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Citrine and evolving Oak Park scene

Citrine and evolving Oak Park scene
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  • Post #181 - August 5th, 2017, 8:30 pm
    Post #181 - August 5th, 2017, 8:30 pm Post #181 - August 5th, 2017, 8:30 pm
    thetrob wrote:
    Panther in the Den wrote:
    teatpuller wrote:Interested in trying their Merkt's Cheddar 1/3 lb Burger.



    Had the Merkt's Cheddar burger (double) today from Michaels along with an order of Fries and a Lemon Ice.

    Burger was outstanding and a touch messy. (sorry no pics) Cooked correctly, still juicy, proper amount of cheese, grilled onions and other condiments and a bun that held up pretty well to all of the above. Fries were great with nice texture inside and out and not greasy at all.

    Just had the Merkt's Cheddar burger - it is indeed quite good. The dog I has was less impressive. It was dressed well but the sausage itself seemed small, had no snap, an little discernable flavor. A shame as they did a nice job of dressing it and the sausage let the whole thing down.
  • Post #182 - August 6th, 2017, 11:01 am
    Post #182 - August 6th, 2017, 11:01 am Post #182 - August 6th, 2017, 11:01 am
    Went to Autre Monde last night. Food was really hit and miss. Couple things were practically inedible. There *must* be some changes in the kitchen?
    i used to milk cows
  • Post #183 - August 14th, 2017, 1:24 pm
    Post #183 - August 14th, 2017, 1:24 pm Post #183 - August 14th, 2017, 1:24 pm
    bobbywal wrote:Speaking of new breweries, well, maybe newish. Was selling some stuff at the Hi-Fi place on Harlem just north of Ogden in Berwyn and the proprietor mentioned Flapjack Brewery (between Grove and Kenilworth just north of the train tracks in Berwyn).

    I swung in and grabbed a growler and was impressed with the humble but seemingly effective pizza-making operation - wood-burning oven, lots of TLC in the prep; I watched one of the pizza makers hand-grating a big ol' pile of parmesan for one of the pizzas from a nice looking block.

    I got the cream ale since the IPA was a pretty steep 7.5%. I'm not a big fan of this particular beer. Seems very malty with a lot of residual sugar.

    That said, the place was cozy and super friendly and the pizza looked good. Perhaps the other beers are better. I think I'll be back to find out.


    We went here on the weekend and though the pizza was very good. Neapolitan in style, with very good char and a nice stretchy crust. The crust was slightly thicker than some in this style, which I actually liked as it held up better. A special spicy pizza with hot sausage, chilis and chili oil was great but really hot. Beer was solid as well.
  • Post #184 - August 25th, 2017, 3:39 pm
    Post #184 - August 25th, 2017, 3:39 pm Post #184 - August 25th, 2017, 3:39 pm
    Inspired by Hammond's glowing writeup in the WJ, I tried the newly opened Wild Onion Tied House for dinner yesterday evening and left happy. I had the reuben panini, which was outstanding, featuring delicious peppery, moist (not too fatty) pastrami with a great smoke note. Wife's salmon was well-prepared and nicely plated, and the kid's mac and cheese was...kid's mac and cheese.

    The kitchen appears to be firing on all cylinders, but the front of the house will benefit from a little time. Waitstaff are logging orders tableside with some kind of tablet system. I don't know if there's a learning curve or if they're laggy, but ordering was noticeably slower than with the old-fashioned way. I could use more menu transparency: our waiter suggested the smoked nuts as a starter, which we agreed to. They aren't listed on the menu so I thought they might be complementary (ha!)...no, they're $5 for a ramekin, which we only found out after we asked after accepting an offer of another round. The kids menu lists no prices or useful descriptions (the mac & cheese was $7). The kids menu also specifies that all of the kids orders' come with a side, but we were informed that was not the case. Good excuse to leave the kids elsewhere.

    I had pints of their Misfit IPA and Hop Slayer DIPA, both of which were fine renditions of the hazy, citrusy IPAs that I like. Certainly more interesting than anything I've had from Two Brothers. Really interesting that these two have both set up shop so close to each other. Based on a handful of visits, I'd choose WOTH every day of the week. (I'd still rather drink beer at Poor Phil's, however.)

