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Chaihanna [closed]
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  • Post #31 - March 6th, 2011, 6:51 pm
    Post #31 - March 6th, 2011, 6:51 pm Post #31 - March 6th, 2011, 6:51 pm
    Wow, it's been a year and no one else has been here?

    I went again today with my dad, and we had a great time, as usual. What was a nice surprise for me was that it was actually close to full (or going to be) this afternoon, with the most customers I've ever seen in there. They had a table set up for an expected large party, and three separate groups there eating, including Dad and me. I've been worried about their business in this economy, hoping that they wouldn't be closing, and was happy to see them so busy.

    The waiter today was excellent at upselling us! Dad saw the pickled watermelon on the menu and figured he'd give it a try. Turns out, he was picturing something else other than what they had--my grandma used to make Watermelon Pickles (after eating the fruit, she'd take the husks, cut off the white inner part, and pickle that; Dad's been trying to find that again, but so far no luck). He liked what Chaihanna had, but he said he wouldn't get it again. The waiter talked him into a bowl of borscht, which he also liked but he expected it to be beetier than it was. We split the Spicy Beets and some bread.

    As for our entrees, I had the lamb kabob, which were just terrific! I love good lamb, and this was definitely good--moist meat with a sweet garlicky sauce on the side. (I tried to talk Dad into having a bite, but he has a visceral aversion to lamb after being traumatized as a kid by Great-Grandpa Gus's Easter rack of lamb, which was cooked to hell and gone with a horrible mint jelly. Ugh! Too bad he wouldn't try the kabob; it might have changed his mind.) Dad had the chicken tabaka this time, and was blown away by how much chicken was on his plate (a full half!). He loved it, and took most of it home for lunch and dinner tomorrow. He also had two bottles of the Russian beer that they've added to their menu since the last time I was there (beforehand, it was just Stella Artois on the menu), and really liked it. Much higher in alcohol content than he was used to, however!

    We had a Napoleon for dessert--very tasty, too. Overall, an excellent lunch, and Chaihanna is a place I really should get over to more often than once a year.
  • Post #32 - March 6th, 2011, 8:16 pm
    Post #32 - March 6th, 2011, 8:16 pm Post #32 - March 6th, 2011, 8:16 pm
    Sharpie66 wrote:The waiter today was excellent at upselling us!


    Hah, I've been a lurker for awhile. But I felt like I had to respond to this. YES. The waiter here is VERY GOOD at upselling. I swear that I spend twice as much as I plan to each time I go to Chaihanna. I went to high school with the guy, and somehow he's found a way to consistently leverage our shared past into more vodka, appetizers, and soups than I ever plan for. But despite the burning hole in my pocket, I always leave pretty satisfied.

    Last time I went to Chaihanna was about two months ago. Shared a few appetizers (and vodka) with some friends. The pickled herring and spicy eggplant were particularly great. Then I had the Laghman soup which I like in theory but doesn't hold a candle to the delicious Lamb Shorpa or Sour Spinach soup. The appetizers and soups are key here. The entrees are okay at best. Chicken Tabaka = fine, pilaf dishes = not so much.

    Anyways, it's always a good time despite the mediocre entrees, and I'll probably be back in a month or two. Nice place to bring a couple friends and scarf down pickles and vodka.
  • Post #33 - March 6th, 2011, 11:21 pm
    Post #33 - March 6th, 2011, 11:21 pm Post #33 - March 6th, 2011, 11:21 pm
    JayB wrote:
    Then I had the Laghman soup which I like in theory but doesn't hold a candle to the delicious Lamb Shorpa or Sour Spinach soup. The appetizers and soups are key here.


    I would go if the sour spinach soup was the only thing they served. It's simply fabulous. I like many of the other dishes, but this is the one I can't live without.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #34 - March 7th, 2011, 12:31 pm
    Post #34 - March 7th, 2011, 12:31 pm Post #34 - March 7th, 2011, 12:31 pm
    JayB, next time you go in there, tell that waiter that he's too good at his job. Dad and I were both stuffed to the gills yesterday!!

