I know it is a little early to start politicking for the annual chowhound awards, but I am going to start campaigning for the 3100 Block of North Cenral as the best chow block in the entire six county chicago metroplex.
We had dinner last night at Grota, one of many Polish buffets around the city, but maybe the best. At least for me, I could fill myself up on the classic vital information food pyramid: pickly-stuff, fried things, starches and kolachy. To show I am no shill, I will admitt that the coffee, generously offered, stunk. All you need to know about Grota's buffet was that nothing stayed on the line too long, so the food was both fresh and plentiful.
Yet, Grota is a mere cog in the 3100 chow machine. You will find both Czech and Slovakian places. I imagine that at one time, the two joints shared one space, but then a few years ago, they peacefully decided to go their seperate ways. The Slovakian place, Happy Noodle, makes their own noodles and serves hot foods; the Czech bakery is strictly a food store but serves more than baked goods. Their refrigerator case is stocked with meals for homesick bohemians including local versions of kung pao and something described as fish eyes.
If you tire of Slavic cusine, there was a Mexican seafood resturant, a middle-eastern market and Central Gyros, named by Hot Dog Chicago in 1983 as the best gyros in Chicago.
I have just scratched the surface of this wonderous block. In closing, I must thank AnneK for turning me on to this block, and I must thank the fact that I lifted weights yesterday priming my appetite to the fullest to enjoy the block.
Vote early and vote often for the 3100 block of North Cental.