A challenge for Chicagoans
I have a group that meets for a monthly lunch club. Every month we pick an off-the-beaten-path spot in Chicago. It is usually some type of ethnic food. There are about 8-10 of us every month who attend. And the person picking usually rotates. We have had some great experiences and found some awesome grub.
But, its my turn and I want to pick a winner. Previous hits have been La Unica (cuban in the back of a grocery store on devon), Taste of Peru, some puerto rican sandwich places, Isla Pilipina, etc.
Idea, thoughts?! I want to pick someplace super unique and great!
Taste of Peru
6545 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60626
Isla Pilipina Restaurant
2501 W Lawrence Ave, Chicago, IL 60625
Sun Wah BBQ off Argyle and Broadway is always a home run for me, especially with large groups. Call ahead and reserve a couple of their roast ducks (even for lunch - if only so they can prepare ahead of time, rather than make your group wait forever for them to come out). Anything with house-cured bacon is usually great, as are most of the specials taped to the wall as you walk in. They are also BYO.
Well, almost all of your choices are Latin American. So you could keep to that theme, or go elsewhere. If you want to keep to that theme, I'd go to Mundial Cocina Mestiza in Pilsen. It's creative provincial Mexican, and IMHO the best Mexican in the city - but for whatever reason, a lot of people haven't been there. www.mundialcocinamestiza.com Amelia's is similar - it was actually started by a former partner at Mundial - and I don't think there's any spot more off-the-beaten-path than their location on South Halsted in Back of the Yards. www.ameliaschicago.com The Amelia's folks also recently opened another place called Fogon in West Town. www.fogonchicago.com
If you don't want to keep doing Latin, how about Podhalanka for Polish food? http://chicago.menupages.com/restaurants/podhalanka Or, you could do one of the Asian cuisines, maybe one of the Vietnamese places on Argyle Street, or one of the Indian places on Devon, although I think most Chicagoans have been to some of those. Or, you could do Vermilion, which is a fusion of Indian and Latin. www.thevermilionrestaurant.com
If you want to get away from ethnic entirely, you could go to Deleece for contemporary American fare in Lakeview. www.deleece.com Or go to Southport Grocery in Lakeview for comfort food. www.southportgrocery.com Both these places are outstanding and neither seems to get much attention except from those in the neighborhood.
All of these are open for lunch.
Mundial Cocina Mestiza
1640 W 18th St, Chicago, IL 60608
1549 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60642