Quick Reviews on All the Restaurants in Hyde Park I’ve ever Gone to (Part 1)

Bonjour Bakery and Cafe

Good fresh bread, even better fresh and slathered with some fresh butter and sea salt or goat cheese.  Pastries are good but expensive.
The French bread here has a finer crumb, which makes it better for cooking with in many recipes (brioche for bread pudding, sliced baguette for crostini, etc).

Cafe Corea

One of the few safe places to sit down and have a good meal in Hyde Park.  (An exaggeration, but not by much)  Staff is friendly and accommodating, I believe the restaurant is family owned.  The Jap Chae is a good bet, as are the hot soups.  Marginally more expensive than most Asian restaurants in Hyde Park, but markedly better.  Comforting food well prepared.

Cedars Mediterranean Kitchen

Overall, disappointing.  Hyde Park’s attempt at a mid-range “Mediterranean” attempts to make up for in ambiance what it lacks in originality and quality of ingredients.  The dishes I’ve sampled have been hit-or-miss, but there is better, cheaper food to be found at the Nile.


I went here for dinner last spring quarter, I will never come back.  The “Asian fusion” concept is poorly executed in every sense.  The decor and layout are tacky and impractical, and the food is uninspired and in some cases highly contrived.  The reason I have a hard time liking Asian fusion restaurants is that so many times the product of the fusion ends up being a compromise of the originals rather than an innovative and nuanced approach to an old classic.  Noodles Etc’s attempt at a trendy, mid-range fusion restaurant is no better than most cheaper restaurants in Hyde Park.

Edwardo’s Natural Pizza

Edwardo’s offers inconsistent food and consistent poor service.  Giordano’s has better pizza, service, and atmosphere, though it’s farther from the quad.  Either way, the only time I eat deep dish is when I’m going to dinner with friends from out of town, in which case I have better things to do than watch servers argue with each other and ignore patrons for 90 minutes.


See above.


A must.  Sometimes the quality of the meat is poor, but apparently they have a 7 day return policy (?!) so I guess if you want to, you can ask for a new one.  Or just shell out another $3.51 and wait 10 minutes for a second half dark meal if you’re too embarrassed to ask for a refund.  Perfect when paired with a crisp champagne.

A note: everyone has their own preferences when it comes to ordering Harold’s.  I usually go with the half dark fried hard mild sauce salt and pepper.


UChi Update!



The University of Chicago is bringing Clarke’s restaurant, a 24-hour Chicago-area diner, to 53rd Street in Hyde Park…

…Scheduled to open later this year, Clarke’s will offer a wide variety of menu choices, including specialty salads, stir-fry dishes, sandwiches and a host of additional breakfast, lunch and dinner items. The restaurant addresses a longstanding interest among students and other community members for more late-night options.

All I have to say about this is… YES!

This definitely beats trying to stay up until 5:30AM to eat at Valois.  Plus, sweet potato fries are delicious at all times of day, but especially between the hours of 1 and 4 AM.

More updates to come after I escape my 6th week black hole of midterms (workload reached critical mass yesterday).  Check Wednesday afternoon for a new post.

Z&H – A Review

I know my reviews can be a little wordy, so I’ll try to keep this one relatively brief.

Last Tuesday, I went to Z&H for lunch around 1:40.  I ordered the 90 Miles to Mosak ($7.50), which contained pork belly, ham, swiss, onion, mustard, and pickle on French bread.  I sat down in the back and my sandwich came a few minutes later, along with a few pieces of potato salad.  I ordered a medium coffee and my total was something like $10.  (Which I put toward my rewards account.)

My initial impressions of the sandwich were fairly positive.  If pressed for specifics, I prefer a slightly wider loaf for my sandwiches (for a better crust-filling ratio, in my opinion).  There was also a lot of mustard and the pork belly was more salty than rich.  Overall, I thought the sandwich was a little dry and out of balance.  The quality of the ingredients was apparent and overall I enjoyed my sandwich, but I think the concept could have been improved with the addition of some tomato or avocado, to bring some moisture and cut the saltiness of the pork belly.  The potato salad was good and simple.  The potatoes were dressed just enough and cooked through without being mushy.  A nice touch.

I disagree with those who say Z&H is overpriced.  In my opinion, it’s one of the few places to get a decent meal within 20 minutes of campus.  I will go back to Z&H and order differently next time. I will update when I do, but for now…

Lunch at Z&H – $10

Three stars: