LTH Home

Food Highlights of 2019

Food Highlights of 2019
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
  • Food Highlights of 2019

    Post #1 - December 27th, 2019, 7:55 pm
    Post #1 - December 27th, 2019, 7:55 pm Post #1 - December 27th, 2019, 7:55 pm
    This is the time of year when we share posts of our best meals (or dishes) of the year. I'm not planning any more meals out, so I'll kick things off. (For comparison, last year's topic is here.)

    Best Dinner, Chicago
    1. Everest
    2. S.K.Y.
    3. Bellemore
    4. Brass Heart
    5. Stone Flower
    6. Temporis
    7. Libertad
    8. Tzuco
    9. Campagnola
    10. Great Beijing

    Best Dinner, Out of Town
    1. Vespertine, Culver City CA
    2. Charleston, Baltimore MD
    3. Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare, New York NY
    4. Father Fats, Stevens Point WI
    5. Restaurant Lorena, Maplewood NJ
    6. DanDan, Milwaukee WI
    7. Baker Street, Fort Wayne IN
    8. Brick & Mortar, St. Petersburg FL
    9. Osteria Mozza, Los Angeles CA
    10. Phillips Seafood, Newark (Airport! :twisted: ) NJ

    Best Lunch/Brunch, Chicago
    1. Shaw's Crab House
    2. Prime & Provisions
    3. Next of Kin
    4. Ten Mile House
    5. The Smith
    6. Two Lights
    7. Prairie Moon
    8. Salsa 17
    9. Big Ed's BBQ
    10. Frida's

    Best Lunch/Brunch, Out of Town
    1. Le Diplomate, Washington DC
    2. Pearl Oyster Bar, New York NY
    3. Miss Shirley's Café, Baltimore MD
    4. Clinton Street Baking Co., New York NY
    5. Sarabeth's, New York NY
    6. St. Paul Fish Co., Milwaukee WI
    7. East Town Kitchen & Bar, Milwaukee WI
    8. King's Fish House, Orange CA
    9. Du-Par's, Pasadena CA
    10. Breakfast by Salt's Cure, Los Angeles CA

    Biggest Disappointments
    1. Chicago Prime Steakhouse
    2. Dialogue, Santa Monica CA
    3. EnVie, Lansing MI
    4. Bayan Ko
    5. Silencieux
    6. Somerset

    Oddly, the last two on my list of biggest disappointments this year appeared on my list of best dinners last year.
  • Post #2 - December 27th, 2019, 9:18 pm
    Post #2 - December 27th, 2019, 9:18 pm Post #2 - December 27th, 2019, 9:18 pm
    This is premature as im hitting up SF for a couple days. But I was trying to compile a list and here's the 10 I narrowed down to, in no particular order

    Kitsune (RIP) tasting menu - got to experience this after staging for an afternoon thanks to the bunny kickstarter. What a fun day and the food was incredible.
    Cafe Marie Jeanne - my old standby. Got here more than any other restaurant and it's gem.
    Spoon By H (LA) - best meal I had in LA
    Park's BBQ (LA) - 2nd best meal I had in LA.
    Jeong - was worried it was overhyped but that was unfounded. The dduboki was probably my favorite dish of the year.
    Prince st pizza (NYC) - square pepperoni slice is perfect
    Con Huevos (Louisville) - Louisville is my favorite city within reasonable driving distance and this place is always a must stop. Chilaqiluiles and huevos rancheros are my go tos
    Bar Isabela (Toronto) - great restaurant in one of my favorite cities
    Waffle House - got my first taste of waffle house (actually back to back days) in October. Hash browns all the way was everything I wanted and more!
    S.K.Y - finally made it here and it was great. The tasting menu is a bargain for what you're getting.

    Some others that deserve a mention:
    Mike Satinover's ramen - Got to try it a few times and the dude's a wizard.
    Gus's - still the best fried chicken I've ever had.
    Dancen - this place never gets old. It makes me happy
    Galit - So glad we have this place in town
    Monteverde - still as good as ever
    South Beach Bar & Grill (San Diego) - best fish tacos we had in SD.
    Lotus of Siam - still firing on all cylinders in their new location
    Mr Ds shish kabob - everyone knows about this place here now. But still deserves a shout out
  • Post #3 - December 27th, 2019, 9:40 pm
    Post #3 - December 27th, 2019, 9:40 pm Post #3 - December 27th, 2019, 9:40 pm
    I wrote a long format piece on my blog like I do every year.

