This week’s Omnivorous finds Mike Sula out in Mount Prospect, slurping curative bowls of soon dubu chigae, aka spicy tofu soup. Sula focuses on Chodang Tofu Village, a husband-and-wife restaurant with an interesting back story involving the purchase of a chain restaurant’s recipe, and then a subsequent MSG-less refinement. Buying a recipe! We wonder how much the most expensive recipe ever sold went for. Obviously, many recipes are not for sale at any price (McDonald’s special sauce comes to mind), and some otherwise proprietary recipes are given away for free (like Red Lobster). Do people ever use mass spectrometers and other exotica to reverse engineer secret recipes? Actually, probably.
But suffice it to say, it’s a nice story about tofu soup, and the rest of the issue is devoted to Korean restaurants around town.
Meanwhile, Pat Bruno’s main review is for Mythos Greek Taverna, and boy, did he mail this one in! He used the cliche “blank’d to death” twice, to describe feta that’s not too salty and a chicken reganate not done in by oregano. Yeah, you can’t have “salted to death” and “oreganoed to death” in the same review. You just can’t! The Roscoe Village Greek spot is run by two sisters who make everything from scratch and to order, and even though the menu is the same as what you’d find in Greektown, Bruno posits that the quality of ingredients and thought given to presentation are superior. Heather Shouse reviewed the restaurant a few weeks ago and while she also liked it, she at least addressed some of its shortcomings (some of the entrees were kind of boring, etc.) Bruno certainly does not do that in his piece, and overall, not often enough in his reviews.
On a side note, all seven reviews we’ve received for Mythos have been shills. Please stop it! It makes us not like you, and we want to like you.
Bruno’s other review is another noncritical rave, this time for Violet. Pat gets caught up in flavor combinations like “cranberry-orange French toast bread pudding topped with bourbon creme Anglaise and spiced pecans,” and it’s true - all these things are compatible. But when he talks about the “Mediterranean omelet with Kalamata olives, oven-roasted tomatoes, aged ricotta salata and basil pesto,” saying that the “diverse flavors were as cozy and pleasing as a deck chair in the sun on a cruise through the Greek islands,” one kind of wants to vomit a little. How the hell can a surface of a boat in the middle of an ocean be cozy? That’s the exact opposite of cozy! In the claustrophobia/agoraphobia continuum, we mean. Sigh.
Okay - it’s been a really long week and we’re tired. Go enjoy yourselves this weekend! We will be resting.
Quest for Fire [Chicago Reader]
[Photo: Soon Dubu Jigae, or however you want to transliterate it, via *reesie/flickr]