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#31 Daniel

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Posted 08 April 2008 - 03:52 AM



Went here tonight.. It was a good sign walking in to a restaurant with only Thai customers.. We were greeted by a lovely young lady who was running the whole show.. She was answering phones from a cordless she had in her pocket, she was clearing tables and serving food..

We looked at the English menu and they had lots of the old favorites.. I had read somewhere else that there is a Thai Menu that they will translate for you..

We ordered grilled squid and pork sticks to start..

Soft and chewy with a little grill flavor.. Very nice starter..



Next up were tender grilled pork sticks.. Very flavorful, very juicy, very good..Served with a peppery sauce with crushed peanut in it..




After describing some of the things on the menu, I was very happy to hear they had a fried catfish salad.. I have had this dish at a few other Thai Restaurants such as Lotus of Siam and Sripraprhai.. Each place has made this dish differently but, it still remains a wonderful dish.. I like how they kept the catfish in a cake.. This led to more substantial pieces.. The dressing was a very spicy limey fish sauce dressing with lots of onion.. The salad was a hit..



Another dish of the Thai menu.. Pork leg with mustard green.. In a sweet brown sauce.. Pork was perfectly cooked, the greens were al dente, the sauce was drinkable..



Another dish of the Thai Menu. Homemade noodles, lots of Thai Basil, scrambled egg, chicken, mustard green, peppers, and sprouts.. I was expecting to like the pork or the catfish salad more but, this was my favorite dish of the night.. Though the previous dishes were very good, I loved this dish even more.. Might have been my favorite Thai Noodle dish that I have eaten..



Unfortunately we did not save room for their homemade coconut ice cream.. There was a table of 12 people sitting by us and they were all eating different bright glutinous rolls of some kind.. I couldnt even think of eating anything else..

This place is a gem.. If it was in my hood, I would be going there weekly, and driving to Queens a whole lot less.. Sorry for the dark photos, in a hotel and do not have the strength to edit photos right now..
Ason, I keep planets in orbit.

#32 Vital Information

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Posted 08 April 2008 - 02:04 PM

You're talking the place in Niles right?

I've had some excellent food there, but I've found compared to a few other places like Thai Avenue or Spoon Thai, the menu, the real food, is a bit harder to access.

Right down the street from Siam House in Niles, on Milwaukee, is an outstanding old tyme German style butchery called Schmeissers. If you're in that area, Schmeissers is really worth the visit.
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#33 Daniel

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Posted 08 April 2008 - 03:20 PM

The girl that was there last night was really so nice.. She was more then happy to tell me about the off the menu items.. I would give it another shot and just tell her that you read on the internet about the Thai Menu.. I will be coming here often and next time will get a copy of the Thai Menu.. I think it would really help there business if they translated the Thai Menu.. Maybe we can convince them too..
Ason, I keep planets in orbit.

#34 Daniel

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 04:37 AM

2401 W Devon Avenue
Chicago, IL, 60659
(773) 338-2800



I have been here a few times before and each time I have found it wonderful.. As you can see above the menu is pretty limited.. There is another side but, it doesnt vary much.. A few rice dishes, a few grilled dishes, some different breads, and some vegetables..

My normal go to here is the seekh kebab and the lamb bryani.. The bryani being possibly the best I have had.. I tried to venture out tonight and go to Tandori in Park Ridge but, the India's answer to a NJ Guido manager informed me that the restaurant closes at 9.. So as I entered the restaurant at 8:20 with 4 tables ranging from 4 to 8 people at them, he told me that he would serve me take out or I would have to eat quickly, I decided Khan's would be a better choice..

Khan's draw is certainly not its decore.. I am happy that they at least went the sparce route and kept it fairly open.. Its two large rooms with high ceilings, lots of tables with plenty of space between them.. In the main room, there is a large screen television and a full few of the cooks placing large swords with skewered marinated meat into the ovens..

I am not proofreading or checking my menu so, I will give you all the gringo names of what I had.. Sesame Naan:

The bread here is always perfectly charred and wonderful..





