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Evanston Restaurants

j
Jake123 Nov 16, 2011 11:51 AM

HELP! We recently moved to Evanston from Wrigelyville and are having a difficult time finding good restaurants. We're not food snobs, but like good authentic and somewhat aspirational dishes. We've been to some of the usual's that are fine, but not great - Bluestone, Prairie Moon, Dave's Italian. We did like Convito's in Wilmette and Union Pizza in Evanston. Any suggestions for in and around Evanston??? Thanks in advance!

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  1. f
    ferret RE: Jake123 Nov 16, 2011 12:40 PM

    That Little Mexican Cafe
    Tapas Barcelona
    Pete Miller's
    Joy Yee's

    If you're willing to venture into Skokie:

    Yolo
    Libertad
    Pita Inn
    EJ's

    -----
    That Little Mexican Cafe
    1010 Church St, Evanston, IL 60201

    Tapas Barcelona
    1615 Chicago Ave, Evanston, IL 60201

    Joy Yee
    1221 W 33rd Pl, Chicago, IL 60608

    1 Reply
    1. re: ferret
      j
      Jake123 RE: ferret Nov 18, 2011 06:13 PM

      Thanks for your help! We'll try.

    2. chicgail RE: Jake123 Nov 16, 2011 12:55 PM

      Welcome to Evanston. Here a few great places to try in a lot of price ranges:
      Campanola for Italian
      Dixie Kitchen for southern/n'awleans food
      LePeep for breakfast
      Blind Faith for vegetarian
      Mt. Everest for Nepalese
      Oceanique for fine seafood
      Pete Miller for steaks
      Kuni and Koi for sushi
      Edzos for burgers
      Lulus for dim sum and Pan-Asian
      That LIttle Mexican Cafe for Mexican
      Cross-Rhodes for Greek

      And that's just for starters.

      1. weinstein5 RE: Jake123 Nov 16, 2011 01:07 PM

        Here are some of my favorites -

        Thai Sookdee
        Siam Splendour
        Dixie Kitchen
        Lou Maknati's
        Blind Faith
        Sea Ranch - for all you can eat sushi
        Lucky Platter
        Lulu's

        Other Restaurants to try in nearby areas

        Taboun Grill
        New York Bagel and Bialy or Bagel Country
        Kaufmans Deli (they was a fire but they are reopning)

        -----
        Lucky Platter
        514 Main St, Evanston, IL 60202

        Kaufman's Bagel & Delicatessen
        4905 Dempster St, Skokie, IL 60077

        Bagel Country
        9306 Skokie Blvd, Skokie, IL 60077

        Sea Ranch
        518 Dempster St, Evanston, IL 60202

        Dixie Kitchen & Bait Shop
        825 Church St, Evanston, IL 60201

        Siam Splendour
        1125 Emerson St, Evanston, IL 60201

        Thai Sookdee Restaurant
        1016 Church St, Evanston, IL 60201

        Blind Faith Cafe
        525 Dempster, Evanston, IL 60201

        New York Bagel & Bialy Corporation
        3556 1 2 Dempster St, Skokie, IL

        Taboun Grill
        8808 Gross Point Rd, Skokie, IL 60077

        Lou Malnati's Pizzeria
        1850 Sherman Ave, Evanston, IL 60201

        Sea Ranch
        3217 Lake Ave Ste 8C, Wilmette, IL 60091

        Lulu's
        804 Davis St, Evanston, IL 60201

        Siam Splendour
        1125 Emerson St, Evanston, IL 60201

        1 Reply
        1. re: weinstein5
          j
          Jake123 RE: weinstein5 Nov 18, 2011 06:44 PM

          Very much appreciated! It would have taken a long while before I would have found the Sea Ranch, Kaufman's and Siam Splendour!

          -----
          Sea Ranch
          3217 Lake Ave Ste 8C, Wilmette, IL 60091

          Siam Splendour
          1125 Emerson St, Evanston, IL 60201

        2. nsxtasy RE: Jake123 Nov 16, 2011 01:25 PM

          A difficult time finding good restaurants? In Evanston??? You're just not looking very hard! Gee whiz, last night I had an absolutely fantastic meal, at Campagnola. The short rib I had was great, and the vanilla bean bread pudding may have been the best bread pudding I've ever had anywhere! Think of Campagnola as a neighborhood restaurant, and one that bridges Italian with contemporary American. Don't waste your time with Dave's Italian Kitchen, or Gio next door, both of which are just awful.

