LTH Home

Citrine and evolving Oak Park scene

Citrine and evolving Oak Park scene
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
    Page 27 of 27 
  • Post #781 - March 4th, 2021, 8:22 pm
    Post #781 - March 4th, 2021, 8:22 pm Post #781 - March 4th, 2021, 8:22 pm
    Image

    I encourage you to (masked-)run not walk across Austin Blvd. to Chubby's Char House for one of the better Nashville hot chicken sandwiches I've had in the Land of Lincoln. Ordered hot, it delivers the kind of elevated Scovilles that get behind your eyeballs for hours. The rub is less sweet and garlicky than Base Hit on North Ave., which I also like but haven't had in a year, and the vibrant slaw is quite herbaceously interesting in its own right. Sharp pickles and fresh sliced jalapenos complete the punishingly crunchy picture. They also have a strong old-fries-style offering: specify "salted," please.

    On two visits they have not been taking advance phone orders, so it's an order-in, fresh air outside wait, retrieve-within type deal at the moment. They pride themselves on 30+ varieties of glass bottle sugar cane sodas and some good looking burgers as well, but I've so far just enjoyed the hot chicken, in the tenders basket and the sandwich. With increasingly improved options at McD, KFC, Popeyes, and the like, this is still the one I'm craving even at the justly higher price (I think $8, still much more of a value than the Budlong and various suburbancue places).

    Chubby's Char House
    5963 W Madison St, Chicago, IL 60644
  • Post #782 - March 15th, 2021, 12:31 pm
    Post #782 - March 15th, 2021, 12:31 pm Post #782 - March 15th, 2021, 12:31 pm
    Beer Shop has completed their new parking lot shelter and, more importantly, expanded hours such that they are now open for lunch on the weekends. The Beer Shop lunch, where everyone gets to pick their own DTOP restaurant (this weekend: Katy's, Munch and Mickey's) and we meet at Beer Shop, is a very important part of life for us, so we are thrilled!
  • Post #783 - March 16th, 2021, 6:15 pm
    Post #783 - March 16th, 2021, 6:15 pm Post #783 - March 16th, 2021, 6:15 pm
    Good to hear, love (carrying out from) Beer Shop.

    Speaking of carrying out, Chubby's was excellent. Madison parking was surprisingly tough, though.
  • Post #784 - March 23rd, 2021, 7:11 pm
    Post #784 - March 23rd, 2021, 7:11 pm Post #784 - March 23rd, 2021, 7:11 pm
    One year of pandemic takeout Taco Tuesdays later, and here's the final ranking (top seven, all positive) from my family of four, which required some debate and consensus and does not necessarily reflect my sole opinion:

    1. Hecho en Oak Park
    2. Gringo & Blondie
    3. Tacabron
    4. Q-BBQ
    5. La Parrillita
    6. Mexican Republic (formerly Axcan)
    7. Taco Bros

    All were tried 3+ times (the top two many times more) and all really were at least passable, comforting in a town where the taco highs are best in breed and the lows are absolutely inedible.

    We also had Cactus Grill once (fine but higher pricepoint for the same items and not the offerings the kids want) and New Rebozo once for a special occasion (fiesta moles, ohmygod but does not a Taco Tuesday make). Maya del Sol is not open on Tuesdays (wtf). Amerikas was not open for dinners much of the year but has some of the best concepting and cooking around. I had previously written off (for good or ill) Ino's, Taco Tu, and Chirrion, and we skewed north towards Elmwood rather than south towards Berwyn because of family logistics as this was on a route to a recurring activity (but love me some Zacatacos and Lavergne's). Some tasting notes corresponding to the above:

    1. Hecho: best quality ingredients, homemade tortillas, and bar (michelada mix by the pint has been a lifesaver). Lentil soup which comes with half an avocado and a quesadilla is a steal of a decadent add-on. Best labeling (all tacos individually labeled). Best elotes on or off the cob. Asada is a nice steak and not leftover bargain bits.

    2. G&B: most creative / flavorful offerings including the Gringo (barbacoa and sharp pickled onion) and the Blondie (rajas with attitude), seamless curbside pickup, churros included, add-on Mexican chocolate ice cream when needed, family pack with big rice and beans trays offered value even when individual tacos are discounted Tuesdays. Included quesadillas offer sour cream and good pico for those that aren't cilantro y cebolla purists. Second-best asada, best al pastor. Cemitas!

    3. T-bron: best guac and salsas and cheapest margaritas is a nice combo, and the whole quesabirria trend breathed second life into this place. Theirs is one-note salty goat (taco and consome) without the herbal and tomato and caramelized crusts of the best offerings, but their corn tortillas are really nice for it and the salsas offset. Asada and elotes are unfortunately middling.