    But here's my chronological-ish list:

    City
    Anda masala, surti gotalo, green egg rice, lachko– Egg-o-holic
    Hainan chicken rice, roti canai- Bingo Tea
    Steak quesadilla, cecina taco, huarache de tinga, quesadilla flor de la calabaza- Minna's
    Pork burger- Xi'an Dynasty
    California kani salad taco, crushed cheeseburger taco- Arigato Market
    Carnitas- Carnitas La Esquinita
    Wings- Bonchon
    Muffaletta- Tempesta
    Fried chicken, Kadala curry with appam- Thattu
    Beef rendang, seafood gumbo- Bumbu Roux
    Diced chicken with serrano, tripe in mustard oil- Min’s Noodle House
    Doner kebab- Ali Baba Doner
    House special boiled fish, Xinjiang style sauteed lamb- Szechwan JMC
    Jhol momo kukhura- Momo World
    Butter chicken calzone, sardine tacos- Superkhana International
    Noodle roll in XO sauce, pork chop baked rice with Portuguese sauce- Chi Cafe 
    Biang biang mian- Shan Shaan Taste
    Shrimp consomme- Mariscos El Abuelo Y Yo 
    Dal gosht- Pakeeza
    Stir-fried bamboo shoot with chicken in spicy curry sauce, penang wings, baked shrimp with clear noodles- In-on Thai
    Cambodian fried chicken sandwich, moo ping sandwich-  Hermosa Restaurant
    Pho bo, combo chicken rice- Phodega
    Pork & dill dumplings, cucumber salad- Lao Peng You

    Burbs
    Pho dac biet- Pho Thien, Naperville
    Jefe's combo with adobo de cerdo, chaufa- SanguCHE, Naperville
    Boiled fish, chongqing noodles- Chengdu Eatery, Westmont (RIP)
    Green chorizo mula- Invicto, Naperville
    Spicy beef and tripe slices- Minghin, Naperville
    Buncha- Buncha Hanoi, Glenview
    Crispy chicken- Chinese Café, Westmont
    Jianbing, pork & scallion dumplings, shrimp potstickers, spicy hot noodles- Tong’s, Naperville (RIP)
    Pork katsu sandwich- Zenwich, Elmhurst
    Chili chicken/ seekh kabab lunch special- JK Kebab, Naperville
    Ropa vieja quesadilla- Las Quecas, Berwyn
    Lechon asado, carne frita- Treasures of the Caribbean, West Chicago (RIP)
    Mole Poblano enchilada- Cocina de Maria, West Chicago
    Cheesesteak wit, roasted pork sandwich- Mojo's East Coast Eats, Downer's Grove
    Italian sausage & provolone stuffed pretzel, roasted garlic chicken & cheese stuffed pretzel- Gnarly Knots, Winfield
    Laphet Thoke, tofu gyaw, wetthar pon-ye-gyi chat, kauk swe thoke- Pa Lian, Wheaton
    Beef with hot, fries- Beef Shack, St. Charles
    Chongqing noodles- Katy's Dumpling House, Westmont
    Spicy chicken sandwich- Popeye's
    Chilaquiles- Allegory, Naperville

    Outta town
    Sausage pizza- Villa Nova, New Buffalo, MI
    Fried shrimp- Starfish, Cortez, FL
    Momo, beef fried rice- Phayul- Queens, NY
    Speckenwolf pizza- Roberta’s, Brooklyn, NY
    Asparagus, chevre, sausage breakfast sandwich– Bitter Ends, Pittsburgh, PA
    Jerk Chicken- Cool Runnings, Michigan City, IN
    Eggs Benedict- The Southerner, Saugatuck, MI
    Sausage patties, SOS- Sill's Red Rock Grill, Huntsville, UT
  • Post #4 - January 1st, 2020, 11:33 am
    Post #4 - January 1st, 2020, 11:33 am Post #4 - January 1st, 2020, 11:33 am
    I like to limit these lists to foods that were new to me. Looking back, I didn't do a very good job exploring new places in Chicago. Something to work on in 2020.

