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Chicago News Roundup for January 2008

A Latin American plaza springs up in Chicago

The Old Town School of Folk Music bustles daily with students carting instruments to classes and echoes of percussive flamenco stepping or drum circles piecing out African beats. But at midweek, the lobby of the main concert hall becomes a Latin American plaza, the traditional center of folk life and community commonplace.

If you missed its winter kickoff, the 12th season of La Pena continues every Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. through March 12, with free, ticketed shows consisting of two sets every night for a full-bodied showcase of music and dance spanning the trans-continental diversity of Latino culture.

[via Chicago Tribune]

Roast pig provides Filipinos in Chicago with a taste of home

The temperatures were the coldest in a year and the windchill factor was 20 degrees below zero, but Amante Enad stood in the back yard of his Wheeling home roasting pigs — seven of them — over a charcoal fire.

“It doesn’t matter how cold it is,” Enad said last week as he held his hands over a sizzling 50-pounder to avoid frostbite. “I will do it.”

[via Chicago Tribune]

Chicago bid leads Web site’s rankings

Around The Rings, a Web site devoted to Olympic coverage, gave Chicago a slim lead in its first rankings of the seven bids for the 2016 Olympics. Evaluating the bids in all categories, including ambience, accommodation, legacy, transport and cost, ATR gave Chicago 79 of a maximum 110 points, with Rio de Janeiro (77), Madrid (77) and Tokyo (74) close behind. Chicago scored highest, with 8 of 10 possible points, on accommodation, ambience and transport. The International Olympic Committee will choose finalists in June and the host city Oct. 2, 2009.

*Olympic sprint champion Justin Gatlin has appealed his four-year doping suspension in an attempt to return to the track for the Beijing Games in August.

[via Chicago Tribune]

Rolta India buys Chicago-based IT consulting firm for 45 mln usd

MUMBAI (Thomson Financial) - Rolta India Ltd, the software services company, said it has acquired Chicago-based IT consulting firm Broech Corp for about 45 mln usd and added that it expects the transaction to be accretive to shareholder value this fiscal year.

Broech, which is doing business as TUSC, will continue to be led by its three founders — Rich Niemiec, Joe Trezzo and Brad Brown.

It was inevitable. After years of outsourcing IT and software to India companies over their have grown to the point where they can by American companies.
[via Forbes]

Suburbs distrustful of massage businesses

At a time when massage-therapy franchises are knocking on suburban doors, Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson said he no longer wants to take any chances with the booming profession.

Troubled by two recent incidents of alleged illicit activity, Johnson plans Tuesday to ask the Village Board to ban establishments that offer only massages, limiting the treatments to such locations as a hotel, spa or health club.

Because illicit activity never happens in hotels? Sounds pretty stupid to me.
[via Chicago Tribune]

Lawmakers pass mass-transit bill 3 days before drastic cuts, fare increases

SPRINGFIELDAfter nearly a year of anxiety for close to a million riders, lawmakers on Thursday approved tax increases to stop looming service cuts and most fare hikes for Chicago’s ailing mass transit system while providing free bus and train rides to senior citizens.

Transit leaders waved off Sunday’s so-called doomsday even as they noted it will be up to two months before they figure out how to provide free rides on the CTA, Metra and Pace for people 65 and older.The measure solves public transit funding for now, with a price tag of $530 million. On April 1, the sales tax will increase by a quarter-cent per dollar in Cook County and twice that in the suburbs. And Chicagoans are expected to face higher taxes on home sales.

The sales tax in Chicago is now even more insanely high. Thank the Internet for mostly tax-free shopping. And mostly better prices anyways. If only I could get tax-free groceries delivered from Indiana.
[via Chicago Tribune]

Chicago gets a Restaurant Week, maybe two

Gee, thanks! After I whined last May that Chicago needs a Restaurant Week — the kind of attractively priced meal promos already in place in New York, Boston, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. — the Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau has announced that, next month, we’re getting one.

