Original Kman's Profile

Title Last Reply

Where can I find really good cans of sardine?

I like the Matiz-Gallego brand. They are Spanish but are caught in waters of Galicia, so for all intents and purposes they are Portuguese sardines. They are sold in a number of places as well as online (Amazon); I usually pick mine up at the Binny's South Loop (Jefferson & Roosevelt).

Sep 04, 2010
Original Kman in Chicago Area

Bham area - Let's talk barbecue

Ahh, thank you Dax! At least once a year I use B'ham as a stopover for an extended drive and I've been stymied in my search for a BBQ place that is not far off my track that's worth visiting. Saw's sounds like a good addition to the scene and I'll be checking it out when I pass through in two weeks - and reporting back here. Good heads-up info on the sauce, now I know to bring my own (I'm a vinegar and pepper guy myself).

Aug 03, 2009
Original Kman in Central South

Emergency help...

Oh - BIG difference. :) Publican is good, quite good. Now that it's only two, though, I'd suggest considering some of Chef Kahan's other establishments such as Blackbird (takes reservations) or next-door neighbor Avec (no res's).

Jul 30, 2009
Original Kman in Chicago Area

Emergency help...

Yikes, a party of 7 at an upscale place on Friday with one day's notice isn't easy. hoppy2468's suggestion to scan opentable is a good one. jbontario's nod to Naha is good - very nice space with a varied menu, all executed quite well. A different option to consider would be Jean Joho's Brasserie Jo. A good place for a group of that size to be able to relax and let down their hair, a bit, but still hit the mark for a nice place to be out and about.

Brasserie JO
59 W. Hubbard St., Chicago, IL 60610

Jul 30, 2009
Original Kman in Chicago Area

Reviews of Avec, Vong's Thai Kitchen, Keefer's, Frontera Grill

Thanks for taking the time to post such thorough and informative reviews. Sounds like you had some good experiences. I am a big fan of all of the places you visited except VTK, but your line "My friend thought it was the best Thai he had ever eaten, but he doesn’t get out much." sums it up quite well. :)

Next time you are in town if your path takes you to the Wrigley area again and you have a taste for Thai DO visit TAC Quick, just a couple blocks north of Wrigley Field on Sheridan/Sheffield (right underneath the Sheridan Red Line "L" stop). My favorite Thai in Chicago and BYOB to boot.

3930 N. Sheridan Rd.
Chicago, IL 60613

Jul 30, 2009
Original Kman in Chicago Area

Good, cheap, authentic Mexican near Gold Coast

Good AND cheap Mexican food is not readily available in the GC/RN area. It's abundant in other neighborhoods that aren't that far a commute from there but within that specific locale you can have good OR cheap, just not both at the same time.

Jul 30, 2009
Original Kman in Chicago Area

best burger within 2 miles of state & lake

Smith & Wollensky and Keefer's both have great burgers are are just across the river.

Apr 21, 2009
Original Kman in Chicago Area

Top 3 Hot Dogs

You don't mention your transportation options. For late night dog-type places if you can get to Jim's Original (mentioned above) you can get a hot dog but, more importantly, you can get the quintessential Chicago Maxwell St Polish Sausage and the Maxwell Pork Chop Sandwich (Bone-in!!! You've been warned). Seriously, grab a Polish and a pork chop (fries included with all sandwiches) for the still very affordable prices - $3.25 for the Polish and $3.55 for the pork chop (again, fries included with each). Jim's is open 24/7 and is True Chicago.
1250 S Union Ave - just west of the Dan Ryan (I-90/94) and just south of Roosevelt Rd.

Edited to add - no disrespect to burgermaven but, imo, Ricobene's stopped being edible years ago. While once upon a time their breaded steak sandwiches were appealing these days they are more like breaded carpet samples. Had they not closed I would have directed a would-be Italian breaded steak devotee to the late and pretty great La Milanesa but since they've gone I don't have a go-to place anymore.

And to chefsalad, enjoy the tournament and your stay!

Apr 04, 2009
Original Kman in Chicago Area

Chicago Cheap Eats Comfort Food

If Al's, Max's, and Mr. Beef are on the list then Johnnie's is a MUST:

Johnnie's Beef
7500 W. North Ave., Elmwood Park
Tel: (708) 452-6000
11AM - Midnight M-Sat, Noon-Midnight Sundays

Jan 31, 2009
Original Kman in Chicago Area

Absolute best burger in Chicago?

+1 to Patty's. Important to note that Patty actually cooks to your order. In this day and age of so many places insisting on not serving a burger anything less than medium-well to well done it's refreshing to be able to get the burger cooked YOUR way (medium rare for me).