    Chicago
    The Big Steak & Eggs at PQM
    The chicken sandwich at Big Boss Spicy Fried Chicken
    The burger at Fountainhead (Kevin McMullen edition only)
    Dduboki at Jeong
    The burger at Roister
    Lachko at Egg-O-Holic
    Ngau nam at Hermosa
    Crispy fish with jungle salad at In-On-Thai
    Golden raspberry, strawberry and blackberry sorbet with a preserved elderflower/ginger/lemon cordial, fresh lemon balm and candied perilla at Elske
    Raspberry Rhubarb pie at Hoosier Mama

    Beyond Chicago
    Focaccia pizza at Wy'East - Milwaukee
    Rice and beans w/ smoked sausage at Quarter Grocery & Deli - New Orleans
    Lasagna at Pizzeria Bianco - Phoenix
    Chile con queso taco at Los Palomos - Mexico City
    Cabeza at El Hidalguenese - Mexico City
    Avocado taco at Molino el Pujol - Mexico City
    Celeriac course at Relæ - Copenhagen
    Cardamom bun at Juno the Bakery - Copenhagen
    Mikkeller's Spontan Hexadruple Blueberry at Mikkeller & Friends - Copenhagen
    Pizza at Razza - Jersey City
  • Post #5 - January 2nd, 2020, 9:52 am
    Post #5 - January 2nd, 2020, 9:52 am Post #5 - January 2nd, 2020, 9:52 am
    Best Bites of 2019. Only listing dishes that were completely new to me. No repeats. You can click HERE for complete details and links to the post (with pics) where said dish was featured. Happy New Year.
    _________________________________________________________________

    Best of Chicagoland

    Roujiamo at Shan Shaan Taste

    Korean Lollipop Wings at Landbirds

    Hot Dog Skewers at Gao's Kabob

    Shrimp & Grits at Luella's Gospel Bird

    Creamed Eggs over Toast at All Together Now

    Australian Style Meat Pie at Barangaroos

    Carnitas Plate at Carnitas Uruapan

    Pizza at Middlebrow Bungalow

    Cabbage Rolls at Andy & Sophie's

    Coney Dog at Lola's Coney Island

    Manchurian Potatoes at Superkhana International

    Smoked Pastrami at Chicago Culinary Kitchen

    Mongolian Beef Fried Bao at Mean Bao

    Memela at Antojos Poblanos El Carmen

    Pozole at Peke's Pozole

    Christmas Picadita at El Sabor Poblano

    Falafel at Galit
    _________________________________________________________________

    Best of Beyond Chicagoland

    Butterbean Soup at Taylor's Mexican Chili Parlor (Carlinville, IL)

    Brisket at Cattleack Barbeque (Dallas)

    Roasted Goat at Birrieria El Chololo (Guadalajara)

    Friday Lake Perch at Wegner's St. Martin's Inn (Franklin, WI)

    Dungeness Crab Toast at Jacqueline (Portland, OR)

    Kor Muu (Kurobuta Pork Jowl) at Paadee (Portland, OR)

    Pindaettok Platter at Cameo Pancake and Steak (Portland, OR)

    Chicken Kelaguen at Chochu Local (Portland, OR)

    Smoked Pork Chop at The Red Onion (Equality, IL)

    Grilled Sardine Nigiri at Taberna Do Mar (Lisbon)

    Acarajé at Acarajé da Carol (Lisbon)

    Charcoal Ribs at Ze Dos Cornos (Lisbon)

    Turbot at Salta O Muro (Matosinhos)

    Sardines and Tomato Rice at O Buraco (Porto)

    Kottu Roti at Saffron Spice Kitchen (Toronto)

    Goat Roti at Danforth Roti House (Toronto)

    Fire Grilled Pork Jowl at Pinky's Ca Phe (Toronto)

    Dry Chili Chicken at Yueh Tung (Toronto)

    Bánh Hỏi Thịt Nướng at Hương Bình Restaurant (Seattle)

    Char Siu Plate at HK BBQ Master (Vancouver)

    Spicy Stir Fried Clams at The Fish Man (Vancouver)

    Arepa Con Huevo at Sierva Maria (Cartagena)

    Chorizo Vulcan at Tacos Los Poblanos #1 Estilo Tijuana (Los Angeles)

    Pescado Zarandeado at Coni Seafood (Los Angeles)

