LTH Home

CND Gyros & Lounge: in a time warp set off the Mag Mile

CND Gyros & Lounge: in a time warp set off the Mag Mile
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
     Page 1 of 4
  • CND Gyros & Lounge: in a time warp set off the Mag Mile

    Post #1 - January 30th, 2008, 7:10 am
    Post #1 - January 30th, 2008, 7:10 am Post #1 - January 30th, 2008, 7:10 am
    Tucked underneath the Michigan Avenue hustle-bustle, surrounded by construction sites building huge, modern condos, and in an area where many restaurants seem more consumed with selling the latest trend at high prices than with serving a good, honest, affordable meal, CND Gyros stands as a lone soldier in the fight to maintain a certain "realness" in the neighborhood.

    Image

    It's basically a dive bar, but upfront there's a small kitchen where a Greek family that's been here since 1974 serves some darn good gyros with fresh, warm pita and homamade tsatsiki. There's also good broasted chicken, a decent greek salad, and "homemade chilli" that gets rave reviews (I haven't tried it yet). This used to be a strictly takeout joint for me, but with the smoking ban in effect I've been grabbing my food at the counter and taking it back to a bar stool or table. The room is dark, eclectically decorated with old Chicago maps, labor union paraphernalia, and celebrity memorabilia. The whole setting conjures up images of gruff, old-time Tribune reporters puffing away, drinking Old Style, and talking about the day's efforts to beat out the Sun Times.

    In addition the more traditional gyros preparation, CND offers a carefully made, Americanized "Gyros Melt", pictured below. The meat is heavily spiced, the bread is generously buttered and grilled to a beautiful golden brown. Sweet, grilled onions add a nice balancing effect. Sure, I'd like some kind of less-pedestrian cheese than this yellow stuff, but I must admit to the occasional craving for the Velveeta-type product CND uses.

    Gyros Melt at CND Gyros:
    Image

    Image

    CND Gyros is definitely worth a visit if you're in the neighborhood.

    CND Gyros & Lounge
    205 E Grand Ave - At N St Clair St
    Chicago, IL 60611
    312 467-4195
  • Post #2 - January 30th, 2008, 8:39 am
    Post #2 - January 30th, 2008, 8:39 am Post #2 - January 30th, 2008, 8:39 am
    Great post, Kennyz. Your gyros melt pic looks way better than mine, though I would also like to second ab's recommended sides for an occasional, slightly indulgent, weekday lunch.

    Image
  • Post #3 - January 30th, 2008, 9:13 am
    Post #3 - January 30th, 2008, 9:13 am Post #3 - January 30th, 2008, 9:13 am
    :D


    Doesn't get much better than that... the triple-sin of American cheese, alcohol and gambling.

    Still my favorite lunch around here.
  • Post #4 - January 30th, 2008, 9:14 am
    Post #4 - January 30th, 2008, 9:14 am Post #4 - January 30th, 2008, 9:14 am
    And, is that a chicken leg?
  • Post #5 - January 30th, 2008, 9:17 am
    Post #5 - January 30th, 2008, 9:17 am Post #5 - January 30th, 2008, 9:17 am
    Looks like Aaron opted for the thigh.

    The chicken pieces do run a little small, in a pleasant, crispy, non-steroidal way.
  • Post #6 - January 30th, 2008, 9:21 am
    Post #6 - January 30th, 2008, 9:21 am Post #6 - January 30th, 2008, 9:21 am
    ab wrote:Looks like Aaron opted for the thigh.

    The chicken pieces do run a little small, in a pleasant, crispy, non-steroidal way.


    and they're priced pretty small too: 85 cents I believe.
  • Post #7 - January 30th, 2008, 10:13 am
    Post #7 - January 30th, 2008, 10:13 am Post #7 - January 30th, 2008, 10:13 am
    ab wrote:Looks like Aaron opted for the thigh.


