Pickles at Chaihanna, courtesy David Hammond

In July, I went to visit a few mall-based restaurants with two very trusty dining companions: Mike Gebert and Jennifer Olvera. Gebert won a James Beard award earlier this year for his food videos, and Olvera recently published Food Lovers’ Guide to Chicago, a compendium of worthy dining zones in and around our city.

This segment ran on Eight Forty-Eight, WBEZ (91.5) on August 23, 2011.

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David Hammond, a corporate communications consultant and food journalist living in Oak Park, Illinois, is a founder and moderator of LTHForum.com, the 8,500 member Chicago-based culinary chat site. David...