    Okonomiyaki at Fukutaro (Osaka)

    Conger Eel Tempura at Momose (Tokyo)

    Lengua Omurice at Chamorro (Tokyo)

    Oyakodon at Marukatsu (Tokyo)
    _________________________________________________________________

    Best Noodles, Pasta, and Dumplings

    Biang Biang Noodles at Morefan (Plano, TX)

    Stir Fried Handcut Noodles at Hakka Express (Plano, TX)

    Beef Noodle Soup at Stretch the Noodle (Portland, OR)

    Agnolotti at Ava Gene's (Portland, OR)

    Momo Dumplings at Vajra (Chicago)

    Chiusoni at Tortello (Chicago)

    Manti Dumplings at Cira (Chicago)

    Siu Mai at D Cuisine (Chicago)

    Sheng Jian Bao at Sang Ji Fried Bao (Toronto)

    Beef Momo Dumplings at Loga's Corner (Toronto)

    Tibetan Jhol Momo at Momo Ghar Ohio (Columbus, OH)

    Chor Muang at Hom Mali Thai (Chicago)

    Torchio Pasta at Torchio Pasta Bar (Chicago)

    Duck Soba (and tempura) at Kamonegi (Seattle)

    Hu Tieu Bo Kho at Cafe Huong Que (Seattle)

    Pork / Shrimp Dim Sum Dumplings at Golden Paramount (Vancouver)

    Sheng Jian Bao at Mama's Dumplings & Coffee (Vancouver)

    Spicy Chile Oil Wonton at Chao Shou Wang (Vancouver)

    Beef Paomo Soup at Xi'an Dynasty Cuisine (Chicago)

    Chicken Noodle Soup with Dumplings at Myung Dong Kyoja (Los Angeles)

    Kuy Tiev at Phnom Penh Noodle Shack (Long Beach, CA)

    Pork Potstickers at One One Dumpling (San Gabriel, CA)

    Spicy Oil Knifecut Noodles at Mandarin Deli (Northridge, CA)

    Gyoza at Tenpei (Osaka)

    Niku Udon at Chitose Udon (Osaka)

    Special Ramen at Ginza Ramen aka Mugi to Olive (Tokyo)

    Yaki Gyoza at Yasubei of Ebisu (Tokyo)

    Chikuwa + Karaage Udon at Oniyanma Shimbashi (Tokyo)

    Foie Gras Mazemen at Chuuka Soba Manchiken (Tokyo)

    Wontonmen at Yakumo (Tokyo)

    Italian Style Gyoza at Kobe Gyoza (Tokyo)
    _________________________________________________________________

    Best Tacos

    Chorizo with Grilled Cheese + Shishito Peppers at Resident Taqueria (Dallas)

    Trompo Tacos at Trompo (Dallas)

    Cheeseburger Taco at Arigato Market (Chicago)

    Tacos Dorados Bañados at Tacos Charlie (Guadalajara)

    Pork and Beans at Alcalde (Guadalajara)

    Bone Marrow Taco at Taco Mando (Guadalajara)

    Tacos de Tripa at Tripitas Don Ramon (Guadalajara)

    Steamed Tacos at Tacos Santo Goyote (Guadalajara)

    Tacos De Canasta at Tacos de Canasta Don Rossy (Chicago)

    Tacos al Pastor at Lucido's Tacos (Chicago)

    Tacos al Pastor at Los Guachos (Columbus, OH)

    Tacos de Carne Asada at Carniceria Maribel (Chicago)

    Tacos Bañados at Del Pueblo Restaurant (Cicero, IL)

    Lengua Taco at Barbaro Taqueria (Chicago)

    Spider Taco at L.A Birria (Los Angeles)

    Carnitas Mixtas at Carnitas Momo (Los Angeles)

    Cochinita Pibil Tacos at Chichen Itza (Los Angeles)

    Tacos al Pastor at Tacos Los Guichos (Los Angeles)

    Taco Árabe at Los Originales Tacos Árabes de Puebla (Los Angeles)
    _________________________________________________________________

    Best Burgers

    Patty Melt at Fred's Place (Elmhurst, IL)

    Double Cheeseburger at Kewpee Lunch (Lima, OH)

    Sliders at Crabill's Hamburgers (Urbana, OH)

