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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, July 5

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Restaurant Tue Jan 08 2008

Shine Morida, Shine.

Shine Morida's service was tops and courteous. Our server intently placed our water glasses on the table, pausing a moment after lowering them to our table, just before they touched, as if to buffer a clanking sound. We'd asked him to see if the kitchen would make satay with tofu (menu lists chicken, beef, shrimp); but they said no. Meanwhile, he checked to see if some dumplings, edamame shu mai I think, had any egg in the batter. They used egg to seal the pastry, so I turned our problem back on the kitchen, asking our server to ask the kitchen what they'd recommend as a vegan appetizer. I didn't want to go back and forth with questions, and our server very kindly accommodated. Veggie dumplings, gyoza I think, were the answer. They were filled with tender minced vegetables and served in a thickly woven steam box.

Tofu perfectly fell apart softly in my mouth, once my teeth bit through its crispy outside. It was savory, tasting of the brilliantly creamy and spiciness of the vegetable hot pot it was part of. Hot pot is what we called it. I think the menu may have been more creative. The tofu crumbled in a firm sort of way, as to imply they didn't use silken tofu; perhaps the firm tofu was fried in a very hot pan with seasoned oil. Its sauce was a constant spicy, thick and tasting of coconut. Tomato wedges soaked up flavor while keeping my mouthful's texture moist, better than rice could do since rice isn't as juicy. Soft bits of green, spinach perhaps, rounded it out. Kung Pao's tofu felt the same, just with a tangy mild sauce that wasn't as perfect as a pairing but still lovely, and plenty of veggies.

We sat in plush chairs at a wood grained table. Asparagus stood out from the two middle pieces of our six vegetable maki slices. Spinach, cucumber, and avocado rolled in there, too. I mixed a thick paste of wasabi and soy sauce for dipping. I had a good view of Shine Morida's ceiling — as it raised and lowered throughout the room — and their plentiful use of tiny tiles on the back wall and spiky dropped lights in front of a wavy wall in the other room at the sushi bar. The menu identifies offerings from the "Japanese kitchen" and the "Chinese Kitchen," and then puts the rest under appetizers, soups and salads, noodles, maki rolls, nigiri and sushi dinners. 901-903 W. Armitage Ave. (773) 296.0101. El: Brown Line. Bus: 8, 73.

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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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