- Ten or so soul food restaurants that look highly inviting.
- Parachute, a take-out fancy Korean restaurant. Looks unlikely to be worth the price.
- The 2019 Tribune Guide to Korean Food, mostly in the suburbs, including the H-Mart restaurants.
- Han Bat] Lawrence St. Chicago Sulintang bone soup restaurant. My father-in-law loved the Manhattan outlet. I want to try this one.
Han Bat is an example of a type of restaurant common in many parts of the world but increasingly rare in the United States: a specialty shop that does one thing, extremely well. Its focus is so narrow because of the time and effort it takes to prepare its chosen dish: seolleongtang can’t be rushed.
The best sul lung tang in the city AND suburbs hands down. No fake stuff whitened up with flour or broth without the hearty flavor that can only be accomplished with a lot of slow cooking time and large amounts of ox tail. They also have the softest, gooiest dogani (tendon) around. This place is a dive and old women serve you that remind me of an aunt or my mom so you get a very home sweet home feeling. Mind you, old Korean are not polite in any way shape or form but they honestly mean no harm so don't be offended if their manners are not exactly the best especially if there is a language barrier. Do NOT bring anything but cash to pay with because that is all they accept and there are signs posted as soon as you walk in the door. I know, it's a drag to have to go to the ATM but I can certainly understand why a small family business simply can't shoulder the hefty cut the credit card companies take to swipe a card. To be honest, this is more of a traditional Korean type of place so if you're not Korean and you don't understand why they don't have your favorite glass noodles, or bibimbap (rolls eyes) then please don't even bother trying this place out. Korean food is immensely diverse so just like any other restaurant it is impossible for every Korean restaurant to make all of your favorite dishes under one roof AND make them to your specific liking. If you're adventurous but are shy about going in without guidance then grab yourself a Korean and ask them to show you the ropes. Korean food doesn't consist of just kalbi, boolgogi and chap chae. You'll be surprised to find out that sul lung tang makes for a great hangover cure!
choong l. 1187 11/11/2008 Why pay $7.95 for a bowl of soup that you can probably make at home? Well, if you have the means to procure a couple of pounds of oxtail bones, then have the patience to let it simmer for a good part of the day (8-12 hours)... oh, but wait, you need to bleach out the blood in the bones by leaving it in a cold water bath for a few hours before the simmering... oh what the hell, just fork over $10 and have yourself at it. A lot of restaurants serve it since it's a popular Korean comfort food, and it's relatively straight forward to prepare (and there are definitely ways to cheat on the hours with creative use of stock and MSG)... but no other place in Chicago comes even close to Hanbat. It's like, your grandma's probably never read a page of a cookbook in her life, but you know nothing else is comparable to anything she cooks up in her kitchen. Seriously, most Koreans who order the sul-lung-tang soup in other restaurants would usually comment, "oh, this is okay, but it's not like the one from Hanbat." I don't know why it's better at Hanbat -- it's a simple dish -- but it just is. Those in the know who are suffering the cravings on the kinds of mornings that only a piping hot bowl of sulungtang will fix will call up all their buddies (no doubt, the comrades of last night's soju binge-fest in a Korean join) to meet up. The decor is absolutely abysmal, even by the high(?) Korean hole-in-the-wall dive standards, and because it's in the middle of a dilapidated strip mall with half the stores vacant, it's definite NOT a place you'd ever stop by on a whim to try an new ethnic cuisine. In fact, every time I pull into their parking lot, if it's at an odd hour and there are no other cars parked in the small parking lot, I'd hesitate and second guess myself: 'have they finally gone out of business?' But no. They've been here forever, and they ain't goin' away. A word of warning to newbies -- this is NOT one of the more friendly Korean food (like gal-bi or