Chicagoland Meet 'n Greet - The Main Event

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ChiTownDiner
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2008/11/09 21:26:33 (permalink)

Chicagoland Meet 'n Greet - The Main Event

On a cold and gray Chicago morn...23 Roadfooders gathered hoping to stay warm...and with the honorable, Buddy Roadhouse at the helm, we did.

Meeting at 11:00am, our first port of call was the Lawrence's Fisheries, a Chicago institution since 1950. Open 24/7, this fried seafood haven is situated in the grungy factory area between Chinatown and Pilsen - our towns mexican neighborhood.


The sign still sports congratulations to a hometown hero...


No question on the 24/7 with the lit Open sign...


Inside, crowds were light on a late Sunday morning...but Roadfooders were converging. Irisabor and her two sons were in the lot as we arrived and the Wisconsin plates on the vehicle in the lot meant one thing...parts of the Wisconsin contigency had arrived. Not sure if this scale is really in use, but it was pretty cool.


Sixteen frying baskets means this place sees some serious business at times...


Choices, choices, choices...


In addition to fried everything, there was a full range of sauces, sides and salads.


Roadfooders queing up for ordering...


Lots of sauce choices...


We began with two small soups, Jambalaya with Sausage on the left and Chicken Gumbo on the right. Both were smoking hot, thick and flavorful. Perfect for the strong Chicago winds that morning.


The Jambalaya was loaded with shrimp and a few pieces of sausage.


Next up, an assortment of fried seafood beginning with a half pound of scallops.


Clam strips...


A pound of Shrimp...


Whats left of a half pound of Popcorn Shrimp. All the seafood had a cornmeal batter with a hint of cajun seasoning mixed in.


Pre-packaged house labeled sauces included a mild cocktail sauce on the left and a slightly hotter, thin sauce on the right.


A less than perfect shot of a fried oyster which meant the pass around was in full swing!


The group in full swing...meeting, greeting, eating and sharing!


It was time to depart and we bid farewell to the Captain asking for his help in riding out the weather.
Lawrence's Fisheries
2120 South Canal Street
Chicago, IL 60616
Tel: 312-225-2113

www.lawrencesfisheries.com


Next, we're off to Chinatown!
#1

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    buffetbuster
    Porterhouse
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    RE: Chicagoland Meet 'n Greet - The Main Event 2008/11/09 21:39:32 (permalink)
    Great start so far CTD! Those soups look especially good. Even though I recognize a few faces, it would be great if you could identify some of the Roadfooders in the pics when you get the chance.
    #2
    ChiTownDiner
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    RE: Chicagoland Meet 'n Greet - The Main Event 2008/11/09 22:01:28 (permalink)
    Next up...Chinatown...and a record three stops! This triple play caused some gastronomic uneasiness, but we all continued on. Chinatown presents two difficulties - parking and choice, as there are choices every 50 feet in every direction. Our tour guide had laid things out pretty good so once parking was secured, we headed to two different Chinese bakeries about a quarter block apart. With the group accidentally splitting in two, this worked well as both bakeries were small and with half of our group inside along with a few regulars, space was at a premium.


    Our first stop, the Chiu Quon Bakery.


    Inside were rows and rows of pasteries and buns filled with mnay different types of fillings.












    The JRPfeff contigency display the goods...


    A coconut item of some kind...


    A Curried beef roll...my favorite!


    BBQ Pork Roll...


    And through the window on the way out...
    Chiu Quon Bakery
    2242 South Wentworth Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60616



    We met the other half a few feet down the block outside of our next stop and their first one. We exchanged notes, sampled the crumbs and jumped into Chinatown stop number 2!


    The Feida Bakery....


    Similar choices...










    Bean paste roll...before sampling...


    After sampling...


    Ham and Green Onion Roll...


    Inside, but out of focus....


    Apple strudel....



    Feida Bakery
    2228 South Wentworth Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60616
    Tel: 312-808-1113


    More Chinatown coming up...
    #3
    Baah Ben
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    RE: Chicagoland Meet 'n Greet - The Main Event 2008/11/09 22:17:14 (permalink)
    Did you like the way Chinese pastries taste?
    #4
    JRPfeff
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    RE: Chicagoland Meet 'n Greet - The Main Event 2008/11/09 23:07:05 (permalink)
    Pastries, fried fish & Chinese? All I got was the Golden Arches and a Triple Steak Burrito.