    Wild Onion Tied House
    1111-1113 South Blvd
    708.638.3553
  • Post #185 - August 27th, 2017, 1:08 pm
    Post #185 - August 27th, 2017, 1:08 pm Post #185 - August 27th, 2017, 1:08 pm
    ndgbucktown wrote:Inspired by Hammond's glowing writeup in the WJ, I tried the newly opened Wild Onion Tied House for dinner yesterday evening and left happy. I had the reuben panini, which was outstanding, featuring delicious peppery, moist (not too fatty) pastrami with a great smoke note. Wife's salmon was well-prepared and nicely plated, and the kid's mac and cheese was...kid's mac and cheese.

    The kitchen appears to be firing on all cylinders, but the front of the house will benefit from a little time. Waitstaff are logging orders tableside with some kind of tablet system. I don't know if there's a learning curve or if they're laggy, but ordering was noticeably slower than with the old-fashioned way. I could use more menu transparency: our waiter suggested the smoked nuts as a starter, which we agreed to. They aren't listed on the menu so I thought they might be complementary (ha!)...no, they're $5 for a ramekin, which we only found out after we asked after accepting an offer of another round. The kids menu lists no prices or useful descriptions (the mac & cheese was $7). The kids menu also specifies that all of the kids orders' come with a side, but we were informed that was not the case. Good excuse to leave the kids elsewhere.

    I had pints of their Misfit IPA and Hop Slayer DIPA, both of which were fine renditions of the hazy, citrusy IPAs that I like. Certainly more interesting than anything I've had from Two Brothers. Really interesting that these two have both set up shop so close to each other. Based on a handful of visits, I'd choose WOTH every day of the week. (I'd still rather drink beer at Poor Phil's, however.)

    Wild Onion Tied House
    1111-1113 South Blvd
    708.638.3553

    My Bride and I also made a visit on Friday (day 8 ) for Date Night. They apologized for the short menu but explained that they are still in soft opening and plan to expand.

    IMG_1571.JPG


    Funny! We also targeted those same two beers for our first taste. Both were very good! A bit of bitter but finished clean. We were divided as to what was our favorite. :) We made nice to the manager and she comped us a 5 oz taste of their coffee infused, bourbon barrel aged, 9.2 Drago. Nice and strong and maybe a bit too thick.

    IMG_1580.JPG


    My Bride wasn't too hungry so just had an appetizer sized Mac-n-cheese which she liked but I thought was a bit dry and rather ordinary.

    I did happen to spy a pair of burgers at another table and they looked fine with a touch of pink in the center.

    I did have the Pastrami Ruben Panini which was very tasty! The meat wasn't piled on too thick which was fine as the meat did have a strong flavor and would of overpowered. Just right.

    IMG_1574.JPG


    Another standout was their Onion Soup. Potato based, with onion, green onion and topped with some toasted onion. Onion, onion and more onion. :) Just fantastic but then again I am a soup fanatic. :)

    IMG_1575.JPG


    A good crowd at 9:30ish. Live music (amplified guitar player in the corner) was a little too loud causing the guests to shout making things worse. There is several tables around the corner which would of been quieter but out of the action.

    IMG_1577.JPG


    All in all we liked the place! The redecoration of the space was pleasant and the staff nice. No service issues of note.

    Compared to the other tied houses in the area this is our favorite. While I had a good visit and burger at Two Brothers down the street and the food challenges at Oak Park Brewery.

    I wonder how fresh the 17 tap beers will stay? They will be rotating them out of the 25 available.

    IMG_1581.JPG


    IMG_1573.JPG


    The beer is shipped from their home shop in Lake Barrington. Established in 1997.

    We are planning to stop by some quiet afternoon, sitting down and have a chat with the bartender and try several of their beers. They have a 6 - 5oz glass flight available. No growlers available at this time but are hoping to add soon.

    If you are a Beer Stop fan they are carrying their Misfit.
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon
  • Post #186 - August 27th, 2017, 5:37 pm
    Post #186 - August 27th, 2017, 5:37 pm Post #186 - August 27th, 2017, 5:37 pm
    ndgbucktown and Panther, glad this place worked out for you.

    We went when the WOTH had been open only a few days, so I was tolerant of service blunders, and there were a few doozies. For instance, and this was a first, I was actually eating with a plate in front of me, my fingers holding a piece of food above the plate, and a server came up and asked, "Are you finished?"