Some sort of marinated chicken.. Chicken Boti i believe.. This too, like all of their meats was perfectly charred, juicy, and just wonderful..



Aloo Gobi: Fantastic version, not fried like I often find.. This was stewed, had really deep layered flavors with some heat to it.. None of this generic sweet flavors that most "ethnic" restaurants assume Americans want to have..



Finished off with a little candied fennel.. Check was $17 dollars..


Ason, I keep planets in orbit.

#35 Daniel

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 04:37 AM

Drove passed this little spot tonight on my way to Khan's called:

Pampanga's Cuisiane Filipino
6407 N Caldwell Avenue
Chicago, IL 60646
(773) 763-1781

Ason, I keep planets in orbit.

#36 Daniel

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 02:24 PM

So I have been in Chicago for two days and each night I find myself at Siam House.. I have been thinking about the wonderful thai salad since I had first tried it.. Though, I have had it at a few other places, Siam House might be my favorite..

In fact, Siam House might be my favorite Thai Restaurant.. It amazes me that this restaurant is not packed.. Sadly enough, the only people that seem to frequent this restaurant are Thai People.. Place has been open for 18 yeaars and In fact, I have read and heard that the majority of there customers are from the small surrounding Thai Community.. From local Thai restaurant owners to Thai families driving hours to come here, the weekends are the only time its busy..

I have found that there is a translation for the Thai Menu.. And if you asks, they will provide you with this menu.. Though, the last time it was translated was in 05...

Side one of page one



Sadly enough, I did not bring my camera tonight so, I only have photos from last nights adventure...

Crispy Catfish Salad.. The catfish is cooked and then shredded and fried in the wok.. Served with chili peppers, scallions, basil, peanuts, fish sauce, lime juice, red onion and lettuce.. A crime not to order at this place..



Pork satay.. Served with a wonderful chili sauce.. This is not something from a jar mind you..



Angel wing.. A chicken leg stuffed with, you guessed it, pork.. Really interesting..



Pork shoulder with another completely different yet, wonderful sauce.. The pork shoulder was bbq'd over there charcoal grill.. It was sweet and complex..



Homemade noodles with greens and chicken..



Another type of pork served over rice.. This too was outstanding.. Really, just beyond good..



I bet you are seeing that there is a lot of pork during this meal.. It turns out that the owners son happens to work on Monday's.. He is a little socially ackward and not very helpful..Also very young.. We had ordered other things and had asked about others.. He kind of just wrote down things during parts of the conversation and gave us what he wanted.. I normally wouldnt order this heavy of a meal but, I certainly know what to get next time.. I am glad I tried each of these dishes and would re-order them invdividually whenever.

Dessert:

Coconut, taro, egg custard.. Easily the best Thai Dessert I have ever had..



Tonight I went alone and ordered the house made thai sausage.. It was with fermented rice and pork.. An absolutely fantastic sausage.. I also had the catfish salad again, and some other pork dish with sticky rice.. A couple of beers and I am a happy man..

Next time people come here, ask to see the translated Thai Menu.. If anyone wants to try authentic, expertly made Thai Food this is the spot. This place should be packed 24/7


Ason, I keep planets in orbit.

#37 Daniel

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 12:10 PM

Steak N Shake
10421 W Touhy Ave
Rosemont, IL 60018
(847) 299-3944


So on paper Steak N Shake is a wonderful thing.. Its like the Midwest's answer to the west coast burger place. Fresh meat patties are placed on the grill as the orders come in..



I like the style of preparation.. Ground meat is placed on the flat top and then pressed down on the grill.. I love this style of cooking when done correctly.. However, i think the quality of the meat is not up to snuff.. The patties come out grey and dry and fairly tasteless.. Not to mention the fries are pretty terrible too.. Something about those super skinny fries really annoy me..

Looking back, it would have been a better photo if I moved the plate over. Would have been interesting to see the side by side.. Though it looks pretty accurate.