    Nope, just a poor picture. Broasted chicken...better than French fries!
  • Post #8 - February 1st, 2008, 3:49 pm
    Post #8 - February 1st, 2008, 3:49 pm Post #8 - February 1st, 2008, 3:49 pm
    My lawyer buddies and I have been drinking/eating here for years, a true dive, but worth it. I haven't been since the no-smoking law took hold, but was the one place I could stand the smoke.

    Another tid-bit, if you are there long enough, and have a decent sized party (guessing minimum six) the management has handed out complimentary plates of cubed cheeses and meats.
  • Post #9 - February 5th, 2008, 8:45 pm
    Post #9 - February 5th, 2008, 8:45 pm Post #9 - February 5th, 2008, 8:45 pm
    Feeling the need for a "healthier" meal today, I chose not to get the usual gyros sandwich or the even more decadent gyros melt, and instead opted for the CND grilled chicken sandwich. Of course, a chicken sandwich without bacon is like a tree that fell in the forest with no one there to hear it, so a couple of crispy slices were added:

    Image

    While it might look like your average, run of the mill boring chicken sandwich, this was significantly better. Like everything else I've had at CND, it was carefully prepared, simple, good food with a few extra touches that make all the difference. The fresh, locally baked bread was toasted on the grill, the chicken had marinated overnight in olive oil and oregano, and the bacon was cooked to order and perfectly crisp. Aside from the Bolat truck dishing out African food to mostly cab drivers, it's really hard to get me to go anywhere else in the neighborhood for lunch.
  • Post #10 - February 5th, 2008, 9:36 pm
    Post #10 - February 5th, 2008, 9:36 pm Post #10 - February 5th, 2008, 9:36 pm
    Do you prefer the bread over the pita? I, for one, can't imagine having a gyros without the lightly grilled warm oily-luscious pita bread.
  • Post #11 - February 6th, 2008, 6:03 am
    Post #11 - February 6th, 2008, 6:03 am Post #11 - February 6th, 2008, 6:03 am
    Snark wrote:Do you prefer the bread over the pita? I, for one, can't imagine having a gyros without the lightly grilled warm oily-luscious pita bread.


    The pita's great, and the pic above shows the first time I ever ordered gyros without it. Just have to change it up every now and then.
  • Post #12 - June 27th, 2008, 8:54 am
    Post #12 - June 27th, 2008, 8:54 am Post #12 - June 27th, 2008, 8:54 am
    between this and the bolat truck, you've saved my lunch hour! thanks kenny!

    thankfully the guy dishing out bolat will make vegetarian options for you to offset the intense meat-ery of the CND offerings.
  • Post #13 - June 30th, 2008, 11:17 am
    Post #13 - June 30th, 2008, 11:17 am Post #13 - June 30th, 2008, 11:17 am
    Oculi wrote:between this and the bolat truck, you've saved my lunch hour! thanks kenny!

    thankfully the guy dishing out bolat will make vegetarian options for you to offset the intense meat-ery of the CND offerings.


    He will, and I do like the coconut rice, plantains, and spinach. But I gotta say, the goat being dished out by the Bolat guy is the best thing on the truck.

    Glad I've helped you enjoy your lunch hour!
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #14 - September 13th, 2008, 6:19 pm
    Post #14 - September 13th, 2008, 6:19 pm Post #14 - September 13th, 2008, 6:19 pm
    Moderator edit
    GNR Nomination thread moved to general thread starting here

    If you blink, you'll miss it. But it is, in my opnion, the best restaurant in a three block radius. Steps off the Mag Mile, tourists stroll up and down and have no idea they are missing good fried chicken, or the ethereal gyros melt. So wrong, yet so , so right. Gyros, american cheese, griddled onions and tzitziki on buttered white toast. What an American sandwich.

    Have I mentioned the bar? It's a classic Chicago Tavern, behind a classic Chicago Gyros joint. Talk about two great tastes....

