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Outdoor dining on the north side

Hi all. I'm looking for people's favorite outdoor dining places in Edgewater/Andersonville, Wrigleyville, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, etc. Obviously the food has to be good too but I'm wondering if there is some hidden-gem-of-a-place where the outdoor ambiance is worth a special trip (or even a place that you keep going back to because it's just so comfortable/easy/likable etc.) Suggestions for not in these neighborhoods are welcome too.

Thanks in advance!

Aug 01, 2008
gundy1814 in Chicago Area

Back to Chicago for 2 months - need recs

Orange is right at the Clark and Belmont intersection (on Clark) and is a great place for brunch! (You'll most likely have wait if you go on the weekend, as is the case with any good brunch place in Chicago).

I agree that you should head up to the Argyle stop for Vietnamese - any order of pho will be pretty cheap and it's so good!

Cozy Noodles is also one of my personal favorites (I usually go to the Evanston location but there is also one in Wrigleyville) - cheap and good Thai.

Another place I really like is Tango Sur - inexpensive and wonderful Argentinian food (the empanadas and steaks are great). Another one that gets crowded and often has a wait but it's BYOB and has outdoor seating... I always wait b/c it's worth it!

Good luck re-exploring the city!

Tango Sur
3763 N Southport Ave, Chicago, IL 60613

3231 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60657

Cozy Noodle & Rice
3456 N Sheffield Ave, Chicago, IL 60657

Jul 10, 2008
gundy1814 in Chicago Area

Best italian in evanston

I've had a couple of very good experiences at GIO on Chicago Ave. in Evanston... I know some people are not big fans but I really enjoyed the food and ambiance there. Not a big fan of Dave's. Just went to Campangola... love the ambiance, was slightly underwhelmed with the food... maybe I got the wrong thing? It was good but not amazing, as I was expecting.

Apr 29, 2008
gundy1814 in Chicago Area

Frozen Yogurt?

They're opening up a Red Mango in Evanston supposedly this spring, and it looks to be a pinkberry-type place (

Apr 29, 2008
gundy1814 in Chicago Area

Lulu's in Evanston - how is the all-you-can-eat?

It is fun to get to try lots of different things and they don't make you feel bad about doing so. I haven't been recently but I remember thinking that some items were pretty good and some were just so-so. And, I haven't been dying to go back if it tells you anything. BUT I'm glad I went because I just had to know for myself :) Also, unlike many all you can eat sushi places, you don't have to clean your plate- if you don't like something you can just leave it.

I love Thai Sookdee as well. They make the classic dishes very well and also have a nice selection. Plus, unlike Cozy Noodles which has a more funky atmosphere (I do love Cozy though), Sookdee is more of a traditional restaurant so IMO it's better if you want to linger for a while... though Cozy is BYOB so it really depends on what kind of night you're after!

Apr 29, 2008
gundy1814 in Chicago Area

Foodie needs recs on cocktails and brunch

In addition to all of the great recommendations, I also really enjoyed Tweet for brunch ( Big portions, very tasty food, and seemed to be pretty kid-friendly as there were several families there. Free coffee while you wait!

Feb 24, 2008
gundy1814 in Chicago Area

NY Foodies visiting Chicago

Ditto! (but of course this has been debated many times)

Feb 24, 2008
gundy1814 in Chicago Area

NY Foodies visiting Chicago

So I've been there pretty often in the last few months. I really like the "La Fin du Monde" beer, a belgian style. I've been getting that one lately because it is so good. I've also had the allagash white and my friend usually gets the Two Brothers Cane & Ebel. I've tasted a couple of the sandwiches there (the beef one, the duck one) and they are just OK... I really think their mussels and frites are the best and wouldn't stray from that! Hope you still go despite the age issues!

Feb 24, 2008
gundy1814 in Chicago Area

evanston, rogers park

I actually MUCH prefer Rollin' To Go for a sandwich, which is right next door to Al's Deli. To me, Al's is pretty boring save for one or two options and not enjoyable to sit at. Rollin' however, has lots of options with bread, sauces, etc. and their potato chips are yummy! Also, it's a nice place to sit for a little while ... but you can also take it "to go" :)

As for a bar in rogers park with good grub, I don't have many good suggestions for you. However, if you are willing to go a little further south, I would highly recommend The Hopleaf. ( Amazing and wide selection of beer and their mussels and frites are a must try. Not super cheap but worth every penny. Other food items not so great though so if you're not in the mood for mussels I dunno. You might also want to stay in evanston for a bar dinner as there are some decent options. Prarie Moon, Nevin's, Celtic Knot, and Bar Louie (a Chicago chain) are all good options for food, drink, and ambiance IMO.

