In Search of...Excellent Asian/Chinese in Skokie Area
Hi all. I moved to Skokie from the city about 4 months ago and I am seriously missing the great Chinese food I used to get from my fave take-out delivery place (Jade East on Lincoln).
Skokie seems to have a plethora of Chinese restaurants of the gooey-sauce, under-seasoned, limp vegetable, greasy egg roll style. They're all tuned to the tastes of the older population of Skokie who seem to like things not-too-spicy, please. BUT, there are so many Asians who live here I can't imagine there's not a good place for them.
I'm looking for really fresh, well-seasoned, good Chinese, preferably that's close enough to the Western border of Skokie (I'm spitting distance to Old Orchard) for delivery.
Any thoughts on Thai, Vietnamese, and Indian in the area would also be appreciated!
Thanks for the suggestions so far. Keep them coming! The Korea-Chinese thing is one I've noticed, and been somewhat wary. I've had some bad luck with Korea-Japanese before although the -Hana (Akai-; Shiroi-, No-) restaurants, which I believe are Korean-owned are EXCELLENT; so I've been somewhat hesistant to pursue restaurants that are obvious Korea/Chinese hybrids. We've had recommendations for Great Beijing, but apparently they suffered a fire last year. Any idea if they're back open? I suppose I could call!
I will definitely seek out Desiree and Ruby of Siam, which is very close by us-- probably walking distance!
You guys rock!
re: Fran Diamond
re: Fran Diamond
Fran Diamond wrote:
We've had recommendations for Great Beijing, but apparently they suffered a fire last year. Any idea if they're back open?
I drove past Great Beijing this morning they are still closed, but there are building permit signs on the front door, construction trucks in the parking lot and a Coming Soon sign on the side of the building. Seems to me that they are well on the road to reopening.
As far as the food, ~shrug~, I have eaten at GB a few times, including having their version of Jah Jiang Mien, but was not overly enthused. I intend to give them another go after they reopen.
6717 N. Lincoln Ave.
For one of the best Northern Chinese restaurants (Beijing-Mandarin style), go to Nan Garden on Dempster, across the street from Chinatown Restaurant. The same owner/chefs have been there for over a decade.
The restaurant serves authentic Northern style noodles such as Jah Jiang Mien (dark bean sauce noodle) and Tsao Ma Mien (spicy seafood soup noodle).
Their northern style dishes are also excellent: Gan Pong Chicken (with or without bones), Lio San Se (julienned pork seafood in garlicy sauce), Tang Tsu Ro (Sugar-Vinegar Pork - the ancestory and original dish to the Americanized version of "Sweet & Sour Pork")
Is this stuff on an english menu? Where the hell has it been hiding all these years.
I've been searching forever for a "real" northern style place for ages. The folks at Ed's Potsticker house said they were going to expand their offerings, but it has been ages since I've been.
Could you clear up a little confusion for me? The last time you recommended this spot I think it was for "korean-chinese". I noticed that the menu items you've highlighted above are also what I think of as "korean-chinese". Is there an overlap between "northern Chinese" and this? I always thought northern chinese was lamb, sesame bread, that sort of stuff?
Either way, I look forward to trying it out.
If I say Korean-Chinese, I mean that as the style of Chinese food cooked and served in Korea. When I say Northern Chinese, I mean the same as above, but am being a little more specific to mention that since the style of Chinese food served in Korea is mainly Northern Chinese.
That said, your definition of lamb dishes and sesame bread is also part of Northern Chinese style - more related to the Chinese-Islamic style cusine. The Northern Chinese style that I meant - the style where Korean-Chinese food is based on - is mainly from Shandong province.
Confused yet? The reason I use Northern Chinese to describe Nan Garden and other "Korean-Chinese" restaurants is because most people would not know what I'm talking about if I say Shandong cusine - which is the origin of Korean-Chinese food. And that is has nothing to do with Korean food, which is totally different.