In a town like Chicago, its hard to find a dry burger.


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#38 Daniel

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 12:59 PM

Went to Siam House a few times this last trip.. Must say, the food here is wonderful.. I have had a chance now to compare this place to a few of my other favorite Thai places.. I think the biggest thing this place is suffering from is lack of interest.. Lack of interest and support from the local community.. I have mostly gone on weekday nights and during some trips I have been the only person in the restaurant.. Other trips on weeknights there have been a few take out orders and just a small handful of customers.. Weekend nights are better, I believe this is because a lot of out of town Thai people will travel to come here.. Because the restaurant can't support a full time wait staff, there is one waitress working on a Saturday night.. So with no busboys and one waitress, the wait tends to be long.

How the heck can a kitchen have enthusiasm when there is little support from the community.. How can a restaurant maintain such a varied menu if there isnt anyone ordering food.. A place has to cut corners in order not to throw out tons of food.. Though, I have not noticed any quality issues.. IWould you be brave enough to order the mussel special on say a wednesday night? If this place was in New York, this place would be packed.

Note this was over the course of a few meals..


Pork Sausage with stick rice.. Homemade sausage served with peanuts, hot peppers, and ginger.. The sausage is sour and meaty.. Its fantastic.




Another shot of the crispy catfish salad.. As Miss A stated, the cashews work better in this dish.. But the amount of catfish they give you is amazing. Wonderful salad and still might be my favorite preparation.



This was a pretty intense papaya salad.. Served with dried shrimp and salty baby crab.. The salty crab is pretty intense. This dish is the most clear example of the hot, sour, salty, sweet. A shock to the sense and a great way to start a meal..



Grilled chicken special.. This dish was fantastic.. When I was there on a Saturday, I was listening to the conversation in the restaurant.. I was the only non Asian person there and people were getting up and walking between the tables.. I over heard on older gentlemen say that he ordered the grilled chicken and it reminded him of the chicken he use to eat in Thailand. At like 7 bucks, I had to give it a try..

The restaurant has lot of fighting cocks around the place.. Here is a painting on the wall.. I was wondering if I was eating the loser:



Came with a lime, peanut, and pepper sauce.. Oh baby.



Sweet and sour calamari:

They have a version of calamari that is stuffed with pork and deep fried.. I will wait for another time to order it.. This seemed to be the more healthy version:



Shrimp pad thai.. It was definitely not a dry version.. Its not my favorite dish but, this was good



Crab fried rice:



Saturday night mussels.. They were wonderful.. Served with lots of Thai Basil.. A fantastic preparation.



My current favorite dish.. Strips of catfish cooked and then fried.. Served with long beans and a spicy red curry sauce.. This dish is outstandingly good..


Ason, I keep planets in orbit.

#39 Daniel

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 04:33 PM

So I came upon an Asian Strip Mall on Golf Road in Niles, Il.. Just about 5 miles away from my hotel. Had a few Korean Restaurants, a couple of Chinese Restaurants, a couple of Indian Restaurants, and a couple of Filipino Restaurants. Having never been to a Filipino Restaurant, I gravitate torwards here..



One good thing about going to a Filipino Restaurant is that one of the languages spoken there is English.. So there is no need for hidden foreign language menus.. It is also very easy to have a conversation with your server about what you are looking for..

Here is a shot of the restaurant empty.. We were the last to leave.. Though when we arrived the place had about 40 people eating here..



We spoke with who I thought was the owner and she was very helpful. Essentially walking us through the menu..

My knowledge of Filipino food is limited.. Having never eaten it, I have only read some things about it.. For instance, Adobe, the National Dish, is prepared in a sort of reverse braise way.. Instead of browning the meat and then braising, the meat is simmered in a broth until the broth evaporates and the meat is browning in its own fat.. Kind of like the cool way to cook bacon bits..

I found the food to be interested.. Not spicy at all and very rich.. It was kind of like Cuban Food meets Thai Food.. A little Asian influenace mixed with Carribean.. I dont mean to offend if I am wrong, this was my impression based on one meal consisting of three dishes.