    The order taking procedure is also kind of strange, and it does seem to take too long, but I'm going to assume that this, too, is the result of being open only a little while and that it will smooth out over time.

    Misfit is their most popular beer; server told me 70% of all the beer they sell is Misfit.

    Points for having no flat screens in the place.

    I believe that with many hundreds of residential units ready to open up all around this place, that it will do quite well (the place next door, Connolly's, also kind of new, closed recently , and perhaps it was just a little ahead of its time).
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #187 - August 28th, 2017, 9:40 pm
    Post #187 - August 28th, 2017, 9:40 pm Post #187 - August 28th, 2017, 9:40 pm
    I am not sure if this should be on a separate thread or this one because it relates to a new venue in Oak Park, but here we go.
    I just finished a delicious dinner at Cooper's Hawk winery on Lake Street. I admit I was a sceptic because the restaurant is a chain and I have preconceived prejudices against chains. I try to support small independent restaurants, but having eaten in a significant portion of the local places. But sometimes I have to tip my hat to businesses who have sufficient capital and experience to hit the floor running. My experience with Cooper's Hawk tonight put them in that category.

    I was not too hungry so I ordered the sausage and whipped ricotta flatbread along with a combo ceaser salad. It was outstanding. Crispy flatbread loaded with toppings along with a fine version of a ceaser salad. Price-wise, I think the dish was around $15. A steal.

    The buildout was top quality. Mrs. Johnnies mentioned that the lights were a bit bright and that the vibe would benefit from a dimming. Well, it happened 5 minutes after she mentioned it to our server. The tables, booths and chairs are very comfortable and the overall buildout very high quality.

    The wine we ordered was also very tasty. I think we ordered a cab blend which also well exceeded my expectations. And maybe that was it, my expectations were warped by my own prejudices, but tasty is tasty and Cooper's Hawk meets the basic requirements of a good restaurant--good quality food presented well in a nice environment at a reasonable price. With the many missteps I have experienced in OP over many many years, I am happy to find someplace that I hope will become a consistent quality option.

    Oh, one thing I did not like so much, but which can be easily ignored is the wine related store at the front. Really not much different from wineries throughout the country, but the wine club pitch fell on deaf ears with me. If, however, it causes folks to enjoy wine more than bad beer or pop with dinner, then it is a good thing.

    I hope my neighbors have a similar good experience with a nice new addition to town.
  • Post #188 - August 29th, 2017, 1:03 pm
    Post #188 - August 29th, 2017, 1:03 pm Post #188 - August 29th, 2017, 1:03 pm
    Panther in the Den wrote:
    Panther in the Den wrote:Erik's Deli
    107 N Oak Park Ave, Oak Park
    (708) 848-8805
    http://eriks-deli.com/zgrid/themes/10633/intro/index.jsp
    Not to be confused with the Chicago chain...
    http://www.originaleriksdeli.com/

    <snip>

    ... and in the old spot look for a Spanish tapas restaurant called Altiro
    http://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/5-8-2017/Erik%27s-could-become-tapas-restaurant/

    Erik's has closed.

    While Altiro has signs up in the windows including Help Wanted, The Red Hen bakery space still shows For Lease in the windows.

    Not a good sign for Erik's.

    "Signs, signs, Everywhere a sign"

    Saw an article that had some pictures for the newly remodeled space but couldn't find it although they have a few pictures on their facebook page...

    https://www.facebook.com/altiroakpark/

    Wow! Looks nice! Fancy! :) Expensive?

    From my Google search I saw that it appears they are a small chain.
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon
  • Post #189 - August 29th, 2017, 3:32 pm
    Post #189 - August 29th, 2017, 3:32 pm Post #189 - August 29th, 2017, 3:32 pm
    Panther in the Den wrote:...
    Not really in the hood but closeby...

    Burger Colony
    8819 Ogden Ave, Brookfield, IL 60513
    (708) 701-3714

    In the space of the former outstanding Chicago Burgerwurks has also closed (Windows papered over).

    While trying to channel the inventive and chef driven comfort sandwich food if the former, they fell short. They even tried to hire a real chef at one point and all I saw was one Italian special
    ...