    I can't get over how good my lamb was. I'm definitely going to go back there soon, so I can have that again. Next time, though, I'll be sure to get the Spicy Carrots, which is probably my favorite appetizer on their menu.

    Well, that, and the bread.
  • Post #35 - September 14th, 2011, 8:48 pm
    Post #35 - September 14th, 2011, 8:48 pm Post #35 - September 14th, 2011, 8:48 pm
    Went to Chaihanna for the first time a couple days ago. I don't have much to add to what's been written, but top to bottom the meal was excellent. I took an out-of-town friend who was amazed that I could find such a place in Buffalo Grove. "How do you find these places?" The answer is always the same: LTHForum.

    Everything was great, but that eggplant with garlic and peppers really stuck with me. Great stuff!
  • Post #36 - October 5th, 2011, 8:25 pm
    Post #36 - October 5th, 2011, 8:25 pm Post #36 - October 5th, 2011, 8:25 pm
    Just had dinner at Chaihanna. As always, excellent meal. I, too, took an out-of-town friend -- and I also got the amazed reaction that anywhere outside of Uzbekistan was serving Uzbekistani food.

    I live for their sour-spinach soup -- though I came close to ordering the new sausages soup. We split a samsa appetizer (meat-stuffed bread) that was very nice, though I prefer their dumplings. Lamb kabobs were lovely, and my friends braised lamb shank fell of the bone. Simply a great place. Also an empty place. There were two people there when we arrived at 7pm, and we were the only ones there when we left at 8:30 (and they closed the door and turned out the lights when we left, since no one else had arrived).

    I'd hate to lose this gem of a restaurant. I hope this was just a fluke, and that many of you have been there when it was bustling. But there was kind of a sweet, sad eagerness in the waiter's manner when he asked how we were liking the food (and obvious joy when we said we loved it), and when we didn't want dessert, and he said, "but they're all hand made," it made me feel like they must be struggling.

    So if you live in the area, or know people who do, I'd love to see Chaihanna getting a little more love.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #37 - October 5th, 2011, 10:27 pm
    Post #37 - October 5th, 2011, 10:27 pm Post #37 - October 5th, 2011, 10:27 pm
    Cynthia wrote:Just had dinner at Chaihanna. As always, excellent meal. I, too, took an out-of-town friend -- and I also got the amazed reaction that anywhere outside of Uzbekistan was serving Uzbekistani food.

    I live for their sour-spinach soup -- though I came close to ordering the new sausages soup. We split a samsa appetizer (meat-stuffed bread) that was very nice, though I prefer their dumplings. Lamb kabobs were lovely, and my friends braised lamb shank fell of the bone. Simply a great place. Also an empty place. There were two people there when we arrived at 7pm, and we were the only ones there when we left at 8:30 (and they closed the door and turned out the lights when we left, since no one else had arrived).

    I'd hate to lose this gem of a restaurant. I hope this was just a fluke, and that many of you have been there when it was bustling. But there was kind of a sweet, sad eagerness in the waiter's manner when he asked how we were liking the food (and obvious joy when we said we loved it), and when we didn't want dessert, and he said, "but they're all hand made," it made me feel like they must be struggling.

    So if you live in the area, or know people who do, I'd love to see Chaihanna getting a little more love.

    Funny. I tried to take an out-of-town friend there on Monday night but they are closed on Mondays (yes, I called first). I hadn't thought about the place in a long time and I do live nearby but it was only the idea of bringing a friend who'd never had Uzbekistani food there that inspired me to think of it. Now, I'm kind of in the mood for it.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #38 - October 6th, 2011, 12:26 am
    Post #38 - October 6th, 2011, 12:26 am Post #38 - October 6th, 2011, 12:26 am
    I was wondering if the lack of discussion (and, apparently, its having fallen off the LTH radar) is why Chaihanna isn't even shown as up for renewal as a GNR. It's such a great place.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #39 - October 6th, 2011, 6:31 am
    Post #39 - October 6th, 2011, 6:31 am Post #39 - October 6th, 2011, 6:31 am
    Cynthia wrote:I was wondering if the lack of discussion (and, apparently, its having fallen off the LTH radar) is why Chaihanna isn't even shown as up for renewal as a GNR. It's such a great place.