    Double Cheeseburger at K's Hamburgers (Troy, OH)

    Pina Burger at Charly's (Chicago)

    Cheeseburger at The Brick (Jonesville, IN)

    Cheeseburger at Ritzy's (Columbus, OH)

    Double Cheeseburger at The Stop Along (Chicago)

    Cheeseburger at Chuck's Place (Salem, IL)

    Cheeseburger at JC's Junction Corner (Davis Junction, IL)

    Cheeseburger at Moonshine Grill (Moonshine, IL)

    Hickory burger at The Apple Pan (Los Angeles)

    Japanese Hamburg at Tsubame Grill (Tokyo)
    _________________________________________________________________

    Best Sandwiches

    Torta Ahogada at Tortas Ahogadas Don Beto (Guadalajara)

    BBQ Sandwich at Starne's (Paducah, KY)

    House Special Banh Mi at TM Banh Mi (Portland, OR)

    Yolko Ono Breakfast Sandwich at Fried Egg I'm in Love (Portland, OR)

    Cuban Sandwich at Cubano Bros (Elk Grove Village, IL)

    BBQ Sandwich at Johnson's Southern Style BBQ (Harrisburg, IL)

    Doner Sandwich at Ali Baba Doner (Chicago)

    Prego Sandwich at Gambrinus (Lisbon)

    Cachorrinho Sandwich at Gazela Snack Bar (Porto)

    Pernil Sandwich with Cheese at Casa Guedes (Porto)

    Bifana Sandwich at Conga (Porto)

    Francesinha Sandwich at Yuko Tavern (Porto)

    House Prego Sandwich at Lareira (Porto)

    Pork Gyro Sandwich at Souv Like (Toronto)

    Bologna Sandwich at G&R Tavern (Waldo, OH)

    Bánh mì Dặc Biệt at Lan Huê Sandwich and Bakery (Seattle)

    "Crunchy" Sandwich at Central Bakery (Chicago)

    Carne Louca Sandwich at Mulata Kitchen + Coffee (Oak Park, IL)

    The #19 at Langer's Deli (Los Angeles)

    French Dip Sandwich at Philippe The Original (Los Angeles)

    Ham Katsu Sando at Choushiya (Tokyo)
    ________________________________________________________________

    Best Sweets

    Syrian Ice Cream at BigDash Ice Cream (Richardson, TX)

    Icy Taro Ball #4 at Meet Fresh (Chicago)

    Ube Sundae at Bayan Ko (Chicago)

    Mochi Donuts from Dochi (Seattle)

    Fruit Paletas at La Paleteria (Cartagena)

    Tigers Blood with Dole Whip at Brian's Shave Ice (Los Angeles)

    Donuts at Knead Donuts (Long Beach, CA)

    All the Kakigori (Tokyo)

    Anmitsu at Ginza Wakamatsu (Tokyo)
    _________________________________________________________________

    Best Meals

    Italian Dinner at Munno (Chicago)

    Taco Lunch at Revolver Taco Lounge (Dallas)

    Laotian Noodle Lunch at Khao Noodle Shop (Dallas)

    Mariscos Lunch at El Farallon De Tepic (Guadalajara)

    Korean Dinner at Jeong (Chicago)

    French-Canadian Snacks at The Dreyfus (Toronto)

    Filipino Brunch at BB's Diner (Toronto)

    Sichuan Dinner at Szechwan JMC (Chicago)

    Southern Dinner at JuneBaby (Seattle)

    Italian-Japanese Dinner at Kissa Tanto (Vancouver)

    Ceviche Lunch at El Boliche Cebicheria (Cartagena)

    Drinks and Snacks at Here's Looking at You (Los Angeles)

    Yakitori Dinner at Yakitoriya (Los Angeles)

    Mariscos Lunch at Mariscos El Faro (Los Angeles)

    Korean Lunch at Baroo Canteen (Los Angeles)

    Yakiton Dinner at Kitashinchi Tayutayu (Osaka)

    Sushi Breakfast at Endo Sushi (Osaka)

    Yakitori Dinner at Toritama Hankan (Tokyo)

    Tonkatsu Dinner at Tonkatsu Taiho (Tokyo)

    Duck Ramen Set (with Duck Oyakodon) at Kamo to Negi (Tokyo)
  • Post #6 - January 3rd, 2020, 11:02 am
    Post #6 - January 3rd, 2020, 11:02 am Post #6 - January 3rd, 2020, 11:02 am
    Da Beef wrote:Best Bites of 2019. Only listing dishes that were completely new to me.

