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Restaurants & Bars 7

Beyond Argyle: Shan and Riques

pdaane | Mar 27, 200312:04 PM

I live west of the el tracks on Argyle and I have been quite content exploring that half of the North Asian Village during the winter months. I could be content with Sun Wah BBQ House and Chui Quon Bakery alone. However, last night I ventured toward Sheridan in hopes of the BBQ place on Sheridan south of Argyle being open. It was not. I then turned up Sheridan north of Argyle…

The first place of interest I came across was Riques Regional Mexican Food. The place was empty, but the menu looks very inviting and ultra cheap. The place also looks very clean and well decorated for the neighborhood. The Reader review seemed stuck on the food being inexpensive and that the menu included eclectic items. I would like to know if the food tastes good. Does anyone here have a review?

Next, I came across Munchies, a hot dog/gyro/hamburger fast food place, which appears to be connected to a laundry mat. I passed by and they were closed/closing on the way back.

Finally, I saw a sign for Shan Restaurant in the little strip-mall at Winona and Sheridan and decided to explore further. As the Reader review states, this place is part convenience store (phone cards and lottery tickets), part grocery store and part restaurant. Their takeout menu says “Restaurant and Grocers, Pakistani, Indian Cuisine & a full line of Zabiha-Halal Meat.”

They have a bakery counter filled with what I know as Indian sweets and the counter is stacked with Indian snacks. I am not familiar enough with the region to tell what is Indian and what is Pakistani. They also have a “pizza box warmer” (like you find in places that sell by the slice) that was filled with samosas, [veggi fritters?] and beef rolls. The chicken tikka listed on the warmer was out, leaving behind a crimson stained piece of parchment. This is enough to spark a return visit.

I saw several people in the restaurant area, but no one was eating. Most of them were smoking, some drinking tea and all talking or watching the war coverage on CNN. While I am usually not intimidated in restaurants, I was not in the mood to have 15 people watch me pack my neck and possibly make comments to one another in a language I don’t speak. I am not sure if they have a “secret” menu or not, but a portion of the wall menu was not in English. The prices were ultra cheap for Indian food and I would like to know if anyone has comments on the quality.

My purchase: I bought four pieces of Gulaab Jamun and four of Ladoo; two samosas; two beef rolls (like a very spicy egg roll); and container of spicy snack mix. All items were very good after qualifying by a reasonable discount on my part for the amount of time the warm items were under the heat lamp. I will definitely need to explore this place just because of the prices, but I would like to read any comments you might have.

Riques Regional Mexican Food
5004 N. Sheridan Rd.
Chicago, (773) 728-6200.

Shan Restaurant & Grocers
5060A N. Sheridan
Chicago, (773) 769-4961

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