Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Hyde Park Eats

Downtown Chicago, after morning rain, as seen from Hyde Park
I've visited a number of times now, over the last 3 years, and have never been quite satisfied with the choices of cuisine in Hyde Park, but I think that was because I wasn't really trying very hard. Usually the big effort would be a steak dinner at Gibsons Steakhouse north of the Loop.  All else was just a quick grab, never aiming very high for a memorable meal, when the student in question was still on the college meal plan.

This time, I've been staying somewhat on my own in a Hyde Park apartment rather than downtown, and I've found that dining out, especially (well, actually, exclusively) along East 53rd Street, has been a treat.

For breakfast and an excellent latte, whether you want to relax and are lucky enough to snare one of the cush armchairs, or prefer to sit at the small wooden tables, with lots of light from the corner location's windows, and power strips throughout the café, there's Third World Café.
If a burger is craved, there's Five Guys. What a funny scene that place is.  Just go; you'll see what I mean.  But if you want anything besides a hamburger and/or really good fries, go somewhere else.  That means - no chicken or turkey burger, and a "vegetable" burger that is actually made up of all the other ingredients on a bun that can be added to a hamburger, but containing no meat.  Just picture it - ketchup, onions, pickles, tomato, lettuce.  I didn't.

For sushi and/or a large salad (and a number of other items that also looked great), I was quite impressed with The Sit Down.  Thanks, Allison, for that recommendation.

East 53rd is quite an interesting street, parts definitely gentrified, others untouched for years.  Personally, I love the Blagojevich poster in one of the store windows, which still resides there directly underneath an Obama poster.  

But there was one combination of storefronts I just couldn't help thinking was probably a bad idea.  Maybe no one else has noticed?
The South Side is nothing if not eclectic.

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