    Burger Colony did reopen with a new menu and energy and it took me a while to make it over to try.

    Apparently I waited too long.

    IMG_1608.JPG


    Guess we will have to see what's next.
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon
  • Post #190 - August 29th, 2017, 6:03 pm
    Post #190 - August 29th, 2017, 6:03 pm Post #190 - August 29th, 2017, 6:03 pm
    Looks like Oak Park has finally hit the big time with all these chain restaurants.
    i used to milk cows
  • Post #191 - August 30th, 2017, 11:55 am
    Post #191 - August 30th, 2017, 11:55 am Post #191 - August 30th, 2017, 11:55 am
    Panther in the Den wrote:
    Panther in the Den wrote:...
    Not really in the hood but closeby...

    Burger Colony
    8819 Ogden Ave, Brookfield, IL 60513
    (708) 701-3714

    In the space of the former outstanding Chicago Burgerwurks has also closed (Windows papered over).

    While trying to channel the inventive and chef driven comfort sandwich food if the former, they fell short. They even tried to hire a real chef at one point and all I saw was one Italian special
    ...

    Burger Colony did reopen with a new menu and energy and it took me a while to make it over to try.

    Apparently I waited too long.

    IMG_1608.JPG


    Guess we will have to see what's next.


    I drive by there all the time and kept thinking I would stop in, but it NEVER seemed open - even the one time the OPEN sign was up, it wasn't.
  • Post #192 - September 1st, 2017, 11:37 am
    Post #192 - September 1st, 2017, 11:37 am Post #192 - September 1st, 2017, 11:37 am
    Never had a chance!

    In the shuttered...

    Amelia's
    7330 Harrison St, Forest Park

    Was supposed to open...

    Backyard Kitchen & Tap
    http://www.backyardforestpark.com/
    .....


    Drove by this morning and there is fresh paint in the windows that suggest a tacqueria is moving in. I'll try to get more information, but that could be promising.
  • Post #193 - September 4th, 2017, 6:08 pm
    Post #193 - September 4th, 2017, 6:08 pm Post #193 - September 4th, 2017, 6:08 pm
    Panther in the Den wrote:...

    Saw an article that had some pictures for the newly remodeled space but couldn't find it although they have a few pictures on their facebook page...

    https://www.facebook.com/altiroakpark/

    Wow! Looks nice! Fancy! :) Expensive?

    From my Google search I saw that it appears they are a small chain.

    Opening tomorrow. 9-5-17

    Seems like everything is $12. Apps, tacos, tapas, drinks, desserts. :)
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon
  • Post #194 - September 8th, 2017, 1:19 pm
    Post #194 - September 8th, 2017, 1:19 pm Post #194 - September 8th, 2017, 1:19 pm
    Once again a little outside of the borders but...

    Las Vegas Vietnamese Restaurant
    6725 W Cermak Rd, Berwyn
    (708) 317-4686
    https://www.facebook.com/LasVegasVietna ... antBerwyn/

    ... appeared to be open when we drove by this week although the Grand Opening is set for October 11th.

    I have been watching their progress for over a year now and it is great that they have finally opened.

    A quick Google found they had another address at...
    5932 W 35th St, Cicero
    http://lasvegasrest.com/
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon
  • Post #195 - September 8th, 2017, 2:52 pm
    Post #195 - September 8th, 2017, 2:52 pm Post #195 - September 8th, 2017, 2:52 pm
    Panther in the Den wrote:Once again a little outside of the borders but...

    Las Vegas Vietnamese Restaurant


    Annexed, even BEFORE opening. Impressive, Oak Park natives, impressive indeed.
    I've been to the Cicero location two or three times, and have eagerly awaited the new digs on Cermak. Truth be told, errbody really liked the food at the Cicero location, but I found it decidedly, "ok." Now, for the immediate area, it was the only game in town, so they definitely had that going for them. The Cicero location was sparse for a Vietnamese hole in the wall, even by Vietnamese hole in the wall standards. Hoping the new location is a big improvement in all facets of their game. I'm rooting for them.

    Hey Panther - That Waldo Cooney's pizza joint next door to Las Vegas - they have half priced pizza on Tuesday nights. ALL pizza. Give it a whirl sometime on a Tuesday night if you're around and looking for some takeout.

