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This Week's Reader Actually Readable and Possibly Edible

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Apr 14, 2006 3:20PM

2006_04_060414_outerwrap.jpgChicagoist picks up the Reader every week out of habit, more than anything. It's not that we don't have our gripes with the paper; we do. We also have more important things happening than to indulge in infrequent sophomoric commentary about Michael Miner, Liz Armstrong, and the music section - although Monica Kendrick always gets love from us for being a Motörhead fan.

That said, if you consider yourself a gourmand, pick up this week's copy of the Gray Doorstop, or read it online (make sure you have Adobe Reader installed) if you can't handle dead-lifting the paper's sheer weight ... in troy ounces. The "restaurants special" features well-written articles about Lettuce Entertain You jefe Rich Melman and his influence on the city's culinary landscape; a day riding shotgun with Marché/Carnivale/Opera mastermind Jerry Kleiner and his "I'm giving flava to neighborhoods with flava" complex; the near-death experience of pre-Goose Island campus Kendall College; Crucial Detail founder Martin Kastner explains his utensil and dinnerware designs for Grant Achatz's Alinea; and Mike Sula eats at every Harold's Chicken Shack in the city (big ups there, dude. If you want a second for all the J&J Fish and A.P. Delis in the city, e-mail us).

With all that information overload, the centerpiece of this week's Reader is the list of their top fifty rated restaurants. Coming hot on the heels of Chicago Magazine's "Best New Restaurants of 2005", it makes for a nice comparison study. Though both have their merits, we're siding with the Reader. Even though the list is north-side centric, we prefer it for two reasons: the inclusion of affordable and mid-list places like the Handlebar, Hot Doug's, Manny's Coffee & Deli, and Pauline's; and no places owned by Dion Antic.