Is it just me, or is there something transfixing about this bowl of gumbo ya-ya ($13) at Big Jones? I mean, no matter how long you gaze, you'll never see what's lurking underneath. But for lovers of gumbo made with extra-dark roux, this is the sign of potential greatness.
Andersonville, North Side
There are still signs of Swedish Chicago in Andersonville, but they're getting fewer all the time. In fact, there's only one Swedish restaurant left in the area, a rustic little diner open for breakfast and lunch called Svea.
The Japan National Tourism Organization thinks it's silly that we act like sushi is what its country's food is all about. So check out Sunshine Café's offerings of steaming, home-style noodle bowls, donburi, crisp-skinned fish, tempura, pickled vegetables, fresh tofu, and goma da re-soaked greens.
Tweet makes a few departures from traditional in this everyday Korean dish, but almost all are to the betterment of the dish.
These tacos are what you'd get if you took a crustless Victorian high tea sandwich and mated it with a taco just south of the U.S.-Mexico border. Dialed-up flavors of smoked fish, dill and mayo pair with earthy corn, spicy chipotle, and creamy guacamole.
The chicken doesn't taste as much as a homage to Ms. Lewis as it tastes like lunch, pure and simple, and wonderful in its lack of pretentiousness.
This rustic Italian establishment in the heart of Andersonville has one of the better small plate menus I've seen, with fair prices, one eye on the wine list, and portions that don't leave you hungry.
Brasserie 54 is an LM "neighborhood French restaurant and bar" in the heart of Andersonville that offers solid French fare in a very approachable setting
Taste of Lebanon elevates a simple sandwich to new heights with great ingredients and a fine touch.
Largely a Venetian thing, cicchetti are essentially Italian tapas, small shared fare to linger over, preferably with a glass of white wine. However, if Venice is not in your immediate future, you can find a nice rendering of the concept right here in Chicago, at Ombra.
Robert Duvall liked the smell of napalm in the morning. I might also suggest a late-morning stroll up Clark Street in Andersonville, where you can instead find yourself inhaling the aromas of fresh kebabs lapping up open flames pouring out of Reza's.
It is the Goldilocks of tuna sandwiches—not too creamy, not too dry, not too salty, not too oniony, and, ultimately, not too exciting.
Johnny Brown Bag has had staying power possibly because it's exactly what you think it's not. It is a cozy little BYO restaurant, complete with a menu of small plates, pizzas, pastas, and, yes, sandwiches.
A Taste of Heaven takes simple ingredients and makes some sandwich magic.
The wonderful, Belgian-inspired menu, features mussels, frites, and an aioli that offers free self-improvement seminars to other aiolis.
This is about as perfect a sandwich as you could hope for to counter the impending winter. The size of Rainier cherries, these beef meatballs are tender, moist nuggets of pure happiness.
The William F. is like a culinary double ought; it scatters buckshot flavors all over the place, bound to score some hits.
Never judge a book by its cover. Always, however, judge a pharmacy by its overstuffed sandwiches.
The Duck Reuben at Hopleaf is an upscale, playful take on the classic, kind of like a vintage two-flat getting the granite countertop makeover.
If I could make one suggestion, it would be that instead of the dainty fingerling potatoes,pork belly breakfast sandwich, the pork belly breakfast sandwich from Vincent should be paired with a can of PBR and a side of Advil.