Best Use of a Pernicious Weed | Best of Chicago 2010 | Food & Drink | Chicago Reader

You searched for:

Start over

Narrow Search

Best Use of a Pernicious Weed 

Kimpira at Masu Izakaya

1969 N. Halsted

Throughout history, burdock roots and leaves have had medicinal uses—both beneficial and bogus—in many cultures, including Native American and European. The nasty seed-sac burrs, which stick to clothing and even skin, inspired Swiss engineer George de Mestral to invent Velcro in 1948, after he and his dog went for a hike and returned home covered with them. Burdock’s the bane of many a gardener, but to the Japanese, the long, slender root is the prized vegetable gobo. The best preparation of it I’ve had is the traditional small dish kimpira at Masu Izakaya. Chef Koichi Asano patiently juliennes great burdock, which can grow to seven feet, and sautes it with carrots in heated oil spiked with chile peppers. Next he stirs in sugar, mirin, and soy sauce, adds water, raises the temperature to high, and boils until the water is absorbed, tossing often to avoid burning. Sesame oil finishes the slightly crunchy dish, which is addictively spicy-sweet.

Critics' Picks

Best Middle Eastern Restaurant

3129 S. Morgan St. 773-254-6300
Zaytune Mediterranean Grill continue

Best Manti

Cafe Orchid continue

Best Use of a Pernicious Weed

Kimpira at Masu Izakaya continue

Best New Neighborhood Restaurant

1119 W. Webster Ave. 773-472-7070
Kith & Kin continue

Best Hand Food

Mystery corn dawg at Franks 'n' Dawgs continue

Best New Burger

Charburger at Edzo's Burger Shop, Evanston, Illinois continue

Best New Veggie Burger

505 N. State St. 312-755-9704
Wild mushroom-brown rice burger at Sable Kitchen & Bar continue

Best Fries

Foie Gras Fries at Big & Littles continue

Best Pollo a la Brasa

D’Candela continue

Best Theoretical Food Truck

Tamale Space Charros continue

Best Squid Balls

Sweet Station continue

Best Place to Sup Like Henry VIII

Benny's Chop House on a Wednesday evening continue

Best Location for a Clandestine Tryst, With Dinner

Pescatore Palace, Franklin Park, Illinois continue

Best Unorthodox Pizza Topping

1927 W. North Ave. 773-772-4422
Spinach and Mashed Potato at Piece Brewery & Pizzeria continue

Best Way to Stuff Your Face With Thai Food for Under $5

Two-for-one coupons at Cozy Noodles & Rice continue

Best Coffee Roaster

1432 W. Irving Park Rd. 773-661-6530
Asado Coffee Company continue

Best Restaurant Name

Cheogajip/Chicken and Pizza Love Letter, Niles, Illinois continue

Best Breakfast Cocktail

The Easy Virtue at The Drawing Room continue

Best Beer Cocktail

The Michelada at Big Star continue

Best Use of Wild Midwestern Persimmons

Persimmon Solera from Purgatory Cellars continue

Best Place to Try Palm Wine

Bolat African Cuisine continue

Best Macarons

Macaron Chicago continue

Best Chocolates

Mayana Chocolate continue

Best Use of Leftover Cake

Cake balls at Bleeding Heart Bakery, Chicago and Oak Park, Illinois continue

Best Window Seat

Hoosier Mama Pie Company continue

Best Regional Cheese

Otter Creek Spring Cheddar continue

Best Food Co-op

Dill Pickle Food Co-op continue

Best Chef's Blog

Paul Fehribach of Big Jones continue
(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)