          As for other places, most of the recommendations that others have already posted are excellent ones. My particular favorites:

          Campagnola - Italian and contemporary American
          Oceanique - fine seafood
          Chef's Station - casual contemporary American
          Edzo's - burgers and the best shakes ever (closes 4 pm)
          Thai Sookdee - Thai
          Pete Miller's - steaks
          Davis Street Fishmarket - casual seafood
          Stained Glass - wine bar / contemporary American small plates
          Walker Brothers (Wilmette) - breakfast/brunch
          Al's Deli - sandwiches (lunch only) and homemade cookies
          Lupita's - Mexican (although Yolo in Skokie is as good if not better so...)
          Yolo (Skokie) - Mexican
          Libertad (Skokie) - Latin Fusion
          Lou Malnati's - deep-dish pizza
          Giordano's - stuffed pizza
          Pine Yard - Chinese
          Mount Everest - Indian (esp. lunch buffet)
          Lucky Platter - eclectic American
          Lulu's - pan-Asian (esp. "munch a bunch", all you can eat Saturday-Sunday lunches, Monday-Tuesday dinners)
          Panino's - carry-out Italian
          Cross-Rhodes - carry-out Greek
          Dengeo's (Skokie) - carry-out Greek

          -----
          Lucky Platter
          514 Main St, Evanston, IL 60202

          Davis Street Fishmarket
          501 Davis Street, Evanston, IL 60201

          Walker Bros Original Pancake House
          153 Green Bay Rd, Wilmette, IL 60091

          Thai Sookdee Restaurant
          1016 Church St, Evanston, IL 60201

          Lou Malnati's Pizzeria
          1850 Sherman Ave, Evanston, IL 60201

          Oceanique
          505 Main St, Evanston, IL 60202

          Campagnola
          815 Chicago Ave, Evanston, IL 60202

          Pete Miller's Seafood and Prime Steak - Evanston
          1557 Sherman Ave, Evanston, IL 60201

          The Stained Glass
          1735 Benson Avenue, Evanston, IL 60201

          Dengeos Restaurant
          3301 Main St, Skokie, IL 60076

          Pine Yard Restaurant
          1033 Davis St, Evanston, IL 60201

          Cross-Rhodes Restaurant
          913 Chicago Ave, Evanston, IL 60202

          Al's Deli
          914 Noyes St, Evanston, IL 60201

          Chef's Station
          915 Davis Street, Evanston, IL 60201

          Panino's
          1968 Dempster St, Evanston, IL 60202

          Dave's Italian Kitchen
          1635 Chicago Ave, Evanston, IL 60201

          Mount Everest
          630 Church St, Evanston, IL 60201

          Lupita's
          700 Main St, Evanston, IL 60202

          Lulu's
          804 Davis St, Evanston, IL 60201

          Edzo's
          1571 Sherman Avenue, Evanston, IL 60201

          Yolo Mexican Eatery
          5111 Brown St, Skokie, IL 60077

          Libertad
          7931 Lincoln Ave, Skokie, IL 60077

          1 Reply
          1. re: nsxtasy
            j
            Jake123 RE: nsxtasy Nov 18, 2011 07:01 PM

            Thank you very much, especially for Yolo and Libertad. They look great! Agree on Dave's and Gio's, blah. We have been to Campagnola (outstanding) and Convito in Wilmette (very good). Again, thank you for your time and effort!

            -----
            Campagnola
            815 Chicago Ave, Evanston, IL 60202

            Libertad
            7931 Lincoln Ave, Skokie, IL 60077

          2. c
            CathleenH RE: Jake123 Nov 17, 2011 08:18 AM

            I agree with you. I think Evanston dining is extremely mediocre. It's sad, given the number of restaurants. There are only three I really like: Union Pizzeria, Campagnola and The Cellar, which is the casual sister to The Stained Glass.

