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Best Vegetable Dishes in Chinatown or Elsewhere?

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I will be visiting Chicago from Boston next week and am looking for ideas for lunches on Monday and Tuesday. I was thinking of going to Chinatown at least one of those days, since it's convenient from where I'm staying and I've never been.

Other meals planned for this vacation are going to be heavy and meaty, so I'd like something with lots of vegetables (though not necessarily vegetarian). I'll be eating by myself and won't have a chance to eat leftovers, so a single dish that has both protein and vegetables would be ideal, though I'd be open to getting some dumplings or char siu bao (which I love) and a vegetable side. A roasted meat and vegetable rice plate might be ideal for avoiding leftovers.

I'm not yet a fan of kim chi and other fermented items (working on it) and I don't like potatoes or water spinach very much. Otherwise I'm pretty much open to anything. I love spicy food, eggplant, green beans, leafy greens, tofu, meats (not so much pig intestine or tripe, but I do like tendon).

I've searched the board and read lots of threads and was thinking maybe Double Li or Sun Wah or Lao Sze Chuan would be good, but specific dish recommendations would be great.

Thanks very much!

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Lao Sze Chuan
2172 S Archer Ave, Chicago, IL 60616

Double Li
228 W. Cermak Rd., Chicago, IL 60616

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  1. Not a vegetable recommendation but I'm a big fan of the salt & pepper fish at Moon Palace (they do shrimp and squid that way also).

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    Moon Palace Restaurant
    216 W Cermak Rd, Chicago, IL 60616

    1 Reply
    1. re: ferret

      Oh, that sounds delicious. However, from Chicago I'm headed to Indiana, where I inevitably end up eating lots of fried foods (especially glorious breaded pork tenderloin), so I'll probably skip the salt & pepper fish this time. I'll definitely keep it in mind for future trips, though. Thanks!

    2. Uh, there isn't such a thing as a single BEST "Chinese" vegetable dish with meats in it. Just look at the menus and/or ask your server for a suggestion. So many veggie dishes with meats, all good in their own way, so many moods I might find myself in, so little time...

      p.s. Your profile shows a divalent carbon atom. Perhaps you might want to edit it...

      2 Replies
      1. re: huiray

        huiray, hysterical suggestion to maillard. laugh o the day.

        1. re: mrsdebdav

          Glad it tickled your funny bone.

          But on the subject of the OP's request, if he says he likes spicy food then perhaps he should skip Cantonese cuisine and go for Szechuanese and similar. As far as "...a single dish that has both protein and vegetables would be ideal..." (as he says) that would describe a great many of the common dishes in "Chinese cuisine".
          p.s. There isn't really such a thing as "Chinese Food/Cuisine". Rather, there are the cuisines of the various regions of the land mass conveniently known as "China". (There are, in a general sense, "eight great cuisines" recognized in "China")

          Perhaps it might be an idea, then, to go to one of the Szechuanese restaurants and ask what vegetables are particularly good or fresh that day, consider what you are in the mood for, ask what the server suggests, etc. Have two (or even three) dishes, maybe, leave what you can't eat behind if you can't take it with you, they wouldn't be as expensive as what you would spend in a fancy Western Cuisine restaurant. [The subject of why non-Western cuisines seem to be unable to be appreciated as high-level fine-dining cuisine in many places is a separate topic]

      2. The fish fillet with string beans at Moon Palace is a delicious dish that balances a protein & vegetables.

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        Moon Palace Restaurant
        216 W Cermak Rd, Chicago, IL 60616

        2 Replies
        1. re: masha

          That sounds great, thanks!

          1. re: maillard

            If you are at Moon Palace and want a good veggie side, I loved the baby bok choy. Very simply prepared and delicious!

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            Moon Palace Restaurant
            216 W Cermak Rd, Chicago, IL 60616