And, thanks to a hardy band of independents, we’re getting another one.

[via Chicago Tribune]

Chicago estimates Games will generate $2.5 billion in revenue

This story contains corrected material, published Jan. 17, 2008.

Chicago’s 2016 Olympic bid team expects to generate $2.5 billion in domestic revenue to help operate the Games, about $1 billion more than some of its top rivals.

[via Chicago Tribune]

Chicago Olympics to cost city an estimated $900 million

“When the Games come to the United States, you see a spike in television revenue, sponsorships, advertising and ticket sales,” said Patrick Ryan, chairman and chief executive of the bid team.

Chicago’s bid team unveiled some of their financial projections for the first time Tuesday, when the bid team made public the in-depth application document Chicago filed recently with the International Olympic Committee.

[via Chicago Tribune]

Pedestrian Killed In Northwest Side Crash

CHICAGO — A car struck a pole, then struck a pedestrian in the Albany Park neighborhood Tuesday morning on the Northwest Side, police said.

A motorist and a pedestrian were seriously injured when a car struck a light pole in the Albany Park neighborhood Tuesday morning on the Northwest Side.


Bollingbrook man charged with W. Loop murder

A 23-year-old Bolingbrook man was due in bond court Friday after being charged with the murder of a 28-year-old man near a West Loop nightclub in August.

Bryant Buckhanan of the 1400 block of Schoenherr Ave. in the southwest suburb was charged with murder Thursday evening after being arrested without incident Wednesday at 200 N. Pulaski Rd. in Chicago, according to Harrison Area police Sgt. Robert Cesario.

[via Chicago Sun-Times]

‘Freakonomics’ researcher examines Chicago’s sex trade

A two-year study of the economics of prostitution in Chicago found the women were forced to service police officers, worked more during holidays like July 4th and varied pricing based on their customer’s race, according to a preliminary paper presented by the researchers.

University of Chicago professor and “Freakonomics” author Steven D. Levitt and sociology professor Sudhir Venkatesh of Columbia University organized a two-year study of street-level prostitution in the Roseland and Pullman neighborhoods. The study, which ended in May, also included Washington Park for about 8 months after police began a crackdown and the regular prostitutes moved their activity 6 miles north.

I hear Elk Grove is a good place to find prostitutes.
[via Chicago Tribune]

Where Chicago-area diners can taste Africa

The rise in African restaurants in Chicago and at least one suburb is largely due to a growing African immigrant population and increased curiosity among non-African diners.

“More and more people are out experimenting with different dishes,” said Abebe, whose restaurant serves dishes from a variety of African nations. “And I find more and more people have developed a taste for spicy food and spices in general. In my opinion, in the next 10 years we will be seeing more African foods — even African fast foods in America.”

[via Chicago Tribune]

Chicago plans bottled water tax

CHICAGO — In her neverending effort to maintain her health and appearance, Jill Walker credits bottled water with improving her digestion, maintaining her skin’s elasticity and keeping her away from sugary soda.

The Chicago resident drinks a bottle in the morning after her workout. She tosses another into her bag to take to the office and finishes two more with dinner.

While I think anymore taxes are too much I also think it can be ridiculous the amount of water bottles we can go through. Just find a way to refill bottles and you’ll save a lot of money as well as the environment. [via Detroit Free Press]

Chicago real estate roundup

01.26.08 | admin | In Spire, Trump, Hinsdale, roundup, real estate

Real estate is not looking so good in the Chicago area right now. A lot of people who bought places downtown as investments are now looking to sell. So who’s going to be left to buy units in the Chicago Spire?

Chicago Spire condominium tower faces twist in economy as it begins sales push

One-of-a-kind tower looks to fetch up to $15 million a unit as it opens sales office; experts anxiously await results as they watch real estate deals and prices slide

In today’s troubled housing market the dreams of the Chicago Spire developer will meet reality Monday when its sales office opens.