    Who is that man with the camera?



    There he is again.



    And again.



    MFL & X1 had Chinese soup. I could say that's not my cup of tea. But I'd be lying.



    Another Chinese delicacy.



    Here's CTD scoping out dessert, before dinner.



    That's all she wrote for tonight.
    #5
    ellen4641
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    RE: Chicagoland Meet 'n Greet - The Main Event 2008/11/09 23:13:28 (permalink)
    It looks like the toughest decision you had that morning is what pastrie(s) to choose!!

    Yeah, I could tell it was COLD ; almost everyone's got jackets on in the group pic!
    For our Daytona Beach "Bluemaxx" meat up, I got to wear my string bikini! *





    *not quite




    #6
    tracy20
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    RE: Chicagoland Meet 'n Greet - The Main Event 2008/11/10 00:37:30 (permalink)
    I want to thank everyone for being so accomodating when I signed up for this trip and had never been on a meet & greet before... I had to bail out at the last minute because my 1ST grandchild came 2 months early Sat night.... He weighs 2 lbs.... and we never thought he would be so anxious to join us this quick.. Hope you all had a great time.... it looks like you did and thank you for sharing, awesome looking eats!!!!!!
    #7
    mar52
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    RE: Chicagoland Meet 'n Greet - The Main Event 2008/11/10 00:39:57 (permalink)
    "It's not my cup of tea"

    hahahahahaaaaaaaaaaa!!! choke
    #8
    tracy20
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    RE: Chicagoland Meet 'n Greet - The Main Event 2008/11/10 00:41:37 (permalink)
    AAAAHHHHHHHHH
    #9
    leethebard
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    RE: Chicagoland Meet 'n Greet - The Main Event 2008/11/10 00:48:41 (permalink)
    Another great report...thanks...keep it coming...am enjoying this!
    #10
    ScreamingChicken
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    RE: Chicagoland Meet 'n Greet - The Main Event 2008/11/10 09:21:46 (permalink)
    I wish I could've been there but it just wasn't in the cards this time...and these photos aren't making me feel any better about it!

    Then again, I think my day would've started and ended at Lawrence's Fisheries. With a menu board like that I don't see a reason to go anywhere else!

    Brad
    #11
    flyseye
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    RE: Chicagoland Meet 'n Greet - The Main Event 2008/11/10 11:03:44 (permalink)
    How were the chicken feet ?
    #12
    Mr. Maki
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    RE: Chicagoland Meet 'n Greet - The Main Event 2008/11/10 11:04:36 (permalink)
    Can't wait to see how the photos from Carnitas Don Pedro came out.
    #13
    irisarbor
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    RE: Chicagoland Meet 'n Greet - The Main Event 2008/11/10 11:12:07 (permalink)
    CTD did such a great job (and so quickly ) with the Chinatown pix that I don't have alot to add there, just a few.

    Here is the Dim Sum Menu from Little Three Happiness where we ate ?lunch


    Here are some of the delicious dumplings, and great shrimp toast we enjoyed,
    as well as a platter of salt and pepper shrimp.


    and as the food just kept coming, they were joined by a really interesting beef satay dumpling, on top.

    After Chinatown, we moved on to Pilsen where half the group went to one taqueria,
    and half of us braved the insane lines at Don Pedro Carnitas...
    I mean all these people had to waiting this long for something good!


    The crazy thing is there were two cow heads up on the wall and all they sell is pork!

    At least we had some tunes to listen to...
    as we got closer, we could see the reason for the lines as they.....

    Rolled in the meat!

    Oh the porky mountain of goodness...

    and etheral crisy deliciousness.


    All you did was tell the artist of the knife what you wanted, white meat, brown meat, ribs, ears, etc,
    and it was yours, for a mere $5.80/lb...and so delicious!
    They also sold packs of tortillas, and included tubs of salsa, chopped onions ans cilantro...
    We had a chilly delicious picnic on Buddy's trunk!


