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Restaurants & Bars 7

trip report

Buford | Aug 26, 200402:43 AM

I recently made a trip to Chicago, and I used this board in planning my meals.

Green Zebra. The place was packed and felt happening. I had the three salads (good), the tomato and eggplant dish (excellent), and the cassoulet (very good). The waiters were cool in a professional sort of way. They actually got my order wrong but it turned out not to matter. It's worth doing once.

Resi's Bierstube. I didn't like it at first. It was smaller than I expected and they had TV's running over the bar. I got the pork shanks with potatoes and kraut and grabbed a table. The food was excellent, especially the potatoes. While I was eating they finally turned the TV's down and put on some endearingly awful German music. It was perfect. This was the best meal of the trip.

Atlantique. I'm afraid I cannot recall what kind of fish I got, but it came nicely presented with pesto risotto on top of multi-colored sauces. It was all rather good.

Red Apple. It's not cuisine, but at $6.49 the meat-intensive lunch buffet is comically cheap. I'd go back.

Army and Lou's. It's a happy place. Everyone is dressed up and socializing. I just wish I liked the food better. I got the stewed chicken with dumplings, the seasoned spinach, the cornbread dressing with giblet gravy, and cornbread. The dumplings and their gravy had a nice texture, and the cornbread was quite good though not exactly special. The rest of it was good-not-great. Partly I was just amazed at how unhealthy the food was. It made Resi's seem like Weight Watchers.

Polish Highlanders. Maybe it's more of a banquet hall than a restaurant. In any event they were packed to the rafters with banquets, including a group of Hungarians with their own folk band. So I ate at the bar. I got the roast duck, which came with potatoes, kraut, and various fruit garnishes. It was all good not great. The duck was dry in places. It was a little disappointing actually.

Rustavely. The waiter is very nice. The sign says CLOSED but if I want to eat, okay, come on in. He's sorry, but they have a new menu and it isn't translated into English. He will translate. He's sorry, but they were closed yesterday and don't have much food, so he'll have to find out from the chef what they have. I ask for the red bean salad and the lamb and potatoes dish. Oh, he's sorry, but they don't have the red bean salad, so how about the green bean salad. Fine. The green bean salad seems to be green beans and lots of garlic pureed and served with quite good dense bread. A little of this stuff goes a long way. The lamb and potatoes is actually mostly an eggplant dish, and I thought it was pretty good. Then the check comes, and the green bean salad turns out to cost $3 more than the red bean salad. Clumsiness, ripoff, cultural experience, or all of the above? I'd go back. I also got a very good poppy seed pastry from the kosher bakery across the street.

Caato. I got the chicken and rice. It was three pieces of unfortunately rather tough and dry chicken in spicy oil with a large heap of spicy rice. I liked the spicy part anyway.

I also visited several chow-recommended neighborhoods: Devon west of Kedzie, Milwaukee south of Belmont, Central south of Belmont, and Lawrence and Kedzie. The coolest thing was these Asian fruit juices in the Korean market on the NE corner of Lawrence and Kedzie.

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