A buffet can be okay. Sometimes you just want a hot meal with plenty of options so the kids get a few bites in between running around. The fact that the food is really, really good can make it worth seeking out. Case in point: the Sunday Brunch Buffet at Chief O'Neill's Pub & Restaurant.
Avondale, North Side
Joong Boo Market just got a little more accessible, with the opening just a few weeks ago of a dumpling stand next to the entrance. In the tiny metal and glass booth, a couple of cooks turn out exactly three items, all priced at $2 each.
All the cornstarch-thick dishes spooned over rice I've eaten in Chicago have merely been a warm up to the yet untackled culinary bastion of my youth: the Chinese buffet.
Kiss your New Year's cleanses goodbye, there's fried chicken French toast to be had. Honey Butter Fried Chicken ups the comfort ante on brunch with a new selection of weekend brunch dishes.
I'm just as likely to stick to a place's specialty as anyone, but in D'Candela's case, you'd be well served to dig a little deeper.
There's no real reason these chicken wings from Joong Boo are so good, but I crave them like a five year old binging on yesterday's Halloween candy haul.
It's too early for a full blown review, but at first blush, I like what I see at Honey Butter Fried Chicken.
There has been a boom in Central Asian restaurants in Chicago, often 24-hour ones for the cabbie market, on the northwest side in the last few years, all serving some minor variation on what people eat for a thousand miles in any direction in that part of the world: stewed lamb and rice, kabobs, dumplings. But for me one of this pretty new crop stands apart for the care with which the food is made, and the hints of spices from around the central Asian region which make it livelier than so much food from this part of the world.
To celebrate the release of Hot Doug's: The Book, owner Doug Sohn invited all of the book's contributors to Revolution Brewery in Avondale for an afternoon of beer and sausages.
Remember when a group of us showed up at Hot Doug's and ate every single thing on the menu? Imagine my surprise when I walked in to the Avondale joint this past weekend and came face to face with the Bowl o' 40-Sausage Chili ($6.00), a completely new kind of menu item.
A nice medium rare, with hints of garlic and Worcestershire, the steak sandwich at Pork Shoppe is hearty, without being heavy.
Dubbing itself, "The pub you've been practicing for," Chief O'Neill's has something for everyone. My advice is go for the drinks, but stay for the food.
Kuma's shines brightest when its dishes are executed with even a modicum of restraint- which, rather surprisingly, most of its deep fried output is. And while "restrained" is not your typical deep fried modifier, Kuma's has, and never will be, your typical place.
The last bite, sans top bun and topped with plenty of the accompanying blue cheese dressing was by far the best of all. Are open faced buffalo chicken sandwiches a thing?
Sometimes you don't want dishes celebrating the regional nuances of China- sometimes you want good old Chinese American dishes that you can drown in soy sauce and eat clumsily with chop sticks. In those moments of need, turn to Lee's Chop Suey.
Located on the northwest side on a sliver of land between the Kennedy Expressway and the Union Pacific Metra Line is Joong Boo Market, one of the most respected, and conveniently located, Korean markets in Chicago. Check out all of the unique products you can find with our tour around the shop.
A moist chicken breast is breaded, fried, and doused in vinegary buffalo sauce. It's topped with a slice of tomato and a mound of bleu cheese, and the entire thing is housed in one of the better pretzel buns I've had. Squishy and warm, it added to the sandwich rather than being being there just for show.
The Deep Fried Milky Way ($5.00) brings the full fair experience to a busy strip of Belmont Avenue, and as an added bonus, you can enjoy it off an actual plate, in the air conditioning.
My only ordering advice when visiting Las Asadas is this: if it comes from a cow, you probably want to order it. Sure, there are plenty of other contenders for the steak taco crown in Chicago, but Las Asadas is up there with the best.
Can giardiniera improve every sandwich it touches? The glorious pickled concoction helps Italian beefs, so why couldn't it also bring some magic on a sandwich that genuinely needs some spice? Nick tests the theory at Niko's Gyros in Avondale.