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Re: “My Thai

We ate at this sterile little cafeteria out of desperation one night. It's pretty much what you expect from the decor for slightly too much money downtown. "Thai" is a little misleading: it's kind of a marriage of convenience between Chinese and Thai standards. The sauces were canned, the food wasn't particularly fresh, seafood was tough, the appetizers are all fried, but everything was edible. I wouldn't do it again if I could avoid it, but it didn't give me nightmares or anything.

Posted by Caitlin Sticco on 03/25/2004 at 9:08 AM

Re: “Ginza Restaurant

Ginza used to be the best kept secret in the Loop. My husband and I have gone here many a time to sit in the tiny, run down dive and eat exceptionally fresh sushi standards (the menu is pretty small) brought to us by really nice, homey waitstaff. Unfortunately, it's recently taken a downhill turn. I held off on my review until we had had bad food more than once here, but it seems to be the heartbreaking trend: our fish is fishy, our rice is lumpy, the place is not just run down, but dirty. Suddenly just another mediocre sushi place in a city full of them, it's not worth the extra bucks unless you need to eat right around the area.

Posted by Caitlin Sticco on 03/25/2004 at 8:56 AM

Re: “Drew's on Halsted

I can’t remember a time when I’ve ever had such appallingly invaisive, condescending service in a restaurant. It absolutely ruined what would otherwise have been a wonderful dinner. The waiter was clearly offended that split an appetizer and then also a dessert (not the one he recommended either, how could we), that we didn’t order wine, that I had to prop up an injured knee on a chair (I was on crutches at the time). This despite the restaurant being absolutely deserted for the duration of our meal. He sneered down at us every time he deigned to stop at out table, and spoke in a hilarious second person plural all night, like he had taken lessons from movies on how to be a snobby waiter (“Do we have anywhere to be tonight? Would we like some coffee, hmm?”) Furthermore, the busboy came by FOUR times during our meal to sweep the bread crumbs from the table with a little brush, lifting our water glasses each time to sweep under them, and irritating us immensely. Although the halibut was tender and flaky on a bed of meltingly delicious creamed fresh corn, and a trout in a dill sauce with wild rice was flavorful and rich, we found our portions too small, and at $30-40/person we won’t be back for this kind of welcome.

Posted by Caitlin Sticco on 02/18/2004 at 12:18 PM

Re: “Blind Faith Cafe

I really wish they would update the review of this place, not that it seems to be hurting business at one of our favorite restaurants. This place is good enough to take my nonvegetarian relatives. We like the self-service room, where your food appears at a counter and you bus your own dishes, but we’ve eaten in the sit-down area, as well (same menus). Both are comfortable and not-too-loud, with handmade quilts and other work from local artists on the walls, lots of healthy houseplants, and serviceable furnishings. Prices are a bit high for impulse food ($10-14 an entrée), but most of the portions are so large we can split something and then eat a wicked dessert. The seitan (a chewy meat-like protein) is incredibly tender, and the sauces are always very good. We especially love the seitan marsala, seitan fajitas, and the gingery, fresh Mongolian stir-fry. They also serve a tofu-based Indian dish that was quite good. The fresh ravioli was tasty, but more like an appetizer in size, and by the way, the appetizers aren’t worth it for the price tag. Although we did love a tasty Middle-Eastern bread with a smidge of chevre, caramelized onions, and a sweet tangy balsamic reduction, it was regrettably small for $8. Breakfast isn’t worth it either, pretty steep and pretty crowded for the same pancakes and omelets you can get in any diner you step into. But the lunch and dinner menus are top-notch veggie comfort food: simple, hearty, and wholesome.

Posted by Anonymous on 02/18/2004 at 12:09 PM

Re: “Satay

When this place is on, it’s really, really on. When it’s off, it’s only so-so. We’ve been about four times or so, and we love it’s proximity to the Landmark Theatre and the el. About half the time the service, preparation, and presentation has been outstanding. The seared tuna with asparagus roll and a seasoned fresh mayonnaise was sublime, and we’ve had several other very good dishes made from fresh ingredients and presented with a grace one generally pays much more for (dinner and a tip usually hits about $15/person here for us). At one time, a lady chef even followed our server from the kitchen to give a small, polite bow and make sure the food was what we wanted. On the other hand, we’ve also encountered a kitchen unable to accommodate requests for variation, staff that ignored us all night, food slopped lazily on our plates, and a few dishes unworthy of the menu (avoid the jerk chicken, boring and uneven). We will keep going back, and we hope that our bad experiences were just random off-nights, because when they're hot, they're hot.

Posted by Caitlin Sticco on 02/18/2004 at 12:06 PM

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