Anyway, here are the dishes without there real names..

This was a mix of seafood in a heavy coconut cream.. It was the most coconutty flavored dish I have ever had.. If I were to re-create this dish I think I would just simmered seafood in cream of coconut maybe add some flour to thinken and some sugar.. It was really good over rice.. I am sure there were other things but, this is what the dish tasted like. I know that there was some red spice added to the shrimp because one shrimp exploded red all over my sleeve.




All of these dishes arrived together.. Here is the Adobe.. I was a little disappointed that the chicken was not more crisp.. Certainly stewed but, not very crisp.. The sauce was really rich.. Kind of like a super cooked down chicken and oniony flavor.. My father loved this dish..




Finally the star of the show for me and for my dad.. We ordered deep fried pork butt.. It came out with a super crispy rind.. I was amazed just how much skin they left on and underneath the crispy shell was wonderful soft and gooey pork.. It was amazing how good this was.. My father who is a very healthy eater was unable to stop eating this.. Served with a vinegar dipping sauce, this would make people from NC think twice about BBQ'ing there butt for 18 hours.. A quick toss in the deep fryer and life is good.. Forget your deep fried turkey, pork shoulder is where its at..

Boom:



And Boom:



For dessert we had this ridiculously good sunday of sorts.. Ice cream, shaved ice, coconut cream, condensed milk, sugar, glutonous rice balls, beans, and a cherry on top.. A fantastic way to finish..





Sorry it took me this long to eat Filipino food.. Look forward to coming back here and trying every restaurant in the mall..



Ason, I keep planets in orbit.

#40 Daniel

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 04:34 PM

So I came upon an Asian Strip Mall on Golf Road in Niles, Il.. Just about 5 miles away from my hotel. Had a few Korean Restaurants, a couple of Chinese Restaurants, a couple of Indian Restaurants, and a couple of Filipino Restaurants. Having never been to a Filipino Restaurant, I gravitate torwards here..



One good thing about going to a Filipino Restaurant is that one of the languages spoken there is English.. So there is no need for hidden foreign language menus.. It is also very easy to have a conversation with your server about what you are looking for..

Here is a shot of the restaurant empty.. We were the last to leave.. Though when we arrived the place had about 40 people eating here..



We spoke with who I thought was the owner and she was very helpful. Essentially walking us through the menu..

My knowledge of Filipino food is limited.. Having never eaten it, I have only read some things about it.. For instance, Adobe, the National Dish, is prepared in a sort of reverse braise way.. Instead of browning the meat and then braising, the meat is simmered in a broth until the broth evaporates and the meat is browning in its own fat.. Kind of like the cool way to cook bacon bits..

I found the food to be interested.. Not spicy at all and very rich.. It was kind of like Cuban Food meets Thai Food.. A little Asian influenace mixed with Carribean.. I dont mean to offend if I am wrong, this was my impression based on one meal consisting of three dishes.

Anyway, here are the dishes without there real names..

This was a mix of seafood in a heavy coconut cream.. It was the most coconutty flavored dish I have ever had.. If I were to re-create this dish I think I would just simmered seafood in cream of coconut maybe add some flour to thinken and some sugar.. It was really good over rice.. I am sure there were other things but, this is what the dish tasted like. I know that there was some red spice added to the shrimp because one shrimp exploded red all over my sleeve.




All of these dishes arrived together.. Here is the Adobe.. I was a little disappointed that the chicken was not more crisp.. Certainly stewed but, not very crisp.. The sauce was really rich.. Kind of like a super cooked down chicken and oniony flavor.. My father loved this dish..




Finally the star of the show for me and for my dad.. We ordered deep fried pork butt.. It came out with a super crispy rind.. I was amazed just how much skin they left on and underneath the crispy shell was wonderful soft and gooey pork.. It was amazing how good this was.. My father who is a very healthy eater was unable to stop eating this.. Served with a vinegar dipping sauce, this would make people from NC think twice about BBQ'ing there butt for 18 hours.. A quick toss in the deep fryer and life is good.. Forget your deep fried turkey, pork shoulder is where its at..