Jan 17, 2009
Original Kman in Chicago Area

Need a recommendation between three

If it's only those three to decide between I'd definitely have to go with David Burke's Primehouse.

Dec 28, 2008
Original Kman in Chicago Area

Costco Treasure Hunt: Iberico de bellota ham

I've had the bellota at Binny's and it's delicious.

Dec 19, 2008
Original Kman in Chicago Area

Suggestions near the Old Town School of Folk Music?

You're in luck as there's a LOT of good places to eat around here (my neighborhood). I'm zeroing in, though, on your comment about being very adventerous diners who love ethnic foods - and suggesting that you treat yourself to Spoon Thai. IMO one of the best Thai restaurants in the Chicago metro area (just . . . can't . . . type . . . Chicagoland). Ask for the translated Thai menu (aka "the secret menu", though it's hardly secret really).

Spoon Thai Restaurant
4608 N Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60625
(773) 769-1173

Dec 01, 2008
Original Kman in Chicago Area

Best Short Ribs in the City?

I recognize you were asking for a dinner option but should you have that short ribs craving for lunch I highly recommend Manny's Deli. Especially on Thursdays when you can pair them up with kascha as your (heaping) side. Manny's is open for dinner now, as well, but I'm not certain what the dinner menu options are.

Manny's Deli
1141 S. Jefferson
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 939-2855

I have fond memories of the short ribs at Scylla before Stephanie Izzard closed it but all good things come to an end, I suppose.

Nov 15, 2008
Original Kman in Chicago Area

in search of good variety of Melinda's hot sauces

Count me as a fan of Melinda's as well. Just as an FYI you can also order them online directly from Melindas - http://www.melindas.com/products.html

Jul 02, 2008
Original Kman in Chicago Area

Steak for husband and other options for wife?

Tough to balance the desires of one diner seeking adventure and another that seeks a big hunk o' meat (and I'm not knocking that, sometimes the BHoM is what I crave as well). I would agree with Masha that Keefer's does a great job with steaks while offering an interesting menu of non-meat specials; so many steak places think offering lobster and farm raised salmon gives them a varied menu but Keefer's goes well beyond that. I would suggest, though, that you may wish to consider Blackbird where James Beard award-winning chef Paul Kahan prepares dishes from a very eclectic menu yet offers substantial meat dishes that should appeal to the dedicated carnivore as well.


Jun 16, 2008
Original Kman in Chicago Area

Italian Beef

I'll take that bet. Johnnies has a unique flavor that I'd spot in a blind tasting of any beef-off.

Jun 11, 2008
Original Kman in Chicago Area

Coming in for the Blues Fest seeking Polish food

Not any real selection "downtown" proper near where you are staying so I'd say that jbw's rec for Podhalanka is a good one for being relatively close via a Blue Line L trip. Should you be willing to consider adding a short bus leg to that L trip I'd also suggest Smak-Tak for consideration.

5961 N Elston Ave
Chicago, IL 60646
773 763-1123

For assistance in mapping your trips via public transit while in Chicago hit the http://www.transitchicago.com/ website.

Jun 04, 2008
Original Kman in Chicago Area

New Fox and Obel coming to State Street

What about Flat Top is it that makes it interesting? I've never been so I went to their website. I can't comment on "quick" without having experienced it myself (or knowing someone who has) and I have no idea if it's "cheap" as their website doesn't list prices. I can't say that what I've read on their website is tremendously interesting, to me, but clearly that's a subjective thing - so I'd like to hear from someone that eats there what the draw is.

I guess it's good they have something going in that location but it's a far cry from having a major department store. I do appreciate what I feel is a more convenient location for Fox & Obel.

May 22, 2008
Original Kman in Chicago Area

Charlie Trotter's

It's been a loooong time since I've been (a Democrat was President) so who knows how much the prices have changed; back then I recall the Grand maybe being around $130 and I don't have a good grasp on what the upcharge was for the wine pairings. Honestly just call and ask - they are extremely helpful and want you to enjoy your experience, not be intimidated by it. Months in advance for a res if it's a Friday/Saturday or there's something big in town (like the restaurant convention) but you will find more flexibility for weeknights.

May 13, 2008
Original Kman in Chicago Area

Brasserie Ruhlman and no substitution policies

I respect the right of the restaurant to have, and stick to, whatever policies they may have regarding things like substitutions being allowed and/or being associated with upcharges. That said, I respect the restaurant MUCH more when they defer to the wishes of their patrons and exhibit flexibility as needed, especially when (in JJ's case) doing so doesn't cause much extra effort in the kitchen or significantly alter their costs.