Good luck!

Feb 05, 2008
gundy1814 in Chicago Area

Impossible? Great mid-priced Italian

I like Enoteca Piattini in Lincoln Park. Don't know how it compares to the others listed but it was a nice atmosphere, yummy food, and not too pricey (link to their menu on menupages:


Apparently they also have special on Sunday evenings. Enjoy!

Nov 08, 2007
gundy1814 in Chicago Area

Over Easy on Damen near Foster and m.henry on Clark

I like m henry a lot too and definitely be prepared to wait on a sunday!

Nov 07, 2007
gundy1814 in Chicago Area

Help! Staying Downtown at the Palmer House Hilton

Don't know how far you want to branch out but about a mile away (quick cab ride) is a place called Mambo Grill. I went last month and I thought it was tasty, reasonably priced, and had a fun atmosphere. There's also a bar called The Emerald Loop which had a full/good-looking crowd for happy hour the last time I went. I'm sure that there are many other options than the ones I suggested but those are the ones I got! Good luck.

Mambo Grill
412 N Clark St, San Augustine, TX 75972

emerald loop
Chicago, IL, Chicago, IL

Oct 24, 2007
gundy1814 in Chicago Area

Cheap lunch in Calabasas?

Another great find at Gelson's - the half sandwich and 2 sides deal. It's less than 6 bucks and it's enough food to make you full! For the sandwiches, they don't charge extra for things like avocado and you can choose any side from their deli case that's less than (I think) $7.99/lb. Their salads are good, their fruit is fresh, and they wrap it up well if you want it to go. Half chicken sandwich with fries from Wolfgang Puck Express in Gelson's is also so good but may be to "mainstream" for some. Hope this helps!

Aug 29, 2007
gundy1814 in Los Angeles Area

RW Review: Lima

I went to Lima with a group of 7 people and had an overall pleasant and fun experience, with a couple exceptions.

Started off with bread and lime butter. The butter was very tasty and the bread was good/fresh but had a pretty crusty shell which made it hard to eat. The choices for the RW menu at Lima were somewhat limited. Most of my group got the ceviche of the day for an appetizer. It was good but not amazing. The flavors were there but the fish was chewy at times. We had to have the ceviche mixto so it had shrimp, tuna, salmon, and some sort of white fish. I would have liked one with all one type of fish but what can you do.

For entres there was a choice of a cuban chicken dinner (good but not a ton of flavor) a salmon dish with a corn tamale (well prepared and tasty) and a churrasco (flat iron steak). I got the churrasco and ordered it medium- it came super rare, so I sent it back. It came back fairly quickly and still looked a little undercooked but I was not in the mood. It was actually a very nice, very flavorful piece of meat and the sauce was wonderful but there wasn't enough of it (billed as a chimichurri but it was definitely not a traditional chimichurri). It came with plain white rice and grilled vegetables. Also, the chicken came with fried plantains which I was so excited to taste but they were thin and not quite crispy but not soft either. Boo.

Before I get to dessert, let me say a little about the service. We were being served all night by the maitre'd with help from others, and he was kinda rude. I think he took one look at us 20-somethings and decided he didn't need to be nice. We had to ask what the ceviche of the day was and he didn't crack a smile the whole night. Then he told us that dessert was "chocolate cake and orange cake." As an "emerging foodie" trying to enjoy restaurant week, I thought that was kinda curt and annoying (am I being too harsh?) So I said, what kind of cake is it? I got a little bit more out of him but then gave up and went for the chocolate... which ended up being excellent. Almost like a souffle but without the gooey inside and served with melty ice cream.

Also, their decor is very cool and the space itself (which is a bar/ club downstairs) is impressive, though it was loud and hard to hear anyone who wasn't sitting right next to me. Here's a link to their RW menu: Would love to hear about anyone else's experiences here.

Lima Restaurant
1401 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20005

RW Review: Ceiba

Glad you had a great meal! (the panna cotta did look good too)

RW Review: Ceiba

Hi all,

This is my very first restaurant review as a chowhounder so I hope I do a good job!

Just went to Ceiba and had a delicious experience. To start, flatbread with a pumpkin seed dipping sauce ( I thought it was a salsa at first!) For appetizers, I had the conch chowder and my friend had the yellow tomato gazpacho. Both had a lot of spice and flavor. The chowder had lots of variation - carrots, potatoes, lots of conch and sweet corn cakes, and the gazpacho was smooth and spicy goodness. The best part though was how they were served - they place bowl with the "accouterments" in the bottom and then pour the soup in from a single serving sized pitcher... very cute.

