Tuesday, February 24, 2004

The Ever Growing Chicago Chinatown

Those who know me and read me, know of all my bugaboos, perhaps my biggest is false claims about Chinese food in Chicago. I know we are not Vancouver, the San Gabriel Valley or even San Jose, but I also know we have some good enough Chinese food. Places like Happy Chef, Ed's Potsticker House, Lao Sze Chuan and Spring World have been keeping me well fed for years. It is only getting better. Dragon Court is a new option, another modern Cantonese place, in the same mein as Happy Chef (without the plastic table clothes!). Chicago Magazine called it the most authentic in Chinatown. Chowhound Critical1 did a report here and noted its late night menu here. I am anxious to try.

A couple of other newer places in Chinatown I have either tried or at least scoped out included Happy Cafe and Seven Wives. Like Dragon Court, they are on Wentworth, showing that after several years of development coming pretty much only in the Chinatown Mall, action is moving back to the main part of Chinatown. Both are small, HK style cafes serving a variety of seemingly odd plates. Happy Cafe is a rather plain room with a ton of lunch options under $5. Most of the dishes can be served over rice, rice noodles or pan fried noodles. Seven Wives is suprisingly nice on the inside, not posh but far from a dump. They have a range of choices by the hour including breakfast, lunches and happy hour snacks. If you ever wanted to try a Hong Kong style breakfast--say toast, stirred egg white with mushromm and ham, and two supreme smoked sausages + coffee or tea ($3.25!), this is your place.

Dragon Court
2414 S. Wentworth
Chicago, IL

Happy Cafe
2351 S. Wentworth
Chicago, IL

Seven Wives
2230 S. Wentworth
Chicago, IL

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