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A long time ago, in another thread I wrote:I’ve only been once but would highly recommend Village Hut, the Gujarati place where we had the Jain dinner. If that dinner was any indication, this is a truly excellent restaurant. It wasn’t simply the best vegetarian meal I’ve had in ages, it was one of the best meals I’ve had in a long time. The creativity and quality of the dishes was amazing. I don’t know what their everyday offerings are but I feel reasonably confident in saying this place is an essential stop.

Some day there will be a post on the Jain dinner but it will be a collaborative effort (and a difficult undertaking). Even if the text never gets written, I promise some day to post pictures of the 15 or so courses.

It's now been over a year and I'm beginning to get the feeling that the collaborative post isn't going to happen but here are the promised pictures from the Jain dinner (29 April 06). I recently had a chance to return and was just as impressed.

"This is a vegetarian restaurant."

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Village Hut
130 E Army Trail Rd
Glendale Heights IL
630-893-5800
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Rene G wrote:I recently had a chance to return and was just as impressed.

Rene,

I was not at the Jain dinner, but I very much enjoyed our recent meal Village Hut, easily the best purely vegetarian meal (by design) I've encountered. It's difficult to describe the dishes, but flavors were distinct and palate pleasing. We had approximately 18 dishes, including sauces, chutneys and pickle for the very reasonable price of $15 per person. Buttermilk accented with cumin went well with our meal as did beer.*

I've included pictures in my post, additional pictures and a non-detailed listing of dishes may be found here. Monica Eng has an interesting Indian Thali video tutorial filmed at the Village Hut.

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Enjoy,
Gary

*I suggest calling in advance for permission if you intend to being alcohol.
_______________________________________

Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

Low & Slow
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I recommended this place to a couple of guys last weekend (prior to both these
above posts), sight-unseen, on the basis of hearing good things about it
from a few people :-) Now note - the two guys I rec'd it to were Gujarati
college students, vegetarians, who are at college in Indiana (ie this was
'their" food, but they hadnt gotten to eat it in ages). Still, the report I
got back was "awesome" - completely a rave review. It is Gujarati
food, but Gujarat is a big place.. it is actually "Kathiawari food" (Kathiawad
is a particular region in Gujarat). As noted, it is 15 bucks, unlimited,
thali-style. Supposedly very authentic, and, at least to a nostalgic
Gujarati palate, very very good indeed. The "menu" is slightly different
every day (sometimes they have aamrus-puri for example - ie thickish-mango-juice
and fluffy fried poori's, but they didnt last weekend). A massive variety
of pickles, sandesh, bajra rotis, a very good daal etc. Probably the only
food of its kind in Chicagoland (and certainly the best of its kind, not
just in Chicagoland but probably around the midwest Id guess). And I say
this without having even eaten there myself :-) But just going by reports from
people who have eaten there (many Gujarat-natives who would know
of what they speak), it comes highly recommended (I plan on visiting
myself soon enough, though Glendale Heights is a longish way away :-)

c8w
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Hi,

For those who may be interested in trying this style of dinner. Bruce Kraig and Colleen Sen are presenting a joint paper at the Oxford Symposium on the Jains. As part of the background work, Chicago Foodways Roundtable will have a Jains dinner either July 21st or 28th.

A posting will follow soon once a date is firmed up.

Regards,
_______________________________________

Cathy2

"You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
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New poster rbhatta70 recently posted his comments on Village hut
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(Online)
Lead Moderator
HI,

Village Hut was identified as a source of Jain foodby Colleen Taylor Sen who wrote Food Culture in India part of a series called Food Culture Around the World by Greenwood Press. She organized a dinner for Chicago Foodways Roundtable two years ago at Village Hut attended by a number of people including ReneG, Pdaane and myself.

Another dinner is scheduled in July, just waiting on a confirmation before announcing the date.

Regards,
_______________________________________

Cathy2

"You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
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c8w wrote:.....
got back was "awesome" - completely a rave review. It is Gujarati
food, but Gujarat is a big place.. it is actually "Kathiawari food" (Kathiawad
is a particular region in Gujarat). As noted, it is 15 bucks, unlimited,
thali-style. Supposedly very authentic, and, at least to a nostalgic
.....

of pickles, sandesh, bajra rotis, a very good daal etc. Probably the only
food of its kind in Chicagoland (and certainly the best of its kind, not
just in Chicagoland but probably around the midwest Id guess). And I say
c8w


Withdraw above coments - at least the bit about it being the "only food of
its kind" in Chicagoland. While picking up a Goat Biryani to-go at Usmaniya
(still the finest Goat Biryani in Chicagoland IMHO), got the "Indian
newspaper" as well... and there is an advertisement for "Big Suchir".
Big Suchir claims to be a "grocery store and restaurant", and advertises
"Enjoy Kathiawadi Bhojan (Bajri Rotla Thali)" (Bhojan = food/meal), plus
"South Indian, Punjabi and Gujarati dishes".

Big Suchir is located at 2437 W.75th Street in Woodridge. Anyone tried
this place at all (or live close enough to want to take one for the team
and report back? :-)

c8w
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When I lived in the area I used to shop & eat at Big Suchir frequently (it saved a trip to Devon!) FYI, its a couple of doors down from Katy's Dumplings in the same strip mall.

Its a family-run grocery & video store with a small food counter & eating area in the back. All veg food, variety of chaats made to order (I'm fond of the delhi-style paapdi chaat), good samosas etc. Rotis, various veg dishes etc to eat in or take home. Includes variety of gujrati specialities, particularly the veg dishes (they can be seen being cooked in the open kitchen behind the counter). Gujarati food tends to be sweet, which I'm not fond of being panjabi, but everything I've sampled is very good. The lady who mans the counter also does most of the cooking & makes excellent chutneys, bhindi & particularly gujarati kachoris, dhokla & a variety of sweets including a special gujiya filled with sweet suji for festivals. She'll take special orders for catering also.
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GNR Czar Emeritus
Wow, nice work. I have to try both these places.
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d
Feeling (south) loopy
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Here are pictures from the second Jain dinner on July 21. It took me a year to post pictures from the first Jain dinner; this time it's only a month. Corrections and comments are very welcome.

Papads
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Before the meal proper, we were served nicely toasted papads.

Khandvi, Dhokla, Pakoda
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These three starters, plus cilantro and date chutneys, began the meal.

Mohanthal, Bhindo, Patra, Spiniach & Corn, Sev Tomato, Dal, Gur, Garlic Pickle, Ghee, Dry Garlic, Bajara Rotala, Paratha
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This entire array of dishes was then served together.

Bhindo
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An excellent okra preparation, not too slimy.

Patra
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A very interesting "jellyroll" of chickpea dough in taro leaf.

Spinach and Corn
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Not a traditional Gujarati dish but very good.

Sev Tomato
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Chickpea noodles top a tomato stew.

Dal
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Bajara Rotala
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This millet bread was served with traditional accompaniments of ghee and gur (unrefined sugar).

Khichdi-Kadhi
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The traditional combo of khichdi (rice-lentil) and kadhi (yogurt broth) arrived after the main dishes were cleared.

Sukhdi
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Very similar to Western shortbread, this sweet closed the meal.

Another lovely meal at Village Hut. I can hardly wait for Jain Dinner III.
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Lead Moderator
Hi,

A friend contacted the owners to learn:

Village Hut has closed with the owners moving to New Jersey to be near their daughter. They will now concentrate on their wholesale business. He already has a line of shrikand (a Maharastrian desert) which is sold in Patel Brothers and elsewhere.

Regards,
_______________________________________

Cathy2

"You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
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