Either way, I've never seen the Northern Chinese food that you mentioned served in Chicago. In the SF Bay area, however, there are lots of Northern Chinese-Islamic style restaurants that serve sesame bread and lamb dishes.
As for Northern Chinese-Shandong (Korean-Chinese), Nan Garden is a good example, as well as Great Beijing. And there are tons of these in both Chicago and SF Bay area (where I'm now)
I don't know anything about northern chinese food, but the dishes mentioned for Nan Garden are definitely ones that I would associate with "korean-chinese" food. I haven't been able to find them anywhere else but at a "korean-chinese" restaurant. I know that the proprietors of Nan Garden are ethnic Koreans who were raised in Chquite oftenina. IMHO, the food there isn't quite the best example of "korean-chinese" cuisine. For many years, my family useed to eat there quite often but the food has gone down hill in the last few years. I believe that they changed owners/cooks a few years ago. For my tastes, for whatever they're worth, I am a much bigger fan of Great Beijing on Lincoln Ave (at Pratt) in Lincolnwood. They are also a "korean-chinese" restaurant. They do a very good jia-jian mi-eun, I would order the one with seafood I believe it's called "sam-sun jia-jiang mi-eun" or the "sam-sun jiam-pong" a very spicy broth with noodles and seafood. I don't think that they offer it on the english menu, only on the korean menu on the back. Also, be sure to ask for the cabbage kim-chee and the raw onions and pickled daikon with black bean sauce. I've noticed that they only offer it to the asian customers.
You're correct. The ownership has changed to Koreans, but they're actually related to the original Chinese owners, and more importantly, the cooks. If there's any quality drop, then I'm guessing it's because the head chef has retired and let his son (who cooked alongside him) take over in the kitchen.
As for Great Beijing, yes it's also good. What's the deal with the fire? Are they back in business?
Jiam-pong is actually just the Korean word for Tsao Ma Mien that I mentioned in my post. Similarly, Jia-jiang mi-eun is just the Korean pronounciation for Jah Jiang Mien that I mentioned earlier.
I would suggest Thai Desiree, which Zim first brought to the attention of the Chowhound board last month. I have only had the pleasure of eating two lunches at Thai Desiree, which is really not enough to make an overall judgement, but have been quite pleased with everything I have tried.
Thai Desiree is unusual in that it also serves American diner/coffee shop type food, which I have not tried, in addition to well made, flavorful Thai.
One other place you should put on your must try list is Village Creamery for ice cream. The ice cream itself is excellent, but what sets Village Creamery apart is the wide range of interesting flavors they offer.
I am linking to Zims original Thai Desiree post, but I also suggest you take a peek at Village Creamerys web site to get an idea of their incredible list of flavors. My, current, favorites are Halo Halo and Maiz.
Thai Desiree Restaurant
8000 Lincoln Avenue
Close early (8 pm
Corner of Oakton & Kenton
Skokie, IL 60076
Niles, IL 60714
Corner of Waukegan and Oakton
5920 Lincoln Ave.
They have overall excellent chinese food.. barbecue pork fried rice and eggrolls are awesome here...
Also the standard mongolian beef is top notch.. This place is busy usually on weekends, but its very good food and its also very affordable in price.. :)
For Thai (w/in spitting distance to Old Orchard):
I like this location as well as the Evanston one.
Ruby of Siam
Skokie Fashion Square
9420 Skokie Boulevard
Skokie, Illinois 60076
Monday through Thursday: 11:00am to 10:00pm
Friday: 11:00am to 11:00pm
Saturday: 12:00pm to 11:00pm
Sunday: 12:00pm to 10:00pm
I believe there is a really good chinese restaurant called Chinatown Restaurant somewhere on Dempster Street. The food's excellent and the lunch specials are usually under $4.00/person. If you are looking for a good thai carryout restaurant, try Oparts on Skokie Blvd. Excellent Thai food at very low prices!