What, Really, Should We Eat?

We're looking for one incredible dish

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By David Hammond

In January, we ran the first in a planned series of videos entitled "You Really Should Eat This."

I got the idea for this program based on several years of writing restaurant reviews for Time Out Chicago and Chicago Reader. What I discovered was that at many restaurants, I was pretty much okay with the menu, there was some good stuff, some mediocre stuff…and some stuff that just blew my mind, food that opened my eyes and kept me thinking about it for days.

Our first segment of "You Really Should Eat This" – produced at Village Hall by Joe Kreml – focused on the corned beef hash at George's.

Now, no normal person is going to fly in from out of town to eat the hash at Georges, but I found this preparation of a classic to be just right when I'm in the mood for a hearty breakfast. Not fancy, just simply wonderful.

We're working on the next segment of "You Really Should Eat This," and we expect it to be posted here and aired on VOP-TV within the next few weeks.

I have a bunch of places I want to feature, but I'd love to hear from you.

Is there one great dish that you've really enjoyed at an Oak Park restaurant?

Remember, we're not talking about the whole menu, or even more than one just plate.

All we're looking for is one incredible dish, and it could be as simple as hash or as grand as Lobster Thermidor. It should be just one thing you think we really should eat.

Post your suggestions on the Dining blog and if we use your suggestion, we'll announce it here (then you can email me your real name if you want to get credit in the video).

Think about it. Post about it. What, really, should we eat?

Reader Comments

15 Comments - Add Your Comment

Comment Policy

OP Eater  

Posted: February 9th, 2013 4:08 AM

Regarding "Meatloaf + Potatoes", I have to correct myself. Lake Street Bar + Kitchen used to have a dish called "Meat + Potatoes" which was the "must try" dish I was refering to. The "meat" was a braised and tender, but was not a "loaf". Maybe the "meatloaf" will be great too, but not what I was talking about. I don't know why that dish is not on the menu anymore, it was awesome, especially since they managed to make something so simple and conventional, a delicious and unexpected experience.

Brad from oak park  

Posted: February 8th, 2013 1:42 PM

The Haymaker pasta at Cucina Paradiso is one ofthebest around.

Dan Haley from Wednesday Journal  

Posted: February 6th, 2013 4:51 PM

OK, now that Guy has nominated Spaghetti Pie from Geppetto's I'll jump in with a second. Feels like a guilty pleasure. But it is very good.

David Hammond from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 6th, 2013 4:36 PM

Guy, Spaghetti Pie is an interesting suggestion; Mary, I don't think I can do George's again (smile), but I agree it's a gem.

Mary from Oak Park  

Posted: February 5th, 2013 7:41 PM

The breakfasts at Georges Restaurant on oak Park Ave. are always great. The spinach and feta cheese omelets and peach crepes are my favorites. The owner George and his sons treat you like one of the family, and the rest of the staff are just as friendly!

michelle from river forest  

Posted: February 5th, 2013 6:36 PM

I love the nacho's at the Maya del Sol ! or their Fish Taco's...

Guy Corl from Oak Park  

Posted: February 5th, 2013 6:29 PM

Geppetto's Spaghetti Pie !

David Hammond from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 5th, 2013 3:03 PM

Theresa, I believe you mean the pipian, which is made of squash seeds and I like it, too. It's interesting that New Rebozo is coming up a lot here -- haven't been there in years. Guess I should go back...?

theresa broderick  

Posted: February 5th, 2013 2:55 PM

the 5 different types of Mole that chef paco of new rabozo does is the best I have ever had....pumpkin is my favorite but they are all good

David Hammond from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 5th, 2013 2:53 PM

Meatloaf is a major comfort food: savory, filling, warm and not challenging. I will check out the loaf at Lake Street Kitchen + Bar. And this is most definitely the season for such a meal. When it's hot outside, a hunk o' loaf sounds way less appealing (but I still eat it, of course!).

OP Eater  

Posted: February 5th, 2013 2:33 PM

This is interesting as my choice for "what, really, should we eat" in Oak Park was not what I expected. What I mean is there are eateries here that I love so much, like MSCM, Klay Oven, Delia's etc... but I cannot think of a single dish from these places that I'd put above the majority of dishes they offer. The only dish that stood out to me as a "must eat" is "Meatloaf + Potatoes" dish at Lake Street Kitchen + Bar. Strange, as I don't frequent it.

David Hammond from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 5th, 2013 11:22 AM

Chiles en Nogada is one of my favorite Mexican holiday dishes: it looks beautiful, with appropriate Christmas colors, and the nut sauce is perfectly perked up with pomegranate seeds. As you say, though, 'tis not the season at the moment.

MWO from Oak Park  

Posted: February 5th, 2013 11:14 AM

Chef Paco's Chile Nogada, available only during the fall months is incredible. While everything at New Rebozo is "Oh My God! Good," His Chile Nogada may be the most incredible dish I have ever had. It's so good it cured my (psychosomatic) peanut allergy! Any list of best Oak Park dishes would be suspect if it doesn't include this dish.

ilovefood from op  

Posted: February 5th, 2013 11:13 AM

Chicken pho @ saigon in FP Potato pancakes @ Delia's The octopus appetizer @ Lake Any flatbread @ Lake Hot n sour soup @ sushi house Chicago fire roll @ sushi house

Renee Zoltowski from Oak Park  

Posted: February 5th, 2013 11:06 AM

I think you should really try the Benedicts at Maya del Sol's brunch. I had the salmon benedict. Fantastic!

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