    Surprised/not surprised that your list is so long. :)

    Being the best might indicate it’s your top 1 or 5%. I can’t even imagine.
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #7 - January 3rd, 2020, 11:49 am
    Post #7 - January 3rd, 2020, 11:49 am Post #7 - January 3rd, 2020, 11:49 am
    A lot of tasty things listed above, but I can't be the only person who essentially yawned through this year of Chicago restaurants, right? Forgive me, then, for nominating a food symbolism highlight of 2019: watching what is essentially a can of tomato paste ooze out of the butter chicken calzone @ Superkhana, unquestionably the worst dish of the year.

    Dallas was named restaurant city of the year by Bon Appetit. Dark times, people.
  • Post #8 - January 3rd, 2020, 3:13 pm
    Post #8 - January 3rd, 2020, 3:13 pm Post #8 - January 3rd, 2020, 3:13 pm
    chezbrad wrote:Dallas was named restaurant city of the year by Bon Appetit. Dark times, people.

    Do a Hermosa / Mr.D's Bang-Bang while muttering fuck-em-all and you will feel better. :)
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #9 - January 3rd, 2020, 10:58 pm
    Post #9 - January 3rd, 2020, 10:58 pm Post #9 - January 3rd, 2020, 10:58 pm
    Da Beef wrote:Hot Dog Skewers at Gao's Kabob


    I'm surprised. Have you been to Friend BBQ? One of my wife's favorite foods is Chinese BBQ - she grew up eating it and we eat a bit of it here in NY. Chicago doesn't have a ton of places, but we went to Gao's in September while in town. We didn't think it was very good and some of the skewers tasted really off (the squid was really bad to the point that I couldn't even finish 1). Curious if we went on an off night or something.
    2019 Chicago Food Business License Issuances Map: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1AGfUU ... sp=sharing
  • Post #10 - January 4th, 2020, 7:51 am
    Post #10 - January 4th, 2020, 7:51 am Post #10 - January 4th, 2020, 7:51 am
    chezbrad wrote:A lot of tasty things listed above, but I can't be the only person who essentially yawned through this year of Chicago restaurants, right? Forgive me, then, for nominating a food symbolism highlight of 2019: watching what is essentially a can of tomato paste ooze out of the butter chicken calzone @ Superkhana, unquestionably the worst dish of the year.


    That butter chicken calzone was on my list, which if I had ranked, it wouldn't be at the tip top, but I thought it was a great calzone. Rounding out my meal at Superkhana were a gem salad and sardine tacos, so my expectations were not set at highly spiced "authentic" Indian. The bread on the thing was great, my yardstick for all things pizza- adjacent. And don't most calzones ooze some amalgam of tomato puree? Butter chicken is one of the most pedestrian, mild, tomato-y curries in the gringo playbook, anyhow, so it all made sense to me.

    And at my price point, I thought it was a pretty good year for Chicago– Egg-o-holic, Politan Row, Middlebrow, Hermosa, Lao Peng You...
  • Post #11 - January 4th, 2020, 5:31 pm
    Post #11 - January 4th, 2020, 5:31 pm Post #11 - January 4th, 2020, 5:31 pm
    Jefe wrote:
    chezbrad wrote:A lot of tasty things listed above, but I can't be the only person who essentially yawned through this year of Chicago restaurants, right? Forgive me, then, for nominating a food symbolism highlight of 2019: watching what is essentially a can of tomato paste ooze out of the butter chicken calzone @ Superkhana, unquestionably the worst dish of the year.


    That butter chicken calzone was on my list, which if I had ranked, it wouldn't be at the tip top, but I thought it was a great calzone. Rounding out my meal at Superkhana were a gem salad and sardine tacos, so my expectations were not set at highly spiced "authentic" Indian. The bread on the thing was great, my yardstick for all things pizza- adjacent. And don't most calzones ooze some amalgam of tomato puree? Butter chicken is one of the most pedestrian, mild, tomato-y curries in the gringo playbook, anyhow, so it all made sense to me.