    4. Q: perhaps this is a surprising inclusion but their burnt end tacos are quite flavorful (smoked chicken tacos just fine too) and they offer elotes ("Mexican Corn"), a chimi-like pico, and a strong salad with Mexican flavors, plus some reasonable beers. Generous portions and their delivery when we needed it was consistently ahead of time and piping hot. Nice for a changeup.

    5. La Par: particularly enjoy their chorizo tacos and mango nachos. Asada better than Tacabron but other tacos not notable in our experience. Salsas are distinct and unique but not always delectable, more in the experimental realm. Tortillas are not as reliable as 1-3.

    6. MexRep: the value option - ridiculous portions on the fajitas or taco take-home kits (60% of the price of most others for the same amount of food), good bar, super staff. My daughter's favorite asada but more like a picadillo afterthought for me. For something different their fried appetizer combo offers good variety, and honestly reminds me of Carlos Murphy's of old, which I realize may not sound like a compliment.

    7. T-bros: most variable, but when on, really strong. Favorite rice and beans, wildly swinging asada and corn tortillas, solid chorizo torta, and good churros.

    In the Before Times I was a regular through La Lagartija, Antique Taco, and Carbón for commute takeout, and at their best the first two edge Hecho and G & B for the corresponding items at family-style scale, but it was impressive to me how the suburban competition has developed. We had Big Star and Dove's a few times through the One Off Supper Club, and while nice punctuations they didn't necessarily offer more satisfaction than a parcel of hyperlocal asada tacos and salsas.

    Plus Big Star's supper club packaging style revealed that their secret salsa of choice for the walking tacos is just Cholula (!), which I had not detected independently given their scratch salsa prevalence, and I have now been able to perfect a home version, though they are doing something with a lightly fermented flavor (lager?) in their beans I can't exactly replicate but that does not detract from the homemade whole.
  • Post #785 - March 24th, 2021, 8:44 am
    Post #785 - March 24th, 2021, 8:44 am Post #785 - March 24th, 2021, 8:44 am
    Gringo & Blondie's asada cemita has grown into one of my favorite things, but everything they do is great. The place is definitely my family's favorite of the bunch you listed, though Tacabron is always a safe choice, too. How would you rank the tacos at Pete's? They have a couple of trompos in action, but I don't know if I've ever actually had their al pastor.
  • Post #786 - March 24th, 2021, 8:56 am
    Post #786 - March 24th, 2021, 8:56 am Post #786 - March 24th, 2021, 8:56 am
    Vitesse98 wrote:Gringo & Blondie's asada cemita has grown into one of my favorite things, but everything they do is great. The place is definitely my family's favorite of the bunch you listed, though Tacabron is always a safe choice, too. How would you rank the tacos at Pete's? They have a couple of trompos in action, but I don't know if I've ever actually had their al pastor.


    We should definitely try to work Pete's into year two; I've had it only once lately but it used to be a regular snack after checkout. They use(d to at least) factory tortillas and re-griddle whatever had been held and I couldn't consistently convince them I wanted it right off the trompo, getting a response one time it wasn't allowed. I preferred the asada. Excellent salsas. Giant tacos, fresh cilantro, lots of food in the three-pack.
  • Post #787 - March 25th, 2021, 10:37 am
    Post #787 - March 25th, 2021, 10:37 am Post #787 - March 25th, 2021, 10:37 am
    OK, so one I didn't expect: per Downtown Oak Park, Marion Street is getting a Japanese ramen / omurice restaurant! Part of a Taiwanese chain, with a branch in Flushing, NY:

    Kyuramen
    https://www.kyuramen.com/

    I'd be perhaps even more excited if it was a Japanese chain, but I'm game and local ramen would be quite an add.
  • Post #788 - March 25th, 2021, 11:04 am
    Post #788 - March 25th, 2021, 11:04 am Post #788 - March 25th, 2021, 11:04 am
    tazerowe wrote:OK, so one I didn't expect: per Downtown Oak Park, Marion Street is getting a Japanese ramen / omurice restaurant! Part of a Taiwanese chain, with a branch in Flushing, NY:

    Kyuramen
    https://www.kyuramen.com/

    I'd be perhaps even more excited if it was a Japanese chain, but I'm game and local ramen would be quite an add.