            Fraiche on Noyes is nice for lunch, but gets really crowded. My husband likes Al's. Kuni's is o.k.

            Other non-Evanston suggestions I'll second: Pita Inn, Taboun Grill, Kaufman's Deli (takeout), and Walker Brothers. Yolo and Libertad look promising, but I haven't tried them yet. I do like Wholly Frijoles in Lincolnwood.

            I haven't been to some of the high end restaurants in ages - Stained Glass, Chef's Station, Pete Miller's. I had a really nice meal at Oceanique a few years back that ended with the most bizzarely pathetic dessert tray I have ever seen in a fine dining establishment. Unless they have a new pastry chef, plan on not getting dessert.

            Restaurants I consider desperately mediocre: That Little Mexican Cafe, Joy Yee's, Dixie Kitchen, Blind Faith, Davis Street Fishmarket (way downhill in the last couple of years), Lulu's, Lucky Platter (o.k. for breakfast), Pine Yard, Dengeo's... Lupita's is dreadful.

            On the bright side, with Whole Foods and the great markets of Skokie, especially the wonderful Marketplace on Oakton, we are well set up for grocery shopping. Cook more.

            -----
            Lucky Platter
            514 Main St, Evanston, IL 60202

            Wholly Frijoles
            3908 W Touhy Ave, Lincolnwood, IL 60712

            Blind Faith Cafe
            525 Dempster, Evanston, IL 60201

            Taboun Grill
            8808 Gross Point Rd, Skokie, IL 60077

            Oceanique
            505 Main St, Evanston, IL 60202

            Campagnola
            815 Chicago Ave, Evanston, IL 60202

            The Stained Glass
            1735 Benson Avenue, Evanston, IL 60201

            Dengeos Restaurant
            3301 Main St, Skokie, IL 60076

            Pine Yard Restaurant
            1033 Davis St, Evanston, IL 60201

            Chef's Station
            915 Davis Street, Evanston, IL 60201

            That Little Mexican Cafe
            1010 Church St, Evanston, IL 60201

            Pita Inn
            3910 Dempster St, Skokie, IL 60076

            Union Pizzeria
            1245 Chicago Ave, Evanston, IL 60202

            Joy Yee
            1221 W 33rd Pl, Chicago, IL 60608

            Davis Street Fishmarket
            501 Davis St, Evanston, IL 60201

            Libertad
            7931 Lincoln Ave, Skokie, IL 60077

            22 Replies
            1. re: CathleenH
              nsxtasy RE: CathleenH Nov 17, 2011 08:27 AM

              I disagree with many of the comments in the above post.

              For example, the desserts at Oceanique are thoroughly outstanding, from their signature "day and night (chocolate mousse) cake", to their fruit tarts (made with real pate sucre), to their mille fueilles (real creme patissiere). If you enjoy great French-style desserts, you should really try them and see for yourself. Oceanique also has terrific savory food - not just the seafood in which they specialize, but also their soups, sauces, etc. Just a great all-around restaurant.

              Lupita's is decent - not at all "dreadful" - but it's worth noting that their best dishes are the weekly specials, much more so than the conventional dishes on their everyday menu.

              Regarding Libertad, I ate there last week, and it's a terrific new addition to Skokie. They're sort of Latin fusion with an emphasis on provincial Mexican. Their spicy crab cakes are excellent. Yolo is excellent too, and BYOB; it's tiny, so I recommend calling ahead for a reservation, even during the week. I forgot to mention Kabul House, which has excellent Afghan food in downtown Skokie.

              I've been to the Stained Glass twice in the past year, and it's been excellent both times. Try it - but don't go on a Saturday night without a reservation, as they get very busy.

              I've been to Davis Street Fishmarket a couple times a year for many years; for a while it wasn't so good but the last couple of years it's been as good as ever.

              One place I really don't like is Union; I think their pizza is dreadful. I don't know how the owners of such a great place as Campagnola can turn out such awful food. However, you should know that Space is right behind Union, and has a full concert program including some top acts ( www.evanstonspace.com ). They let you bring in pizza from Union, but even if you have seating at a table, the tables are tiny and you're probably going to be eating the pizza out of your lap.