    Now quit claiming the good stuff is "Oak Park Area" unless you also start claiming places like "Mr. Taco" on Austin and Ogden, too.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #196 - September 9th, 2017, 1:35 am
    Post #196 - September 9th, 2017, 1:35 am Post #196 - September 9th, 2017, 1:35 am
    seebee wrote:Hey Panther - That Waldo Cooney's pizza joint next door to Las Vegas - they have half priced pizza on Tuesday nights. ALL pizza. Give it a whirl sometime on a Tuesday night if you're around and looking for some takeout.


    I have tried their pizza. I think it was during 'The Taste of Cermak' or something. Good! But nor my favorite. :) I actually used to be find of Falco's pizza further east but it has been many years.

    seebee wrote:Now quit claiming the good stuff is "Oak Park Area" unless you also start claiming places like "Mr. Taco" on Austin and Ogden, too.


    Mr Taco totally rocks! Whole piece of skirt steak for tacos, open face quesadillas, cheese browned, fillings like a taco. Can't be beat.

    I am almost certain that Las Vegas is open.

    On another note, congrats on you beloved Zacataco's in winning 'Best Burrito in Berwyn'! We tried all 5 and they were clearly the winner.
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon
  • Post #197 - September 9th, 2017, 8:41 am
    Post #197 - September 9th, 2017, 8:41 am Post #197 - September 9th, 2017, 8:41 am
    Yes, good, but not anyone's favorite, however...at half price on Tuesdays, it's become a staple if takeout is needed on a Tuesday.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #198 - September 9th, 2017, 12:25 pm
    Post #198 - September 9th, 2017, 12:25 pm Post #198 - September 9th, 2017, 12:25 pm
    Zacataco has 1/2 price Tuesday?
    Tell me more...
  • Post #199 - September 9th, 2017, 8:49 pm
    Post #199 - September 9th, 2017, 8:49 pm Post #199 - September 9th, 2017, 8:49 pm
    zoid wrote:Zacataco has 1/2 price Tuesday?
    Tell me more...

    seebee wrote:Hey Panther - That Waldo Cooney's pizza joint next door to Las Vegas - they have half priced pizza on Tuesday nights.
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon
  • Post #200 - September 11th, 2017, 11:40 pm
    Post #200 - September 11th, 2017, 11:40 pm Post #200 - September 11th, 2017, 11:40 pm
    Out and about town... Annexing... :)

    Binny's is opening another out post at...

    7250 Cermak Rd, North Riverside

    Where HH Gregg used to be.
    IMG_1683.JPG
    Stopped at the venerable Onion Roll a little too late. The soups were already put away so all I got was a latke. The restaurant is still going strong.

    6935 W North Ave, Oak Park
    IMG_1682.JPG
    Dog Day Afternoon formerly of Armitage and Harlem was preparing to open a few doors west of The Onion Roll.

    6939 W North Ave, Oak Park

    Held up on inspections. I miss them already. :( Quirky little place.
    IMG_1684.JPG Formerly of Armitage and Harlem
    IMG_1679.JPG
    Probably nothing... Tucked away amongst the gaming parlors and coming soon...

    Pasquale's
    My Way Cafe
    6905 Roosevelt Rd, Berwyn
    IMG_1675.JPG
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon
  • Post #201 - September 12th, 2017, 4:51 pm
    Post #201 - September 12th, 2017, 4:51 pm Post #201 - September 12th, 2017, 4:51 pm
    Had a nice corn beef sammich at Onion Roll the other day.

    Dog Day is not going to survive in that spot...hope I'm wrong.

    Michael's Beef: had a cheeseburger plus chili on top trying to to imitate a Tommy's in LA experience. Was damn good. hit the spot. Should be on the menu.

    Walked by Cooper's Hawk the other day. That place is enormous. I can't believe that was a good decision to open that place in the P.R.O.P.
    i used to milk cows
  • Post #202 - September 12th, 2017, 5:22 pm
    Post #202 - September 12th, 2017, 5:22 pm Post #202 - September 12th, 2017, 5:22 pm
    teatpuller wrote:Walked by Cooper's Hawk the other day. That place is enormous. I can't believe that was a good decision to open that place in the P.R.O.P.