    References:

    http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.ph ... &hilit=cnd

    http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.ph ... &hilit=cnd

    http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.ph ... nd#p199572

    CND Gyros
    205 E. Grand Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60611
    312-467-4195
  • Post #15 - September 13th, 2008, 6:34 pm
    Post #15 - September 13th, 2008, 6:34 pm Post #15 - September 13th, 2008, 6:34 pm
    Where's a reference to CND in that middle thread?
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #16 - September 13th, 2008, 10:09 pm
    Post #16 - September 13th, 2008, 10:09 pm Post #16 - September 13th, 2008, 10:09 pm
    Mike G wrote:Where's a reference to CND in that middle thread?


    http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?p=202210#p202210

    ...in the "genuine broasted" chicken discussion
  • Post #17 - September 14th, 2008, 7:06 am
    Post #17 - September 14th, 2008, 7:06 am Post #17 - September 14th, 2008, 7:06 am
    ab wrote:Crisp (2940 N Broadway Ave) also pressure fries their chicken.

    as does CND (205 E. Grand Ave)



    Yeah, not the greatest reference. Sorry. I might have written this after three martinis at L. Wood's.

    I stand by CND and the Gyros Melt though. Ethereal sandwich experience. Transcending the sum of the parts.
  • Post #18 - September 15th, 2008, 8:31 pm
    Post #18 - September 15th, 2008, 8:31 pm Post #18 - September 15th, 2008, 8:31 pm
    It's easy to see from the first link above that I really like CND Gyros. I thought about nominating it myself, but in the end I decided that it wasn't quite up to what I consider a GNR. While I'm quite pleased to have it in the work neighborhood, I could call the food outstanding only if I compared it to places within a 5 block radius. I love the CND atmosphere, but there are at least a half dozen places in Chicagoland that serve similar cuisine and do it even better. To me, that fact places CND Gyros just beneath the line.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #19 - September 15th, 2008, 8:57 pm
    Post #19 - September 15th, 2008, 8:57 pm Post #19 - September 15th, 2008, 8:57 pm
    I went to CND between two doctor's appointments - something to tide me through getting poked and prodded. I enjoyed their gyros sandwich - it was fine, particularly compared to having my blood taken - but a GNR? I think one might organize a Gyros-a-than where CND would do well, but perhaps not reach the clouds.
    Toast, as every breakfaster knows, isn't really about the quality of the bread or how it's sliced or even the toaster. For man cannot live by toast alone. It's all about the butter. -- Adam Gopnik
  • Post #20 - September 16th, 2008, 11:21 am
    Post #20 - September 16th, 2008, 11:21 am Post #20 - September 16th, 2008, 11:21 am
    Kennyz wrote: I love the CND atmosphere, but there are at least a half dozen places in Chicagoland that serve similar cuisine and do it even better. To me, that fact places CND Gyros just beneath the line.


    I respectfully disagree. I've never seen a Gryos Melt anywhere else. And the combination Chicago Greek Fast Food and Chicago Tavern is unseen elsewhere, IMO.
  • Post #21 - September 16th, 2008, 11:39 am
    Post #21 - September 16th, 2008, 11:39 am Post #21 - September 16th, 2008, 11:39 am
    It's unique, all right, and I thank Kennyz for the introduction. I look forward to additional endorsements and comments (and sampling the melt in person in these next few weeks, just had the regular old sandwich last time).

    Note: this has been my leet post. 7h47 i5 4||, |urk3r5. 1337 out.
  • Post #22 - September 16th, 2008, 12:12 pm
    Post #22 - September 16th, 2008, 12:12 pm Post #22 - September 16th, 2008, 12:12 pm
    kafein wrote:
    Kennyz wrote: I love the CND atmosphere, but there are at least a half dozen places in Chicagoland that serve similar cuisine and do it even better. To me, that fact places CND Gyros just beneath the line.


    I respectfully disagree. I've never seen a Gryos Melt anywhere else. And the combination Chicago Greek Fast Food and Chicago Tavern is unseen elsewhere, IMO.


