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Best Chinese on the North Shore [2020 edition]

Best Chinese on the North Shore [2020 edition]
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  • Best Chinese on the North Shore [2020 edition]

    Post #1 - November 24th, 2020, 6:19 pm
    Post #1 - November 24th, 2020, 6:19 pm Post #1 - November 24th, 2020, 6:19 pm
    We just moved to the North Shore and are already missing all the delivery options downtown. I'm looking for current recs on best Szechuan, old school Cantonese, PB egg rolls (followed that thread religiously), noodles, dumplings, etc. I also love Hong Kong and Taiwanese-style noodles... think Ming Hin (before they expanded and it went downhill a bit) and Din Tai Fung in LA. TIA!
  • Post #2 - November 24th, 2020, 7:41 pm
    Post #2 - November 24th, 2020, 7:41 pm Post #2 - November 24th, 2020, 7:41 pm
    For your dumpling fix, head up to Libertyville = viewtopic.php?f=19&t=45350

    You can’t go wrong with China Chef = https://lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?f ... 32&start=0
    Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche - Lewis Grizzard
  • Post #3 - November 24th, 2020, 8:21 pm
    Post #3 - November 24th, 2020, 8:21 pm Post #3 - November 24th, 2020, 8:21 pm
    You already mentioned MingHin so I'm assuming Arlington Heights is ok. Asian Bistro at AH Rd and Golf is very good.
    Szechuan North in Glenview (NE corner of Pfingsten & Willow) isn't quite up to that level but it's a lot closer to me, I've carried out a couple times
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #4 - November 24th, 2020, 9:10 pm
    Post #4 - November 24th, 2020, 9:10 pm Post #4 - November 24th, 2020, 9:10 pm
    (I don't think the reference to MingHin was about it being on the north shore via its Arlington/Rolling Meadows location, that's way too far west, just a reference to their cuisine; Sun Shui is definitely where to go if you're willing to drive west)
    Peppercorns Evanston is by far the best Szechuan option on the north shore. Northpoint Chopsticks just south of Willow on Waukegan in Glenview has enough dumpling and noodle options, it's worth seeing if you can find some things you like. Same goes for Joy Yee a block east of Peppercorns.
  • Post #5 - November 25th, 2020, 6:48 am
    Post #5 - November 25th, 2020, 6:48 am Post #5 - November 25th, 2020, 6:48 am
    From Dave's post above, I had gotten on the China Chef thread and immediately went down the LTH rabbit hole, seeing posts from 10-12 years ago, remembering fonder times for sure.

    And there was one post from Ronnie about egg foo young, which is absolutely one of my favorite Cantonese dishes as well. So I started thinking--when did I develop such an affinity for it? No, it was farther back than my days as a delivery boy for Ah Fong in Skokie on the corner of Church and Gross Point Road. I loved their version as well as the deconstructed same thing, 'Shrimp & Egg Cantonese'. As an aside, they also made a wonderful dish that nobody seemed to order very much, 'Chinese Greens with Beef', with steak & bok choy in a garlic sauce. Great stuff.

    Then I remembered. This goes way back, to the early 1960's, and the place was the shopping area on Howard St. just west of Clark St. Each year before school started, my mother used to take me on either the green 97 Skokie bus or the brown 10 Evanston bus from Oakton St. in Skokie down to the area to buy new school clothes, mostly at the Howard Juvenile store on the north side of the street.

    I didn't much care for that, but as a treat for behaving she would take me across the street to a Chinese restaurant for egg foo young, rice and tea, just fabulous being there in that exotically dark, dingy place, and with my mom. And maybe my memory is failing me, but I seem to remember it being named Kow Kow. Is that possible?

    That whole area was a wonder back then, for those of us in our 60's and older. Bustling like nobody's business, but still a little rough around the edges once you traversed east towards the Howard Theater. As a high schooler, I remember watching the Jane Fonda movie 'Klute' with a buddy, hearing a commotion out in the lobby and stood up to witness a gang fight going on with baseball bats. It was started and finished in about a minute.

    I'll betcha dollars to Huck Finn Donuts that our departed friend SteveZ would have the quick answer to this!
  • Post #6 - November 25th, 2020, 7:32 am
    Post #6 - November 25th, 2020, 7:32 am Post #6 - November 25th, 2020, 7:32 am
    For hand pulled noodles, check out Shang Noodle and Chinese which is right down the street from Peppercorns. Very good Cha Jang Mein and Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup. Also very good mini hot pots and wonderful Mango Tsuabing. (My experience with the Tsuabing there is limited pre-pandemic because it doesn't seem like a good candidate to me for take out/delivery - but I really enjoyed it then.)
    "I live on good soup, not on fine words." -Moliere
  • Post #7 - November 25th, 2020, 7:43 am
    Post #7 - November 25th, 2020, 7:43 am Post #7 - November 25th, 2020, 7:43 am
    I may represent the minority here but China Chef has been wildly inconsistent - and not especially good - during COVID. I've been hitting up Moon Palace in Chinatown on my way home from work.
  • Post #8 - November 25th, 2020, 9:06 am
    Post #8 - November 25th, 2020, 9:06 am Post #8 - November 25th, 2020, 9:06 am
    spinynorman99 wrote:I may represent the minority here but China Chef has been wildly inconsistent - and not especially good - during COVID


    I live near China Chef and can confirm some inconsistency in the kitchen. I've taken to not ordering on Monday or Tuesday and it seems to make a good difference.

    Giovanna
    =o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=

    "Enjoy every sandwich."