    You may be right, but we walked by there the other night and it was totally packed and remember, there will soon be many hundreds of new (likely young with a lot of disposable income) residents within two blocks of the place.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #203 - September 12th, 2017, 6:22 pm
    Post #203 - September 12th, 2017, 6:22 pm Post #203 - September 12th, 2017, 6:22 pm
    David Hammond wrote:
    You may be right, but we walked by there the other night and it was totally packed and remember, there will soon be many hundreds of new (likely young with a lot of disposable income) residents within two blocks of the place.


    I may be wrong. Usually am! I hope they do well even if a chain. Survival of the fittest. If that's what Oak Parkers want, let them have it. Maybe we can get a Texas Roadhouse.
    i used to milk cows
  • Post #204 - September 12th, 2017, 7:39 pm
    Post #204 - September 12th, 2017, 7:39 pm Post #204 - September 12th, 2017, 7:39 pm
    David Hammond wrote:
    teatpuller wrote:Walked by Cooper's Hawk the other day. That place is enormous. I can't believe that was a good decision to open that place in the P.R.O.P.


    You may be right, but we walked by there the other night and it was totally packed and remember, there will soon be many hundreds of new (likely young with a lot of disposable income) residents within two blocks of the place.

    While I have not been (I am planning to go) several friends have been there.

    Everything has been reported to be solid. Good food and wine at a reasonable price point. Sounds like they are doing something right.
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon
  • Post #205 - September 12th, 2017, 7:45 pm
    Post #205 - September 12th, 2017, 7:45 pm Post #205 - September 12th, 2017, 7:45 pm
    Some more annexing and probably another nothing (especially since she opened a gaming parlor just to the west...

    "Opening Soon!" "Now hiring!" Looks ready to go.

    Rachel's Cafe and Deli
    7001 Roosevelt Rd, Berwyn

    IMG_1698.JPG


    Maybe we will be surprised!
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon
  • Post #206 - September 12th, 2017, 8:03 pm
    Post #206 - September 12th, 2017, 8:03 pm Post #206 - September 12th, 2017, 8:03 pm
    zoid wrote:Zacataco has 1/2 price Tuesday?
    Tell me more...


    If they had 1/2 price ANYday, I'd make it my business to make sure nobody knew. Panther would prolly still let the cat out of the bag, and call it the, "Oak Park Area Zacatacos."
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #207 - September 12th, 2017, 9:49 pm
    Post #207 - September 12th, 2017, 9:49 pm Post #207 - September 12th, 2017, 9:49 pm
    I have been to several of the new restaurants in the Oak Park area and here are my thoughts as well as random musings about the Oak Park Food scene.

    Altiro - excellent new place we had several items off the menu and they are all tasty. I would not hesitate to recommend it.

    Wild Onion Tied House - I thought it was average. We thought the truffle burrata was the best item. It was on Sunday during the Bears game. They weren't serving entrees. The playhouse pork was left half eaten. The reuben panini should have been, but I was hungry. Not the worst but the definition of average. I did like the side of mac and cheese. All in all, I think they should have more big screen TVs. I would not go back for the food, but it is a nice space and I could see going there to see a game. Maybe I should have tried the burger. I am still looking for the best burger in the Oak Park area. So far Maya Del Sol is in the lead, but I like the other food there so much that I rarely order the burger.

    Heritage - probably our favorite of the new place. We have had most of what’s on their menu and everything was outstanding. Favorites include the roasted oysters, pan roasted half chicken and the seared Salmon.


    Cafe Hoang - Nice but I will probably stick to Saigon Pho. I will give it another chance in a few months. Saigon Pho was only passable when it opened, but stepped up their game as time went on.

    Spilt Milk - I know Dave liked their pot pie. Maybe mine was bad. It had an off flavor that made me long for swanson.

    Scratch on lake - They seem very inconsistent. Though lately bad. On our last visit everything was amiss. We use to like the spicy mac and cheese but last time it was incredibly bland. They overcooked the chicken legs (their idea of chicken wings) and even though we asked them not to over cook the burger....they still did. But it tasted better than hamburger Mary's. Would love to see a great burger in Oak Park.

