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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Tuesday, May 11

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« Uncommon Ground Comes to Rogers Park Serving Suggestions »

Restaurant Thu Nov 29 2007

Hound Dogs Burgers & Teriyaki: Wholesome Diner Food Available

Korean mixed vegetables with rice, or bi bim bop, seems incongruent with my notion of a typical greasy Chicago diner. I imagine the type of place where I could order bacon and eggs, cheese dogs, meat on toast, and pizza puffs at a walk-up counter. Hound Dogs Burgers & Teriyaki has all that, plus teriyaki sandwiches and bi bim bop. I ordered the rice dish without the typical egg and beef. At a place where meat seems to take priority on the menu, anyone wanting to order vegan should assume the responsibility for ensuring their dietary guidelines are met. I stick to the basics. I asked for a vegetarian bi bim bop, no egg. They told me, sure, one bi bim bop, no egg. Hmm, I thought, I better make sure about the meat. No meat, I said, and more notes went on the kitchen's ticket.

My two friends and I waited for a table to free. It was a lunchtime busy with older men sitting alone on their workday lunch breaks. Then, when a two-person table opened up, I went for it and pulled up a third chair. Just then, the single occupant of a four-person booth seemed to be collecting his belongings. One friend and I stood over the table we'd already secured, hedging our bet in case the bigger booth opportunity somehow disappeared. We succeeded, sat down in the booth and waited until we heard "bi bim bop" called out. Plants stood in the windowsills, the menus on the wall advertised Coke and Vienna Beef logos, and the sound of deep-frying came from behind the counter. When it was time to eat, my big bowl held lightly cooked spinach, thinly sliced cucumber, lightly cooked carrot half-discs, and sprouts over white rice. I poured on and mixed in the tangy red-hot sauce that came with, just as one friend mixed in her sunny side up egg. It was tasty, fresh and wholesome - exactly what I needed. And just the opposite of what I might have expected from a greasy spoon, had my pals not set me straight when they suggested this spot.

2257 W Grand Ave., (312) 666-5797. CTA busses 65 Grand and 49 Western.

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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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