JJ, I would amend your other statement to substitute "especially" for "even", as in my experience Trotter's does their best to provide their guests with whatever it is they want. In a past visit my wife didn't want any fowl or red meat but was interested in the seafood options - placing her in between the vegetable and grand degustation options. They responded with a blended menu that presented her with "left-side" (veggie) courses when the right-side course didn't fit and right-side courses when they were seafood. With an attitude along the lines of "of course, no problem".

May 12, 2008
Original Kman in Chicago Area

liquor store near hyatt regency

Glad it worked out for you. For others in your situation there's a Binny's that's not far at all from there over at Grand & Wells (former site of the late, great, Zimmerman's). Even better pricing than convenience stores with greater selection.


Apr 06, 2008
Original Kman in Chicago Area

Moving to Chicago, no Thai?

Dinein - I saw nothing in the OP's post that would allow one to draw the conclusion that his/her friend is a jerk. One can be misinformed and still be quite pleasant. I'd prefer to start out assuming that in this case the friend simply hasn't been exposed to the many fine Thai options Chicago has to offer and that perhaps the info shared with the OP may ultimately rectify that - perhaps even leading him/her here to CH - where it would be regrettable that they then find that they are the object of name calling.

Apr 01, 2008
Original Kman in Chicago Area

Moving to Chicago, no Thai?

I hope your friend has other qualities worthy of friendship because (s)he would appear to have no knowledge of food, at least Thai food. No good NY-style pizza? A good argument to be made there. No good Thai? Please share with us where your friend has been eating (or what they've been smoking).

Mar 10, 2008
Original Kman in Chicago Area

Chicken Fried Steak?

Heaven on Seven does indeed serve a pretty good chicken fried steak (speaking only for the Garland building location, never had it at the others).

Mar 10, 2008
Original Kman in Chicago Area

Cheese Stands Alone Closed??

How unfortunate. I admit I haven't shopped there in a while but the miserable weather this winter has precluded my normal walks over to Western for cheese shopping. I hope Matt & Sarah are able to find a new location that allows them to prosper (and I hope it's not too far away from me!).

Feb 25, 2008
Original Kman in Chicago Area

Diner Grill (W. Irving Park Rd.)- does it still exist?

"The Slinger . . . Don't ask, just eat". :)

Never got a certificate although I did clean my plate (not like I need another piece of clutter, so no complaints). Bring some good hot sauce to top your Slinger with and it's a great hangover cure.

Sorry to hear they may be having the land under them sold, always liked this place for a good ham & eggs (though liked it more back before City Health banished the bone-in ham they sliced it fresh from).

Jan 01, 2008
Original Kman in Chicago Area

Real BBQ in Chicagoland

I have to disagree with the starting concept that "Real BBQ" is that which is defined by KCBS guidelines.

That said I'm not aware of anyplace in Chicago that meets your requirements - hardwood smoking AND serving ribs, pulled pork, and brisket.

THAT said . . . I don't care. I go to these places to get what I want, not to apply some silly litmus test that allegedly determines whether or not they are serving "real bbq".

I happen to really like a good tips and links combo and two of my faves - Uncle John's and Honey 1 - serve up exactly what I crave. Neither, however, serve brisket and Uncle John's (gasp!) doesn't even serve pulled pork. Doesn't make their ribs/tips/links taste any less delicious, though.

As far as the premise that brisket is the toughest to cook - meh. It's just a matter of patience in my experience.

We DO agree that all the meat jello places are crap, though. :)

Oct 23, 2007
Original Kman in Chicago Area

Looking for salted cod...

It's not Chicago but it's right next door. Go for the salted cod, stay for the great produce selection.

Lincolnwood Produce
7175 N Lincoln Ave
(between Fitch Ave & Kostner Ave)
Lincolnwood, IL 60712
(847) 329-0600

Oct 12, 2007
Original Kman in Chicago Area

24-hour food joints

Diner Grill, home of "The Slinger" - the motto of which is "Don't ask, just eat".
Basic, solid, diner fare in a spartan shell down the street from "The Long Room", a good place to get yourself in the condition that normally precedes a visit to a dive diner. I only order the Slinger when I'm extremely hung over; if I'm just hung over I typically opt for ham, eggs, and hashbrowns. Ham used to be sliced off the bone right in front but the city's inspectors have since quashed that practice.

Diner Grill
1635 W. Irving Park Rd., Chicago
Tel: (773) 248-2030

The Long Room
1612 W Irving Park Rd
Chicago, IL 60613-2512
Phone: (773) 665-4500

Sep 05, 2007
Original Kman in Chicago Area