    Chaihanna isn't up for renewal until next year.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #40 - October 6th, 2011, 4:25 pm
    Post #40 - October 6th, 2011, 4:25 pm Post #40 - October 6th, 2011, 4:25 pm
    stevez wrote:
    Cynthia wrote:I was wondering if the lack of discussion (and, apparently, its having fallen off the LTH radar) is why Chaihanna isn't even shown as up for renewal as a GNR. It's such a great place.


    Chaihanna isn't up for renewal until next year.


    Thanks. And good. I'd hate to think it had been "defrocked" without my having noticed.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #41 - October 19th, 2011, 11:14 pm
    Post #41 - October 19th, 2011, 11:14 pm Post #41 - October 19th, 2011, 11:14 pm
    I finally made that unrequited visit to Chaihanna on Wednesday with my visiting friend and we had one helluva meal; easily the best one I've ever had there. The assorted pickles were fantastic and the pickled watermelon was as fizzy and intense as ever. Spicy Eggplant, a personal favorite, was another 'best it's ever been' item on this night. It was intensely seasoned (more than it was spicy), with a terrific balance between the tender eggplant and the seasoning. A piping hot cheburek could not have been more crispy on the outside -- the dough was magically perfect -- and the meat filling was tender, flavorful and juicy. Orders of meat and pumpkin manti were both great but the pumpkin version stole the show and was so delicious, for a moment I actually thought it contained meat, which it did not. The intense seasoning in the filling of these heavenly dumplings, headlined by aromatic cumin, was downright intoxicating.

    Later we had some soups; the reliably delicious laghman, which is so uniquely seasoned, I have essentially given up trying to decipher its mysteries. A soulful bowl of solyanka sbornaya (which was new to me) is billed as an authentic Russian soup made from different kinds of sausages. A good portion of the intense broth of this soup is actually the renderings of the cooked sausages. I counted at least 4 different types of sausages in my bowl and the noticeably smokey note in the background was probably provided by some sort of bacon. This was a great soup, which was recommended to us by our fantastic and friendly server, Kevin.

    We finished the savory portion of our meal by sharing a plate of beef pilaf, which again, was as good as it's ever been. The rice was cooked perfectly with separate grains that still held flavorful moisture. The tender chunks of meat that dotted the plate were moist, and the vegetables, including some scallions, provided a great baseline of flavor without being overpowering.

    For dessert we shared the chak-chak, which was saturated with delectable honey yet somehow also crispy. A real delight.

    I'm so glad I went back to Chaihanna. I've always enjoyed it but its greatness really stood out on this particular night. As close as it is to home, I almost never think of it when trying to decide where to eat. If my friend hadn't come to town, I might not have even thought of it. Next time -- and it will be soon -- I'll bring an icey bottle of vodka to pair up with those pickles. We were told that corkage on a 750 ml bottle is a mere $5.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #42 - October 20th, 2011, 10:34 am
    Post #42 - October 20th, 2011, 10:34 am Post #42 - October 20th, 2011, 10:34 am
    Maybe we can have a north suburban lunch here sometime. I'm always looking for someone to go to Chaihanna with me -- because it's always more fun to be able to share multiple dishes.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #43 - October 20th, 2011, 11:13 am
    Post #43 - October 20th, 2011, 11:13 am Post #43 - October 20th, 2011, 11:13 am
    Sounds great to me--Ronnie's meal sounded wonderful!!
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #44 - October 20th, 2011, 11:13 am
    Post #44 - October 20th, 2011, 11:13 am Post #44 - October 20th, 2011, 11:13 am
    Cynthia wrote:Maybe we can have a north suburban lunch here sometime. I'm always looking for someone to go to Chaihanna with me -- because it's always more fun to be able to share multiple dishes.

