• Hot on the heels of last week’s Cooking Issue it’s Real Estate theme week at TOC HQ. In the food category, we get a look at foodie neighborhoods, rated on a total scale of 30 points (10 for groceries, 10 for cheap eats, 10 for fancy) for how well they’ll sate the desires of an LTH-trawling flash mob of lolla rossa eaters (arugula? psh, so 2007). Lincoln Park takes the prize with a stunning 27, with the West Loop clocking in at 21. Greater Grand Crossing comes in last, its sad 14 due largely to an absence of good grocery stores or high-end restaurants.
• Heather Shouse cracks the lid on the secret menu at Berwyn’s Bodhi Thai Bistro, where the specials don’t compromise on authenticity. The kitchen — if prompted — will make a list of off-menu specials, like kana moo krob: “hunks of crispy pork belly and Chinese broccoli in a clingy paste of red chiles, garlic and oyster sauce.”
• David Tamarkin offers up an official review of the Dolinsky-maligned Tapas Valencia, which lands only 2 stars thanks to a lazy menu and inconsistent kitchen (though there are some standout dishes). Tamarkin’s pretty sure that the restaurant is a prototype scout for an eventual chain, which would explain the bland atmosphere and eh food.
[Photo courtesy Tapas Valencia]