Recent Reviews

Re: “Mythos Greek Taverna

This doesn't even come close to Greektown! With no innovation, portions somewhat small, a shortage of menus for patrons and skordalia that was merely cold mashed potatoes with capers on top, my suggestion is to drive to Greektown, where all the restaurants have free valet service.

This place has a long way to go...

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Steven Migalski on 01/19/2008 at 12:50 AM

I loved this place. Who would have thought such an incredible outdoor patio would be available on this gritty stretch of Fullerton west of Palmer Square?

We went the night before July 4th so we could sit casually outdoors and it really was exactly what we were looking for!

The food is really, REALLY good...their "siete mares" soup was a rich tomato broth with tons of fresh seafood. We also had the "ceviche trios."

This is where you go for seafood prepared Latino style...I thought the food was so fresh that I would go back in a heartbeat...I'm not sure I would have enjoyed it so much if we had sat indoors, a nice spacious and colorful room but HOT HOT HOT and no air conditioning!

If you come to eat here, come on a nice night so you can sit outdoors.

Posted by Steven Migalski on 07/04/2007 at 11:29 AM

Re: “Merlo la Salumeria

I have been rating for the Chicago Reader now for several years and I have rarely written a such a negative review...so here it goes.

First let me say that Nicole Ritchie would leave this place hungry!

I cannot believe this place gets three backward Rs here on the Reader...I think Chicagoans are expecting less and less from Italian restaurants and simply willing to pay more and more! A low-down dirty shame!

So, let's start with the fact that they advertise having a valet and then did not have one. In a rainstorm this was very inconvenient. The room was nicely arranged and decorated but the walls looked rather dingy to me. The menu surprised us because it was Va Pensiero prices without seeming to come close in appearance or menu creativity, but we were willing to hold out on forming an opinion. The special was a pumpkin-filled ravioli with butter and Parmesan, which I decided to try. It was a bit salty and not enough food...eight small ravioli for 22 bucks...I thought it would be fantastic. It wasn't! Seafood dishes were 36 bucks and meat/chicken dishes were 30. We passed on those, as there are far better places to eat those kind of dishes in town.

Long story short, the appetizers were good but I had chicken soup with special noodles. IT WAS 14 DOLLARS -- FOR SOUP! The ravioli came and there were, as I said, eight tiny ravioli, which by the way I asked if the chef could prepare by adding peas (I had a taste for them). First, the waiter frowned and said, "Oh she's from Bologna and she likes to do things her way...I will have to find out for you." They had peas on the menu in other dishes so it should have been no biggie. When the dish was served, the waiter said, "Well, she wouldn't do it for you but she'll make you a side of peas for 9 bucks." !!!

Both of my friends had the $16 tagliatelle with tomatoes and basil and, despite the fact they said it was decent, it was all of four ounces of pasta...SIDE DISH SIZE!!!

Desserts and wine were VERY OVERPRICED...Listen, we are not cheap, we eat out all the time and love to spend for good food, good portions, and creative cooking.

The night was topped off by us four guys walking out as the last customers, having dropped $265 for four of us, without as much as a "Good night, gentlemen...thanks for coming" from the six remaining employees (our waiter included)standing at the bar counting up and dividing their tips.

Go to Calo. Go to Speakeasy. Go to Vinci. Go to Campagnola. Go to Va Pensiero.

AVOID THE PRETENSE, MEDIOCRE FOOD, NICOLE RITCHIE PORTION SIZES, DISAGREABLENESS OF THE CHEF, AND THE LACK OF CREATIVITY AT MERLO RISTORANTE...don't make me say "I told you so!"

Posted by Steven Migalski on 10/22/2006 at 6:06 PM

Re: “Daruma

I really liked this place... the tempura was flash fried so not at all greasy... the sushi that my friend had was incredibly fresh and the miso was piping hot just like i like it. Who knew such good Japanese fare could be found on Central Street in Western Evanston? It definitely worth a visit!!!

Posted by Steve Migalski on 08/17/2002 at 5:49 PM

Re: “El Tinajon

Imagine this. There's that little neighborhood place, trendy-looking from the outside, that everybody talks about and you've driven by at least a dozen times saying "I gotta try that place someday." Well here's that place for me - El Tinajon, a little Guatemalan dive a spit's distance from the ever-so-famous Victory's Banner. "Where's Guatemela," I found myself asking my partner. I couldn't remember if it was in Central or South America. Needless to say, my thoughts became quickly transfixed on the tamales (called "tamals" here)...what a succulent appetizer we had - 3 different kinds of tamales. Wow, a place with "no pork" tamales! I relished in the delight. Complimentary chips and salsa also graced our table as a warm reminder that Guatemala must not be all that far from Mexico. Which, by the way, I have come to learn is not. A-n-t-i-c-i-pation! I couldn't wait for my Guatemalan style Shrimp entree. Finally, there it was ...and to my surprise, yuck! Wait, I mean yucko! No, just plain yucks. What a disappointment, no taste, no spice, no accompaniment, and to top that off, they were butterflied but still had the shell on them. Have you ever tried shelling dry-to-the-bone, butterflied shrimp? Don't.

Dessert was okay, a bread pudding ball that tasted more like breaddy flan. As we left, I found myself wishing Victory's Banner was open for dinner!

A mixed bag for me. Try it, perhaps you'll have better luck.

Posted by Steve Migalski on 01/18/2002 at 3:18 AM

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