              There are plenty of excellent restaurants in Evanston as well as nearby, as you can see from the other posts above. They include everything from top-notch fine dining (Oceanique, Chef's Station, I've heard Quince is much better lately too), to terrific neighborhood bistros (Campagnola, Stained Glass), to great ethnic restaurants (Thai Sookdee - best tom kha gai in Chicagoland), to inexpensive treasures like Edzo's and Al's Deli. You need to try them with an open mind and decide for yourself.

              Oh, and as for cooking at home, there are some great specialty shops around, too - especially the Spice House on Central Street, and Zier's in Wilmette for prime meats. Sam's Club has some great prices on meat for everyday cooking.

              -----
              Zier's Prime Meats & Poultry
              813 Ridge Rd, Wilmette, IL 60091

              Union Pizzeria
              1245 Chicago Ave, Evanston, IL 60202

              Kabul House
              4949 Oakton St, Skokie, IL 60077

              Spice House
              1941 Central St, Evanston, IL 60201

              1. re: nsxtasy
                c
                CathleenH RE: nsxtasy Nov 17, 2011 09:26 AM

                Maybe the French pastry chef was on vacation last time I dined at Oceanique! It was several years ago, so I'll trust you that my experience was not the norm.

                nsxtasy, we've been at odds over Lupita's for a long time. Did I say it was "dreadful"? Make that "beyond dreadful". Maybe Jake123 will be brave enough to try it and post back. Jake, I will vouch that nsxtasy has provided me with much valuable information, but on a few points, we have to agree to disagree. (Union's pizza dreadful!?)

                Ahhh, Kabul House. How I loved the old Dempster Street location. I at there at least twice a month. It was my favorite place for honest, home-cooked comfort food. I've only been to the new downtown location once, and was so disappointed I haven't been able to bring myself to return. The food just did not show anything like the same finesse and love that I remember. Did I catch it at an off time, or is it really not what it used to be?

                -----
                Oceanique
                505 Main St, Evanston, IL 60202

                Kabul House
                4949 Oakton St, Skokie, IL 60077

                1. re: CathleenH
                  nsxtasy RE: CathleenH Nov 17, 2011 10:58 AM

                  I still disagree, but of course you're welcome to your opinion. And yes, I thought the pizza at Union was indeed dreadful. (Fortunately, Lou Malnati's and Giordano's both offer great pizza as alternatives.) As for Lupita's, as I mentioned, the weekly specials have been better than the rest of the menu; I've particularly enjoyed whatever fresh fish they have for the specials, everything from filet-type flat fish to octopus. I haven't been recently, though - mostly because I've been trying other Mexican places, with relatively nearby ones including not only Yolo and Libertad in the city, but also Mixteco Grill and Dorado.

                  I had never been to Kabul House at the old location on Dempster, so I have no past basis for comparison. I've been to the new location on Oakton twice this year, once for lunch and once for dinner, and I really liked it both times. I don't know about finesse or love, but I thought everything was delicious, as well as unusual and different from other cuisines.

                  In Evanston itself, my most recent experiences (within the past year or so) of truly outstanding meals have been at Oceanique, Stained Glass, Chef's Station, Campagnola, Pete Miller's, and in the category of "cheap eats", Edzo's. I haven't been to Quince in several years but I'm hearing very good things from others.

                  1. re: nsxtasy
                    nsxtasy RE: nsxtasy Nov 17, 2011 07:58 PM

                    Since you mentioned the Cellar, I went there for dinner tonight. This was my first time there, although I have eaten at the Stained Glass numerous times. (They are not only owned by the same folks, but they actually share a single kitchen, and there are dishes that appear on both menus.)

                    All in all, I thought it was okay, with one big hit but more misses. I had the steamed mussels, which were okay, not as hot as they should be, and the broth was really watery (a good mussels dish should have a broth that's tasty enough to eat on its own and/or dip toast into, which this wasn't). I had the baked scallops, which didn't have much scallop flavor; there were three slices of scallop that may have only totalled about one scallop. (Compare this to the sea scallops at Chef's Station, which are full of scallop flavor, just a great dish over there.) I also had the bleu cheese beignets, which were tasty but had zero bleu cheese flavor. So none of the three savory dishes were really impressive. The menu did not have my favorite savory dishes at the Stained Glass, like their wonderful "Foie Gras B.L.T."