    And then on to little VietNam, and Ba Le,

    Their sign...

    Their hot food case....
    Lots of sandwiches to go here, I think we were saving ourselves for Glenns...
    Buddy broke out some very red very garlicky cured pork nuggets that I just wasn't "man enough" to try...
    Although those who did said they had a hidden hot pepper in one end. Very tricky...
    Next post on to Glenns.



    #14
    leethebard
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    RE: Chicagoland Meet 'n Greet - The Main Event 2008/11/10 11:31:57 (permalink)
    Oh I love those beef dumplings...look delicious!!!!
    #15
    ScreamingChicken
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    RE: Chicagoland Meet 'n Greet - The Main Event 2008/11/10 11:47:32 (permalink)
    Originally posted by irisarbor




    So that's what Da Coach is doing these days!!

    Brad
    #16
    Nancypalooza
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    RE: Chicagoland Meet 'n Greet - The Main Event 2008/11/10 14:30:25 (permalink)
    I always get kind of choice-struck in the asian bakery. So much stuff I'm not used to blows my mind. That pork . . holy pig.
    #17
    MilwFoodlovers
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    RE: Chicagoland Meet 'n Greet - The Main Event 2008/11/10 18:27:24 (permalink)
    Where to start? I think Lawrence's fishery was well covered so I'll leave that. How about more Chinatown pictures?















    Little Three Happiness pictures to come!
    #18
    MilwFoodlovers
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    RE: Chicagoland Meet 'n Greet - The Main Event 2008/11/10 18:31:36 (permalink)
    Oops! Sorry about the size.
    I joined Photobucket late last night and I guess I better brush up on sizing correctly. CTD? I could use some pointers. Still, those pictures got my mouth watering 24 hours later!
    #19
    MetroplexJim
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    RE: Chicagoland Meet 'n Greet - The Main Event 2008/11/10 18:31:48 (permalink)
    Fantastic report! I never knew asians did creme puffs!

    We BBQ maniacs have to ask:

    Did you go to Smoque?
    #20
    MilwFoodlovers
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    RE: Chicagoland Meet 'n Greet - The Main Event 2008/11/10 18:37:35 (permalink)
    Test

    #21
    susanll
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    RE: Chicagoland Meet 'n Greet - The Main Event 2008/11/10 19:17:21 (permalink)
    I know everyone had a great time! Chicken feet....don't know about them. I know what they walk in.
    #22
    Foodbme
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    RE: Chicagoland Meet 'n Greet - The Main Event 2008/11/10 19:24:56 (permalink)
    If you would please--
    At the the end of the report, please do a in-sequence recap of the places you visited , their addresses and web sites as available.
    I'm coming to ChiTown to visit old friends and would like to duplicate your adventure!!
    #23
    BuddyRoadhouse
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    RE: Chicagoland Meet 'n Greet - The Main Event 2008/11/10 19:34:11 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by MetroplexJim
    We BBQ maniacs have to ask:

    Did you go to Smoque?
    No Smoque this time around. The point of this trip was to explore some of Chicago's ethnic neighborhoods via the little known joints most frequented by the locals.

    Lawrence's Fisheries was the one notable exception to the theme. It was originally meant only as a starting point, an easily found landmark with a big, free parking lot. Once we all arrived however, the magnetic draw of freshly fried seafood was too much to resist.

    Between the 19 or 20 of us we quickly consumed several pounds of shrimp; both whole and popcorn, scallops, oysters, and clam strips, along with gumbo and jambalaya, and who knows what else.

    The early distraction, while quite tasty, may have cost us our visit to Humboldt Park, the one neighborhood we had to drop due to time constraints. Oh well, no Jibarito for you! Of course that gives us one more reason to do it again.

    Great photos from all! Thanks to all who participated; hope you had a great time!