Later this month, Shelbourne will launch its sales effort outside the U.S., where it expects to sell about half the units, its chief executive, Garrett Kelleher, has said. Starting Jan. 23, it will take its road show to Dublin, London, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Moscow and Johannesburg, among other places.

Through the third quarter of last year, buyers signed contracts to purchase 3,312 newly built downtown condominiums, a decline of 35 percent from a year earlier and off 52 percent from the record year of 2005, according to Chicago-based Appraisal Research Counselors.

The Spire will be competing with the half-built Trump International Hotel & Tower, which has struggled with sales for the past two years.

In October, existing-home prices fell 6.7 percent, the worst decline since the recession of 1991, according to the most recent Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index.

[via Chicago Tribune]

Is there business plan really to attract half of their buyers from overseas? That might work in New York City but not Chicago, especially not now. Compared to Manhattan nobody from another country wants to own a luxury condo in Chicago. Maybe this will change after the Olympics if they are in Chicago but right now regular people outside of North America know very little about Chicago and it’s not on their map.

Median price of existing single-family home in US drops in 2007

The housing market reached another milestone in 2007, though not the kind that anyone wishes for.

For the first time in at least 40 years — and possibly since the Depression — the median price declined for an existing single-family home across the country, according to a report Thursday by the National Association of Realtors.

David Oser, chief economist for ShoreBank in Chicago, isn’t too optimistic. “Things take a really long time to play out [in housing],” he said. “And even if we have reached a bottom, we’re going to bump along at that bottom for a long time — many months, perhaps a year before a recovery starts.

“The federal government can inject stimulus into the overall economy and do all sorts of things to put money into people’s pockets, but when it comes down to housing itself, it gets solved family by family.”

“The average price is now back to the level of March 2005, which implies that many people who bought homes even two years ago have experienced no appreciation in their homes’ worth,” said ShoreBank’s Oser. “Those who bought more recently are likely to live in homes that are worth less than they paid for them.”

For Chad and Jeanine Smith, who bought a townhouse in northwest suburban Lakemoor in December 2002, the line between profit and breaking even — or losing money — is a fine one.

“I don’t want to have to take a loss, though I’m afraid that might have to happen,” he said.

The couple began trying to sell their home in April 2007, with several potential buyers visiting over the summer. But they’ve had no one look at the three-bedroom unit in several months. They’ve lowered their price to $203,900 from $207,000 and are thinking about asking $199,000, he said.

The National Association of Realtors said single-family sales in December fared slightly better than those of condos, nationally, declining 21.6 percent and 24.5 percent, respectively.

[via Chicago Tribune]

2007 Chicago home sales fall, prices gain

Chicago area home sales dropped, but prices bucked the national trend and gained.

The median home sale price in the Chicago metropolitan area grew 2.4 percent last year to $254,000, while total home sales fell 20.5 percent to 92,656. Nationally, the median home price fell for the first time since 1968: 1.8 percent to $217,000.

[via Chicago Sun-Times]

Wealthy may be next in line in US home crisis

Unfortunately, Hinsdale may also now be too expensive for some of the people who already live here.

“There is a section of the population here that over-extended themselves to buy here and then keep up the facade of wealth,” said Sharon Sodikoff, a broker associate at local real estate agency Prudential Homelife Realty. “In the next year or so they’ll be forced out in dribs and drabs.”

[via Reuters]

Finding a personal injury lawyer in Chicago

12.30.07 | admin | In lawyer

Someone I know was recently injured and I’ve been helping her to find a personal injury lawyer in Chicago but so far it’s been a bad experience.  Usually I would get a recommendation for a lawyer but in this case nobody I know has ever had to use a personal injury lawyer in Chicago before.  So I’m asking if anybody out there can either recommend an attorney or a good way to find one.

Chicago News Roundup for December

Woman Found Stabbed To Death In Lincoln Park

CHICAGO (CBS) A woman’s body was found with a knife in her chest in Lincoln Park after emergency crews responded to a 911 call early Friday.