                    Fortunately, things improved with dessert. I ordered the "chocolate cubed" (chocolate3), which had three different items: a mini chocolate dome in a tuile cookie, chocolate-graham cracker tart with burnt marshmallow, and chocolate milkshake. All three were excellent.

                    Next time, I'd do what I've done in the past when I wanted "small plates" - go to the Stained Glass (or, better yet, Chef's Station) and order a bunch of appetizers. Both places are much better than the Cellar, IMHO.

                    -----
                    The Stained Glass
                    1735 Benson Avenue, Evanston, IL 60201

                    Chef's Station
                    915 Davis Street, Evanston, IL 60201

                    The Cellar
                    820 Clark St, Evanston, IL 60201

                    1. re: nsxtasy
                      l
                      lbs RE: nsxtasy Nov 17, 2011 08:28 PM

                      The Chef's Station was my first "fine dining" experience. It was 5 years ago but I do remember the meal fondly. I can't totally recommend it because it was so long ago but I do want to go back. The only reason i haven't- besides the crazy amount of new restaurants to try - is driving logistics. We don't own cars and where we live now makes it a hassle to get to Evanston. But I'm dying to drive Edzo's and Campagnola. And will get there by public transporation soon. Honestly, I think Evanston has as much if not more than Wrigleyville. You pretty much of have to get out of Wrigleyville to get a good meal and Evanson is the same (not that you have to get out because it is bad but the best meals in Wrigleyville are outside of W'ville and the best meals in Evanston while some are inside others are outside the 'downtown' area if that makes sense)

                      -----
                      Campagnola
                      815 Chicago Ave, Evanston, IL 60202

                      Chef's Station
                      915 Davis Street, Evanston, IL 60201

                      Edzo's
                      1571 Sherman Avenue, Evanston, IL 60201

                      1. re: lbs
                        nsxtasy RE: lbs Nov 17, 2011 08:59 PM

                        In Lakeview/Wrigleyville, if you're anywhere near the CTA (Red Line), the places in Evanston are very convenient to public transportation. Even more so in weekday afternoons/evenings, when the Purple Line runs express from Belmont (last northbound train leaves Belmont at 7:41 pm); at other hours you'll need to change trains from the Red Line to the Purple Line at Howard. Chef's Station is right next to the Davis CTA station, and Edzo's is a block and a half from there. Campagnola is a block south of the Main station. If you're near the Ravenswood stop on Metra, the Metra trains stop at the same Metra stops in Evanston, where the Metra station of the same name is right next to the CTA station.

                        1. re: lbs
                          j
                          Jake123 RE: lbs Nov 18, 2011 07:24 PM

                          I agree with Wrigleyville itself. To clarify, I was speaking of the restaurants within the area. Similar to driving Evanston. We mostly ate outside of Wrigleyville. My point was that we are having a difficult time finding really good middle restaurants (not high end, but more any night of the week places). I feel I got a good handful from all of the posts, so we're excited to try them. Do you have any reco's for Glenview, or Wilmette? Thanks!

                          1. re: Jake123
                            c
                            CathleenH RE: Jake123 Nov 19, 2011 06:52 AM

                            Wilmette? No. Except Walker Brothers, of course. And Homer's Ice Cream is a much-loved institution.

                            Glenview? No. Except there is a branch of Pita Inn that is much less cramped and chaotic than the Skokie location. If you're in the area at lunchtime, there's a bakery/cafe on Waukegan called Sweet Dreams. It's organic and owned by a central European woman who pulls her own strudel. She also makes a lot of vegan baked goods and some not so great American cakes. Because I so want to love this place, I've taken the time to sample pretty widely to figure out what's actually good. And the answer is spinach ricotta strudel, which is worth stopping for. You can get a tiny piece of it with a bowl of soup for a light and expensive lunch. Because of the organics, the place is really pricey. Some of the European tortes have been good though some are heavy with a lot of dense buttercream. There is usually a sponge cake with whipped cream and fresh berries which is nice.