    It had been awhile (CND is more of a winter place to me) so I returned today for a gyros sandwich. It was very good as usual. Perhaps my GNR criteria are a bit too stringent, as I do concur with kafein's sentiment about there being quite a bit of originality to this place.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #23 - September 19th, 2008, 1:30 pm
    Post #23 - September 19th, 2008, 1:30 pm Post #23 - September 19th, 2008, 1:30 pm
    I second - this place is a loop gem, one of those startlingly few places you can hit for lunch in the greater loop area and feel like you're really in Chicago.

    The Gyro Melt is unique gem, one of my favorite sandwiches in the city (sure, it's just white bread perfectly griddled with butter until crispy, american cheese melted over charred "cone" gyro meat, but once you try one you realize they've created something much larger than its parts) - and the fried chicken is always very good. It is also a fantastic place to have a few beers while watching the local news after work. This is a loop GNR if I've ever seen one.

    an earlier CND reference:

    viewtopic.php?f=14&t=4332&hilit=Gyro+Melt
  • Post #24 - September 19th, 2008, 1:37 pm
    Post #24 - September 19th, 2008, 1:37 pm Post #24 - September 19th, 2008, 1:37 pm
    ab wrote:I second - this place is a loop gem, one of those startlingly few places you can hit for lunch in the greater loop area and feel like you're really in Chicago.

    The Gyro Melt is unique gem, one of my favorite sandwiches in the city (sure, it's just white bread perfectly griddled with butter until crispy, american cheese melted over charred "cone" gyro meat, but once you try one you realize they've created something much larger than its parts) - and the fried chicken is always very good. It is also a fantastic place to have a few beers while watching the local news after work. This is a loop GNR if I've ever seen one.

    an earlier CND reference:

    viewtopic.php?f=14&t=4332&hilit=Gyro+Melt

    Just for reference, the Gyro Melt sandwich is not unique to CND. For over 20 years, they've been serving a nearly identical sandwich at the Wilmette Chuck Wagon, where it is known as "The Waitress." It's definitely some good eats.

    =R=
    There are many things that are legal that are not a great idea --Nick Shabazz

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

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

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #25 - September 20th, 2008, 4:57 pm
    Post #25 - September 20th, 2008, 4:57 pm Post #25 - September 20th, 2008, 4:57 pm
    kafein wrote:Have I mentioned the bar? It's a classic Chicago Tavern, behind a classic Chicago Gyros joint. Talk about two great tastes....

    Seldom have I walked into a place and felt more comfortable, something about the time worn, yet spotless, old school tavern coupled with cooking smells relaxed me. C.N.D. as my Zen place. How do you want that gyro? Make me one with everything.

    C.N.D. had just opened, it was my first stop on a Peoria Packing, Northwestern Cutlery run, and I had a chance to talk to Chris, son of the owner, as to how the Gyro Melt came to be. Seems 'bout 4-years ago a regular stumbled in one Saturday morning brutally hung over, ordered his usual health tonic of vodka/cranberry and pondered, as we all occasionally do, what combination of meat, grease and starch would help quiet the conga line in his belly. He hit upon the glorious combination of gyros meat, American cheese, over easy egg, griddled onions and tzitziki on buttered white toast. (Original version had an over easy egg.) What I particularly loved about the story is he would order 3-4 of these sandwiches and a vodka/cranberry, eat one sandwich and keep the rest "wrapped in paper so they stay greasy."

    Gyro Melt w/egg

    Image

    Image

    I think it's apparent I think C.N.D. is a terrific GNR nomination, as Kafein said about the Gyros Melt, C.N.D. transcends the sum of the parts.

