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Monday, August 15

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Restaurant Sat Aug 11 2007

Chicago Korean Festival with Tofu House and Lawrence Fruit Market

Adrienne and Mike at Tofu House.jpgThis weekend, Califone and the Ponys are rocking West Fest on Chicago Avenue and the Midwest Buddhist Temple hosts Ginza Festival. Meanwhile, the 12th Annual Chicago Korean Festival fills Bryn Mawr between Kimball and Kedzie with a bandstand plus food and advocation tents in typical street fair style. I took the Homan/Kimball bus north from North Avenue, met up with my pals and popped out of the fest and into Tofu House (3307 W. Bryn Mawr) for a meal. The commercial corridor of the Korean enclave seems to span just the few blocks of the festival. It's a delightful find, not too far from Arabic cafes, restaurants and stores on Kedzie near Lawrence. Tofu House's steamy tofu vegetable soup is full of spice, just like I asked for, and brought to the table simmering - perfect inside air conditioning on a hot day. We're in a room off of the main wood paneled room that's under a ceiling of dark wood slots. The wood lends a wholesome feel that becomes humbly charming with the dark, almost forest green that paints chairs and the table frames that hold medium-stained wood tabletops. Service is attentive, and includes a current Korean fashion magazine to admire while we wait. Across and down the street, through the festival's table tents and wrestling sand pit, sits a modest looking Lawrence Fruit Market (3318 W. Bryn Mawr). Packaged goods like soybean paste, barley flakes and rice paper for spring rolls sit in shelves around a table with crimini, shitake and oyster mushrooms and okra and coolers with organic tofu, broccoli, leeks and more. Fresh plump and deeply sweet figs and lychee wait at checkout. The back of the store seems reserved for unpacking. On the sidewalk, my pals and I peel the lychee's round, prickly outside and appreciate the sticky, grape-like sweet inside. I spit the pit into a trashcan and get lost on a side street. The bungalow-lined streets are pristinely manicured. Down an alley, friends point out a Korean backyard garden. Gourds and cucumbers hang from a trellis, homemade from electrical pipe, that makes me think of going home to unpack the veggies I just bought.

Tofu House. Steaming Tofu Vegetable Soup.jpg

Tofu House.jpg

Meleah and Bungalows. 5400 N Block of Bernard St.jpg

Korean Terllis Garden from Alley.jpg

Lawrence Fruit Market.jpg

Lawrence Fruit Market Yield. Shitakes, Okra, Figs, Leek, Broccoli and Organic Tofu.jpg

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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