                            Such as it is, Evanston is really the dining Mecca of the North Shore, unless you venture as far north as Highwood.

                            -----
                            Homer's Ice Cream
                            1237 Green Bay Rd, Wilmette, IL 60091

                            Pita Inn
                            3910 Dempster St, Skokie, IL 60076

                            Sweet Dreams
                            343 E 47th St, Chicago, IL 60653

                            1. re: CathleenH
                              j
                              Jake123 RE: CathleenH Nov 19, 2011 10:10 AM

                              Much appreciate!!!

                        2. re: nsxtasy
                          c
                          CathleenH RE: nsxtasy Nov 17, 2011 08:32 PM

                          I wonder if the mussels were bland because they were steamed in ale, or if it's a problem with the mussels themselves. I just bought some from Whole Foods about a week ago. They were from Canada. I steamed them with white wine and they were bland - both the mussels and the liquor. Small mussels, too.

                          Bummer about the scallops. My Cellar favorites are the bleu cheese beignets, shrimp & grits and lobster curry.

                        3. re: nsxtasy
                          chicgail RE: nsxtasy Nov 18, 2011 06:19 AM

                          I had been to Chef's Station years ago and thought it was ok, but not great, but decided to try it because of posts here. Maybe they hit their stride. Maybe they had a new chef or management I invited friends to join us and told them what I had read.

                          Our experience was that the place was nearly empty, one fish dish was undercooked one other dish was under-seasoned and everything else was under-welming. And we paid as much as we would have paid for a really good meal. I wound up apologizing for the choice of restaurant that night.

                          These recommendations notwithstanding I can't in good faith recommend this place. There are much better options.

                          1. re: chicgail
                            nsxtasy RE: chicgail Nov 18, 2011 06:27 AM

                            The management (Peter Mills, the owner, is usually on site) and chef (Jose Romero) of Chef's Station have not changed in recent years.

                            Your experience is the exact opposite of mine, other than that the place is indeed often empty during the week, busier on weekends. I have only had excellent food there (on numerous occasions, not just one), and have never had any problems such as you describe. I don't know if yours was "a bad night" or just a matter of different tastes, but opinions differ, no big deal. < shrug >

                            Now, you can have the last word, because I know how much that means to you...

                            -----
                            Chef's Station
                            915 Davis Street, Evanston, IL 60201

                            1. re: nsxtasy
                              chicgail RE: nsxtasy Nov 18, 2011 07:43 AM

                              I was there on a Saturday night. The management was very nice to us. We just didn't think the food was any good. Bad night? Maybe. But it supported my previous unremarkable experiences there. I won't be going back.

                              Nsxtasy, you and I know that there are places you rave about that I can't see at all and vice versa. We have different palates, expectations and preferences. Some people like what you like; others prefer what I like. I guess people will have to find out for themselves.

                        4. re: CathleenH
                          j
                          Jake123 RE: CathleenH Nov 18, 2011 07:19 PM

                          I'm glad you're both open and honest! It's like watching a tennis match! I'll try Lupita's at some point. If my views on Union's is any indication, I'm going to be falling Cathleen's way as we really enjoyed the food, beer selection and atmosphere. But we won't know until we hit up Lupita's! Thanks to you both!

                        5. re: nsxtasy
                          j
                          Jake123 RE: nsxtasy Nov 18, 2011 07:15 PM

                          Thanks for your thoughts. I'm really excited to try Libertad and Yolo and I'll look up Kabul House. We haven't tried Stained Glass, but I'm hear a lot of good things, so we'll set up some reservations. We have bought meats from Ziers and spices from theSpice house. Two great treats in the city!

                          -----
                          The Stained Glass
                          1735 Benson Avenue, Evanston, IL 60201

                          Kabul House
                          4949 Oakton St, Skokie, IL 60077

                          Libertad
                          7931 Lincoln Ave, Skokie, IL 60077

                        6. re: CathleenH
                          chicgail RE: CathleenH Nov 17, 2011 09:42 AM

                          I agree with much of what you said, Cathleen, but not all of it.