jap-chae) that you're used to in other Korean joints. What is the flavor of ox tail bones simmered in low heat for +10 hours, letting all the gelatin from the bone marrows seep out of their ivory encasing and turning the water into a milky broth? Actually, fairly 'tasteless' until you add the fixin' that enhance the subtle, rich flavor. While I've met die-hard (non-Korean) gourmands exclaiming their love for this simple dish, most of the casual diners go away puzzled , not understanding what the fuss is about. If you get this food, you've moved beyond Korean Food 101. A majority of the menu is just variation on what kind of protein you want to add into basically the same broth stock -- tripes, briskets, oxtail, etc. -- and there's a 'special bowl (which is just super-sized portion)' as well as a few other slow-cooked, simple meat dishes. If it's not the soup you want, there's basically nothing else you'd get here... If you were ever adventurous enough to try out sul-lung-tang without a Korean 'guide,' here's what you do. Each bowl is served with the meat you've requested already in the broth, along with noodles, and it's accompained by a bowl of chopped green onions and chilly pepper paste -- these are for you to add to the soup to taste. You'll also be served with two kinds of kimchi -- one made of lettuce and one made of blocks of beet. To start, you should put about two table spoonfuls of green onions into the bowl, then reach over to the salt bowl and add about 1/2 teaspoon of salt at a time until it's seasoned. Although each person's palate is different, there is a fine point when it's seasoned enough... it should never be 'salty' but as you add salt, you should feel the deep broth flavor enhance. At this point, a lot of Koreans like to spice things up by adding the spicy element. The most obvious is to add about 1-2 teaspoons of the chilli pepper paste that was served with the bowl, but the authentic/traditional way is to add the 'sauce' from the beet kimchi. I would NOT recommend this if you do not like kimchi, because when the sauce heats up in the broth, it emits a fairly strong kimchi odor until the sauce 'cooks.' Adding the spicy elements (and especially opting for kimchi sauce) is strictly optional. Most Koreans dump the bowl of rice that's been served with the broth directly into the soup, so you turn this into a rice porridge of a sort -- it upps the 'comfort food' aspect of the soup, but again, it's not required. By this point, if the thought of slurping on a completely 'weird' soup in a total hole-in-the-wall in the middle of a run-down strip mall in the middle of nowhere hasn't really deterred you from marking the place as a 'place to try'... well, good for you -- you're in for a rewarding experience. Bon appetit... or as us Koreans would say it, "mat-it-geh-deu-seh-yoh!" :) Cheers
- Les Nomads is a good fancy restaurant.
- J.R.'s Chicken Restaurant and Bar
- Paul's Place looks good. Bar.
Indiana Restaurants outside Bloomington
- Columbus. Sabor de la Vida. Everything but enchiladas. Very homey.
- Fort Wayne seafood bag boil restaurant.
- The Ugly Crab seafood bag boil restaurant, north).
- soul food restaurants.
- Mississippi Belle and its menu (North, Keystone).
- His Place Eatery and its menu, Northeast, just outside of I-465.
- La Petite Chou French bistro in that trendy Broadripple canal neighborhood. Very very good food. $100 for 2, with tip, salad, cocktail, dessert. The mussels, french fries, duck, bread, butterscotch pudding were all exquisite.
- Seymour. Tortilleria Azteca. A tacqueria, good.
- Terra Haute.
- The Beef House.
- Umi Grill. Good menu. I went in January 2021 with DF, HR, AF, and MP.
- El Cerrito is good.
- Arlington Ethiopian-Texas BBQ near Dallas. Worth trying, it seems.
Restaurants to Try
- Social Cantina and its food menu and its drinks menu, which has Sotol, made from a different plant than tequila and mezcal, as well as lots of mezcals.
- Village Pub, in the Princess Theatre
- Scenic View on Route 446 on the way to the Lake.
Good Bloomington Restaurants
- Try LongFei, Cardinal SPirits, Siam House, Osteria Rago, Tres Amigos, Carson's BBQ.
- Uptown Cafe
- Upland Brewery
- The Feast, for desserts and coffee
- Runcible Spoon
- The Irish Lion
- Nick's English Hut.
- Smokeworks on the Square requires masks. Don't go there.