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A10
Matthias Merges's much-anticipated Hyde Park venture.
Friendly soul-food buffet on the site of the late soul-food restaurant H&A, which opened in 1945.
Ahjoomah's Apron
Starter-kit Korean, Chinatown's sole option for the cuisine.
South-side restaurant serving upscale Mexican cuisine.
Anita's Gumbo
Anita's Gumbo inhabits the north corner of a tiny strip mall on South Stony Island. Inside, you place your order through the familiar clear bulletproof barrier and park it on one of the chairs inside the vestibule. While you wait, look up and read the creation story. All you really need to know is that this gumbo is remarkable; built on a tangible and toasty roux, it's a deep, nutty, mocha-colored lava so thick you could probably walk across it. It loads a pretty mean burn too, which comes on so slowly and inexorably you might not even notice the beading on your forehead. The basic bowl here is the seafood gumbo, which in addition to whole okra pods, sizable chunks of bone-in chicken, and sliced chicken andouille (no pork is a point of pride here) is brimming with sea creatures—whole crab legs, shrimp, and scallops. You can get a more minimal chicken gumbo, or a Wednesday special of Caribbean gumbo with jerk chicken and black beans, but the seafood version demonstrates an uncommon attention to detail for a takeaway spot—the shrimp and scallops taste like they've been added and cooked to order, or at least are part of some miracle species that can withstand hours of long, low, and slow simmering without turning to rubber. Like any committed specialist, Anita's offers only a few other items, like jambalaya, fried wings and shrimp, shrimp and chicken po'boys, and a handful of daily specials. But the gumbo has all the personality this place needs.
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