It is so hard to find a restaurant that still serves the full relish tray, so impressive to the under-twelve crowd, that harsh criticism seems to stick in one's craw. Ken's is the kind of restaurant that our parents took us to, and made us wear a tie. It is the kind of place that served a "businessman's lunch", with Manhattans aplenty. The food is mostly old-style and hearty, and the portions suited to that fabled businessman. Certainly the recipes have been lovingly handed down since the Eisenhower Administration. There are no surprises, and the familiarity is nostalgia-inducing. They are tolerant of children diners, and the waitstaff seems to have collective eons of experience. Prima-donna diners stay away; new-fangled notions of cuisine and atmosphere will not be tolerated. Is the food good? Yes. Is it comfortable? Yes. Is the service acceptable? Yes. Could Ken's be described as "hip","trendy" or in any way "nouveau"? Never, ever. The place is a museum of mid-century fine dining; they'll be griping about the smoking ban for decades. Wear vintage clothing and Brylcreem and you might have a total time-travel experience.
I'd say that no more than half of Americans have had the sublime pleasure of partaking in a homemade tortilla. And, you can credit that number to the Mexicans that call America home. Made-from-scratch tortillas are a thing of beauty; they're far, far superior to their factory-created counterparts, and based on the number of ingredients they take, it's a wonder why more cooks don't make them. Ahh, such is the convenience of our economy, though. We opt for what is fast and cheap, shunning that which is from the root. Lucky for us, a few places in town, including Huaraches Restaurant, serve only homemade tortillas. In fact, Huaraches makes more than just tortillas. Via an old-school, well-worn Mexican tortilla press, it pops out crude but perfectly shaped sopas, gorditas and huaraches flecked with black beans, which are my favorite. A real huarache is a traditional Mexican sandal (you'd know it if you saw it) made from a leather weave or sometimes the soles of tires, and the food version sort of looks like the shoe.
I would highly recommend this delightful restaurant to anyone living or working in close proximity. I went there for lunch on the last Tuesday of last June only because I happened to be in the area. What a treat! The place was clean and attractive enough. All tables were covered with nice linen. A flat-screen blared a Polish soap opera. An ethnic Chicago atmosphere. A young, sweet waitress greeted me and I ordered the salmon. She offered a choice of salad. I selected some sort of ‘slaw plate’ which had 3 different Polish slaws, each as good as the other. When she served my filet of salmon, I could see that it was in fact a swordfish steak (gotta lose a star), but it looked good. It was delicious! As to sauces, they only had BBQ sauce, so I asked for butter. I was amazed at how something as simple as melted butter on parsley potatoes and fish could taste so good. It was about $15 with tax and tip for a delectable, authentic meal. Will definitely go back!
Sayat Nova may be a little off the beaten path and unfortunately right now a bit hidden by construction but I promise you this, if you take the time to eat there once, you'll never stop going back. The atmosphere is friendly and welcoming and their staff is nothing less than excellent, very eager to please and very considerate and attentive. The Hummus is OUT OF THIS WORLD! I haven't had any better in the city, and their kabobs are also a delight. We love the number 8 and 9 (sauteed chicken and sauteed lamb) and the chicken/spinach special is another treat (and a half!) Try the Armenian coffee, it is sure to give you a jolt and they have alcohol as well. Take it from a local, this place is tops!!!
Absolutely delicious! As everyone else says, the restaurant is pretty pricey (dinner entrees for $14.95 and up), but the food is amazing and portions are huge. Plus, the dinner comes with a buffet of appetizers where you serve yourself. When I went, that included hummus, falafel, tomate soup, chicken barley soup (my favorite!), tabouleh, and maybe one other item. If you're on a budget, come over there for lunch instead. The buffet is $9.95 per person. Whenever you do go, I would recommend any of their chicken entrees with dill rice. If you go for dinner but can't afford the entrees, try the all-you-can-eat appetizer buffet for $9.95.
I have a serious crush on their Special Pizza (qepapa meatballs, onions, and feta cheese) and I don't care who knows it. My advice: Stick to their pizzas and Albanian specialties. The apps can be pretty hit or miss (pass on the mac n' cheese), and the service can be glacially slow if there's a full bar. But the prices are right and the portions are good. Plus, these guys are always so awesome to let our neighborhood association have their twice annual parties here. And any restaurant that keeps the pizza, salads, pasta, and drinks coming while hordes of kiddos run amok and cover tables with construction paper is a-ok with me.
This is my favorite Korean restaurant in Chicago so far. Everything I've had is sooo good... all of the ban chan, ja jang myun, kalbi, and bulgogi. The kimchi jigae is tastey to me, though my boyfriend complains that it is not spicy enough. He always asks them to add a little something to make it extra spicy, but maybe they think that he can't handle it because he's a hwaiteu? :D We also like to order a bottle of soju to go along with our meal. It tastes very smooth, but will get you pretty buzzed so be careful! Costs about $10 a bottle. Another bonus is Service is good for a Korean place. I highly recommend this place.
The place was pretty packed when I went in on a Friday night but the wait staff was very attentive and made sure we sat down within 5-10min. Our waiter was not so great, he was in and out in a flash and rushed us. We ended up ordering two appetizers and sharing them because I wanted to go somewhere else. We got the scallops which were amazingly fresh and the citrus garnish was fantastic. The queso fundido was good but the chorizo underneath was burnt and the tortilla strips didn't taste that fresh. Overall I would say the scallops saved the place but don't go in on a busy night or you'll be rushed in and out.
I also wrote this review on Yelp.com: I was fortunate enough to hire Tyler Grey Professional Bartending Services for a last minute private party I had in my home recently and was very impressed. First off most other services wanted to gouge me for booking a party last minute; not cool. I found this service through some friends who had used this business for their wedding reception. The bartenders were great, professional, friendly and the guests loved them. The were on-time, had everything set up before the guests got there; I have no complaints. I'd use these guys again with no hesitation.
I was introduced to Tierra Caliente when I was a teenager now over 10 years later I still frequent the restaurant. The service is outstanding and they really make you feel at home. The food is some of the best Mexican food I have ever had in my life. Regardless if I'm in the neighborhood or not I make it a point to make a trip there for dinner or lunch to get my fill. One other great thing is they cater food which I have used for birthday parties and graduation and everyone at the party just raved at the food. I highly suggest stopping by you won't regret it.