    -Warren Zevon
  • Post #9 - November 25th, 2020, 4:58 pm
    Post #9 - November 25th, 2020, 4:58 pm Post #9 - November 25th, 2020, 4:58 pm
    I did go down the China Chef thread rabbit hole, and was hoping that there hadn't been any changes. I was worried about inconsistency! Ahh, well.

    An aside from above, never been to the suburban Ming Hin only Chinatown. In fact, I happened upon it opening night when there was a 2 hour wait at Lao Sze Chuan and was desperately hungry. As they expanded the space and added more locations, the food kind of slipped, sadly. We used to go there a lot, QXY Dumpling, Chengdu Impression. I miss the Chinese food in the city!
  • Post #10 - November 25th, 2020, 5:43 pm
    Post #10 - November 25th, 2020, 5:43 pm Post #10 - November 25th, 2020, 5:43 pm
    Giovanna wrote:I live near China Chef and can confirm some inconsistency in the kitchen.

    China Chef is ~fine~ inconsistent, sure, never top top tier, hanging in to a low second tier (for me, obviously) though I will not say hard-pass to China Chef.

    My pick in the general area is Great Beijing. American Cantonese that scratches the itch and a smattering of Chinese Korean dishes such as Three Flavor Chachiang Mein, gampongi chicken wings and Korean style sweet and sour pork to name three. Great Bejiing thread.

    I also like Two Lanterns in Lincolnwood. American Cantonese with a smattering of Cambodian dishes. The owner is sister to Ethan from Hermosa Restaurant

    Great Beijing
    6717 N. Lincoln Ave.
    Lincolnwood, IL 60712
    847-673-5588
    Closed Wednesday

    Two Laterns Cafe
    3900 W Touhy Ave
    Lincolnwood, IL 60712
    847-410-7829
    Closed Monday
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #11 - November 26th, 2020, 6:01 am
    Post #11 - November 26th, 2020, 6:01 am Post #11 - November 26th, 2020, 6:01 am
    I love Two Lanterns. I especially like that there are not dozens of items to choose from. Yet, everything I eat from there is good. Jenny (sp?) is the proprietor, she is awesome!
  • Post #12 - November 30th, 2020, 6:52 am
    Post #12 - November 30th, 2020, 6:52 am Post #12 - November 30th, 2020, 6:52 am
    Mundelein ain't the North Shore, but Saturday night had a couple really solid Cantonese dishes from Hong Kong Chop Suey.

    No dine-in, but carry-out in front, and at 6PM they were doing a land-office business, as they say. I think when the cooks get in a rhythm like that, at least in my eyes better quality results happen. With so many slow nights at restaurants the last few months, inconsistency and disappointment has become almost the norm.

    Tried two new-but-old-favorites--black mushroom chicken chop suey and shrimp lobster sauce. Both were fabulous, reminding me of my old working haunt, Ah Fong in Skokie.

    Hong Kong Chop Suey
    316 N. Lake St.
    Mundelein, IL
    (847) 949-9019
  • Post #13 - December 4th, 2020, 8:19 pm
    Post #13 - December 4th, 2020, 8:19 pm Post #13 - December 4th, 2020, 8:19 pm
    Before the pandemic hit, we alternated between China Chef in Morton Grove (when their Mongolian beef is on, it can be awesome) and Great Beijing in Lincolnwood (where we love the off-menu item, orange scallops). Now we're limited to carryout. We tried China Chef a few months ago for carryout, and it was only so-so; we thought maybe it was due to not traveling well (15 minutes away), but based on comments here, it sounds like we should chalk it up to inconsistency. We haven't been back. And we haven't tried Great Beijing for carryout yet. Tonight we had carryout from Ho Ho Chinese Kitchen in Skokie (see new topic here) and it was solid - everything was pretty darn good for carryout food.

    Given that we're currently in a carryout world, travel time can be a significant consideration, not just for convenience, but in terms of food quality. So while you might be willing to drive from Evanston to Lake Bluff or vice versa to dine in, you might want to stick pretty close to home for carryout.
  • Post #14 - December 4th, 2020, 9:23 pm
    Post #14 - December 4th, 2020, 9:23 pm Post #14 - December 4th, 2020, 9:23 pm
    nsxtasy wrote:Before the pandemic hit, we alternated between China Chef in Morton Grove (when their Mongolian beef is on, it can be awesome) and Great Beijing in Lincolnwood (where we love the off-menu item, orange scallops). Now we're limited to carryout. We tried China Chef a few months ago for carryout, and it was only so-so; we thought maybe it was due to not traveling well (15 minutes away), but based on comments here, it sounds like we should chalk it up to inconsistency. We haven't been back. And we haven't tried Great Beijing for carryout yet. Tonight we had carryout from Ho Ho Chinese Kitchen in Skokie (see new topic here) and it was solid - everything was pretty darn good for carryout food.

    Given that we're currently in a carryout world, travel time can be a significant consideration, not just for convenience, but in terms of food quality. So while you might be willing to drive from Evanston to Lake Bluff or vice versa to dine in, you might want to stick pretty close to home for carryout.


    I think it depends a lot more on what you order and how carefully it’s packed. We live in Indiana, so nothing we take out from the city is close—but we have had plenty of delicious dinners carried out. You just need to order correctly (fried anything not eaten at the restaurant will suffer) and use the most basic cooking skills to reheat properly.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #15 - December 18th, 2020, 1:53 pm
    Post #15 - December 18th, 2020, 1:53 pm Post #15 - December 18th, 2020, 1:53 pm
    Any recent reports on the newest Lao Sze Chuan location in Highland Park? Reviews online appear quite mixed.

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