Posts Tagged ‘Chicago

25
Feb
10

Dim Sum at Lao Sze Chuan and Tank Noodle

We set out to eat some dim sum in Chicago’s Chinatown after a warm-up at Wow Bao.

Lao Sze Chuan had some good reviews on Yelp, but what does that mean?

Their “dim sum” menu consisted of 8-10 items that barely passed as calling the section dim sum. We ordered only from this section, and debated on going to another dim sum place but didn’t have enough time.

These were probably the best dish on the table. Chengdu dumplings with an amazing sauce, slightly spicy, not too salty. The dumplings themselves had a good texture with just enough juice inside. The filling wasn’t anything special.

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25
Feb
10

Wow Bao

How can you go wrong with Hot Asian Buns?!

Wow Bao is a trendy, urban fast food joint in The Loop of Chicago. The menu is small, simple, and approachable.  We stopped in before we hit dim sum in Chinatown.

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25
Feb
10

Urban Belly

After many recommendations by several people to visit Urban Belly, I finally made it [to Chicago, in general]. Yes, this is also in a “strip mall”, but it’s in the city, so it’s cooler. They also covered up the storefront with a trendy facade, which I should’ve gotten a picture of, and a make-shift breeze-way. The flow of the restaurant is like the deli. It’s not full table service. You order at the counter after getting a table, and the food is delivered out to your table, labeled with a number. You do have a “waitress” that checks in with you and gets anything you may need.

We met up with the lovely Adrienne, and ordered half the menu. No, I’m not joking, half the menu. They should’ve paid US since everyone else in line after us kept asking what we ordered.

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25
Feb
10

Katy’s Dumplings

Ji Hye and I tried to taste as much as possible during my 28 hour visit to Chicago.  A lot has surfaced since my last trip about 4 years ago, or maybe I just have a really good personal restaurant locator (Ji Hye).

The first place we visited was in a suburb called Westmont, about an hour train ride from the city.  Katy’s dumplings is a hole in a wall- well, a strip mall- and run by a chef from Hong Kong. The menu was small, and what I’d expect to get in a good neighborhood shop in Taipei (I’ve never been to mainland China).  They hand pull their noodles daily, sometimes twice a day. The chef makes everything in-house and prides himself on the authenticity and making everything from scratch- even the chili oil. This solidifies my theory that the untapped, good Asian restaurants with almost no advertisement (or English for that matter) will 1. be in a strip mall in suburban America 2. have really good authentic food from an immigrant chef that speaks minimal English, and really doesn’t care what you think because he works his ASS off 20 hours a day.

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23
Feb
10

Yes, this is what I call research

So this past weekend Kristen and I visited Chicago for a little “research”.  We visited several noodle shops and ate lots of food, good and mediocre.  Yes, I’m calling in research.  I can also go with “bench marking”.  Pick your semi-business sounding word and that’s most likely what we did.

Over the course of 2 days, we visited Urban Belly, Tank Noodles, Takashi, Lao Sze Chuan, Katy’s Dumplings, Be Le Bakery among others, so expect future posts on those visits.  However for now, I want to talk about my visit to Avec after Kristen left the windy city a little early.  I know, Avec is not a noodle shop, obviously, but how Avec is organized spatially is smart.  We can use smart.

See how the restaurant is maximizing the whole space for sitting?  How all the lines are kept very simple and focused so the space is very clean?  Let’s see some more.  (I apologize for the less than ideal quality of iPhone pictures.)

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