We got to choose from the full menu of entrees (only 2 choices had an extra charge) and we both went for the Seared Yellowfin Tuna and Crab Stuffed Aji Amarillo. What a dish! The tuna came with a bright asparagus slaw and some really tasty purple mashed potatoes. All the flavors and textures worked very well together. We also got this great fried pepper stuffed with good quality crab. The whole thing was very unique IMO.

For dessert, we got a flan and the chocolate brownie w/ ice cream and cherries. I knew the flan would be better but we wanted a little variety. Well, the flan was AMAZING. My friend and I both agreed it was one of the best flans we'd ever had. Smooth texture, very flavorful, and topped with a vanilla whipped cream, as well as the traditional flan caramel liquid. They also brought us a bit of caramel corn at the end as an extra treat.

All in all, a great experience. The service was very good, and my water was refilled often. The decor is not amazing but it's a big space and fun to look around. I recommend it!

1341 G St NW Frnt 2, Washington, DC 20005

Go Gonpachi before it's gone

ditto the handmade soba noodles and the sake. other than that the food was not bad per se but it's high prices for small amounts of food, so unless you have unlimited funds you might break the bank AND leave hungry. The decor is very cool though... i suggest going to have a drink at their bar (my bartender the night I went was very nice and let us try some sakes before ordering them), taking a look around the main dining area, and then getting dinner somewhere else!

Aug 05, 2007
gundy1814 in Los Angeles Area

Best Chinese in West LA?

I like Fu's Palace on Pico ( I go here with my grandpa which tells you a couple of things: 1) they give you a lot of food, 2) it is very reasonably priced, 3) it's old people-friendly. That being said, it is great Chinese food.. I've never had a dish there I didn't like, plus the staff is friendly. A couple of my friends who live in the area like this place for take out. It reminds me of the now closed Mandarin Wok in the valley in terms of quality (anyone remember that place? I basically grew up there... best wonton soup ever). Anyway- hope you find a place you like!

Aug 05, 2007
gundy1814 in Los Angeles Area

Good Thai Restaurants at Dupont?

There is also Thaiphoon ( which I went to recently. I liked their Pad Thai better than the one at Mai Thai. It also has a nice front area with lots of windows. My friend's curry was very tasty as was my other friend's spicy noodle dish of some sort. Haven't tried Sala Thai...

Lobster bisque?

the lobster bisque (among many other things) at Cafe Bizou in Sherman Oaks is very good.

Jul 28, 2007
gundy1814 in Los Angeles Area

Best Ethiopian? Old standbys are loosing steam.

I recently went to Zed's in Georgetown. Apparently this is not your typical Ethiopian experience b/c you sit at tables, not on the floor. And, to be honest, this was my first ever Ethiopian experience so I don't have much to go off of. But, I really liked it. They have both a vegetarian and meat sampler so you can essentially try many of their dishes. Not sure how well-priced the menu is in comparison to other places. Anyone anti-Zed's?

Best Brunch in Dupont Circle?

Hi nspen,

Unfortunately no quiche but the Afterwords Cafe (@ Kramerbooks) has a great brunch (just went a couple weekends ago).

Included in the price of brunch are some yummy muffins, OJ, coffee and a mimosa! I had the tomato/ avocado eggs benedict and it was great. Food that kept being served around us looked good as well. Basically you get a lot of stuff for less than $20 including tax and tip.

Good luck finding some quiche!

Birthday Dinner Recommendation in DC

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions! I will let you know where I end up going/ how it all works out. Really appreciate it!

Birthday Dinner Recommendation in DC

Hi all!

I'd love to get your input on a fun place for a birthday dinner with friends. I'm new to the area and have only tried a couple of places so far. Near Dupont would be great but I'm happy to go anywhere that is close to a metro stop. I'm looking for a place w/ a good atmosphere, good food (obviously) and not super expensive since I don't want to impose on others. Also, a place where you get a sense that they let you linger for a while would be a plus. Finally, if you guys know of anywhere that does something fun for your birthday [a big flaming dessert perhaps? :) ] that would be great to know too.

Thanks so much in advance, can't wait to hear your suggestions!

Frozen Yogurt in DC


Frozen Yogurt in DC

Thanks for the info! I tried thomas sweets today and liked it... it hit the fro yo spot.

Japanese BBQ? Grill at table?

hi there

im from la and gyu kaku is a good bet. there are a few locations and what puts them above the rest is the variety of marinades you can choose for your meats and seafoods. they even give you suggestions for pairings. i've been several times and always enjoy it.

good luck!

Jun 16, 2007
gundy1814 in Los Angeles Area

Frozen Yogurt in DC

Hi All,

I'm a recent transplant from LA and I cannot find any frozen yogurt place in DC! Any info would be much appreciated.

Thanks so much!