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  Great Neighborhood Restaurant renewals, announced May 7 2007

  Great Neighborhood Restaurant renewals, announced May 7 2007
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  • Great Neighborhood Restaurant renewals, announced May 7 2007

    Post #1 - May 7th, 2007, 5:35 pm
    Post #1 - May 7th, 2007, 5:35 pm Post #1 - May 7th, 2007, 5:35 pm

    LTHForum Great Neighborhood Restaurant Award Renewals, Announced May 7, 2007

    Of the many restaurant awards handed out in Chicago, only one represents the heartfelt opinions of a broad base of ordinary food enthusiasts spending their own money on the food they truly love. That's the LTHForum Great Neighborhood Restaurant award, nominated and awarded by the members of the popular Chicago-based culinary chat site. Its members run the gamut from four-star chefs to hot dog stand proprietors, lawyers, writers, musicians, college students and everything in between, all united by a love of food-- and a willingness to share their finds on the internet.

    Now LTHForum is pleased to announce that 24 restaurants originally awarded the Great Neighborhood Restaurant designation in 2005 have been recertified for the award, following a lengthy period of trial, discussion and careful evaluation-- to make sure the places chosen still have their magic that captivated LTHForum posters in the first place. Each restaurant will receive a certificate similar to the one shown above, highlighting some of what makes it special-- and in many cases, recommending specific dishes to try.

    Why Great Neighborhood Restaurant

    Chicago is a city of great neighborhoods, made distinctive by history, ethnic mix, and vibrant street life and culture. The Great Neighborhood Restaurant awards honor restaurants all over the Chicagoland area which contribute to their neighborhoods’ and the city’s character by offering outstanding food, an authentic experience of their ethnic culture, and/or a welcoming (or in some cases, belovedly cranky) atmosphere for guests. Many of the restaurants honored in this round, such as Manny's, White Palace Grill or Freddy's Pizza, are not merely great places to eat but true cross-cultural meeting places, where power brokers and city workers, cops and perps can bump elbows or trays while enjoying honest, handmade food.

    Restaurants are nominated by registered members of, the Chicago-based culinary chat site, and ratified by a group including the moderators of the board, based on the degree of discussion and community-wide enthusiasm evidenced on the site. For the renewal process, this meant that each restaurant must either have had ongoing favorable discussion since it won the award in 2005, or members had to try them again and report back to ensure that the restaurant had retained its previous level of quality and distinction.

    Click on each restaurant’s name to read the nominating thread for more details. For a handy pocket guide to all 65 currently open LTHForum Great Neighborhood Restaurants, gohere.

    LTHForum Great Neighborhood Restaurant Award renewals for 2007-8

    Barbara Ann’s
    -- South side BBQ joint serving excellent ribs and arguably the city’s best hot links.
    Chuck’s Southern Comforts Cafe-- South suburban Burbank’s best restaurant by a country mile, a Frontera alum dishing up high-class comfort food.
    Manny’s-- Cafeteria serving old school Jewish deli classics to a democratic crowd ranging from machers to meshugas.
    Moto-- “Scientific” food at the far end of the cutting edge, by a chef who entered our virtual neighborhood to debate his cuisine with us.
    White Palace Grill-- Roosevelt Avenue 24-hour hashslinging joint catering to a colorful mix of late night and early crowds.

    Ed's Potsticker House
    -- Northern and northeastern Chinese restaurant off the beaten path in Bridgeport.
    Fabulous Noodles-- Chinatown-quality authentic Chinese in a Lisle mini-mall.
    ”Little” Three Happiness-- Outstanding Chinatown hole-in-the-wall (from which LTHForum takes its name).
    Lao Sze Chuan (Chinatown and Downers Grove locations)-- Chinatown Mall restaurant (and suburban sibling) serving seemingly endless menu of Western Chinese specialties.

    Cafeteria Marianao
    -- A little slice of Miami in a busy, ramshackle stand offering Cuban sandwiches and coffee.

    -- Capone-era Mittel-European fantasy Czech restaurant in Cicero.
    Laschet’s Inn-- Authentic German food, beer and gemütlichkeit in the old German St. Ben’s neighborhood.
    Podhalanka-- A hearty Polish working-man’s spot, easily overlooked on fast-gentrifying Division Street.

    Al’s No. 1 Italian Beef (Taylor Street location)
    -- Taylor Street stand serving classic Chicago Italian beef and charcoal-grilled sausage.
    Freddy’s Pizza-- Cicero deli offering housemade Italian-American dinners, sausages, pizzas, gelato and breads.
    Riviera Foods-- West side Italian deli offering outstanding housemade sausages and sandwiches, including the “Will Special” (named for LTHForum member “Your Pal Will”).
    Sabatino’s-- Sinatra-era Italian-American fine dining restaurant serving Chicago classics like Chicken Vesuvio.

    -- On an obscure stretch of Peterson, pristinely fresh and beautifully prepared sushi, sashimi and cooked dishes.

    Amanecer Tapatio
    -- Could the best and most authentic Mexican restaurant in the Chicagoland area be this tiny, very friendly storefront in Joliet?
    La Oaxaqueña-- Pair of fine family Mexican restaurants on north Milwaukee and west Diversey, serving outstanding freshly-made versions of classics like chicken mole.

    City Noor
    -- Excellent Palestinian restaurant related to an adjacent meat market on the Kedzie middle eastern strip.

    -- Lincoln Square Thai restaurant famous for “secret menu” of brightly authentic Thai dishes.
    TAC Quick-- Chic Uptown Thai spot serving eye-opening authentic grilled meats and Thai curries.

    Tank Noodle (Pho Xe Tang)
    -- Bright and welcoming Argyle Street spot serving excellent versions of Vietnamese soups such as pho and entrees.