This week, the food sections tackle Hopper-esque diners as vanishing symbols of urban anomie, and also Polish food! Equally relevant, we feel.
Chris Borelli’s piece on what’s left of the “Nighthawks“-style diner in Chicago goes in search of downtrodden all-night diners, the exact nature of which Borelli lyrically describes in the article and accompanying video. He finds a few that sort of fit the bill (Dox Grill, Jeri’s Grill, Lawrence Grill - the types of places that wouldn’t give us a menu in a million years), and we’d like to add Steak ‘n Egger on Cermak and May.
As long as he’s on the subject of old-time Chicago, Chris investigates the current state of chop suey, the most famous Chinese dish invented in America (wanna fight about it?). Chris notes that “dozens” of Chicagoland Chinese restaurants still use the name of the dish in their names; we count fifteen, few of them centrally located.
We’d hazard a guess that those who like chop suey also frequent Polish buffets. Mike Nagrant rounds up his nine favorite smörgåsbords in Chicagoland, starting with Old Warsaw in Norridge. RIP Tatra Inn of Archer Heights, by the way.
In the review corner, Phil Vettel sashays over to Takashi and is duly impressed by the simultaneously rich and delicate dishes. He wants to see a little more risk-taking with the preparations, but assumes it is coming down the line. Chris Borelli, who put in triple duty this week, tried his luck at Pupuseria Las Delicias - if you go, stick to the pupusas, but feel free to try the horchata.
Wondering where the TOC review are? Well, cease your quivering. They are taking a break this week to let some hot new restaurants cool down enough for proper evaluation. The wait, you can be assured, will be worth it.
[Photo: the counter at Steak n’ Egger, hulkum/flickr]