    And at my price point, I thought it was a pretty good year for Chicago– Egg-o-holic, Politan Row, Middlebrow, Hermosa, Lao Peng You...


    To be sure, I did say "yawn," not bad; the places you listed--and I'll get to Hermosa and Lao Peng You in the next week or so--were all worthy contributions to the scene.

    We had a promising first meal at Superkhana--that dhokla salad is great, as is the naan--but follow-up meals were lame, and that calzone is nasty: what we had had no spicing, no acidity, no flavor--it just bled out on the plate. We gave up. We've found that Siri and the occasional swing by Vajra suffice.
  • Post #12 - January 5th, 2020, 12:32 pm
    Post #12 - January 5th, 2020, 12:32 pm Post #12 - January 5th, 2020, 12:32 pm
    nsxtasy wrote:This is the time of year when we share posts of our best meals (or dishes) of the year. I'm not planning any more meals out, so I'll kick things off. (For comparison, last year's topic is here.)

    Biggest Disappointments
    1. Chicago Prime Steakhouse
    2. Dialogue, Santa Monica CA
    3. EnVie, Lansing MI
    4. Bayan Ko
    5. Silencieux
    6. Somerset

    Oddly, the last two on my list of biggest disappointments this year appeared on my list of best dinners last year.


    Interesting about Chicago Prime. I’ve eaten there about a half dozen times, and it was always excellent.
  • Post #13 - January 5th, 2020, 8:19 pm
    Post #13 - January 5th, 2020, 8:19 pm Post #13 - January 5th, 2020, 8:19 pm
    jsmit86 wrote:Interesting about Chicago Prime. I’ve eaten there about a half dozen times, and it was always excellent.

    It was the worst dinner I've had in the past five years, and overpriced, too - and all four of us felt that way about it. Maybe it was just an off night. It happens.
  • Post #14 - January 8th, 2020, 8:57 am
    Post #14 - January 8th, 2020, 8:57 am Post #14 - January 8th, 2020, 8:57 am
    Panther in the Den wrote:
    Da Beef wrote:Best Bites of 2019. Only listing dishes that were completely new to me.

    Surprised/not surprised that your list is so long. :)

    Being the best might indicate it’s your top 1 or 5%. I can’t even imagine.


    It was a banner year of eating for sure. Def felt the most memorable bites came from out of town spots though that's expected if it's going to be Chicagoland vs Everywhere else. Maybe more like the top 20% of food consumed. Haha.


    marothisu wrote:
    Da Beef wrote:Hot Dog Skewers at Gao's Kabob


    I'm surprised. Have you been to Friend BBQ? One of my wife's favorite foods is Chinese BBQ - she grew up eating it and we eat a bit of it here in NY. Chicago doesn't have a ton of places, but we went to Gao's in September while in town. We didn't think it was very good and some of the skewers tasted really off (the squid was really bad to the point that I couldn't even finish 1). Curious if we went on an off night or something.


    I actually haven't been to Friend's yet and that's bc some people I know (they're Chinese fwiw) didn't like it. I did enjoy Gao's quite a bit but haven't visited since last winter/spring. The hot dog skewers are no doubt a guilty pleasure in the same way a Mexican Danger Dog is for me. I also really liked the eggplant. That said everyone's got preferences when it comes to food. It's not like all locals in Chinatown prefer one spot to all others. I'll check out Friends soon though. Thanks for the reminder.

    chezbrad wrote:Dallas was named restaurant city of the year by Bon Appetit. Dark times, people.


    Haha. I actually thought this was deserved bc if anything you cant give it to NYC and LA every other year. Dallas might not have many (or any) spots that can match the fine dining found elsewhere, Chicago included, but it's a good example of where food and restaurants in general are headed. The next generation of restaurateurs are the children of immigrants and second generation kids. Many are using the experience they got in the fading fine dining industry to open up places of their own serving the food they grew up on and they seem to want everyone to be able to try it. Two great Dallas examples of this are Revolver Taco Lounge and Khao Noodle Shop.

    Both are pretty casual places but the food is as good as it gets in the States as far as the respective cuisines they're pushing. Seriously I couldn't believe how good each of them were when I first tried them. If either of them were in NYC or LA they'd be all over the national publications. Then there's Tei-An (website down). One of the best Japanese restaurants in the States. While it's been there for more than a decade I expect to see a huge increase in good Japanese food in Plano specifically over the next decade. With Toyota moving it's headquarters there so are lots of Japanese restaurants, groceries, and such.