    3 Brothers - I used to make beer, and I used to purchase beer supplies and ingredients at their original shop. It was located in an industrial park in Warrenville. It was less than a month ago that we went and I don't remember much about the meal except that we were sitting outside and the afternoon was pleasant. I wish I could say my foggy recognition was due to the fine beer, but sadly I wasn't drinking that day. I will give it another try since it was during its first week open.

    La notte Cafe - It's been awhile since we have been there. It was a pleasant experience. The owner came and talked with us. He was charming. The food was good. It will be hard to have us go there instead of Gaetano's or Cucina Paradiso.

    Gaetano's - Not part of Oak Park proper. I ran into Gaetano the other night. This was unusual since he opened up a restaurant in Batavia. He lives in Batavia and usually spends most of his time there. I have known him for over 20 years. When I saw him I was amazed. He had loss like 100 lbs. He looked great. I told him I missed him as he was reworking the outdoor patio. He told me that he would be spending all his time in the Forest Park location. Get the Gaetapas and let him dazzle you. The new outdoor space is nice but the chairs are less comfortable and the noise it a little too much.

    Cooper's Hawk - The food was nice but this is a wine place. I was not to impressed with the wine. We will probably go back.

    Lea French Street Food - Service and the menu was slow and confused so was the food. Strange, a french inspired restaurant that forgot that the taste of food is more important that your farm to table creds. I'll try it again if it's still there in a year or so to see if they get it.


    Novo - Sad to see it go. I thought the oysters there were some of the best I have had in the Chicagoland area. The cream and cookies dessert will also be missed. I really enjoyed the food but think it was overpriced.

    Rustico - I like this place though not as much as the recently closed Novo. Their menu is hit or miss. Hits include the gnocchi and charcuterie plate. The paella is a miss.

    Agora - If you are looking for a great low carb treat then get the Agora Salad with Gyro meat. This is amazing. I don't like the gyros but the combo of the Great salad and the helping amount of gyro meat with the tzatziki is heaven. The only other thing I get is the Lima Beans. This is a great dish. Usually they have the lamb shank. This is a carry over from the old place and it is worth it.
    When they kick out your front door
    How you gonna come?
    With your hands on your head
    Or on the trigger of your gun
  • Post #208 - September 13th, 2017, 10:45 am
    Post #208 - September 13th, 2017, 10:45 am Post #208 - September 13th, 2017, 10:45 am
    dradeli wrote:... I am still looking for the best burger in the Oak Park area. So far Maya Del Sol is in the lead, but I like the other food there so much that I rarely order the burger.....



    Thanks for the summary Doc. I still haven't had a chance to get to some of the new places around Lake (Rustico, Scratch on Lake, La Notte), but it sure is nice to have a bunch of choices now as compared to a few years ago. I have been to other Coopers Hawk locations while traveling for work and find them to be fine. They are not setting any kind of culinary trend or breaking new ground, but the meals are solid.

    In terms of a good burger, give Michaels (north & oak park) a shot. I have had their burger several ways and find it to be excellent. I really enjoy the Merkts burger.
  • Post #209 - September 13th, 2017, 12:40 pm
    Post #209 - September 13th, 2017, 12:40 pm Post #209 - September 13th, 2017, 12:40 pm
    My only problem with the burger at Maya is that you can't be sure what you're going to get on a given day. I've been served an In-N-Out-inspired thin-patty, lettuce/tomato on a brioche roll and a thick pub-style burger on ciabatta. Caveat emptor.

    I consider Cooper's Hawk a significant culinary upgrade from the parking garage it replaced. As has been discussed elsewhere, there is certainly a place for these something-for-everyone chain restaurants, and the kitchen seems competent, which is sadly not always a given . STAY AWAY from the fried calamari, which is fried well but then coated with some kind of sweet glaze. All in all, I'm glad Wineberries has some competition for the unadventurous-dining dollars in town.

    I forgot to post about it, but I had a fantastic, still-warm-from-the-oven almond croissant at Lea Street Food a couple of month back.
  • Post #210 - September 13th, 2017, 7:30 pm
    Post #210 - September 13th, 2017, 7:30 pm Post #210 - September 13th, 2017, 7:30 pm
    ndgbucktown wrote:
    I consider Cooper's Hawk a significant culinary upgrade from the parking garage it replaced.


    This needs to be some kind of banner quote, or I quit.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.

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