    Buddy
    #24
    BuddyRoadhouse
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    RE: Chicagoland Meet 'n Greet - The Main Event 2008/11/10 19:47:16 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Foodbme
    If you would please--
    At the the end of the report, please do a in-sequence recap of the places you visited , their addresses and web sites as available.
    I'm coming to ChiTown to visit old friends and would like to duplicate your adventure!!
    No problem Foodbme. Of course, if you go to the thread that started this whole thing,

    http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=31152&whichpage=4

    you'll find the rough schedule there. We did a pretty good job of sticking to that itinerary, with the only exception being the missed spots in Humboldt Park. If you have no time issues, I highly recommend checking out either one or both of the restaurants listed.

    Buddy

    P.S. The other exception may be Sun Wah BBQ in Little Vietnam. The city of Chicago suspended their operating license one day after a big celebratory dinner held by the LTHForum membership awarding Sun Wah a Great Neighborhood Restaurant Award. They've been in there diligently cleaning up, working hard at getting reinstated. By the time your trip rolls around they might have reopened.

    B.
    #25
    ChiTownDiner
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    RE: Chicagoland Meet 'n Greet - The Main Event 2008/11/10 20:01:14 (permalink)
    Chinatown continued...

    After two stops at Chinese Bakeries, it was on to a more traditional stop and a place to sit down and slow the pace a bit. We had come out of the box smoking - 20 hungry folks hell bent on trying everything and had knocked off three stops in less than 90 minutes. Now was a chance to pause, reflect inward, warm up with some tea, be one with your Chicken Feet....and then continue eating.


    On the walk around the corner, a shot of the gate.


    A pretty cool looking building...


    A passing window indicating attempts being made at all food groups...


    Fresh fruit smoothies...


    More fruit...


    And finally, after what seemed like a eternity, we finished the 100 yard treck and arrived at our 4th destination...


    Our table went the Dim Sum way and added an order of egg rolls and the Salt 'n Pepper Shrimp, a local favorite. You can see them added in to the list. "Little" Three Happiness is a small place to begin with, and our group pretty much filled it up! We were back to back and ebow to elbow. Even more fun!

    A lot of the pictures were shared above, here's a reacap...


    Each table has a sauce selection of its own, and a few more came out with the dishes.


    Shrimp toast...




    steamed pork buns...




    Pork dumplings that typically are called Shumai in other locations...


    Shrimp dumplings...


    And tonight's STAR of the Show, "Little" Three Hapiness's very own Salt 'n Pepper Shrimp! Killer!


    Beef dumplings on the top...


    And further proof the Chicken Feet were consumed...



    The Wisconsin contingency occupied the window table...must have known someone...


    Two more tables in the center and left, rear...


    And JRPfeff, most likely smiling before he finished off the chicken's feet!

    It was about this time my cellphone rang...and to our delight, it was The Traveling Man motoring in from St. Louis. I went outside and there he was, driving around the area looking for parking. A few directions and he was in the group within 5 minutes. Just in time for....


    ...the check! $43.00 for all that food...not bad. Plus, we ate about half, and then sent the plates table to table as did the other tables. Whew, glad we had a little rest.

    "Little" Three Happiness
    209 West Cermack
    Chicago, IL 60616
    Te: 312-842-1964


    From Fried Seafood - to a Chinese Triple Play - and now, on to Pilsen, our town's Mexican neighborhood.
    #26
    susanll
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    RE: Chicagoland Meet 'n Greet - The Main Event 2008/11/10 20:05:55 (permalink)
    Chili paste with Garlic sounds good to me. However, I have never seen a jar like that with the spoon stuck out the top.
    #27
    ChiTownDiner
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    RE: Chicagoland Meet 'n Greet - The Main Event 2008/11/10 20:09:00 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by susanll

    Chili paste with Garlic sounds good to me. However, I have never seen a jar like that with the spoon stuck out the top.


    We all checked that out after Irisabor spotted it...keeps the spoon from falling all over the place. It really keeps things neat and clean!
    #28
    ChiTownDiner
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    RE: Chicagoland Meet 'n Greet - The Main Event 2008/11/10 20:41:30 (permalink)
    Pilsen began as the second Chicago settlement area for immigrating Czechs. As migration patterns and jobs took them west to Cicero and Berwyn especially to the giagantic Western Electric plant, Pilsen was settled by the more newly arrived Mexican population. Of course, this took years and one of the more interesting architectural notes is the street replacement many years ago raised the streets for improved drainage. This created first floors of homes that are now a full or half floor below street level. When walking in the neighborhood, this really is apparent and interesting to note.

