15 October 2007

Argyle Street

We have been up to Argyle Street a couple of times in the past several weeks, and I think we'll be returning more and more often. This area offers a heavy concentration of Vietnamese restaurants, with a couple Thai and Chinese places mixed in.

On our most recent visit, we tried our first banh mi sandwich at Ba Le, on the corner of N Broadway and Argyle. Lemon grass pork. It was like a Vietnamese salad in French bread. Amazing. And so cheap! Three bucks. (And when you buy five you get one free.) This has got to turn into a lunch destination for me. It's a long walk, but the bus ride is not bad.

After devouring the sandwich, we crossed the street to Tank. We sat at a communal round table rather than waiting for a table for two to become available. That was kind of fun and different.

Our first visit to Tank, shortly after we moved to Chicago, did not excite us, but I think we ordered the wrong thing. Victor remembers we ordered a rice noodle bowl. The specialty here is really the pho, which is what we ordered this time. And were utterly delighted. Deeply flavorful.

On this visit I also noticed Thai Grocery for the first time (a few doors south of Ba Le) and we wandered around there for a while, wishing we had such a place in our neighborhood. Will definitely return to do some shopping.

Since we have plenty of decent places to eat in our immediate neighborhood, it is very easy to fall into a rut. It feels good to make the effort to enjoy places that may require a bit of a longer walk or bus ride.

We live in a great food city.

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