made familiar baklava and kadayif, to sweet, little, round seker pare, sugar balls. We tried several and enjoyed them all. All the breads and pastries are made from scratch on the premises, even the phyllo, according to the owner, Engin Cardak, who was really friendly and nice, and kept urging us to try different things, most of which didn't wind up on our bill. He explained that Turkish practice is to use a sugar-based syrup rather than honey, as the Greeks do. We also had refreshing Turkish iced tea and delicious little cups of Turkish coffee.

    I'm looking forward to visiting again.

    Turkish Cuisine and Bakery
    773/078-8930
    http://www.turkishcuisine.net (warning -- plays music!)
    5605 N. Clark St.
    Chicago, IL 60660
    11 a.m.-12 a.m. Su-Th;
    -1 a.m. F-Sa (variable)
    BYOB
  • Post #32 - December 8th, 2004, 1:40 pm
    Post #32 - December 8th, 2004, 1:40 pm Post #32 - December 8th, 2004, 1:40 pm
    A favorite late-night, post-cocktail cheap eat is Arturo's @ Armitage and Western. It's open 24/7, and although it's not the best Mexican in the world, it's just the stuff when you have the party-munchies. I like to order their chihuahua stuffed chile rellenos with a side order of either carnitas or picadillo and concoct my own tailor made tacos with their warm corn tortillas.
  • Post #33 - December 8th, 2004, 1:47 pm
    Post #33 - December 8th, 2004, 1:47 pm Post #33 - December 8th, 2004, 1:47 pm
    trixie-pea wrote:A favorite late-night, post-cocktail cheap eat is Arturo's @ Armitage and Western. It's open 24/7, and although it's not the best Mexican in the world, it's just the stuff when you have the party-munchies. I like to order their chihuahua stuffed chile rellenos with a side order of either carnitas or picadillo and concoct my own tailor made tacos with their warm corn tortillas.


    El Presidente (Ashland & Wrightwood) is another slightly-above-average Mexican place open 24/7. Kinda brightly lit for late night munchies, though.
  • Post #34 - December 8th, 2004, 2:44 pm
    Post #34 - December 8th, 2004, 2:44 pm Post #34 - December 8th, 2004, 2:44 pm
    El Presidente is an interesting place. I've been going there, very very infrequently, for over 12 years. My old girlfriend, current wife, lived a few doors down (nearer Skippers, now a Starbuckondo (I just coined that!)). Way back when, it had a few inexplicable Cuban things and all of the food was just God-awful. But the neon sign tells the truth: "24 Hours a Day, 365 Days a year, and Holidays." Amen.

    Recently, the food has become much better. But ironically, this "no keys" establishment was shuttered by the City for some weeks earlier in the year. Rats in the dumpster out back, an impassioned hand-written note to the loyal customers proclaimed, along with hints that the establishmnet had fallen victim to a political dirty trick. As the sign noted, who among ye has not rats in the alley? The letter challenged any comer to take a look at the squeaky-clean kitchen. And I must say, through its culinary ups and downs, El Presidente has never been anything if not antiseptically clean, inside and out. My five-year-old, who sees the sign each day on his way to school now cannot resist adding, orally, "except when the City finds rats in the dumpster" when we drive by.
  • Post #35 - December 8th, 2004, 5:39 pm
    Post #35 - December 8th, 2004, 5:39 pm Post #35 - December 8th, 2004, 5:39 pm
    Every time I drive up the stretch of Ashland where El Presidente is located with a certain friend of mine, she eagerly recounts the evening she met Johnny Cash there and had her picture taken with him.

    I just nod and smile every time.

    I've still never eaten there.
    -Pete
  • Post #36 - December 5th, 2005, 12:54 pm
    Post #36 - December 5th, 2005, 12:54 pm Post #36 - December 5th, 2005, 12:54 pm
    Hi,

    I have long wanted to have a dead early breakfast in Chinatown, but nothing seemed to be open when I was interested: 5 AM. However, things have changed.

    'Little' Three Happiness has hours which are very close to 24-hours. They are open from 9 AM to 6 AM! Even the 24-hour Korean on Western is closed for cleaning from 5 AM to 10 AM (call in advance to double check).