Police received a 911 call about 2 a.m. of a person down and when crews arrived to an area near Diversey Parkway and Cannon Drive, they found the body of a fully clothed woman with a knife in her chest, according to a Town Hall District police lieutenant.

[via WBBM780]

Chicago braces for smoking ban

City officials warned business owners that the enforcement clock starts ticking at midnight. But they said fines levied against owners will not be instantaneous.

Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Terry Mason said regulators initially will field complaints from the general public through the local 311 telephone assistance line and via the citys Web site at After two complaints against a particular business, the city will send the establishment a letter. A third complaint will trigger an inspection, possibly followed by citations and fines that begin at $250 per offense.

[via Springfield State Journal Register]

Anti-terror center adds crime focus

In a windowless office at Chicago police headquarters, Detective John Benigno checks out several computer databases in an effort to identify the owner of a truck like one seen at a murder scene.

When he’s done, he will send a package of information to the detectives working on the case, keeping investigators on the street and away from their desks.

[via Chicago Tribune]

Hallucinogenic plant joins list of Illinois bans

CHICAGO (AP) - A law taking effect in Illinois on New Year’s Day makes possession or sale of a plant called Salvia divinorum a felony.

The plant can cause hallucinations within seconds after it’s smoked, licked or chewed. Violators will face legal consequences as harsh as those for heroin or LSD.

[via Pekin Daily Times]

4 Chicago area men arrested in alleged Craigslist prostitution ring

Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart said the arrests earlier this week came out of a three-month investigation, dubbed Operation Quiet Money, in which investigators monitored advertisements in the “erotic services” section of Craigslist. The ring operated in Illinois and Indiana and involved at least 11 women, some of whom were high school freshmen and sophomores, he said.

“If you’re looking for exploitation at its absolute worst, this is it,” Dart said.

[via Chicago Tribune]

Boutique Chicago

Sunday Times travel expert Richard Green responds: You can get some great boutique style hotels in the Loop - the downtown central area - but finding one with a pool there is tricky. You might have to decide between a central boutique hotel, or somewhere by the lake, larger, but with a pool.

The Burnham Hotel is a terrific option. Its 122 rooms are all smartly furnished in dark blues and cream, with a cosy lobby and swish ground floor cafe. It’s right where you need to be, in the Loop district, and there’s a complimentary wine reception every night for guests, to get you off to the right start. Doubles are from {pound}120. However there isn’t a pool. Similarly pool-less, is the nearby and more designer feeling Hotel 71, which has modern doubles, minimalist public spaces, and an excellent fusion restaurant, from {pound}143.

[via Times Online]

Kmart to Acquire Sears in $11 Billion Deal

NEW YORK - A resurgent Kmart, home of the blue light special, is buying the once-dominant Sears department store chain in a surprising $11 billion gamble it is counting on to help both better compete with Wal-Mart and other big-box retailers.

Led by Kmart Holding Corp. chairman Edward Lampert, the new Sears Holdings Corp. would be the nation’s third largest retailer. Both chains would survive, but several hundred stand-alone Kmarts throughout the country are expected to be transformed into Sears stores. The goal: A quick kick-start to sales away from Sears traditional base of shopping malls.

[via Newsday]

Suburban Sprawl in Chicago Extends Further

The Chicago Tribune recently featured a two-part series on the roots and dynamics of urban sprawl, focusing on the Chicago metro area.

While the population of the seven-county Chicago metro area experienced a growth rate of 63 percent between 1950 and 2006, that rate jumps to 261 percent by removing the city of Chicago from the equation, according to the first article in the series, entitled “Leaps of Faith Drive Ever-Expanding ’Burbs.”

[via MuniNet Guide]

Prosecutor: Charged teen chose Hyde Park because ‘people have money there’

Demetrius Warren was ordered held without bail today after appearing before a Cook County judge on charges that he was involved in a string of robberies and shootings on or near the Hyde Park campus on Nov. 19.