    A Taiwanese chain of Japanese food isn't too farfetched. Taiwan was a former colony of Japan from 1895-1945. The Japanese were heavily involved with industrializing and modernizing the island and their influence is still felt in Taiwanese culture to this day.
  • Post #789 - April 12th, 2021, 5:39 am
    Post #789 - April 12th, 2021, 5:39 am Post #789 - April 12th, 2021, 5:39 am
    District Kitchen & Tap on Harrison is now closed. Sad, they had great pizzas and the people were always so nice.
    One of the employees said a taqueria will take its place.
  • Post #790 - April 12th, 2021, 10:31 am
    Post #790 - April 12th, 2021, 10:31 am Post #790 - April 12th, 2021, 10:31 am
    Ciro is coming! How exciting!
    On Pleasant by Carnivore and Serenitea
    Expected opening around August
    1048 Pleasant
    Chef Ciro Parlato has all the creds!
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/ciroparlato
    Cheers, Ciro!
  • Post #791 - April 12th, 2021, 10:45 am
    Post #791 - April 12th, 2021, 10:45 am Post #791 - April 12th, 2021, 10:45 am
    We received a reply from Victory Italian
    They will be open Thur Apr 15!
    Sign on door says they open 4pm

    https://www.oakpark.com/2021/04/13/vict ... -thursday/

    Victory Italian
    100 S Marion
    https://www.facebook.com/victoryItalian
  • Post #792 - April 16th, 2021, 2:00 pm
    Post #792 - April 16th, 2021, 2:00 pm Post #792 - April 16th, 2021, 2:00 pm
    This is an exceptionally sprawling and frustrating thread, a hodge-podge of restaurants that range from Oak Park to Forest Park to Chicago to Cicero to Berwyn and I'm probably missing one or two. Just 27 pages of try-and-find-it. Don't understand why Citrine and some of these other places don't have their own threads. This is like The Borg of all threads, assimilating restaurants and adding their distinctiveness to the collective. It is beyond being able to be taken apart. Disassembly is futile.
  • Post #793 - April 16th, 2021, 6:32 pm
    Post #793 - April 16th, 2021, 6:32 pm Post #793 - April 16th, 2021, 6:32 pm
    Vitesse98 wrote:How would you rank the tacos at Pete's? They have a couple of trompos in action, but I don't know if I've ever actually had their al pastor.


    I just ingested 2 steak tacos from Pete's.
    The steak was edible, though it was the worst part of the tacos. The factory tortillas, cilantro and onion were all better than the steak. It was dry, reheated, tiny dice, but edible. If their green avocado salsa wasn't almost amazing as Chapparita's, then those tacos would have wound up in the trash. I'm sure if any of the other meats are actually fresh, and you like a damn fine fiery salsa, you'll be in business over there.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #794 - April 16th, 2021, 6:33 pm
    Post #794 - April 16th, 2021, 6:33 pm Post #794 - April 16th, 2021, 6:33 pm
    seebee wrote:
    Vitesse98 wrote:How would you rank the tacos at Pete's? They have a couple of trompos in action, but I don't know if I've ever actually had their al pastor.


    I just ingested 2 steak tacos from Pete's.
    The steak was edible, though it was the worst part of the tacos. The factory tortillas, cilantro and onion were all better than the steak. It was dry, reheated, tiny dice, but edible. If their green avocado salsa wasn't almost as amazing as Chapparita's, then those tacos would have wound up in the trash. I'm sure if any of the other meats are actually fresh, and you like a damn fine fiery salsa, you'll be in business over there.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #795 - April 16th, 2021, 6:34 pm
    Post #795 - April 16th, 2021, 6:34 pm Post #795 - April 16th, 2021, 6:34 pm
    Vitesse98 wrote:How would you rank the tacos at Pete's? They have a couple of trompos in action, but I don't know if I've ever actually had their al pastor.


    I just ingested 2 steak tacos from Pete's.
    The steak was edible, though it was the worst part of the tacos. The factory tortillas, cilantro and onion were all better than the steak. It was dry, reheated, tiny dice, but edible. If their green avocado salsa wasn't almost as amazing as Chapparita's, then those tacos would have wound up in the trash. I'm sure if any of the other meats are actually fresh, and you like a damn fine fiery salsa, you'll be in business over there.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #796 - May 9th, 2021, 10:39 am
    Post #796 - May 9th, 2021, 10:39 am Post #796 - May 9th, 2021, 10:39 am
    Rustico update.
    The joint was hopping when we got there at 8:15 on a Saturday night. Since this was our first time, I don't know what their capacity is in normal times, but it looked about 80% of whatever that might be.
    But I digest, I mean digress. The Plato Rustico was huge for two people, we brought about half home. My wife enjoyed the apple salad and my beet carpaccio with seared scallops was very good. We both went with lamb as an entree, her the shank which she loved and the chops for me. I thought that the use of lemon was really heavy handed.
    Overall though, we enjoyed the dinner and will go back because there is a lot on the menu that we want to try.
  • Post #797 - May 14th, 2021, 3:54 am
    Post #797 - May 14th, 2021, 3:54 am Post #797 - May 14th, 2021, 3:54 am
    Takeout 25 has saved local restaurants in Oak Park. Now it’s flexing its spending muscle across the Chicago Avenue border, in Austin.

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/dining/c ... story.html
    Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche - Lewis Grizzard

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more