First, a big thank you to the Chicago hounds that made suggestions and gave directions to me last week. They were very helpful. Second, I love Chicago! What a lovely, clean, friendly city. If it's true that Chicagoans have an inferiority complex with New Yorkers I don't see why.
I didn't have as many opportunities to try restaurants as I wanted but here are a couple of reports. Being of Indian origin and since Chicago has a fantastic "Little India" on Devon St., I had to visit.
Tiffin looked more upscale than the other joints on Devon and piqued my interests. The decor inside was pleasent and the service attentive. I have the lunch buffet. Tiffin chose to offer fewer well-made dishes: quality over quantity seemed to be their MO. Their vegetable dishes and chicken tikka masala curry were good but it was their lamb curry that was exceptional. It was spicy-- not overwhelmingly so but easily enough to enliven the tongue. Just like I like it. The kitchen is behind glass where you can see the cooks making hand-made naans and chicken tandoori in the tandoori oven. They brought out hot, fresh naan in a basket and the chicken tandoori on a sizzling platter-- it was included as a part of the buffet. After this when the bill came I was expecting the worst but was shocked to see that it was $6.95 for the buffet! Seek this place out. It's special.
I also had the lunch buffet at Gaylords near downtown. I preferred their vegetable dishes over Tiffin's. However, their lamb curry was tame and the naan and tandoori chicken was pre-cooked (I had been spoiled by Tiffin now). Whereas Tiffin had golab jamun for dessert, Gaylords had rice pudding and carrot/cream-of-wheat halwa. I preferred the golab jamun. Gaylord's in also $2 more, $8.95. It's not Tiffin but I'd easily recommend Gaylord.
Had a late dinner at some Chinese hole-in-the-wall next to Uno on Ohio St. (?). Ordered the orange beef. Awful stuff. Don't walk on the same side of the street as this joint!
On the last night, I first checked out Erawan, a thai joint on Clark near Gaylord's. Menu looked great but the prices were too high for my per diem. Went down the street to Rick Bayliss' Mexican joints. Too long of a wait list. Ended up at Dao, another Thai place. The honey soy duck breast was bad. The breasts were rubbery (cooked God knows when) and the sauce watery. The massuman beef curry was fine, however. The prices were outrageously low so I guess you get what you pay for.
Had a great time in your fair city. Hope to return soon.