The Chicago Reader’s Best of Chicago issue est arrivee! Here’s what we care about: the food awards. Over 20-some categories, the weekly’s staff weighs in on their picks for stuff ranging from Best Cheap Eats to Best Foo-Foo Coffee Drink to Best Place To Go If Someone Else Is Paying.
Thing is, with a scant few exceptions (best new restaurant goes to Mixteco Grill, best wine list is Piccolo Sogno), the rest of the picks are a big old pile of nothing new: best bang for your buck, Sun Wah Bar-B-Q; best bread, Fox & Obel; best vegan, Chicago Diner.
Haven’t we heard this song before? We get that if the winners of a best-of award truly are the best, then we’ll read about them over and over and over again. And we’re appreciative that the Reader changes up the categories from year to year, to avoid inevitable repetition. But come on guys, this reads like the pre-written list of Places You Should Check Out that we keep on our hard drive and email to our relatives when they tell us they’re visiting Chicago and don’t want to leave the beaten path. Where’s the upset? Where’s the underdog victory? Where’s the amazing heretofore-unheralded discovery that you’re thrusting into the spotlight?
Best of Chicago 2009: Food and Drink [Chicago Reader]