    I may be a partial homer as my wife is from Dallas and the in-laws still live there. But I'm not stretching it when I say I was disappointed to miss a trip there this past holiday season due to a bad case of bronchitis. Dallas has taken a 180 in the last decade and much of that can be contributed to it's diverse population. Texas is the new California.

    Cuisines I would say are worth seeking out in DFW include Mexican (and Tex-Mex), Laotian, Korean, Chinese, Taiwanese, Nepalese, and a variety of regional Indian food, and also Middle Eastern. Plus there's all the old school American spots pushing real Texas BBQ, chicken fried steaks, burgers, and more. Not to mention the steakhouses. I used to think Chicago had the best when it came to those. Then I started going to Dallas. I'm not going to say it's better than Houston bc I still haven't been there though I've heard nothing but great things. That said Dallas kicks Austin's ass, and I like Austin a whole lot too. Anyone headed to DFW this year should use this guide to the city's best restaurants from my guy Brian Reinhart of the Dallas observer. Of course you'll need a car but that's everywhere in Texas.
  • Post #15 - January 9th, 2020, 12:59 pm
    Post #15 - January 9th, 2020, 12:59 pm Post #15 - January 9th, 2020, 12:59 pm
    I kid about Dallas--mostly. It appears to have come a long, long way if your posts, the BA piece, and recent Texas Monthly BBQ updates are any indication; I'm hoping to be out there soon to check out Khao.

    But I still think Kessler was and remains right about the Chicago scene.
  • Post #16 - August 19th, 2023, 12:27 pm
    Post #16 - August 19th, 2023, 12:27 pm Post #16 - August 19th, 2023, 12:27 pm
    nsxtasy wrote:This is the time of year when we share posts of our best meals (or dishes) of the year. I'm not planning any more meals out, so I'll kick things off. (For comparison, last year's topic is here.)

    Best Dinner, Chicago
    1. Everest
    2. S.K.Y.
    3. Bellemore
    4. Brass Heart
    5. Stone Flower
    6. Temporis
    7. Libertad
    8. Tzuco
    9. Campagnola
    10. Great Beijing

    Best Dinner, Out of Town
    1. Vespertine, Culver City CA
    2. Charleston, Baltimore MD
    3. Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare, New York NY
    4. Father Fats, Stevens Point WI
    5. Restaurant Lorena, Maplewood NJ
    6. DanDan, Milwaukee WI
    7. Baker Street, Fort Wayne IN
    8. Brick & Mortar, St. Petersburg FL
    9. Osteria Mozza, Los Angeles CA
    10. Phillips Seafood, Newark (Airport! :twisted: ) NJ

    Best Lunch/Brunch, Chicago
    1. Shaw's Crab House
    2. Prime & Provisions
    3. Next of Kin
    4. Ten Mile House
    5. The Smith
    6. Two Lights
    7. Prairie Moon
    8. Salsa 17
    9. Big Ed's BBQ
    10. Frida's

    Best Lunch/Brunch, Out of Town
    1. Le Diplomate, Washington DC
    2. Pearl Oyster Bar, New York NY
    3. Miss Shirley's Café, Baltimore MD
    4. Clinton Street Baking Co., New York NY
    5. Sarabeth's, New York NY
    6. St. Paul Fish Co., Milwaukee WI
    7. East Town Kitchen & Bar, Milwaukee WI
    8. King's Fish House, Orange CA
    9. Du-Par's, Pasadena CA
    10. Breakfast by Salt's Cure, Los Angeles CA

    Biggest Disappointments
    1. Chicago Prime Steakhouse
    2. Dialogue, Santa Monica CA
    3. EnVie, Lansing MI
    4. Bayan Ko
    5. Silencieux
    6. Somerset

    Oddly, the last two on my list of biggest disappointments this year appeared on my list of best dinners last year.

    Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare, a highly acclaimed restaurant with three Michelin stars, has closed amid a legal dispute between its chef and owner, leaving a culinary void for customers of fine dining in New York City, where the restaurant had been a top-dollar fixture of flavorful creativity for more than a decade.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2023/08/18/dini ... d-nyc.html
    Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche - Lewis Grizzard

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more