Warren, 17, allegedly told Eric Walker, 16, who is already charged in the attacks, that they should commit robberies in Hyde Park because “people have money there,” Cook County prosecutor Maria McCarthy said today in court.

[via Chicago Sun-Times]

Dao Thai in Streeterville

Dao Thai in Streeterville is a lot like other Thai restaurants in Chicago.  But it bears even more resemblance to Star of Siam in River North, really not that far from Dao.  This is because, despite the different names, they are owned by the same people and have almost exactly the same menu with maybe a difference in some certain specials.  Otherwise the food is the same and they both have the “traditional” seating where you’re not really sitting on the floor but it looks like it.

If you’re at either of these restaurants I don’t recommend ordering anything that’s not noodles or curry.  And if you order a curry dish be aware that if it’s one that contains peanut it will basically tastes strongly of peanut butter.  But the Pad Woon Sen is good.  Also be aware that this place is pretty dead many nights.  This can be good.  But it also means that the rice that they cook will often times be stale.  Your food may come quick.  This is because much of it is prepared before hand.

230 E. Ohio St.
Chicago, IL 60611

Chicago News Roundup

$310000 for top cop? ‘Yes, it’s worth it’: Daley

The career FBI agent chosen by Mayor Daley to clean up the Chicago Police department will be paid $310,000 a year — and he will be locked into a term that ends in March 2011.

The new and higher salary for J.P. “Jody” Weis was disclosed by the city Law Department hours after Daley defended the decision to make Weis the highest paid public official in Chicago.

Perhaps the Chicago Police Department does need some serious cleaning up. What kind of salary does that justify and what kind of performance are we expecting for that price, a sum that would pay the salaries of a few more cops on the beat.
[via Chicago Sun-Times]

Snow falling in Chicago area, with 3 to 6 inches expected

About 4 to 6 inches of snow were forecast before noon Wednesday.

By midnight Tuesday, the Chicago area had already seen about 31/2 inches, according to the National Weather Service in Romeoville. A lighter dusting of snow was expected overnight, with lake-enhanced snow developing early Wednesday, keeping snow advisories in Cook, DuPage, Lake, and McHenry Counties in effect until noon.

[via Chicago Tribune]

Monsanto joins Chicago Climate Exchange; plans to cut carbon emissions

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 4, 2007 (Thomson Financial delivered by Newstex) — Monsanto (NYSE:MON) Co. said Tuesday it joined the Chicago Climate Exchange, a greenhouse-gas emissions reduction, registry and trading program. As part of the agreement, Monsanto said it plans to reduce by 2010 its direct carbon emissions from major U.S. operations by 6% below 2000 levels, or buy carbon emission offsets as specified in the Chicago Climate Exchange contract. The St. Louis-based agribusiness company also said it plans to work with farmer groups to discuss reducing carbon dioxide in the air by practicing no-till agriculture, which involves minimal plowing of farmland. Shares of Monsanto were down 44 cents at $101.16.Katherine HuntCopyright Thomson Financial News Limited 2007. All rights reserved.The copying, republication or redistribution of Thomson Financial News Content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Thomson Financial News.


Florida: Sears Tower Case Goes to Jury

A jury began deliberations in the trial of seven Miami men accused of plotting to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago and wage a religiously motivated war against the United States government. Prosecutors, drawing on evidence collected in an eight-month investigation, have said the men were trying to get financial support from Al Qaeda to conduct an armed jihad. But defense lawyers have insisted their clients were entrapped by undercover F.B.I. agents and played along to raise money to build a construction business and a local religious mission..

[via New York Times]

Chicago City Council panel advances plans for 18 possible landmarks

Proposals to confer landmark status on a dozen vintage railroad bridges, a North Side residential district and five buildings were advanced Monday at a City Council committee meeting.

Most of the bridges, representing a variety of designs, were built in the early 20th Century. They span the Chicago River, Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, and the Calumet River.