Boom:



And Boom:



and a little boom:




For dessert we had this ridiculously good sunday of sorts.. Ice cream, shaved ice, coconut cream, condensed milk, sugar, glutonous rice balls, beans, and a cherry on top.. A fantastic way to finish..





Sorry it took me this long to eat Filipino food.. Look forward to coming back here and trying every restaurant in the mall..
Ason, I keep planets in orbit.

#41 Vital Information

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 04:48 PM

You know in that same mall, is one of my favorite restaurants, Omega. I highly doubt it's a place you'd want to visit from outta town, but if you ever have the need to eat a lot of marginal food with older folks, this is your place! I know, I know. Still, call me crazy, but there is something about this time-warp, slighly Vegas-y place (think Peppermill), that attracts me. I don't love a lot on the menu, but the Athenian skirt steak dinner, with the works, must have the side Grecian salad, can so hit the spot. If you're a freak like me, you might enjoy this classic.

In this same mall, the supermarket is not a bad source for international products.

ETA
I thought so. I'm a rather one trick pony, and Omega is like the 3rd thing I mentioned once this thread started. Again, here's a bit more on Omega: http://lthforum.com/...highlight=omega
Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie

Just as long as you leave my "Alinea II: Electric Boogaloo" thing alone. - jinmyo

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#42 Daniel

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 02:22 PM

Well this last trip to Chicago was cut short so, I only went to a few places.

One being,

La Cabana
2015 N Mannheim Rd
Melrose Park, IL 60160


My father and I were in a rental car looking for this other Mexican Restaurant.. We took a wrong road and instead of getting more lost, we decided to drive straight on a road we knew until we found something..

The town of Melrose Park does not seem pretty. Though our only view was from this three lane industrial drag, the place looked rough.. One spot we considered was a small restaurant that was on the corner of this old floppy looking motel that was turned into super low income housing..

We drove passed a Papusaria that made me want to stop but, I wasn't feeling very lucky with the place.. We we passed a truckyard that had a large flagpole which hung a big American Flag with a smaller Mexican Flag hanging underneath.. We figured it was time to start looking for some Mexican Food..

We pulled into a strip mall and gave this place a shot..

There was this 8 year old boy who sat facing us 20 feet away on this counter smashing die cast trucks together making explosion sounds.. His 18 year old sister was our waitress.. The mom was in the back cooking.. How bad could it be.

It was the typical decor of many Ethnic places.. Often times they just move in.. Assuming the decor of whatever restaurant was there before them.. Whether it's the art hanging on the walls, the wallpaper, often the name of the restaurant itself.. They just move in and set up their own kitchen and menu..

So as we were sitting around stat\ring at these huge murals of Native Indian scenes, it came to no surprise, they had no idea about the art or artist..

The pictures were a trip and if taken from these walls would sell for thousands of dollars with the right salesperson.


Queso Fundido.. really good.. The chorizo was great. the tortillas not made in house were fresh.



Pa doo ordered chicken quesadilla with flour tortilla.. These would have been good if for the chicken... It was either canned or cooked into salty mush.. I am thinking canned.. Something offensive and unnatural was going on.



I had enchilada verde..I forgot to mention, they had chips and salsa.. The case of the chips were freshly fried, the sauce was most likely canned..

They were little pieces of diced steak in the enchilada.. I think this place would have made a good steak burrito.. Beans were ok. Rice was standard...Salsa verde was green liquid.


It was funny, the mother wouldnt let her daughter serve us liquor because she thought we were the fuzz..

It was definitely just an ok home cook or a really good home cook, trying to make a large and varied restaurant menu on her own.. You have to cut corners if you do the whole thing alone.

I am starting to begin to think that if a casual Mexican place doesnt have a huge loud ass shiny jukebox, the food is probably not going to be good.
Ason, I keep planets in orbit.