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Chicago: Polish, Lithuanian, Bosnian, Italian?

  • j
  • 7

On a recent chow-intensive trip to
Chicago, I managed to try scores of
good hot dog stands (Fluky's in Rogers
Park is nonpariel); dozens of ribs
(every American city should have a barbecue
pit as good as Lem's on 75th St.) and
several examples of what I've fondly
begun to refer to as the Chicago institution
of the Hundred Dollar Meal (Le Francais is
one of the most profoundly silly restaurants
in the universe, but boy, those fellas can
cook).

Still, I found myself untterly incapable of
finding a great Polish restaurant (the beloved
Busy Bee was a recent victim of Wicker Park
gentrification), a great old-time Italian
place, which must exist in droves, or a
Lithuanian place that didn't reek of stale
bacon. Please, oh great mavens--can you
help?

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  1. Also in Chicago is a GREAT korean restaurant called
    cho sun ok....they are known for their naeng myun and
    a wonderful tibetan restaurant called tibetan cafe
    where lies yummy dumplings and a heavenly chili
    chicken dish. If you are in Chicago, they are a must
    and are both very small and easy on the pocket!

    1. d
      Dave Feldman

      Jonathan--

      Fluky's is an amazing place, isn't it? It is indeed the high school hangout of my parents (in the 1930's!). I was lucky enough to meet Fluky himself in 1975, shortly before he died. He claimed to remember my parents, although I have a feeling he was just trying to be nice.

      Never had great Polish food in Chicago, either. Even the Busy Bee was only good IMO, but a charming place nevertheless.

      DF

      1. I'm not a big fan of Polish food, but you might want
        to try Pierogi Inn, 5318 W. Lawrence (& Milwaukee)
        (near Kennedy Expy.)in Jefferson Park, 773-736-4815.
        Otherwise, long, long stretches of Milwaukee Avenue
        are heavily Polish.

        1 Reply
        1. re: stu thalblum

          I'm fact-checking for a novel. In the 1920s, or at any time, would country people in Poland have raised rabbits to eat?

        2. I have a great love for the Polish food at Wausau Inn,
          it's just a few miles south of Chicago. I believe
          it's in South Holland, Glendale. It's a Polish
          buffet. They have wonderful sausage and kraut,
          perogies, etc. Well worth the trip.

          2 Replies
          1. re: L.Perkins
            j
            jonathan gold

            I went to the Warsaw Inn, out behind Midway,
            and you're right--it was good, even though it
            suffered from the usual deficiencies of an
            all-you-can-eat buffet. And the place was
            100 percent Polish: If there was an eye in
            that crowded dining room that wasn't blue,
            I must have missed it.

            I also liked the Orbit up on Milwaukee--very
            fine roast duck with apples, sauerkraut pierogi
            and the thinnest, purest beet soup that
            tasted more like intense beet tea than like borscht.

            1. re: L.Perkins
              l
              Lem Huntington

              For fresh, impeccably prepared polish food, I have to
              recommend Angelika's, just south of Wally's Supermarket
              on Milwaukee Ave. north of Belmont.