    Owner Raymond advised they keep these hours to accomodate young adults who want the very late or very early meal.

    Three Happiness Restaurant
    209 West Cermak Road
    Chicago, IL 60616
    312-842-1964
    Fax: 312-842-8060

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #37 - December 5th, 2005, 1:08 pm
    Post #37 - December 5th, 2005, 1:08 pm Post #37 - December 5th, 2005, 1:08 pm
    n.b. there have been a fair number of mediocre reports for late-night Little Three Happiness visits. They might have a not-up-to-par cook during those hours.

    And those reports might be no longer valid...
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #38 - December 5th, 2005, 2:22 pm
    Post #38 - December 5th, 2005, 2:22 pm Post #38 - December 5th, 2005, 2:22 pm
    Gleam,

    Your comments prompted a phone call to my friend who arrived there Saturday morning around 6 AM.

    She's been a long term customer who sometimes isn't so happy with the food. She was quite happy with the food served on this occasion. While they were eating, they met the co-owner Raymond who was bringing in supplies. I've also done the 3 AM dinner bell with Gary a few times and found the food acceptable.

    Small digression: A friend who lives and works in the Chinatown area indicates most of the Chinese restaurants suffer uneven quality. More often than not the food is better if the owner is present. She indicated consistency is more often observed if the owner is the Chef as well. She has also observed if a good chef jumped to another restaurant, then the Chinatown rumor mill quickly advises no longer go to Restaurant A go to B instead! Information we could use but isn't available to us being outside of the community.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #39 - December 5th, 2005, 3:07 pm
    Post #39 - December 5th, 2005, 3:07 pm Post #39 - December 5th, 2005, 3:07 pm
    Jim Harrison, author of The Raw and the Cooked, always emphasizes the name of the Chef, rather than the restaurant when writing a review or giving praise to a meal.

    I used to wonder how all of these celebrity chefs mangaged to participate in so many charity benefits. I mean, if I am paying premium for Trotter-name prices, I want to make sure Trotter is there supervising, if not cooking. I liked the way Keller explained it in Soul of a Chef. Apparently, that had to take a backseat when he opened Per Se.
    Unchain your lunch money!
  • Post #40 - January 25th, 2006, 6:01 pm
    Post #40 - January 25th, 2006, 6:01 pm Post #40 - January 25th, 2006, 6:01 pm
    A new spot is in the works.

    Chicago Magazine's Dish wrote:George Liakopoulos, king of the all-night diners White Palace (1159 S. Canal St.; 312-939-7167) and Hollywood Grill (1601 W. North Ave.; 773-395-1818), is opening, yep, another all-night diner. The Plymouth Restaurant, located in the old Binyon’s space (327 S. Plymouth Ct.), is shooting for an April 1st opening. “On the main floor there’s going to be a 24-hour diner, downstairs will be a bar and grill, and then we go to the rooftop dining with a nice view of the Chicago skyline,” says Mark Grutz, director of operations.


    It's certainly an interesting location. It's a shame I'm no longer going to school/working until 1am in the loop... it would have been a nice option to have.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #41 - August 18th, 2006, 6:11 pm
    Post #41 - August 18th, 2006, 6:11 pm Post #41 - August 18th, 2006, 6:11 pm
    I know how much people love "Top 10" requests on this board, but I hope my history of posting demonstrates that I don't just pop in to poach information.

    Full disclosure: I'd like to find some late-night workers (ER staff, chefs, restaurant/bar staff, cab drivers, CTA workers, streets & sanitation, cops, DJs, etc.) to chat about post-shift food spots.

    I'll admit my own experience in the late-night scarfing is limited to White Palace grits with cheese, poached eggs and wheat toast soaked in butter. Or if I'm unfit to be seen by Chicago's finest, who tend to gather in large groups at WP, breakfast is at Steak & Egger on Cermak.

    I've got a good working list of 24-hour places in Chicago to visit to find people, but I was curious if anyone on the board is or knows a late-shifter who has a regular haunt. Not necessarily a 24/7 spot. I'm more interested in the person, the job and outside-the-usual-greasy-diner eats.

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