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South Side Cheap Eats: Mellow Yellow Restaurant

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Jul 17, 2006 3:20PM

2006_07_mellowyellow1.jpgFor this week's installment of "Cheap Eats", Chicagoist revisited the treasure trove of restaurants in and around Harper Court Shopping Center, in Hyde Park. This time around, we stayed along 53rd Street and visited a neighborhood favorite.

Mellow Yellow Restaurant has been serving up a global village of culinary delights for thirty years. From rotisserie chicken, to some outstanding crepes and quiches, to vegetarian-friendly fare, to their award-winning chili, there is something for everyone here. Having biked to Hyde Park from Bridgeport with the proverbial hammer down and an empty stomach, the only thing we had in mind was something that sticks to our ribs. Something that would metabolize quickly for the return trip through Bronzeville.

2006_07_mellowyellow2.jpgYup, we got a skillet. The southwestern skillet, to be exact. Loaded with chorizo and fresh vegetables, topped with two over-easy eggs, and served with a side order of pancakes, this hit the spot immediately. At $7.50, it was also one of the more modestly sized skillets we've eaten; we're used to eating the gutbusters. Having learned our lesson from our Sunday brunch at C'est Si Bon in April, we weren't about to risk a food coma while pedaling.

We complemented the skillet with a small cup of "Papa Ken's homemade chicken and rice soup", a pleasant, slightly salty broth teeming with celery, carrots and onions. Our fresh-squeezed orange juice, laden with pulp and served in a frosted beer mug, was another hit.

You'll rarely see an entree at Mellow Yellow for more than ten dollars, and the quality of the food far exceeds the price. It's well worth a bike ride - and the southern end of the lakefront path is one of the best-kept secrets in the city, with its lack of traffic and sparsely populated beaches - to check out for yourself. Mellow Yellow is located at 1508 E. 53rd Street. The phone number is (773) 667-2000. Mellow Yellow is open 6 a.m. until 9 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 6 a.m. until 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday; and 6 a.m. until 10 p.m. on Sunday.