                          I think two of the most over-rated restaurants in Evanston are Stained Glass and Chef's Station. Davis St. Fishmarket used to be excellent, but not in years. Pine Yard and Lupitas are, indeed, dreadful. I have also heard disparaging things about Merle's recently, but there is still - and always - Hecky's ("it's the sauce") for barbeque carry out.

                          I still enjoy That LIttle Mexican Cafe, Dixie Kitchen, Blind Faith and Lulus, mostly for brunch or lunch, however.

                          Kaufman's has the best deli in the area, but was recently damaged by a fire and may not be open.

                          1. re: chicgail
                            nsxtasy RE: chicgail Nov 17, 2011 11:15 AM

                            I consider Pine Yard adequate - not great, not dreadful, and for those who live in Evanston, it beats traveling all the way to Chinatown. Same thing for China Chef in Morton Grove, which has its fans. I have yet to find a really great Chinese restaurant in Chicagoland outside Chinatown, other than the super-expensive Shanghai Terrace in the Pen. But I'm open to suggestions, if anyone has any.

                            This past weekend I ate at 527 Cafe in downtown Evanston, which offers Taiwanese cuisine. It didn't blow me away, but I thought it was interesting, because it was different from the more common Cantonese, Szechuan, and Hunan cuisines.

                            I think the barbecue at both Merle's and Hecky's is just not very good at all.

                            According to their website at www.kaufmansdeli.com Kaufman's will remain closed for at least the rest of this month. I assume that's the best place to get updates on their status. In the meantime, Steve's Deli in River North remains excellent, and is convenient to public transportation (Merchandise Mart el stop) and offers free validated parking in the Petco/Ace lot behind the deli.

                            -----
                            Hecky's BBQ
                            1902 Green Bay Rd, Evanston, IL 60201

                            China Chef
                            5920 Lincoln Ave, Morton Grove, IL 60053

                            Merle's Barbecue
                            1727 Benson Ave, Evanston, IL 60201

                            1. re: nsxtasy
                              nsxtasy RE: nsxtasy Nov 17, 2011 01:17 PM

                              Adding the link for 527 Cafe...

                              -----
                              527 Cafe
                              527 Davis St, Evanston, IL 60201

                              1. re: nsxtasy
                                d
                                debbypo RE: nsxtasy Dec 1, 2011 10:34 PM

                                I think the best Chinese north of Chinatown is Sun Wah on Broadway just north of Argyle. I particularly like their hot and sour soup and the ginger and scallion fish fillets. Also good are the shrimp dumpling soup and the beef with bitter melon. Those who like duck praise theirs.

                                -----
                                Sun Wah
                                5039 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60640

                            2. re: CathleenH
                              j
                              Jake123 RE: CathleenH Nov 18, 2011 07:06 PM

                              I'm in your camp on a lot of what you said. Coming from the city where there's so much to choose from to an area where people you'd expect desire good fare, we're surprised there isn't much catering to them/us. We love Union and Campagnola, but haven't tried The Cellar. Wholly Frijoles is very good and someone mentioned Yolo's in Skokie, which looks very promising.Completely agree on Little Mexican, Joy and Davis Fish. I'd also add Dave's Italian and Gio...not good at all. I thought Lulu's was good, but probably would only go back if I had a reason. I haven't tried Lucky Platter. I was hoping I found a good breakfast place. I'll still try it. We go to Ridgeview which is fine, but can't find anything else like Orange or Kitch'n in the city. Again, thanks for your time and effort!

                              -----
                              Lucky Platter
                              514 Main St, Evanston, IL 60202

                              Wholly Frijoles
                              3908 W Touhy Ave, Lincolnwood, IL 60712

                              Campagnola
                              815 Chicago Ave, Evanston, IL 60202

                              Ridgeview Restaurant
                              827 Ridge Rd, Wilmette, IL 60091

                              Little Mexican Cafe
                              1055 W Bryn Mawr Ave Ste C, Chicago, IL 60660

                              1. re: Jake123
                                nsxtasy RE: Jake123 Oct 19, 2012 02:33 PM

                                >> I was hoping I found a good breakfast place. I'll still try it. We go to Ridgeview which is fine, but can't find anything else like Orange or Kitch'n in the city.