    We can discuss it at next week's LTH North Lunch Group Staff Meeting :wink:
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny
  • Post #45 - October 20th, 2011, 3:25 pm
    Post #45 - October 20th, 2011, 3:25 pm Post #45 - October 20th, 2011, 3:25 pm
    If it's a dinner, I'll probably be in for it.
  • Post #46 - September 16th, 2012, 11:57 am
    Post #46 - September 16th, 2012, 11:57 am Post #46 - September 16th, 2012, 11:57 am
    Just heard that they have lost their lease and will be closing in 2 weeks. They may re-open in a new location eventually, but they are unsure at this time. So, time to get that one last fix of Chicken Tabaka.
  • Post #47 - September 16th, 2012, 4:05 pm
    Post #47 - September 16th, 2012, 4:05 pm Post #47 - September 16th, 2012, 4:05 pm
    Oh, no. How will I live without their sour spinach soup? This is terrible.

    I'll be hoping for a swift relocating.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #48 - September 16th, 2012, 9:40 pm
    Post #48 - September 16th, 2012, 9:40 pm Post #48 - September 16th, 2012, 9:40 pm
    glennpan wrote:Just heard that they have lost their lease and will be closing in 2 weeks. They may re-open in a new location eventually, but they are unsure at this time. So, time to get that one last fix of Chicken Tabaka.

    Thanks for the heads up, I'll probably go for lunch on Tuesday if anyone wants to join.
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #49 - September 17th, 2012, 11:16 am
    Post #49 - September 17th, 2012, 11:16 am Post #49 - September 17th, 2012, 11:16 am
    Yeah, I was there a few weeks ago, and they were no longer serving alcohol. When we asked what had happened (their website had indicated they had a full bar, or we would have BY our own B) they said it was an issue with the landlord. Also, the place was practically empty on a Saturday evening - only 2 other small parties there.
  • Post #50 - September 17th, 2012, 1:14 pm
    Post #50 - September 17th, 2012, 1:14 pm Post #50 - September 17th, 2012, 1:14 pm
    Sweet Willie wrote:Thanks for the heads up, I'll probably go for lunch on Tuesday if anyone wants to join.

    now confirmed, 11:45am today for lunch.
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #51 - September 18th, 2012, 1:05 pm
    Post #51 - September 18th, 2012, 1:05 pm Post #51 - September 18th, 2012, 1:05 pm
    JoelF wrote:Note: Next door is about to open "Pho U Asian Noodles"

    well went today for lunch at 11:30am, chaihanna doesn't open until noon & the friend I was with had a 1pm meeting he had to get back to so we went next door to the Pho place, decent but not worthwhile, the broth was far too light/delicate. Server said it was beef but I have a hard time believing that.

    Back to Chaihanna, my friend & I went in after our pho lunch and went over the menu, most of the dishes that have been quoted here are Russian not Uzbek much to the amusement of my Russian friend. We did speak with a person from the restaurant who said there are no plans to open elsewhere, they are closing for good.
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #52 - September 20th, 2012, 10:13 pm
    Post #52 - September 20th, 2012, 10:13 pm Post #52 - September 20th, 2012, 10:13 pm
    Anyone here particularly close to the folks at Chaihanna? If they're closing, I'd love to have their recipe for Sour Spinach Soup. If no one has any special connection, I'll ask when I'm there next -- but I figured someone might know the family.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #53 - September 25th, 2012, 11:35 am
    Post #53 - September 25th, 2012, 11:35 am Post #53 - September 25th, 2012, 11:35 am
    Had plans to dine here today with a friend, and alas, they are already gone. Sigh. Looking back over the photos in this thread makes me sad.

    Thought we had two weeks, but perhaps they saw no point in continuing. I'm really sorry to lose this place.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com

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