[via Chicago Tribune]

Area buildings receive landmark designation

The avalanche of landmarks approved by the Committee on Historical Landmark Preservation also included the Dover Street District, a “visually distinctive collection of suburban-style single-family homes and multi-family buildings” constructed between 1893 and 1927 in the Uptown community. The district “exemplifies the growth and development of the North Side neighborhood in the years following its annexation” by Chicago in 1889 - a growth made possible by mass transit to the Loop.

[via Chicago Sun-Times]

Optimism, Opportunities Exist Despite Chicago Real Estate Challenges

Chicago — ; “The old days of easily obtainable, nonconforming loans for developers seem to be over,” said Marks Attwood (pictured at right), president, Residential Development Division, AMCORE Bank, Lincolnshire, Ill. “The feds are tightening up the rules and clearly defining black and white now.”

In all, slow sales, excess inventory, tighter lending restrictions and higher costs have taken their toll on the Chicagoland real estate industry, but hope is on the horizon, according to industry experts who headed a recent Chicago real estate industry panel discussion on “Challenges & Change in the Real Estate Industry 2007.”

[via Multi-Housing News]

Kanye West tops nominees for Chicago Music Awards

Two new radio categories were added to the awards this year in response to requests from fans, media and others. The new categories are Most Popular Music Radio and Most Popular College/Community Radio.

Local fans can vote for the Chicago Music Awards by filling out a form online at the official Web site or by e-mailing [email protected] The deadline for voting is Jan. 10.

[via Chicago Sun-Times]

Hillside man charged with robbing 2 on Chicago’s West Side

CHICAGO - A Hillside man has been charged in the armed robbery of two men Thursday night on Chicago’s West Side.

Damien Scott, 25, of the 400 block of North Wolf Road is accused of forcing two men, ages 19 and 25, into the back of a van at gunpoint and robbing them in the 2300 block of West Taylor Street about 9 p.m. Thursday.

[via Chicago Tribune]

Blagojevich pits North vs. South in Illinois

Illinois is a family in pain. Politically, we are perilously close to our own civil war, thanks in large part to the combative, testosterone-driven, absentee leadership of Gov. Blagojevich.

It’s become North against South.

[via Chicago Sun-Times]

Navy Pier

12.05.07 | admin | In navy pier

According to the Chicago Hot Blog the city of Chicago is going to recognize Pearl Harbor Day this Friday, December 7 at Navy Pier beginning at 11 a.m. with a special ceremony.  This is to commemorate seven people from Illinois that died that day when Japan attacked the American  naval base in a preemptive strike during World War II.  Today we view preemptive strikes much differently than we did back when we were the target of one.  This event is free and open to the public.

There is also the annual Winter Wonderland at Navy Pier starting on that same day and going until January 6.  You can go for free but other attractions are not free.  Our taxes only pay for us to have some enjoyment but not too much.

And apparently the regularly scheduled fireworks will  go on rain or shine or snow as the case may be.

Transient hotels in Chicago

11.28.07 | admin | In transient, uptown, hotel, homeless, lincoln park

There are several options for transients in Chicago, semi-homeless men, and usually it is men and some of these places only accept men.  One is in Lincoln Park, mentioned in a previous post, called the BelAir Hotel at 424 W. Diversey Parkway.  The location is nice with plenty of places to eat nearby and you can always hang out on the lake for free.  Their number is 773-248-4000.

Another option for boyfriends who have been kicked out of their apartment might be Hotel Covent which is that 2653 N Clark St. (Chicago, IL 60614) not too far from the Belair Hotel, just a few blocks south west.  This places men’s only and $125 a week or $450 a month.  It includes some hotel amenities.

Yet another place in Lincoln Park closer to Depaul is the Bellwood Hotel at 1409 W. Diversey Pkwy (Chicago, IL 60614 773-404-6000).  Their rate is $170 a week.  Also try 773-404-1061.  Call one of the numbers first to make sure it’s still open.

If all that fails and you still want to stay in Lincoln Park there is the Arlington House International Hostel
at 616 W Arlington Pl, Chicago, IL 60614 (773) 929-5380.  The rates for dorms are $29 a night which is not a deal if you’re staying for a few weeks but not bad for a few nights.

