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Recent Reviews

Re: “Friendship Chinese Restaurant

I've been on the hunt for really good Chinese food ever since I came to Chicago from the east coast. The last try at Opera was disastrous. I've heard good things about Friendship Restaurant from friends for some time now and I was looking forward to having a good meal.

It was a group dinner with pre-arranged menu of some typical and some not-so-typical dishes. All the appetizers we had were overly greasy. Thankfully, the entrees were a lot better. The crowd winner seems to be the walnut shrimp; the shrimp was very flavorful with just the right texture - thin crispy outside coated with slightly sweet dressing. The spicy Szechuan long beans were excellent. The salmon was tender and juicy; kind of interesting with a soy-based sauce. The real winner for the group seemed to be the cheesecake - I didn't realize what the buzz was about until afterwards that it was made with bean curd (tofu), certainly fooled me!

Even though it was a decent restaurant, my hunt for good Chinese food continues. I want the kind served in good restaurants in Hong Kong / Taiwan / China, the kind that made Jean-Georges Vongerichten fell in love with Chinese food and opened Sixty-Six in New York with chefs hired away from Chinatown and added a zero or two to the price tag. Philadelphia has Susanna Foo to serve good Chinese food, when can Chicago get one like it--no, better than Susanna Foo? Sadly, the Chinese restaurants here tend to conform to what's expected of them: inexpensive diner-like fast food.

I will go back. It is one of the few Chinese restaurants that is still owned by Chinese and one who is making good effort to make good Chinese food.

Posted by I D'Arcangelis on 01/10/2006 at 11:36 PM

Re: “Sabor a Cuba

All 4 of us enjoyed our dinner immensely. There were not many people when we were there and I was surprised. I was the only newbie to Cuban food and I was a bit unsure how I would like the food.

Everything was wonderful from the start, the complimentary garlic bread, the beef empanada, and the fried yucca. The sweet empanada (avocado and something I forgot) will take some getting used to. I had the red snapper, which came in like a stew and was very tasteful. The roasted chicken was so tender and flavorful, everyone loved it. The only dish we thought was a bit off was the roast pork (lechon asado), which was a bit dry and not as crunchy as my friends thought it should be. They think Rancho Luna on Peterson is better with the roast pork.

All our Entrées came with fried plantains and black bean soup. The bean soup is the best I've ever tasted. I got so inspired that I made some the next day.

I will definitely go back!

Posted by I D'Arcangelis on 01/10/2006 at 10:47 PM

Re: “La Humita

This is the first time I tried Ecuadoran food and it appears to be the same for all members of our group. There were plenty oohs and aahs all throughout the course of our meal and we were all very pleased with our dinners.

Their namesake humita is a must-have. I liked it so much more than a tamale. The empanadas was average but the great sauce it came with kicked it up a notch as Emeril would say. I had the llapingachos as the main entree. The potato pancakes were fabulous; the sausage and eggs were fine but too much like breakfast to me.

All in all, it was a great experience. I would go back again especially when I want to show off to out-of-towners the diverse food selections Chicago has to offer.

Posted by I D'Arcangelis on 02/02/2005 at 8:20 PM

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