    Our first Pilsen destination was the Carnitas Don Pedro.




    Where parking infractions got you thrown in the pile of meat shown above...


    This Neon - Signman, you out there? - sort of set the tone as this is an all meat place all the time.


    The window shot with cleaver in hand...they were slicing and a dicing!


    I couldn't beleive how much Tripe was getting hacked up...

    But the warm glow of the neon also served as a beacon...

    ...for our very own host, Buddy Roadhouse on the left and the Gooey Butter Cake man himself, all the way from Melbourne via Indy and St. louis - Roadfood's very own, The Travelin Man!
    Disclaimer - no actual Roadfooder's are portrayed by the neon lit animals above. Any resemblance to those living or dead, or either of the gentlemen below is purely coincidental.

    Now, from the descriptions and pictures above, you may have realized this place was one happening little cantina. There were well over 100 people inside, 75% of which were in a line that went out to the alley. Not having eaten in 12 minutes...a small splinter faction ventured down the block about 6 store fronts to...


    Taqueria Iguala.


    Not for the weak of heart...steel bars and Menudo!


    The menu was simple...there's the lone customer...one employee...no piles of meat...no cleaver...


    The Carne Asada Taco...simple with chopped onion and cilantro as its only garnish.


    and a Chorizio Torta to round things out...


    My brother had an order of the chips and beans...

    After a 45 minute warm-up and some grub...it was back down the block just as Buddy and the remaining Roadfooders emerged with a To Go Shopping Sack! It was into the parking lot despite 35 degree temps and 20 mph winds. Everything was delicately placed on Buddy's trunk and the feasting began...




    Not much conversation now..


    Meat - note the beautiful table cloth!






    MilwFoodlovers in the black leather coat surveys the situation for his next conquest...

    Carnitas Don Pedro
    1113 West 18th Street
    Chicago, IL 60608
    Tel: 312-829-4757

    Taqueria Iguala
    1131 West 18th Street
    Chicago, IL 60608
    Tel: 312-226-0566


    The cold really started to hit home as did the fat that we had hit 6 spots and were on a tight schedule. Humboldt Park for Cuban and Peurto Rican were eliminated and we were off for a 20 minute ride north to Little Vietnam.

    Six down, three to go!
    #29
    ChiTownDiner
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    RE: Chicagoland Meet 'n Greet - The Main Event 2008/11/10 21:25:25 (permalink)
    Little Vietnam - I had not been to this area before but had read alot about Ba le Bakery. With the weather and number of stops, I was really hoping this stop would stay on the itinerary. My reward...




    Lots of new food items...I was really lost at first.






    The green bundles were sausages - and before we left, an employee stocked about 100 of them. Must be a good seller. The little packages of red things...were finger food type of dish that I'm hoping some one will explain better. There was pork, pork skin, fresh raw garlic and 1 - 2 other ingredients. It had a nice little kick.


    Close-up.


    Roadfooders and locals que on up...


    After asking the counter girl, she indicated #1 and #9 were the most popular and next to each other on the picture board.


    here's the pair, with the #1 on the right - Ba Le Original - sliced patty pork roll, ham, headcheese, pate, mayo, carrot, radish, jalepeno, onion and cilantro. What a great mix all built on a crispy roll that was to die for. The #9 was BBQ with many of the accompanments of the #1. Not quite as good as the Original or Special, but glad I tried it.


    #1 - partially sacrificed for the cause...


    Lots of help in the kitchen making the to go dishes.


    Washed down by a Canteloup Smoothie...very good!


    And paired up with an even better flavor...an avacado smoothie on the right!

    This was a fun spot...really different for me and one I'll go back to try a few more items.
    Ba Le Bakery
    5018 North Broadway
    Chicago, IL 60640
    Tel: 773-561-4424

    www.balechicago.com


    We never got everyone together...but here's 13 of the 20 or so at this stop.



    Well, we had gotten through the first 7 stops and had the double header of Glenn's Diner and Margies Candies and Ice Cream to go.
    #30
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