A place to try in Uptown is the Wilson Men’s Hotel.
1124 W Wilson Ave
Chicago, IL 60640

Taco Tuesday in Chicago

La Bamba
122 W Madison St.
Chicago, IL 60602

Also at 2557 North Halsted
Chicago, IL 60614

La Bamba has two locations in the city, one in the Loop and one in Lincoln Park, both serving burritos as big as your head. And on Tuesdays they serve their ground beef tacos for a dollar. But if you’re like most young people who go there after a night of drinking you’ll just care that it’s open and still cooking. In Chicago this really only applies to the Lincoln Park location which is close to DePaul students. The one in the Loop is only open until eight o’clock in the evening which means they surprisingly get all of their business from sober, daytime office workers.

Hamilton’s Pub
6341 N. Broadway
Chicago, IL 60660

This joint in Rogers Park service Loyola students and what do students love more than cheap beer and even cheaper food? Their fifty cent tacos on Tuesdays are the cheapest I’m aware of. And they have dollar burgers on Mondays.

Union Park
228 S. Racine Ave.
Chicago, IL 60607

Not exactly a taco dive, more of a sports bar in the West Loop north of UIC. But they do celebrate Taco Tuesday with a one dollar taco and three dollar Coronas. Tuesday isn’t the only day to go as they have a $3 burger and fries special on Mondays. Not quite the same deal as Hamilton ’s Pub but I see a trend here.

Pepe’s Mexican Restaurant
1310 E. 53rd St.
Chicago, IL 60615

While not officially celebrating Taco Tuesday this Hyde Park Mexican restaurant does have deals on tacos throughout the week. On Mondays get five tacos for $5.99, $1.29 each on Wednesdays, and also on Thursdays get 10 for $12.99. This is just down the street from Rajun Cajun.

(773) 651-2862
606 E 75th St.
Chicago, IL 60619

Okay, I’ve never actually been here but I guess they have a Taco Tuesday special with free tacos and random drink specials. It’s on the south side and you would have to go at night.

Mount Everest Restaurant and Rajun Cajun

We decided to visit Evanston again recently and went back to the Mount Everest Restaurant, which is supposed to be Indian and Nepalese cuisine.  We went during lunch when they have a buffet.  I’ve never been to a Nepali buffet before and I still never have.  Not that there are a lot of Nepalese restaurants in all of Chicago what does is the only Indian restaurant in Evanston and their lunch buffet is exactly like any other Indian buffet around Chicago.  There’s a salad bar, tandori chicken, a chicken curry dish, a goat dish, and a few vegetarian choices, naan bread at your table, rice pudding for dessert.  We got there kind of late but I feel sorry for the people who arrived even later than us who were served the buffet even though there were no plans on replenishing any of the dishes and there was slim pickings.  The price isn’t so bad for the buffet at $8.95 which is a lot cheaper than, say, India House.

630 Church Street
(between Chicago Ave & Orrington Ave)
Evanston, IL 60201

Another South Asian restaurant we went to recently which happened to be in another college town neighborhood was Rajun Cajun, voted the best cheap restaurant in Hyde Park.  The name is a bit misleading as there is very little actual Cajun food but there’s actually a lot of Indian food.  As well as the Southern/soul food staples like fried chicken, mac and cheese, sweet potatoes, corn bread, and collared greens.  All under one tiny roof.  The samosas are actually pretty good although the cornbread doesn’t taste very fresh (it’s better at Boston Market up the block).  You can try individual sample portions of the many vegetarian dishes but the amount that we paid for a regular sizef butter chicken curry was a bit high.  However, if you’re in Hyde Park you’re pretty far from a lot of good ethnic food so what are you to do? so, for being voted cheap and good it’s not really that cheap but unfortunately probably the best.  They also apparently rented Indian videos.

Rajun Cajun
1459 E. 53rd St., Chicago

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