    C.N.D. Gyros

    Image

    Chris

    Image

    Image

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #26 - September 20th, 2008, 5:40 pm
    Post #26 - September 20th, 2008, 5:40 pm Post #26 - September 20th, 2008, 5:40 pm
    I have to admit that the gyros melt looks pretty good. Time to go back for some more medical tests.
    Toast, as every breakfaster knows, isn't really about the quality of the bread or how it's sliced or even the toaster. For man cannot live by toast alone. It's all about the butter. -- Adam Gopnik
  • Post #27 - September 20th, 2008, 6:17 pm
    Post #27 - September 20th, 2008, 6:17 pm Post #27 - September 20th, 2008, 6:17 pm
    I think it's frightening and I doubt it's coming anywhere near my arteries, but I must admit the idea of this nomination, as a last surviving slice of gritty Chicago in the shadows of glitzy Chicago, is hard to resist.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #28 - September 20th, 2008, 6:19 pm
    Post #28 - September 20th, 2008, 6:19 pm Post #28 - September 20th, 2008, 6:19 pm
    Ok, made my first visit to CND today and my feelings are mixed.

    Food first:

    I thought the gyros melt was damned good but not transcendent. My version did not include the egg that G Wiv enjoyed, but I might have added it, had I known it was available. Still the sandwich did not blow me away. Perhaps this is because I've been enjoying the aforementioned "Waitress" at the Wilmette Chuck Wagon for a couple of decades and I'd have to give that very similar rendition the edge. Was CND's rendition better than the sum of its parts? Definitely.

    OTOH, the previously frozen fries were limp and cold. The burger, of which I had a taste, was a very perfunctory foodservice-style version. It was ok but nothing to return for or order again.

    Atmosphere second:

    CND is divey in a very inviting and comforting way. It's definitely unique to have this type of food -- and a menu this large -- available in such a decidedly bar venue. The place is clean and cozy, and decorated with fun Chicagocentric iconography. The bartender who is, as G Wiv posted above, the son of the owner, was very friendly and personable.

    Ironically, CND is the kind of place that I'd be more likely to recommend to an out-of-towner than a Chicagolander. I guess that's because I feel like it offers a concentrated dose of Chicago flavor which, in many ways, exemplifies what this town is all about. The lounge is casual and relaxed, the foods are very much representative and the vibe is extremely friendly. OTOH, if a local asked me for a recommendation, I could immediately think of other places that offer more enjoyable renditions of these (types of) foods. As for the lounge aspect, I can think of more inviting places, although I will admit that bar was very comfortable and that spending a few hours there would not be hard to do.

    CND Gryos and Lounge is distinctive, personality-rich and comfortable. Based on my one visit, I'd describe the food as good but not great. So, GNR-wise, I'm really on the fence about this one.

    =R=
    There are many things that are legal that are not a great idea --Nick Shabazz

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

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

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #29 - September 20th, 2008, 9:42 pm
    Post #29 - September 20th, 2008, 9:42 pm Post #29 - September 20th, 2008, 9:42 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:CND Gryos and Lounge is distinctive, personality-rich and comfortable. Based on my one visit, I'd describe the food as good but not great. So, GNR-wise, I'm really on the fence about this one.

    Ron,

    If the GNRs were solely about the food I might nominate your kitchen. Though my Gyro Melt with an over easy egg was terrific on its own merits.

    An LTHForum GNR has to resonate, have a certain style, an indefinable something. It's kind of like pornography, I know it when I like it* and I like C.N.D. Gyros.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    *Attributed to King's Thursday
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #30 - September 20th, 2008, 11:26 pm
    Post #30 - September 20th, 2008, 11:26 pm Post #30 - September 20th, 2008, 11:26 pm
    G Wiv wrote:An LTHForum GNR has to resonate, have a certain style, an indefinable something. It's kind of like pornography, I know it when I like it* and I like C.N.D. Gyros.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    *Attributed to King's Thursday

    I completely understand. I totally appreciate your passion for the the place, and obviously, kafein's as well, even if I don't completely share it. In fact, one of the reasons I posted about my indecision regarding CND was to further develop the discussion on this thread. I'm really curious to hear what others who have been here think about it.

    =R=
    There are many things that are legal that are not a great idea --Nick Shabazz

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

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

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more