Taste of Chicago
with WBEZ’s Tony Sarabia
July 8, 2016
1. Park Packing Co,
4107 S Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60609, Phone: (773) 254-0100
Monday-Friday: 6 am to 6 pm, Saturday 6 am to 4 pm, Sunday: 6 am to 2 pm
One of three slaughter houses within Chicago’s boundaries. Retail operation with meat piled on tables to be selected with plastic glove covered hands.
After purchasing your meat, you may go across the street to sample their fresh from processing meat cooked at Kiki D’s Restaurant for carnita’s anyone?
2. D & D’s Place
8324 S Kedzie Ave, Chicago, IL 60652 Phone (773) 778-7007
Monday-Saturday: 6 am to 8 pm, Sunday closed
This bakery inside a former Tastee Freeze building has pedigree: the owner once worked for Old Fashioned Donuts. It makes Texas sized donuts and apple fritters, plus many other donuts. On their menu, they offer donuts as a bread substitute in their breakfast sandwiches and hamburgers. Yes, a hamburger clad in a glazed donut!
3. Afghan Kabob
4040 W Montrose Ave, Chicago, IL 6064, Phone: (773) 427-5041
Monday: Closed, Tuesday to Thursday: 10:30 am to 9 pm, Friday: 10:30 am to 10 pm,
Sunday: 11 am to 8:30 pm
Small family-run store-front Afghan restaurant
4. Dumpling stand in front of Joong Boo Market
3333 N Kimball Ave Chicago, IL 60618, 773-478-5566
(hard left at the bottom of the Kennedy Expy north bound exit)
Made on the premises in a lean-to in the parking lot: Pork wang dumpling (Mandoo), Kimchi wand dumpling and black rice and red bean paste dumpling. Inside the store you may shop for Asian ingredients as well as have a Korean style fast food meal.
5. Papa’s Cache Sabroso
2517 W. Division Street, Chicago, IL 60622, 773-862-8313
Sunday: Closed, Monday to Saturday: 11 am to 10 pm
Small Puerto Rican restaurant featuring pollo chon, a marinated chicken cooked similar to Pork lechon, which is sold on road sides in Puerto Rico. They also offer one of the best Jibarito, which was invented in Chicago at Borinquen.
6. Lem’s BBQ
311 E 75th St, Chicago, IL 60619, (773) 994-2428, http://lemsque.com/
Hours: Closed Tuesday, Friday-Saturday: 1 pm – 3 am, Sunday-Monday and
Wednesday-Thursday: 1 pm – 1 am
No seating, eating on the car trunk in the parking lot, this early BBQ pretty much defined what is known as Chicago BBQ. Unique to Chicago are rib tips, a great combo is tips and hot links (smoked spicy sausage) and of course, ribs are always good.
7. Stanley’s Tavern
4258 S Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60609, 773/927-0033
Hours: Monday-Friday: 11 am to 8 pm with Lunch served 11 am to 2 pm,
Saturday-Sunday: Closed (though this may change)
Go for lunch when the 92-year-old owner Wanda Kurek cooks whatever she wants with a main dish and two soups offered between 11 am and 2 pm.
There may be smoked butt, stuffed cabbage or other homey dishes. This is a working man’s bar your Great Grandfather might have lunched, then returned to work. There is a picture on the wall showing this stretch of Ashland was wall-to-wall taverns, with Stanley the last hold out.
8, Grand Palace
225 W 26th St, Chicago, IL 60616 (b/t Wentworth Ave & Indiana Ave), (312) 225-3888
Plastic over the white tablecloth sensibility here. Don’t bother to read the menu, talk to the lady about what’s best in the seafood department. If you want real Chinese comfort food not often served in restaurants, order the steamed eggs to go with anything ordered.
9, Food Court at Richland Center Basement
2002 S Wentworth Ave Chicago, IL 60616
(adjacent to Chinatown Mall on the east edge)
Daily: 11 am to 9:30 pm (some stalls hours vary)
Among the tenants presently are: Grill N Chill, Jue Wie Ya Ba Wang, Ky Lin Teppanyaki, Snack Planet, Tientsin, Tong’s, Town Kitchen, Yummy Yummy Noodles.
10. St. Rest Number 2
727 E 87th St, Chicago, IL 60619, 773/962-0700
Closed Monday, Tuesday-Sunday: 8 am to 8 pm
Soul food cafeteria with Roast duck on Sundays, smothered pork, steamed cabbage, peach cobbler,
11. La Chaparrita Grocery
2501 S. Whipple, Chicago, IL 60623, 773/247-1402
Daily: 11 am to 10 pm
Grocery store with a Mexican diner serving tacos: suadero, longaniza (house-made chorizo), tripas (really great intestines), cabeza, al pastor, lengua and sesos.. Wash this down with their fresh licuados, a fruit based beverage with milk and ice akin to smoothies.