                                The best breakfast place around Evanston is Walker Brothers. Heck, it's one of the very best in the entire Chicago area, with terrific sweet dishes like their huge, puffy apple pancake and German pancake, and savory dishes like the excellent omelets. Granted, it's technically not in Evanston; it's just over the border in Wilmette. And, like all great breakfast places, it gets very busy on weekend mornings.

                                Evanston itself has Le Peep, which is not particularly good IMHO.

                                >> there are some great breakfast/brunch places nearby in Andersonville.

                                M. Henry is at the north end of Andersonville, and its sister restaurant M. Henrietta is a bit further north and east in Edgewater, next to the Granville el stop.

                                In my experience (numerous visits to all of these except M. Henrietta), Orange and Kitsch'n are pretty good, but Walker Brothers and M. Henry are far, far better.

                                1. re: nsxtasy
                                  weinstein5 RE: nsxtasy Oct 20, 2012 09:58 AM

                                  I would add for breakfast places - Dixie Kitchen - there eggs sardou is on of my favorites and Blind Faith where my go to breakfast i sthe Aztec Hash 0

                            3. j
                              Jake123 RE: Jake123 Nov 17, 2011 10:22 AM

                              I'd like to thank all of you for your time and thoughts. It is truly appreciated!!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Jake123
                                l
                                lizwings RE: Jake123 Oct 19, 2012 02:04 PM

                                You're missing out on some great places!

                                Bistro Bordeaux for great French, Al's Deli for lunch, Pensiero has an amazing truffle pasta dish (Tagliatelle al Tartufo), Quince for fine dining, Zoba Noodle for great Thai (some of the best Pad See Ew I've had outside of Thailand), Addis Abeba for fun Ethiopian, Celtic Knot, Siam Pasta for a cute outdoor balcony, and Sashimi Sashimi for cheap reliable sushi. I'm looking forward to Found Kitchen opening up, too- that looks very promising. Oh, and whatever else is said about Davis St. Fish Mkt, I would heartily recommend their Firecracker Shrimp appetizer.

                                Agree with some other reviewers: The Cellar is good, Walker Brothers Original Pancake House, Cross-Rhodes, Stained Glass, Kuni's... but both Lulu's and Pete Millers are hit or miss, and never been impressed with Dave's Italian. Very Meh.

                                And... though you said you liked them, I had one of the worst meals ever at Kitsch'n, so I would never recommend them to anyone! But there are some great breakfast/brunch places nearby in Andersonville.

                                Bistro Bordeaux
                                618 Church St.

                                Addis Abeba
                                1322 Chicago Ave.

                                Zoba Noodle
                                1565 Sherman

                                Celtic Knot
                                626 Church St.

                                Pensiero
                                1566 Oak (in the Margarita Inn)

                              2. nsxtasy RE: Jake123 Mar 18, 2013 07:24 AM

                                Found is the new small-plates-oriented restaurant in the former Gio location in downtown Evanston. It's from Amy Morton of the famous Morton family of restauranteurs, with Nicole Pederson, formerly of C-House, helming the kitchen.

                                Last month we went there on Valentine's Day. They were thankfully serving from their normal menu, no "special" jacked-up prices for the holiday (like some places we've encountered). We arrived early, no waits, but waits started forming around 5:15; the hostess said that the waits were comparable to a normal Friday or Saturday there.

                                We thought the food was consistently excellent; we liked all the dishes! Our favorite dish was their whole roasted fish, which that night was trout. The service was very friendly and helpful, without seeming in any way forced or artificial. The entire experience was welcoming and enjoyable. Found is a welcome addition to the vibrant, diverse dining scene in Evanston, and we look forward to returning often in the future.

                                One other thing worth mentioning. Above the bar is a dropped ceiling with quotes painted on the underside. One is from the owner's late father, Arnie Morton: "If you can afford to eat here, you can afford to wear whatever you want!"

                                Found
                                1631 Chicago Avenue
                                Evanston, Illinois 60201
                                (847) 868-8945
                                www.foundkitchen.com
                                Dinner only, closed Mondays

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